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Special Reports2022-06-23T10:52:02-05:00

Special Reports

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Every Two Hours: A Special Report on Children and Youth Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence in Manitoba

In Manitoba, a child is exposed to a police-reported incident of intimate partner violence (IPV) every two hours. Exposure to IPV in childhood can be deeply traumatic for young people, shattering feelings of safety, leading to lifelong mental health challenges, and sometimes reinforcing cycles of intergenerational violence. 

This special report, the first of its kind, follows 671 Manitoba children and youth exposed to IPV in April 2019 in order to understand their pathways through service responses from police, Victim Services, and Child and Family Services. The report repositions children exposed to IPV as centrally-impacted victims with rights to services. Informed by the voices of experiential young people, the Elders Council, and service providers, the special report contains seven recommendations to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of services for children, youth, and families in Manitoba.

« Toutes les deux heures » : la protectrice du Manitoba publie le tout premier rapport sur les enfants exposés à la violence entre partenaires intimes

Au Manitoba, toutes les deux heures, un enfant est exposé à un incident de violence entre partenaires intimes (VPI) rapporté par la police. L’exposition à la VPI pendant l’enfance peut être profondément traumatisante pour les jeunes, dévastatrice pour leur sentiment de sécurité et à l’origine de problèmes durables de santé mentale, et elle renforce parfois les cycles de violence intergénérationnelle. 

Premier de son genre, ce rapport spécial suit 671 enfants et jeunes du Manitoba ayant été exposés à la VPI en avril 2019 pour nous permettre de comprendre les réponses qu’ils ont obtenues de la police, des Services aux victimes et des Services à l’enfant et à la famille. Le rapport replace les enfants exposés à la VPI de façon à les considérer comme des victimes principales qui ont droit à des services. À la lumière des commentaires recueillis auprès des jeunes ayant vécu ce genre de situation, auprès du Conseil des aînés et des fournisseurs de services, le rapport spécial propose sept recommandations pour améliorer l’efficacité et la réponse des services destinés aux enfants, aux jeunes et aux familles du Manitoba.

Read the report

Read the news release

Lire le communiqué

Youth statement

Watch our video


This special report provides Manitobans with information on the Manitoba government’s compliance with 51 recommendations that the Manitoba Advocate has made since The Advocate for Children and Youth Act came into effect on March 15, 2018, and until December 31, 2020.

Ce rapport spécial informe la population du Manitoba sur la suite donnée aux 51 recommandations que la protectrice du Manitoba a adressées au gouvernement de la province depuis l’entrée en vigueur de la Loi sur le protecteur des enfants et des jeunes le 15 mars 2018, jusqu’au 31 décembre 2020.

Read the report – Lisez le rapport (en anglais)

Read the English news release – Lisez le communiqué en anglais

Read the French news release – Lisez le communiqué en français

Read the French executive summary – Lisez le résumé en français

Read the handbook for Compliance Assessment of MACY Recommendations – Lisez le manuel d’évaluation de la suite donnée aux recommandations du PEJM (en anglais)

Read the supplemental content (appendix) – Lisez l’annexe de renseignements supplémentaires (en anglais)

Finding the Way Back: An aggregate investigation of 45 boys who died by homicide or suicide in Manitoba.

Too often unseen, boys in Manitoba need our attention. As a follow-up to a 2020 investigation focused on the suicide deaths of girls, the Manitoba Advocate set out to see what common issues exist among boys in Manitoba who are at risk of suicide or homicide and what systemic improvements can be made to help young men, particularly those who are First Nations, Metis, or Inuit. Of the 45 boys with experience in the child welfare system who died by either suicide or homicide and whose stories inspired this special report, 78% were identified as First Nations youth and 49% lived in northern Manitoba.

Guided by the office’s Knowledge Keeper and Elders Council, the Manitoba Advocate combined investigative and qualitative research approaches in the drafting of this report. Together with Dr. Marlyn Bennett, an Indigenous scholar and professor at the University of Manitoba, the office also held a digital storytelling workshop with two First Nations young men, Michael Breland and Trevor Merasty. They created a music video being released alongside the report, which details some of their lived experiences. In accordance with her authority under The Advocate for Children and Youth Act, and in alignment with Calls to Action from the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Manitoba Advocate is making four recommendations in this report to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of child welfare, education, and youth justice services in Manitoba.

Read the report

Lire le message de la Protectrice en français

Read the news release

Watch the music video


The Right to Be Heard is a special report featuring the thoughts and opinions of hundreds of Manitoba youth who discussed community issues and proposed solutions for a better future. The findings come from a province-wide Youth Listening Tour and online survey, which were hosted by staff from the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) in 2020. The purpose of the Youth Listening Tour was to raise awareness of children’s rights while also gathering information about the challenges, priorities, and solutions youth identify in their communities and beyond.

Youth raised a variety of diverse, but often related issues they face in their communities, including substance use, mental health and well being, poverty, violence, and racism and discrimination. Overwhelmingly, youth spoke about the need for more investments in accessible mental health and addictions programs and the need for more recreational activities that provide healthy opportunities and community belonging.

This special report presents governments and decision-makers in Manitoba with the opportunity to hear the voices of youth and let these contributions guide them to make informed decisions about their strategic priorities and funding.

We are always here to listen. If you are a youth that did not get a chance to participate in the Listening Tour and would like to share your thoughts, please take our survey.

Read the Report
Lire les messages en français
Read the news release

Breaking the Cycle: An Update on the Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Manitoba Youth Custody Facilities

Since our 2019 report, Learning from Nelson Mandela, the Manitoba Advocate has closely monitored the use of segregation and solitary confinement in Manitoba youth custody facilities. This special report found that solitary confinement continues.

We found that in 2020, a higher proportion of youth in custody were subjected to solitary confinement (1-14 days at a time) and prolonged solitary confinement (15 days and longer at a time) and for longer periods of time than in 2019. Higher rates of segregation reflect the additional COVID-19 pandemic protocols that require all youth to be isolated for 14 days upon admission.

Concerningly, conditions of segregation are similar whether youth are being isolated due to safety concerns or because of public health measures. Our analysis details that most youth segregated were identified as male and as Indigenous. More than sixty per cent had known mental health challenges. This report highlights the voices of youth who experienced segregation and the experiences of senior-level staff at Manitoba Justice, all of who say more mental health and cultural supports are needed inside youth custody facilities. The Manitoba Advocate again calls for an end to solitary confinement of youth over 24 hours, changes in the law to further restrict segregation under 24 hours, and for investments in trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate care for youth in custody.

Read the report
Read the news release

Bridging the Gaps: Achieving Substantive Equality for Children with Disabilities in Manitoba

Bridging the Gaps: Achieving Substantive Equality for Children with Disabilities in Manitoba is a special report stemming from a child death investigation and broader systemic research. The Manitoba Advocate was notified of the death of Emma* in 2017. Emma’s family struggled to navigate disability services in Manitoba and ultimately relied on Child and Family Services for support. Emma died accidentally, just days before an emergency systems meeting was scheduled to discuss an out-of-home placement for her.

In addition to Emma’s investigation, MACY includes findings from a survey of caregivers of children and youth with disabilities; interviews with academic experts, current and former service providers, families, and children and youth with disabilities; and extensive data analysis of Children’s disABILITY Services (CdS) and Child and Family Services (CFS) records. Over 400 people were consulted in the making of this report. The Manitoba Advocate makes nine recommendations to the provincial government and service providers for system improvements.

*Name has been changed.

Read the report
Read the executive summary
Read the supplemental content
Read the news release
Watch the animated video

French reports available upon request/Rapports en francais disponsible sur demande.

Still Waiting – Investigating Child Maltreatment after the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry

Phoenix Sinclair would have turned 21 years old this year. Fifteen years after her death and seven years after the release of the public inquiry into her death, major changes have occurred in the child welfare system. Yet, we are still waiting for the system to consistently support families to keep children safe.

What you will read in this special report is that while large-scale change has occurred and continues to unfold, the needs of children and youth are not always prioritized and consistent and equitable services remain out-of-reach for too many families. Despite the massive public inquiry into Phoenix Sinclair’s death and the 62 recommendations that were made from that evidence, children are still dying of maltreatment similar to what Phoenix experienced. For example, between 2008 and 2020, there were 19 Manitoba children under the age of five who were maltreated and died. Their lives inspired this special report and five recommendations from the Advocate for policy improvements.

Read the full report.
Read the fact sheet.
Read the news release.

French reports available upon request/Rapports en francais disponsible sur demande.

Are They Listening? Summary of Government Compliance with Recommendations Issued under The Advocate for Children and Youth Act.

This special report provides Manitobans with information on the Manitoba government’s compliance with 23 recommendations that the Manitoba Advocate has made since the new Act came into effect on March 15, 2018, and until December 31, 2019.

Click here to read the full report
Click here to read the news release
Click here to see the handbook for Compliance Assessment of MACY Recommendations

“Stop Giving Me a Number and Start Giving Me a Person”: How 22 Girls Illuminate the Cracks in the Manitoba Youth Mental Health and Addiction System (2020)

Mental health and addictions issues affect Manitoba children and youth at soaring rates and, for years, demand for these health services has outpaced supply. In the last five years, suicide has become the leading manner of death for Manitoba youth ages 10-17. This special report dives into lessons learned from the suicide deaths of 22 Manitoba girls. The girls, ages 11-17, were primarily from rural and northern Manitoba communities and died between 2013 and 2019. Their struggles point to glaring cracks in provincial mental health and addiction services. The Advocate makes seven recommendations to the provincial government about how to fix these systems and therefore improve the wellbeing of Manitoba children and youth.

Click here to read the full report.

To read the news release, click here.

To read the Manitoba Advocate’s remarks, click here.

Safe and Sound: A Special Report on the Unexpected Sleep-Related Deaths of 145 Manitoba Infants

In Canada, sudden and unexplained deaths remain the second leading cause of death for infants between the ages of one and 12 months. Sleep-related infant deaths are a not only a serious public health concern, but they are also a children’s rights issue. This report addresses the extent and nature of unsafe sleep-related deaths in Manitoba, examines the barriers and gaps that prevent the reduction of known risk factors, and makes 13 targeted recommendations to increase the effectiveness and responsiveness of services for infants and their families. What you will read in this report is a clear message of hope: unsafe sleep-related deaths can be reduced in our province by addressing the known risk factors. Most sleep-related infant deaths can be prevented by reducing the known risk factors and by placing the infant alone, on their back, and in a crib for every sleep.

Click here to read full report
Click here to read the Safe Sleep Pamphlet
Click here for the Safe Sleep Infographic

The Slow Disappearance of Matthew A Family’s Fight for Youth Mental Health Care in the Wake of Bullying and Mental Illness (2020)

Matthew’s story is one of a family desperate to save their son. Matthew’s six-year struggle with depression, anxiety, substance use, and persistent thoughts of suicide consumed the family. Over time, his mother lived with the fear that something would happen if she was not able to provide round-the-clock supervision and support to Matthew. It was clear to the family that the patchwork of mental health interventions being offered were not well-coordinated and were not actually helping her son to recover. Matthew had many contacts with community supports, including school-based and community-based psychologists, psychiatrists, public and private therapists, occupational therapists, doctors (his pediatrician, as well as during in-patient treatment and emergency crises), police officers, paramedics, mobile crisis teams, and CFS staff. Still, Matthew’s family had no success in getting him long-term help.

Click here to read full report

A Place Where it Feels Like Home: The Story of Tina Fontaine (2019)

Tina Fontaine might always be known for the tragic way in which she died, but it is her life that is an important story worth knowing.

It was on August 17, 2014, when most people would learn her name, but Tina’s story began long before that day. It began even before Tina was born on New Year’s Day in 1999.

To know Tina’s story, to really understand how she came to symbolize a churning anger of a nation enraged, each of us can look as far back as the arrival of European settlers, and as close to home as the depth of our own involvement or indifference in the lives and experiences of Indigenous youth.

Click here to read full report


Two years after receiving a number of complaints about the uses of segregation, solitary confinement, and pepper spray in youth custody facilities in Manitoba, the independent offices of the Ombudsman and the Advocate determined there was a need for an independent investigation. The Ombudsman’s focus was to examine existing legislation, regulations, policies, and procedures, and to determine whether they were being appropriately followed by custodial staff and administrators. The Advocate’s focus was to look at whether the use of pepper spray and segregation in youth populations is justified and whether the justice system is reflecting the best interests of youth while they are responsible for their care. This report presents clear evidence that methods such as segregation and pepper spray do not make the public safer. It is indisputable that therapeutic approaches work, can lower re-offending, and increase public safety.

Click here to read full report

In Need of Protection: Angel’s Story (2018)

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth today released her second public child death report since the expansion of her mandate earlier this year. Today’s report, In Need of Protection: Angel’s Story details the life of Angel, who died at age 17 after a lifetime of unaddressed and compounded trauma. The Manitoba Advocate discusses themes of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), sexual exploitation of children and youth, the urgent need for a continuum of care including safe and secure addition treatment for youth, and further calls on the provincial government to implement a robust youth mental health strategy, which is so desperately needed. The Advocate’s report links what happened to Angel to what is happening today for a number of youth who are connected to the advocacy program at the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth Office.

Click here to read full report

Documenting the Decline: The Dangerous Space Between Good Intentions and Meaningful Interventions (2018)

In her first publicly released child death investigation since the proclamation of The Advocate for Children and Youth Act in March 2018, Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, Daphne Penrose, shares the story of an Indigenous youth who died tragically in a vehicle accident in a rural community.

Click here to read full report

Child Death Review Roll Ups

2019-2020 Child Death Review Roll Up
2018-2019 Child Death Review Roll-Up

Report Archive

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The Drop – MACY Youth Newsletter Issues2019-11-17T22:39:46-06:00

In 2013, in response to youth, community, and stakeholder feedback, we redesigned our newsletters, choosing to focus on producing a newsletter aimed at youth. The Drop explores the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which is an international agreement between many countries around the globe. The UNCRC has been in place since 1989 and gives children and youth around the world more than 40 major human rights. Canada signed onto this international agreement in 1991 and promised to ensure the rights described in the UNCRC are protected and promoted for all children living in Canada. Each issue of The Drop newsletter examines one of the Articles of the UNCRC.

Hope Rising – MACY Youth Suicide Prevention Newsletters2019-11-17T22:56:35-06:00

In early 2013, we also decided to redesign our suicide prevention newsletter. Hope Rising examines issues related to suicide and suicide prevention specific to youth, with a focus on Manitoba youth. We offer this newsletter to the public in three languages – English, Cree, and Ojibwe.

Previous Issues – MACY Newsletters2019-11-17T23:11:23-06:00

2012 Newsletters

2011 Newsletters

2010 Newsletters

2008 Newsletters

2007 Newsletters

2006 Newsletters

The Megaphone – Promoting the Voices of Manitoba Children & Youth2019-11-17T23:44:12-06:00

Much of the work we do at MACY is bound by confidentiality. This is important since in the work of protecting children, youth, and their families, we become aware of highly sensitive and personal information in order to conduct accurate and thorough analysis of the issues affecting Manitoba’s young people. In our work across the province, we see trends and key issues that are common to many children and youth and are committed to educating the public about those issues in an effort to improve the lives of children and youth. We are excited to be able to offer the following information sheets as part of our public education efforts.

The Megaphone explores issues for three unique audiences: youth, service providers, and the general public. Each edition of The Megaphone focuses on a different theme our staff sees in the work we do around the province. You are encouraged to view, read, print, and share one or all of them.

Issue 14: SPECIAL EDITION – Water Safety
Manitoba is a land of many lakes, rivers, streams, and other wide access to bodies of water. Many of our communities are located beside water and children and youth have ready access to water for a wide range of activities. Deaths of children and youth from accidental drowning occur every year in Manitoba – between 2009 and 2014, there were 19 Manitoba children who died from drowning. As we emerge from winter and anticipate the spring thaw and its yearly increase of water-related activity, this special edition of The Megaphone looks at how to keep young people safe around water.

Issue 13: SPECIAL EDITION – Safe Sleep for Babies
Infants have an increased vulnerability of death when their sleeping environments are not carefully designed and monitored. Each year, our office is notified of infant deaths where risks in the baby’s sleep space were identified. To advocate for safer sleep and healthier babies, this special edition of The Megaphone looks at Safe Sleep – how to minimize risk and how to promote safety.

Issues 10-12: Foster Care
Manitoba foster families play a vital role in the care of vulnerable young people. This release of The Megaphone looks at some of the issues faced by young people, service providers, and caregivers working in the foster care system in the province.

Issues 7-9: Gang Interference in the Lives of Children & Youth
Our third installment of The Megaphone info sheets shines a light into the dark corners of street gangs and their impact on children and youth in Manitoba. We look at why young people might accept gang interference in their lives, what the impacts can include. We also challenge service providers to look critically at their own choices and how those choices can have an impact in the issue of gangs. We talk about labels and the need to meet youth with open minds and hearts in order to effectively support them and how communities can work to reclaim youth from gangs.

Issues 4-6: Navigating Adolescent Transition
In the second release of The Megaphone, we explore some of the issues associated with the critical bridging years children travel through that move them from childhood to their teen years. Social competency and how to support healthy development in young people is examined from a number of angles and for three distinct audiences: youth, service providers, and the general public.

Issues 1-3: The Importance of Attachment
In this first release of The Megaphone, we look at the issue of attachment and why early experiences for young children can lay the foundation for their future. We look at attachment theory, resilience, how care plans can impact very young children, and the importance of recognizing and addressing trauma.

Information Sheets2019-11-18T08:38:43-06:00


Youth Suicide in Manitoba 2009-2012

Staff from the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth delivered a poster presentation at the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention 2013 conference in Winnipeg. Drawing on statistics and ongoing inquiry within the Special Investigation Review unit of MACY, our office was able to offer conference delegates some poignant analysis of issues and emerging trends in youth suicide within Manitoba.


A Message to Manitoba Foster Parents

Foster parents make up a large number of the calls we get each year requesting support and assistance from our staff of advocates. We want to make sure that all foster parents in Manitoba know that we see ourselves as allies to people who care for children. Foster parents call us for information and assistance with respect to reunification or transition plans, foster child removal concerns, issues regarding contact with assigned social workers, and more. In response to this, we produced an information sheet specifically for Manitoba foster parents.


Special Reports – MACY Letters, Reviews and Presentations2021-03-12T09:57:44-06:00

2016 Reports

2015 Reports

2014 Reports

  • Letter to the Council of the Federation – The Need for a National Dialogue about Indigenous Children and Youth (August 2014)

2013 Reports

2012 Reports

2011 Reports

2010 Reports

2009 Reports

2006 Reports

2004 Reports



Links to Other Websites2019-11-18T00:05:21-06:00

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth offers these links as a courtesy. This office does not endorse, support or take responsibility for the contents, claims or representations of websites with links to or from this site.


For Children and Young People

For Foster Parents

For Parents & Grandparents


Canadian Council of Child & Youth Advocates

The CCPCYA is an alliance of provincially appointed children’s advocates. Although the mandate of each of the children’s advocates differs, members of the CCPCYA share a common commitment to further the voice, rights and dignity of children. Through CCPCYA, the advocates identify issues of mutual concern and strive to develop ways to address issues at a national level.


Council Members


Other Resources

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