POLITICS

Saskatchewan government says hotels won't be used for foster children

06/15/2015 10:48 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 05:59 EDT
REGINA - Officials in Saskatchewan's ministry of social services say they are no longer using hotels as temporary homes for foster children in Regina.

Natalie Huber, executive director of child and family programs, says there is no longer a need for hotels to be used in that capacity.

She says a "new emergency resource" was opened up that will allow the province to care for up to an additional 13 children in Regina, bringing the total number of emergency spaces to 53 from 40.

However, Huber won't rule out accessing hotels in the future if the circumstance calls for it.

Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate Bob Pringle recently said he was upset the government had been using hotels for foster kids without telling him.

Pringle said he understood the challenges of recruiting foster families but said not enough was being done to rectify the problem.

Pringle also complained that the ministry started a large study on recruiting foster families in September, but he had yet to hear an update on that.

The Manitoba government has vowed to put an end to using hotel rooms as emergency placements for children after two teen girls living in them were attacked.

Officials in Manitoba promised last fall to stop using hotels when 15-year-old Tina Fontaine ran away from her downtown Winnipeg hotel. Her body was found days later, wrapped in a bag in the Red River.

In April, another 15-year-old girl in care in a Winnipeg hotel was allegedly attacked by a male teen also being housed at the hotel. She remains in hospital.

(CJME)