The new group home at 22 Wann Rd., pictured here on Feb. 23, is tentatively scheduled to be operational in early 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Wann Road group home to replace two facilities in downtown Whitehorse

Youth are tentatively slated to move into the new group home in Porter Creek by spring 2019

The Wann Road group home that was purchased by the Yukon government in April will replace two downtown facilities, accommodating two additional clients.

“The two current facilities each house four residents; the Wann Road home will hold 10,” said Patricia Living, spokesperson with the Department of Health and Social Services.

Youth, she said in a written statement, are slated to move into the new home in 2019, “hopefully” before April.

“There have been some delays in getting work started on the renovations which in turn delays when youth can move in,” Living said.

The issue resurfaced during question period on Oct. 29 when NDP House Leader Kate White inquired whether a historical critical incident review has been launched in relation to the mistreatment of youth in government-run group homes.

Frost didn’t specifically address the question, stating that her department is “fully cooperating” with reviews.

“We are working in collaboration with the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate’s office. We have hired an independent investigator, as noted, out of Vancouver to look at a review of relevant policies and procedures on the operations of the group homes,” she said.

“Care is essential and we have to ensure that we provide the necessary supports. We did that very effectively, and one of the things that we did with the Wann Road project was to focus on closing down two group homes that are no longer suitable for clients.”

Frost offered the apology Sept. 6 after an Outside investigation into the branch that runs group homes backed up some of the claims that have been made by youth in government care.

Frost ordered the investigation in May and retained Pamela Costanzo, a lawyer and investigator from British Columbia.

Of five allegations, Costanzo found two claims were substantiated.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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