Manitoba social worker had strong doubts about Phoenix Sinclair's mother, inquiry hears
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6:35AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2012 1:28PM EST
WINNIPEG - A Manitoba social worker says he had strong doubts about the mother of a little girl who had been in foster care, but hoped she would be able to regain custody of the child.
Andrew Orobko testified today at the inquiry into Phoenix Sinclair's death.
He said Phoenix was taken from her mother, Samantha Kematch, days after being born in April 2000.
Orobko said Kematch seemed uninterested in being a parent, had already had another child taken from her and appeared to have a possible mental disability.
Orobko drew up a three-month order, which required Kematch to undergo a psychological assessment, attend parenting classes and have weekly visits with her daughter.
Kematch eventually did regain custody in 2004.
Months later, she and her boyfriend beat the young girl to death in their home.
The inquiry is examining how child welfare failed to protect the girl.
It resumed today after a two-month delay caused by a court challenge from child welfare authorities.
Commissioner Ted Hughes appeared frustrated by the delay, and told lawyers that the inquiry must proceed so that answers can be found.
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