November 28, 2012
CFS notes on Phoenix Sinclair case presumed lost, inquiry hears
By James Turner, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - Supervision notes from as many as 10 Child and Family Services supervisors who worked on the case of Phoenix Sinclair over her short life “cannot be located” and are presumed lost, an inquiry into the role CFS played in her life has heard.
But while little is known about how the supervisor’s notes somehow vanished, one former Winnipeg CFS supervisor contends the large number of internal reviews of the child death case might be a contributing factor.
Phoenix was brutally abused and murdered by her mother Samantha Kematch and her mom’s boyfriend Karl McKay. She was not in care when she died, as she was returned to Kematch’s custody and her CFS file was closed months before she was killed.
The missing notes may have changed hands a number of times as Manitoba’s Children’s Advocate, the provincial medical examiner’s office and CFS employees probed the case after Phoenix’s murder at a home on the Fisher River First Nation was uncovered in 2006.
“The files move quite a bit,” Lorna Hanson testified Wednesday.
At the time she was supervising social workers at CFS office in the North End in 2000-2001, Hanson said her practice was to make detailed notes of her oversight of the workers and their cases and store them in binders in her office.
It was a similar procedure for Angela Balan, who covered for Hanson when she went on maternity leave from July 2000 to June 2001.