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This article was published 17/5/2016 (1902 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services has pulled its licences for a city foster care provider and pulled its 21 children from the organization’s homes.
Specialized Foster Homes issued an email statement to its partner agencies on Monday, informing them that DOCFS removed the children after SFH filed a financial grievance.
"They ultimately responded by taking back the licenses from our homes on May 13, 2016 and removing their 21 children from our care," the statement reads.
SFH program manager Jesse Dourado said DOCFS hasn’t specified a reason for its actions.
"There’s been no documented allegations of any impropriety," Dourado said when reached by phone on Monday.
Messages left with DOCFS on Monday afternoon didn’t receive a response by press time.
However, sources indicate that the removed children have been placed in other Brandon foster homes and at a "camp" near Winnipeg.
SFH runs a dozen foster homes that each house one to four youth with difficult backgrounds. All but one of the homes is within city limits.
Some of the youth, for example, have been victims of abuse, and some have multiple mental health issues. They may be suicidal or have conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.
While some of the youth placed with SFH were from other agencies, it was DOCFS that licensed all of the homes.
SFH has received attention in past years for high-profile crimes committed by its young residents.
In recent months, local judges have expressed concern as a number of youth have been accused of a series of assaults against home workers.
However, Dourado said DOCFS hasn’t told him the reason its workers removed all of its children from SFH homes on Friday.
If the children were removed due to safety concerns, Dourado said, DOCFS didn’t express it.
"They’ve never brought up any specific concerns to us … they have no recommendations in terms of any safety planning for their kids, or recommendations around critical incident debriefing," Dourado said.
Rather, the SFH email sent to such agencies as the Brandon School Division, Brandon police, Brandon Correctional Centre and justice officials states that DOCFS removed the children after Dourado filed a grievance with the Southern First Nations Network of Care which oversees DOCFS.
The statement claims DOCFS didn’t issue provincially approved payment by its own timeline and criteria, although the email doesn’t specify an amount.
The email also states that other CFS agencies have licensed the homes temporarily as places of safety until they license the homes on a long-term basis.
Nine of SFH’s homes remain operational and currently house about 20 youth. Other agencies have requested that children be placed there, the email states.
The Brandon Sun left messages with the Southern Authority, the Department of Families and a spokesperson for the department’s minister on Monday afternoon, but didn’t receive any responses by press time.
SFH is appealing DOCFS’s withdrawal of its licences to the Southern Authority.
Dourado said DOCFS broadly cited foster home licensing regulations, but didn’t specify a reason for the withdrawal of the licences, as required, or advise of a right to appeal.
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