The Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission (NLLAC) is addressing comments recently made by a St. John’s lawyer calling for a specialized Legal Aid unit to help families involved with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS).
According to a NLLAC news release, Bob Buckingham told VOCM the province needs such a service in light of the recent revelation there have been 26 deaths involving children under the province’s care since CYFS was formed in 2009. According to CBC, the child and youth advocate only knew about six of those deaths.
NLLAC said it already has Family and Child Legal Aid Service offices in St. John’s, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Corner Brook, each staffed with a staff solicitor, social worker and paralegal. It assists the parents of children under the care of CYFS and works to help families reunite, where possible.
The service is free, regardless of a person’s financial circumstances.