Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

LET YOU DOWN – Government officials issued a public apology Thursday morning to youth who experienced mistreatment at group homes. From left to right: Tom Ullyett, acting Public Service Commissioner, Stephen Samis, deputy minister of the Department of Health and Social Services, and HSS Minister Pauline Frost also said there was mis- information provided by workers earlier this year.

YG apologizes to youth after report

The territorial government publicly apologized Thursday for an “institution in crisis” that led to allegations of mistreatment from a number of workers and youth living in group homes.

By Palak Mangat on September 7, 2018

The territorial government publicly apologized Thursday for an “institution in crisis” that led to allegations of mistreatment from a number of workers and youth living in group homes.

The government acknowledged that it caused “unnecessary stress to these already vulnerable youth.”

That’s according to Stephen Samis, the deputy minister with the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS).

At a news conference held yesterday, Samis explained that he met personally with one of those youth who had alleged mistreatment.

“That experience was wrong; it should not have happened,” Samis told reporters.

His statements were echoed by HSS Minister Pauline Frost.

Along with acting Public Service Commissioner Tom Ullyett, Frost provided some details of the findings in a report by an external investigator hired last May.

For clarity: that report in its entirety was not made public so as not to reveal any identifying information for those youth and staff involved.

Rather, a summary by investigator Pamela Costanzo was provided. It detailed six recommendations – one of which included apologizing.

“To the youth who were mistreated, I apologize. The Government of Yukon was responsible for you, and we let you down,” Frost said.

Part of the allegations in question were detailed in CBC North reports aired earlier this year that reported on events dating back to late 2016.

The government announced last May that Costanzo, a B.C.-based labour and employment lawyer, would be conducting an independent review.

It looked at about six total allegations, five of which were related to specific instances about mistreatment of youth.

The last related to managers at the department covering up or ignoring complaints about this mistreatment.

The five allegations about mistreatment included being denied placement in group homes, eviction from a group home on short notice, and being locked out overnight.

Costanzo noted in her report that she found merit in two of the six allegations: in one, she said the mistreatment of youth was supported and went against law and department policy.

Another showed that a director did not properly investigate an incident – and also broke government policy.

“The results were that two youth did not receive the care they should have been given,” Frost said, echoing Samis’ statements.

Those two youth were involved in incidents in late 2016, just a month apart.

In November, a youth was asked to leave his home for somebody who was taking over his room. Frost said he “did not receive the support of a transition plan.”

And in December, another youth was denied entry into his home, essentially locked out – something Frost said “was not reported through the management chain properly.”

“There is a process in place for transitioning youth out of care,” Samis explained.

He noted that “it is the responsibility of the department ... to effectively and appropriately transition them.

“That wasn’t done.”

The department has since apologized, Samis added.

Its apology comes after officials had questioned some of the allegations during an April 2018 briefing featuring Samis and another government official, in which they said some of the allegations would have broken policy.

Nearly five months later, the report found that two of the allegations had merit – with Samis acknowledging and apologizing that officials had not been given full information.

“Last spring, we acted and responded to allegations without all the information we needed and in so doing, caused unnecessary stress.

“We don’t always get it right.”

Costanzo’s report reflected this, with one of the recommendations made to “encourage reconciliation and reparation be given priority over fact-finding.”

Asked if that implied that fact-finding was given priority in the past, Samis said it was a possibility.

Calling it a “longstanding HR practice in government” to participate in fact-finding, he said the recommendation had been fulfilled by speaking to the youth involved as “an opportunity to create reconciliation through dialogue.”

Pressed on the specific results of those kinds of dialogue, Samis said there had been some changes made since.

“Since these allegations came to light, we have done a number of things – like added supervisors on weekends and evenings,” when he knows incidences are more likely to occur.

He continued that having more on-call staff would help ensure that those who are working in the home are not left alone – especially if another worker has to leave to relocate a youth who has left the home, leaving the residence itself unstaffed.

“That’s not going to happen anymore.”

Samis also explained that in addition to extra training recommended by Costanzo, the department revised some of the qualifications for some workers.

“We looked at different ways of gauging how well people are prepared to undertake that really important and challenging work,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government confirmed that Brenda Lee Doyle, who is listed as the assistant deputy minister with HSS on the government’s online directory, has resigned from her position.

According to CBC reports, Doyle was partly on the receiving end of complaints by an ex-HSS worker about youth in government care.

Frost noted that the allegations of group homes in particular had “cast serious doubt on the department.”

Samis acknowledged that there had been somewhat of a turnover among other HSS staff.

“Most staff who were involved in that time in the department are no longer with the department for a variety of reasons: some retired, some left government service – those are the consequences.”

He clarified that the breaches were related to the government’s law and policy and were not criminal in nature.

Asked if some employees left on their own terms, he answered: “Over time, absolutely, between the time of 2016 and today.”

Samis could not speak specifically as to how other staff were held accountable for the allegations. That was despite Frost saying in her statements that “management and staff are being held to account for the repeated mistakes within the department.”

The minister continued to apologize, noting she has a daughter who is approaching adulthood, so can respect that the needs of those aged 17, 18 and 19 are unique.

“They need support as they find independences and develop into adults,” she said of the youth involved, some of whom were in their late teens.

“In 2016, this support was non-existent to youth in government care,” she added.

Frost also pledged that efforts to reduce homes that are over capacity have been ongoing and will continue.

“Under our government, the days of overcrowded group homes in Yukon are over,” Frost said, as Samis noted that there were more children and youth in care than the government had beds available.

As of 2017, Frost noted that the number of children in government care had dropped from 37 to 25. That number sat at about 17, as recently as last Friday.

But while the quantity may have dropped, the allegations and Costanzo’s findings of mistreatment brought into question the quality of that care.

It’s something Samis said he is well aware of.

Even though four of the six allegations were found to have no merit, he said he recognized that any youth “who perceives their experiences with our services as negative is one too many.”

The misinformation provided to him and other officials by workers was unacceptable, he said. It “created further confusion in the public, media and more importantly, with our staff.”

Some of those staff, he continued, “did not see or fully understand the seriousness of the problems.”

That was allowed to fester for two years since 2014, and resulted in a system that “was in a state of crisis.”

As recently as last Friday, Samis explained, some TSS staff were provided with information on how to advise youth about their rights and how to raise their concerns – in line with one of the suggestions made in the report.

Meanwhile, the report’s six recommendations are as follows:

• the department consider apologizing to a youth for a public misstatement;

• historical critical incident (HCI) review be carried out to investigate an allegation that was found to be merited – looking at whether accountability actions are needed;

• government train and provide information to ensure workers know the complaints processes and of their obligations to confirm children and youth of their rights;

• department work with another youth to document their experiences and provide solutions, if youth agrees to take part;

• documents relating to a youth in the care or custody of the director of Family and Children Services (FCS) be copied across to FCS’s files, from Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth; and

• reporting structure be changed to clarify authority and reflect the Child and Family Services Act.

Samis said that the six recommendations “have all been actioned.”

In response, the government provided a document detailing some of those actions:

• apology provided to youth in question;

• external contractor being hired to do HCI;

• three training modules and four training sessions intended to be shared with staff;

• apology provided to another youth;

• old documents were copied and transferred, with a new process in place for new ISYY clients;

• decision pending from the Public Service Commission about the changes in reporting structure.

On the last note, Ullyett clarified that the request had been granted. “Those changes are underway,” he said.

While Thursday’s briefing came after the government received Costanzo’s report, it is not the only review that is underway.

Samis noted that a “very strong” advisory committee was appointed to look at the Child and Family Services Act.

As reported in the Star on May 30, that committee is featuring six members of both rural Yukon and Whitehorse residents – four of whom are of First Nations ancestry.

That may prove important, as Frost acknowledged in her statements that more than 70 per cent of children in care in the territory are Indigenous.

There are also a couple of investigations into complaints of wrongdoing at the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner – which deals in part with the territory’s whistleblower legislation which came into effect in 2015. That comes after a number of ex-HSS workers came forward about mistreatment in group homes.

As well, Frost asked Annette King, the territory’s Child and Youth Advocate, to conduct a systemic review of the transitional support services – the report from which is expected in March 2019.

Comments (41)

Up 7 Down 3

Sad staff on Sep 14, 2018 at 5:08 am

Thank you for bringing this information to the attention of our "leaders". For having the courage and integrity to speak out against wrong-doing. The cost to you was great and the loss to Health and Social Services can not be measured. Children were safer under your watch, we were better public servants because of your leadership. I hope that where ever you are you look back and remember the good parts of the Yukon and the people who you worked with that knew the TRUTH, those of us you protected by coming forward so we didn't have to. We can never replace you, the corruption, ugliness and lies that this has exposed will forever change us. We can only hope it is for the good, perhaps now the Director of FCS will treat us better. The Managers who were allowed to remain (FS and TSS) will pause before calling youth and staff liars or covering up a wrong doing. Time will be the judge of that and hopefully at some point there will be justice and reconciliation for the youth and you. This should have come from the DM and Minister we are sorry it didn't. Thank u, you will be greatly missed.

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dig deeper on Sep 13, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Dig deeper, that's all.

Up 1 Down 0

Trapperson on Sep 13, 2018 at 6:35 pm

@ yukon watchdog (lol).

I stand by my comments, only from what you say can I come to that conclusion.

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june on Sep 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

WOW!!! YTG bullsh** at it’s finest. There have been problems there for A LONG TIME. Just don’t go back a couple years. Talk to the First Nations, old staff members and the children in care. You are going to get a different story.
Even Jeanie Dendys knows about the mismanagement that has gone on there. Why hasn’t she spoken up?
Sure it sounds great that you are going to switch up the management at these places but In turn you now have new people covering up.
Sorry Tom Ullyett, you may have a great background in justice and children in care but the wool is being pulled over your eyes too and you can’t see it.
I have lost all faith for the current managers and supervisors at FCS, ISSY, TSS. They have already shown their colors too...

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Yukon Watchdog on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:49 pm

@ Trapperson - I hate to admit it out loud, but I actually helped vote the Libs in both at the territorial and national levels, so sick of Harper and the Paz, I was. But, who knew how much damage one drama teacher could do to a country?
I should have paid more attention to the musings of Josey Wales and his/her take on the Trudeaus.
At the local level, I had high hopes, but all this gov has done is show how much ineptness there is especially at the top levels of the administration. It's the lies and covert action I hate like when they swooped in to that HSS office telling the employees there was a plumbing problem when the only plumbing problem was the sh** they were spewing to the Yukon Public. That makes me not trust my gov at all. I see the propaganda that says they believe in all these lofty ideals like truth, etc., then I see how they get rid of those who question wrongdoings (the good guys that try to keep the others honest; the good guys that try to protect the public purse, the children in care, etc). I see how they reward those who are able to cover their bosses asses and protect the gov from liability. I see my tax dollar spent on a LOT of unnecessary and incredibly expensive legal fights and I do not support that for one minute. That money is earmarked for the benefit of ALL taxpayers. I am not paying taxes in order to protect inept managers, well at least not willingly.
Neo con? Not in the past; not sure yet about the future. One thing is for sure: I won't be voting liberal again.

Up 10 Down 0

Sophie on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm

I can not believe they held the press conference at Wann road......the place where they hid the perpetrator ! I guess they should have it there ..........the million dollar cover up home where Managers go to hide.

Up 8 Down 0

Brenda on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Ivy Piper - You are trying to pin this on the former Director's ? Who are you the FS Manager ?? This Director has demolished FCS do you have any idea how many good workers, supervisors and managers have left because of her ?? Please have a reality check !!! I do agree about the Assistant Director who has quietly stayed under this radar......keep in mind both the Manger of TSS and FS report to her and not the Director. I am not sure what you mean that her demotion is unfair.....unfair to the taxpayers who are paying for that meaningless position - yes agreed. As for MH he is the manager that remains standing/hiding and never being held accountable at Harassment and Youth Abuse Services (FCS) brilliant rename - Ken

I do agree MH - needs to go and not just for this but for ALL OF IT. Everyone knows that works at TSS and FCS what has transpired at the hands of this manager. Once Wann road opens will they quietly bring back the dictator of Trauma informed care? It is a scary thought. The Director, Assistant Director and the two managers need/should go because if they don't NOTHING has or will change just more of the same BS.

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Groucho d'North on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:58 am

This entire investigation and resulting report are a manufactured performance designed to portray caring and a desire to improve how services are provided. It is an ass-covering job first and foremost. I imagine the HR offices are kinda tense right now with all this wonderful new 'evidence' to follow-up on. The thing is there are a number of goals and objectives involved and improving accountability is not one of them. Ambiguity has real value in these situations.

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Ivy piper on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

My friends let's all just look at the facts: for decades and under the auspices of fcs, the group homes have not served the youth of the community in a safe, clinical, respectful manner ever. The management probably thought they were because they were told they were but in all reality they were simply housed, not given the means to learn and cope as basic human beings, they were merely housed. Why? Well let’s see, no one actually had the knowledge to do so and the directors ES, BB, managers ND, MH, JB were too busy looking at how they look rather than how it should be.... in reality the kids didn’t matter.

There seems to be a lot of let’s get the director... it’s important to know that this present director is not the problem it was in fact the past retired directors and let us not forget the assistant director who’s fault it is. Now the assistant director has been demoted. Is that fair? No she should be let go. The two directors BB and ES have retired. Should they be brought on for investigation? Yes they should. The group home manager past ND should be investigated as well. It was usually let’s try what I read on line last night, no real plan none! We could also look at staff basically if you didn’t follow what hiarchary presented were program managed to the point of a breakdown no matter how hard you tried to follow a sometimes ridiculous path it was and remains hard to do. Fcs lacks respect to staff who have tried with all their might to bring sanity into kids lives and have been human resourced to death. The HR department needs also to be included in an investigation. They let the management brow beat a lot of employees. Since when is that ok? Let’s look at their practices why don’t we.

Now let’s go back to the group home management ....guys they are hiding MH it’s an old tactic. They could bring him back. They did it with BB twice because he caused a poop storm. Anyway the more people bring up his little escapades, yes we know about those times MH and JB in the office. We all saw! He needs to go....managers with little disregard to basic respect. Well, I don’t need it - how about you Yukon....

Let’s just clean the whole damn place up and to do that talk to people who know it and who have been there and who lived it. Find out how it all went wrong and fix it. There was a fellow hired by the name of Darrell Fox - now there’s a smart man PhD he has. He was treated badly by ES why because he was more educated than her. He left and hasn’t looked back. Liberals, pay him a very high salary and bring him back to clean up FCS. He could only be the guy to do it. It’s not the time to nickel and dime this. This needs experience with a organized hand. Yukon children need help and so does staff.

Up 1 Down 1

Trapperson on Sep 12, 2018 at 12:43 pm

@ Yukon Watchdog (lol), just a little neo con are we??

Up 20 Down 0

YukonMax on Sep 12, 2018 at 8:06 am

Time to put on the big boy's pants and send some of them packing. The rest should attend a whole bunch of "politics 101" workshops.

Up 14 Down 0

Benjamin on Sep 12, 2018 at 4:01 am

The Privacy Information and Wrong Doing report will be the only report with "merit. It will honestly report the Wrong Doing and recommend that the real culprits in all of this are held accountable- not sitting in positions of power influencing at he outcome of reports and denying care to youth. The Director and two managers of FS and TSS won't be able to escape what I suspect will be the REAL truth from PIDWA. The fact that they have been refusing to provide information, " reviewing" what is provided and insisting YG legal sit in the interviews with staff- nervous ? Have something to hide? Tick tock.......there are still boxes to be packed, truth and justice to be served. " Help us PIDWA you are our only hope"

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Ken on Sep 11, 2018 at 7:12 pm

The Manager of TSS on his special project at Wann road - I don't know how he managed to walk away from all of this untouched. Protected by the Director of Harassment and Abuse of Youth Services aka; Family and Children Services ?!?! Where do we work when a Director can break the law and remain the Director. A manager can harass staff, lie about the treatment of youth in the "trauma informed" homes he runs and NEVER has to answer a question about his conduct or treatment of staff and youth. In fact is rewarded for his abuse and harassment of staff and youth with a million dollar group home project !! Just another day at YG where the good get fired and the bad get million dollar group home projects. Now that is YG justice at its finest !!

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Yukon Watchdog on Sep 11, 2018 at 8:08 am

@ Patti Eyre
You are thanking the Minister for her leadership and Integrity? What? What? Say what? The good guys got fired; the bad ones keep their jobs and likely get promoted for saving this incompetent Minster's ass; and the poor kids get a hollow apology that gets then nothing. Those are some special kind of rose coloured glasses you must be wearing. Or you are her personal friend.

I am SO disgusted at how many of my tax dollars are spend defending these rogue managers, ministers, power-trippers. I do not support my tax dollar being spent this way. Not even a little bit.
Give that Jonathan Parker back his job, sounds like he was the best thing HSS had going for those poor kids in care.
Get off your high effin horses; start doing the jobs you were elected to do and quit spending my effin tax dollar on defending this kind of bull****. Hold those public servants accountable!!! Fire their asses! The Minister should step down and let someone competent take the helm.

This is the worst Yukon Government ever. Right on par with the Canadian Government. They ALL have to go and as soon as possible!

Up 27 Down 1

Max Justice on Sep 10, 2018 at 7:51 pm

I hope that Minister Frost and DM Samis are reading the comments. That would require them to be concerned about what the public and staff think. People are calling for real justice here; the Director of Family and Children Services should be tendering her resignation as she is and was responsible. The Director should without a doubt resign or be terminated. What she has done to F&CS is equal to what the ADM did to HSS. The only difference is this included youth who she was supposed to be providing care and safety to.
Why has the Director not terminated the FS or TSS managers, one who lied and said none of this occurred and the other who has been mismanaging TSS for the last 6 years. Thank you "mike" for your insight that this was all a witch hunt, not a very good one because it failed to hold the right people accountable for the abuse and neglect. Where is your integrity as as the "manager" you should resign as this was your responsibility. Integrity and ethics go out the window when it means you can no longer enjoy that "special assignment" at a manager's salary. I don't think it is an accident that as all of this was coming to the forefront you were provided with a quiet place to call home at Wann road.
Thank you for your words of wisdom on the matter it worked out well for you didn't it Doctor? The acting FS manager who had no problem sitting beside the DM on April 13th and saying "it never happened" essentially calling staff and youth liars. You have also fared very well over this, covering for the Director and maintaining your position. To M Hunter who said "bring back Jane Bates and Jarrett Parker" I agree about the need for integrity and ethical leadership .....there's the problem when you allow the Director, the FS and TSS managers to remain untouched and never being held accountable it becomes clear that ethics and integrity are not what this government or leadership values or promotes. I can't imagine that Mr. Parker or Ms Bates would even entertain the idea of working for YG again after all of this. I understand that both are happily employed outside the Yukon with organizations that value ethical and experienced people. People who are not merely interested in collecting a paycheck and won't sell their soul for their own self preservation.
Thank you Justin Time - you put this all in perspective -they hired a PR person/lawyer to minimize the damage to the least number of the senior minions who nod their heads, do as their told, sell their souls on the backs of youth and collect their huge paychecks and pensions. I would say I hope the Director, Manager of TSS and acting Manager of FS sleep well at night.....but I know they do because if they had any ethics, integrity or a conscious they would have acknowledged the wrongdoing in the first place. They would have resigned when it was determined that this did occur and they covered it up. What does it say about DM Samis and Minister Frost that they are okay with these three individuals who they acknowledge provided "misleading" information, broke the law and harmed youth? I know what it says to me, cover up, PR exercise and no real leadership that can make the hard choices and hold the "right" people accountable when faced with truths that there has been wrongdoing. I had some hope that there would be a significant "house cleaning", but instead the ADM who had no legislated responsibility or direct service involvement........yes makes total sense.

Up 11 Down 2

kidsincarerock on Sep 10, 2018 at 5:17 pm

@Mike: RU reality challenged much?

Up 32 Down 1

Irwin M. Fletcher on Sep 9, 2018 at 10:56 pm

@ Gord - Good question: “Do we know the cost of this report and the others that are ongoing?” The use of official reports is classic, textbook, bad management damage-control strategy. This is labour law lore in all its chicanery.
This strategy is used often by YTG. Justice is absolutely famous for this tactic. Of course no one ever gets to see these reports but they will use them as a springboard for malign purposes and/or deflection. The YEU implicitly condones their use.

I hope that the good people in Health and Social Services can recover from their despair. Because the problems cited here are government wide and doubly so in Justice as I understand it from a number of former colleagues.
In fact the turnover in Justice is so great they are considering making service mandatory so they can fill seats in the empty positions. Don’t worry because you do not have to know anything and no education is required - just shut up and do as you are told even if it is contrary to regulatory law, heck, even criminal law - just do it I tell you!

Read the this article to get a sense of what it means to just do as you are told in Justice:

Other clear violations have occurred throughout the years. WCC seems to be a spawning ground for human rights violations.
It’s a good thing that Adult Probations requires educated staff, supervision and management. Not so certain about upper management though. They seem rudderless, adrift and ultimately clueless.

Gord - I find it funny that the report indicates no criminal activity if I remember correctly? However, what you highlight here suggests the possibility of criminal negligence and a failure to provide the necessities of life:

“DM and Minister allowed youth to be at risk for a dangerous time period and this is scary and unacceptable!”

It’s not just scary and unacceptable but also criminal behaviour but for Who apprehends the children in government care?

Bill - You’re killing it man - no moral authority. This would ordinarily, by definition anyway, deligitimize one’s power. Not so here, we should fear!

The moral of the story here is that systems manipulators are true sociopaths who care little about what is right or wrong and in that they will have no qualms about rolling over on you like a crocodile on an unsuspecting... But hey, you voted for the powers that be who either appointed or allowed these sociopaths to continue the hunt. Liberal governments depend on chaos as the smokescreen to frustrate reality and convince us of their illusions. Liberals invented crazy-making because after all is said and done the report they paid for and scoped says that “you” are the problem!

Up 11 Down 17

Wilf Carter on Sep 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Any person uses this like Liz Hanson for political gains is so disrespecting of staff who work in these fields. Even worse is the comment above by an insensitive person who stated Yukon Broke it and Liberals will fix it needs to get a life.

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Wilf Carter on Sep 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

This is only tip of the iceberg. Take look through the Yukon Government history over the last 10 years with some senior manager. As one senior manager told me it's not what you know but who you know. That person spent 1 year in university and had no real management training but became a director. As several senior Yukon Government people told me the Yukon Government recruitment does not work in some cases. Also there major patches of problems with management in the Yukon Government and politician are doing nothing about it.

Up 10 Down 75

Mike on Sep 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm

This was and is a witch hunt. The managers at FS did nothing wrong, there was no cover up and this was about two managers who had "sour grapes" and thought they would stir up s***. They got fired not because they blew the whistle it was because they were crappy managers. Stop crying about it, you got fired because you did a crappy job. Nothing bad happened, I was the manager and it was all good no issues.

Up 76 Down 6

Heather on Sep 8, 2018 at 8:34 pm

There are no words to adequately convey the disgust and disappointment. This report was a joke. There is zero accountability - the Director and the managers at F&CS remain there has been no changes only tokenism. Stop having press conferences that mean nothing and cost all of us money.

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John on Sep 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm

I read this and think, wow the lengths this government has gone to, to cover up and protect has been nothing short of a Trump style presidency. You come to the Yukon public and say "I'm sorry we failed" and we are all suppose to what ? Elect you again, trust that anything that comes out of your mouth is true? I am sorry but after "Plumbing Gate" at ISYY this is the best you can do.........shameful.
To the people who had the integrity and ethics to stand up report the wrongdoing and stand up for these youth, you deserve the thank you, the respect and the credit for all of this. Minister Frost and Deputy Minister Samis you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves to sit there and not acknowledge those who actually risked everything to support these youth to bring this forward. To sit there and say that staff, managers have been held accountable it is more lies and cover up - shameful.
The Director of Family and Children Services has destroyed the staff and she has NEVER been held accountable nor has the two managers - TSS and FS. The TSS manager who is collecting a HUGE paycheck after he allowed all of this to occur and much much more. The acting manager of FS who lied to the DM and the public and has continued to "climb the corporate ladder". This is what the DM and Minister value - loyalty at any and all cost.
Do not be fooled people this was never accountability it was "I got caught and now I have to figure a way out". I want to say to JP and JB - thank you your sacrifice and your ethics are true and valued, sorry the bad people won.

Up 65 Down 2

Bob on Sep 8, 2018 at 5:47 pm

So the DM and Minister think they are supporting families to care for family members? Maybe they need a special investigator to look into this also. A number of us have been refused any support by Whitehorse HSS Family Services. We are First Nations families raising extended family members who have been treated like crap by Whitehorse Family Services.

Up 67 Down 2

Gord Golding on Sep 8, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Do we know the cost of this report and the others that are ongoing? Let's get those costs and access it against the DM having all the information HANDED to him and DOING NOTHING. Harm done to staff and kids plus costs of hiring all manner of special investigators. Noticed that the Minister and DM did not thank or acknowledge courage of staff who handed this information to them. DM and Minister allowed youth to be at risk for a dangerous time period and this is scary and unacceptable!

Up 78 Down 2

Herman G on Sep 8, 2018 at 5:09 pm

From inside HSS I can tell you that there are a number of staff who have sold their souls to the Director to maintain their own jobs and they too should be held to account for their lies and misdeeds.

Up 71 Down 2

Bill Oster on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Quick question is the Director meeting the standard for Failure to Provide for these youth? If the DM and Minister knew about this and also left youth at risk are they not also responsible? They do not have the moral authority to take our kids.

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M Hunter on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Bring back Jane Bates and Jarrett Parker - integrity and ethical leadership is needed NOW! Very least they are due public apologies!

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Justin Time on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Just wondering what planet we are on that youth are not believed? What kind of investigation was this? Let's remember that this was a labour lawyer hired by YG meaning they hired a PR person to present their situation and come out looking as good as possible. My understanding is other investigations are ongoing and support a much larger abuse of kids and power. The Family Service Manager who lied publicly while sitting beside the DM should be fired or held to account or publicly apologize to kids and staff. How can you keep people who lie/cover up child abuse in positions of power in a CHILD PROTECTION agency? Yes the DM needed to go - she was a terrible human being and lacked ethics but this is not enough of a clean up to make us feel safe in working with HSS.

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Yuri E. on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Patti, Minister Frost has shown little skill. IN fact she is talking alot about reducing numbers of kids in care as the priority which is in fact what the Director was also doing with her "kodiak" treatment of kicking kids in the butts because the Director thinks kids in care are lazy. Absolutely no ethics in this Director but she is pleased to kick kids out on the street with NO SUPPORT (aka numbers of kids in care) and take credit for reducing number of kids in care. Should we give the Minister and the Director awards for abusing kids, creating homelessness? Who is speaking for these kids while the Minister is quietly covering up a huge systematic abuse of First Nations Youth? Shame on the Yukon Liberal Party, shame on the Director both of whom claim to know better.

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Hope on Sep 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Well it has been "months not weeks" and we have finally received this "report" that was bought and paid for by the government. The end result is the ADM has resigned which should have happened long before this and not for these reasons. She left a lot of "dead bodies" in her wake as she promised when she started. The Director who has been found to be negligent what about her resignation? They say that managers and staff have been held accountable - which staff? which managers? The manager of TSS is still employed and working on the Wann road group home. They apologized to the youth? I think you owe them and the Yukon public a whole lot more than that. What about the "senior" officials who provided the misinformation?
The only people the DM and Minister held to "account" was the whistle blowers who uncovered this debacle. When they could not deny the truth they had to hire some outside lawyer to cover up as much as they could. This whole thing has clearly demonstrated the complete ineptitude of this government and this DM. I work in the system and I can guarantee you what was reported was 100% accurate all of the allegations were truthful.
We apologize.....save it and actually hold accountable those responsible not the token ADM that you should have gotten rid of long before this report came out !! This was the end result, I wonder how much this cost the Yukon taxpayers???

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Doug Ryder on Sep 8, 2018 at 11:45 am

@ Max Mack - I am not sure what you mean in highlighting the following; “encourage [that] reconciliation and reparation be given priority over fact-finding.”?
Should we not know what we are reconciling? I think the intent of the message was to encourage reconciliation and reparation over blaming and faultfinding predicated on power imbalances.

It is not fact finding that is the problem but rather the punitive measures attached to blaming that arises in adversarial contexts; employer-employee-employer ad nauseum.
Restorative practices necessitate fact finding.

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Arturs on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:19 am

The Yukon Party broke it and the Liberals will fix it.

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Former employee on Sep 7, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Its unfortunate that the poor leadership in the department trickles down into the management and supervisors of these group homes and sweeps things under the rugs, even when brought to their attention by staff and youth.

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Josey Wales on Sep 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Oh oh...a liberal government apology.
Might I be on the record?
First liberal apologies tend to be very very expensive, so much so they can induce trauma to taxpayers for generations.
...but hey they apologized, should all be good now...eh?
Anyone get fired, lose their fancy sock privileges or get shunned at snack time...maybe suspended from yoga classes?

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Loralee kesler on Sep 7, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Finally, long long overdue.

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Julie on Sep 7, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Okay......where does one begin; They found that the Director did not properly investigate an allegation and violated the law. I am sorry then the Director should no be the Director. The Manager of TSS should also no longer be the manager, the allegations about mistreatment are not only related to youth everyone knows that the former manager of TSS who is now on a "special project" engaged in a whole lot more that covering up allegations of abuse and neglect of youth. So what happened to the individuals who provided the "misinformation" ? We know the managers that told them about the concerns were fired. Last I checked the people with the exception of the ADM were all working and thriving at HSS; the Director, Manager of FS and the Manger of TSS. They have apologized to everyone so it's over.....the only reason they apologized is they got caught !!
Lest we forget on April 13 DM Samis stated that this never happened and called Jarrett Parker a liar - I hope he proceeds with his lawsuit. Minister Frost and DM Samis this was an insult - apologize to the public and youth??? No - fire the Director, and two managers responsible, provide for the 6 youth you failed miserably and harmed, actually hold accountable those responsible - yes the staff that did this are still all employed !?!? Please have some integrity and acknowledge that on April 25th someone came forward to you to let you know what had happened. Of course you can't acknowledge those people you FIRED THEM.
The lack of integrity is staggering you denied any fault and wrongdoing right up until April 13th and only when confronted with proof that you could not dismiss did you actually do something and now you expect us to accept some apology and some assurance that the staff responsible were held accountable - They are all still employed; the workers, the Mangers and the Director, I am sorry who was held accountable????

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Justice in the Yukon on Sep 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Very nice spin...........
The "resignation" of the ADM is great however it does not come close to acknowledging the harm she caused HSS. The number of people who were traumatized and harmed by this person and ended up resigning or got fired can not be measured. To now make it sound like she had some integrity in all of this is an an insult to all who were harmed by her. This person lied repeatedly as did the Director and Managers who covered this up.

All of the allegations had merit and it should be of interest to everyone that the reason they verified only the 2016 ones is that is so the current "Director" can not be held accountable. This is the same Director who has dismissed youth stating many times that these incidents "never happened". It should have been her resignation that should have been announced as she is the legislated authority not the ADM.
The managers of TSS and Family Service are still working; there has been zero accountability. The manager of Family Services who on April 13 stated "this would never happen" has continued to work and has acted as the Director - accountability I think not. The Manager of TSS who was quietly put on a Special Assignment to "create" Wann road all the while all of these occurrences happened while he was manager - accountability I think not.

The staff that locked out the youth in December 2016 he is still working and is still a foster parent - accountability I think not.
Locking a youth out is not a result of a system in crisis it is a result of abuse and neglect. If they were really interested in change and acknowledging wrongdoing; the Director and the two managers would have been packing a box at the same time......not nearly far enough !!! It would be refreshing for once to actually have some accountability - The Director was and is responsible and the two managers who lied and covered it up. Firing the ADM great start but you missed the boat and please stop lying.

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BnR on Sep 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

And where’s Sandy?
Miss Frost does all the heavy lifting while Silver, Pillai, Mostyn and Streicker holiday....

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Max Mack on Sep 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

From the article: 'Costanzo’s report reflected this, with one of the recommendations made to “encourage reconciliation and reparation be given priority over fact-finding.”'

I don't think much more needs to be said about Constanzo's report. Even so, only 2 allegations were deemed to have "merit".

Minister Frost's leadership has thrown the entire department into disarray. I can't wait to see if phoenix rises from the ashes, or something else. Time will tell.

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Lost In the Yukon on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Saying sorry doesn't cut it.

If this Minister had been engaged on the workings of the department, hired a DM with actual government experience then the manner in which the now "retired" ADM behaved would have been exposed a long time ago ... things should have never gotten to this point.

But they did because some people were more interested in photo ops and a DM hired who has get to this day not gotten around and engaged with all departments employees.

Both are hopelessly out of their depth and as a consequence children they ultimately have the responsibility to protect have been hurt.
They too should resign

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Patti Eyre on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Thank you Minister Frost, for your integrity and leadership.

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