12/03/2014 01:24 EST | Updated 02/02/2015 05:59 EST

Saskatchewan's children in care to get specially trained lawyer

SASKATOON - Saskatchewan has introduced a program that will provide children in government care with a specially trained lawyer to represent them in court.

Children's advocate Bob Pringle says a similar service has been provided in Regina since 2007.

But he adds all children in the province should have a voice in child protection matters.

Up to 70 specially trained lawyers will be available to represent a child.

Pringle says currently up to half a dozen lawyers sometimes present options for custody.

He says the Counsel for Children program will allow a child's wishes to play a strong role in decisions.

"This will make sure that the child will always be at the centre of the planning and the child's long-term interests will not be glossed over," Pringle said.

Saskatchewan is believed to be the last province in Canada to provide independent counsel for children in child protection cases.