Media statement by Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth on the jury's verdict in Katelynn Sampson's inquest

TORONTO, April 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The jury at Katelynn Sampson's inquest has delivered their verdict and made 173 recommendations that potentially strengthen the way in which we offer protection to all children in this province. As we honour Katelynn's life, we acknowledge the hard work of the jury members who have brought the common sense wisdom of Ontario to the fore in Katelynn's name.

The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth will strive to ensure that parties who have recommendations before them consider them carefully. 

Since 2008, my Office and Ontario have walked in the shadow of Katelynn's death. Today, we are able to walk in the light of her legacy found in the recommendations before us today. We must listen to Katelynn through the voice of the jury.

We had suggested that the jury recommend the establishment of "Katelynn's Principle," and we are pleased to see this principle recognized as the first recommendation in the jury's verdict. This principle has far-reaching potential if implemented for the purpose of transformational change. This principle would place the child at the centre of the child welfare system. It would ensure that children are seen as individuals with rights, whose voices must be heard, and who must be seen and listened to. More specifically, this principle would place the child at the centre of any activity, policy or legislation – with an emphasis on their right to participate in decisions that affect them – and actions should be taken to assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the right to express those views freely on matters affecting them. In essence, children must be rendered visible from their invisibility, as was the case for Katelynn.

We will continue to advocate for the inclusion of "Katelynn's Principle" in all child protection services, and in all services that touch a child's life.

Irwin Elman
Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

About the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children. The advocates receive and respond to concerns from children, youth and families who are seeking or receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act and the Education Act (Provincial and Demonstration Schools).

The Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement. For more information, visit: provincialadvocate.on.ca. For updates, read the Advocate's Blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth



For further information: Media Contact: Akihiko Tse, Communications, Media Relations Coordinator, (416)-325-5994, akihiko.tse@provincialadvocate.on.ca, Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

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http://provincialadvocate.on.ca

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