N.B. Child Advocate Proposes Changes To Welfare System

A new Children’s Act would do a better job of protecting the rights of New Brunswick children in the welfare system.

That’s according to the province’s child, youth and seniors’ advocate, Kelly Lamrock.

Lamrock’s latest report, Easier To Build, makes several recommendations to the provincial government that, he says, would ensure child protection cases aren’t stuck in limbo.

He told reporters Friday that these cases typically go unresolved and fail to meet the urgent duty to protect children from harm.

“It is easier to lift children up today than to deal with broken and traumatized young adults later,” said Lamrock in a news release.

“Every child should know stability, safety and equal opportunity from a young age. It is time for a system that makes our duty to children the first and most urgent priority.”

Lamrock’s report includes recommendations for better case planning and coordination between government departments and putting a child’s needs first to protect them from abuse or neglect.

“We can do more to keep children safe and protect them from harm. It is the most important charge any society has,” said Lamrock.

“Work has been done, but we still have not reached a point where every department works together to put children’s rights outcomes ahead of rules and procedures. We expect that to change and the urgency of the project to be communicated by government with cabinet-level leadership.”

The full report can be found here.