Only one-third of kids in care graduate from high school: study
Sheila North Wilson, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2015 11:17AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2015 5:50PM CST
Too often children who grow up in the care of Child and Family Services don't graduate, according to a new report on educational outcomes for kids in care.
The province is vowing to change that.
But some say the entire system needs an overhaul, including mother of nine Mavis Lamirande. She grew up in care most of her life.
Now, she makes sure her children know the value of education.
"They were coming home with perfect attendance, student of the month, citizen awards. They do really (well)," said Lamirande.
Lamirande said while in care, nobody was ever there to push her to get an education.
And being moved from place to place made her miss out on school for days and even months at a time until she finally stopped going at age 14.
"Well, I was in Grade 6, three times because I was bad and I kept getting suspended…and you continue failing and by then, they gave up on me," said Lamirande.
Unfortunately, her story is not unique.
According to a report released Tuesday, most children who grow up in the care of CFS often fail.
"Only about a third of kids who have ever spent time in care graduated from high school," said Marni Brownell, lead author of Education Outcomes of Children in Care.
Brownell said the findings show half of the kids in care are not able to keep up.
Nearly 90 per cent of the 10,000 children in care in Manitoba are indigenous.
And a third of them are apprehended at birth and a quarter of them stay in care until they're 12 years old.
The new First Nations Family Advocate says what isn't in the report is how the kids in care who aren’t encouraged in school add up in the overall picture.
Cora Morgan said the report shows that changes in CFS are long overdue.
"All that development that happens before the age of two years old is critical for the rest of one’s life, so to be depriving (them) of that is setting them up to fail in many aspects in life, and namely (in) school," said Morgan, AMC First Nations Family Advocate.
The province said it is looking to make positive changes and has established a task force.
"The task force is being established in order to provide us with practical steps that we can take in order to ensure successful educational outcomes," said Manitoba Education Minister James Allum.
Meanwhile, Lamirande says she'll keep doing her part to make sure her children are successful.