Manitoba teen still in coma after attack; uncle blames child welfare system
A 15-year-old girl who was severely beaten while under the care of Manitoba Child and Family Services remains in a medically induced coma, with her family members by her side.
CTV Winnipeg spoke to one of the girl’s uncles, who said the teen’s injuries are so severe, it’s hard for him to discuss them.
“We are all really hurt,” said the uncle, who cannot be identified in order to protect the girl’s identity. “It’s very hard.”
Police have charged a 15-year-old boy with aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault in connection with the case. At the time of the attack, the boy and the girl were both in foster care and being housed at the same downtown hotel, police said.
The attack prompted Manitoba’s Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross to promise to stop housing foster children in hotels by June 1.
The girl’s uncle said Child and Family Services must be held accountable for the attack. He said his niece was also beaten up three days before the assault that landed her in hospital.
The family claims that three girls who were also in the care of Child and Family Services and staying at the same hotel beat up the teen. In an email to CTV Winnipeg, the province said it has no information about that incident.
“I blame nothing but CFS,” the girl’s uncle said. “They’re the ones that are accountable, they were the ones that had care of my niece and they allowed this to happen, basically.
“So they’re the ones that should be accountable to every little bit of it.”
It’s common for foster children in Manitoba to be put up in hotels when there is no room in group or foster homes. That practice has been criticized for years, and the government has been urged to find alternative accommodations.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Sheila North Wilson and files from The Canadian Press