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Intake worker unable to see Phoenix Sinclair for four months, inquiry hears

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The intake worker who was supposed to see Phoenix Sinclair within five days of the toddler being treated in hospital for a foreign object stuck up her nose and rotting never saw the child for four months because no one was home, the inquiry into her death heard today.

Laura Forrest said she went to check on the little girl the day she was assigned to the case in February, 2003. The little girl was supposed to be in the care of her father Steven Sinclair after he and her mother broke up in 2001.

When Forrest went to the home, Sinclair said Phoenix was staying with a family friend for a few days and he wouldn’t tell her where, the inquiry heard. He didn’t know about any medical problems she had.

Forrest said she went back to the home several times but there was never an answer. She told commission counsel Sherri Walsh that she didn’t try to contact any of the contact people listed in Sinclair’s file.

On the weekend of June 21-22, Phoenix was apprehended from the home by Child and Family Services after-hours staff. Sinclair was abusing substances and leaving Phoenix with inappropriate caregivers, the files read in court said. Phoenix was placed in an emergency shelter at Place Louis Riel.

Forrest’s testimony continues this afternoon.

 carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

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