Children are not only our future, they are our present, and right now there are too many children falling through the cracks.
That’s the message in the annual report from Saskatchewan’s Advocate for Children and Youth, tabled today in the Legislature.
Corey O’Soup says instead of cutting services to children, we should be investing in them because the payback in the future is way more than the original investment.
O’Soup adds that programs and services don’t have to be complex or expensive.
He gives the example of mental health supports in schools which doesn’t cost a lot, but with mental health and suicide at epidemic proportions right now, this is something we can do.
O’Soup gives another example of a teacher at Bert Fox Community High School in Fort Qu’Appelle who has created a program specifically for the troubled students and now they are the leaders in their community.
He says these kids will now graduate because a teacher tried something different and focused on these at-risk youth.
There were 19 deaths of children receiving government services reported to the Advocate’s office in 2017, which is less than the five year average of around 22 deaths of children receiving government services.
The causes range from suicide, to vehicle accidents, to drowning and some are as yet undetermined.