Best interests [aboriginal child welfare]

TheGlobeandMail.com – opinions/letters to the editor – What readers think
Published Friday, Dec. 17, 2010.   Kate Kenny

The disgraceful situation facing aboriginal children in the child-welfare system hurts our hearts (The Right To Have Parents – Dec. 13). Everyone needs a home, the importance of stability cannot be overstated. As aboriginal and white women involved with the system, both as survivors of foster care and parents who have lost the right to parent our children, we are familiar with pains inflicted through forced separation of our families. Families who are poor and/or from aboriginal and racialized communities are suffering disproportionably.

It’s time Canadians deepen our analysis of this crisis. Children’s best interests lie in their right to maintain family bonds. For our families to thrive and stay together, we need freedom from poverty, affordable housing, childcare, programs for at-risk families, including those affected by drug use; we need committed legal representation to advocate for ourselves, and we need supports for parents after our children go into care.

Kate Kenny, on behalf of members of the Grief and Loss Education and Action Project, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Toronto

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