Child welfare workers worry that the province’s flawed new computer system could endanger children and youth under their care. The workers will seek to have their concerns about the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN) addressed today as part of the Toronto inquest into the death of seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson in 2008.
Jordan Goldblatt, lawyer for Local 2316 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will raise union members’ concerns with inquest witness Jane Cameron. Cameron is in charge of the training for CPIN at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Employees of five Ontario children’s aid societies currently use CPIN. They know first-hand that the system is flawed and not reliable. They say it is simply not ready to be the foundation of protection services for Ontario’s children, youth and families and to proceed with CPIN’s rollout in its current state puts children and youth at risk.
Representatives from CUPE and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) call on the Minister of Children and Youth Services to implement the CPIN recommendations made by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her annual report. These include a review and update the ministry’s “recently developed strategy for CPIN to ensure that all critical functionality gaps are identified and resolved before the remaining societies implement CPIN.”
To coincide with Cameron’s testimony, CUPE and OPSEU representatives issued the following statement:
As observers at this coroner’s inquest into the death of a child, and out of deep concern for the welfare of Ontario’s children and youth, representatives of CUPE and OPSEU child protection workers call on the Minister of Children and Youth Services to implement immediately the recommendations for CPIN from the Auditor General’s 2015 Annual Report.
Over the past several months, OPSEU and CUPE have reported significant problems with CPIN’s functionality. We believe these failings imperil child protection services in Ontario.
CPIN’s rollout to more children’s aid societies should be immediately suspended until serious technical and functional issues are resolved. The Auditor General agrees with this view.
We make our demand in the knowledge that CPIN is a product of the same consortium responsible for the Social Assistance Management System, which received its own damning chapter in the Auditor General’s annual report.
Vulnerable children and youth in our province must not be the victims of a system that would allow an inadequate computer system to jeopardize the highest standards for their protection. And members of CUPE and OPSEU will not wait for another child’s death to occur before they raise the alarm on CPIN.
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