The Yukon government has named the independent advisory committee that’s being tasked with reporting on the Yukon Child and Family Services Act.
The review of the act, which regulates the treatment of children in government care, is separate from two other investigations by the government and the child and youth advocate into the treatment of kids in government group homes.
The committee is part of a mandated review of the act.
“I know that these six individuals will ensure a broad and thorough review that will result in recommendations to improve the system and, in the end, result in better outcomes for children, families and communities,” Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost is quoted as saying in a press release.
The committee is being chaired by Mo Caley-Verdonk, a former Yukon government employee who worked in the child care services unit and as a victim services worker for the Department of Justice.
Also sitting on the panel are Doris Anderson, the president of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council, Lori Duncan, director of health and wellness with the Carcross Tagish First Nation, lawyer Debbie Hoffman, Rosemary Rowlands, executive director of Help and Hope for Families in Watson Lake and Ray Sydney, a councillor with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
The government has said the committee will engage with First Nations, stakeholders and communities.
Caley-Verdonk said May 30 that she couldn’t provide specifics yet. The committee is expecting to meet for the first time in mid June where they will decide on terms of reference and a plan, she said.
“My hope is that we gather thorough information that can then be referenced back to the act to help ensure that it is doing the job that it’s supposed to do and really ensuring quality of life for Yukon children and families,” she said.
Michelle Boleen, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services, said there is no hard timeline for when the report will be completed but the hope is to table it during the fall legislative assembly sitting.
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