Manitoba’s Child and Family Services says it will not erase the file of a Winnipeg mother who was investigated for letting her children play in her backyard.
The agency would not comment on the specifics of the case of Jacqui Kendrick, a stay-at-home mother of three. But regardless of the results of their investigation, the agency said it would not erase the file because all documentation and records need to be accessible in the event that another concern arises in the future.
Kendrick told CTV Winnipeg earlier this week that a CFS worker showed up unexpectedly at her door in early April and told her they were doing a “well-being check.” She said the agency had received a complaint about her children being left unsupervised.
Kendrick’s three children, ages two, five and 10, regularly play in the family’s backyard after school. The yard is fully fenced in, with a wood fence covering three sides, and a portion of the front covered by a chain link fence and gate. Kendrick told CTV Winnipeg she's always either with her kids or looking in on them from her living room windows and feels “completely comfortable” letting her kids play outside.
Still, the worker with the CFS -- the provincial body that apprehends abused and neglected children -- insisted she was obligated to investigate and ask a few more questions.
Kendrick said the worker seemed to feel that everything was fine and she’s heard nothing further from them.
If the investigation finds no reason for concern, a file can be closed, but not erased. It is unclear if CFS is still investigating Kendrick’s case.
Now, Kendrick is worried that with her name on CFS files, any further complaints could lead to her kids being taken away. She says she doesn’t understand why whoever called authorities didn’t speak to her directly.
“If you really had a concern, you could have knocked on my door,” she said.
Manitoba's Child and Family Services Act states a child 12 or older can be left home alone unsupervised; it doesn't mention anything about children unsupervised in a backyard.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Cheryl Holmes