12/16/2014 10:22 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST

Manitoba Children's Advocate says 166 children died in care over span of a year

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba Children's Advocate says there were 166 children who died in custody of various Child and Family Services agencies in Manitoba between April 2013 and March this year.

Darlene MacDonald told a legislative committee on Tuesday that her office reviewed many of the cases.

She says three areas need improvement.

She says there needs to be better access to mental health services, children need to be protected from sexual exploitation and children's rights in general need better protection.

MacDonald says a specific plan of action will be announced early in the new year.