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Supervisor didn't know Sinclair's social worker was full-time student

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The supervisor in charge while Phoenix Sinclair's case file sat idle left says she doesn't know why the social worker assigned to it wasn't working on the case.

Angie Balan told the inquiry into the little girl in care's death this morning that she did not know that social worker Delores Chief-Abigosis was attending university classes full-time while working for Winnipeg Child and Family Services.

Chief-Abigosis told the inquiry Tuesday that she was juggling a full-time job, attending university full-time and commuting from Brokenhead First Nation, 82 kilometres north of Winnipeg. The social worker Tuesday was questioned about gaps in the file on Phoenix Sinclair and her family from November 2000 when Chief-Abigosis started at the agency and inherited the file and February 2001.

Phoenix was apprehended after she was born in April 2000 from her parents Samantha Kematch and Steven Sinclair. To get her back, they signed a service agreement with CFS that set out conditions for getting her back -- including meeting regularly with a social worker.

Chief-Abigosis didn't visit the family until February 9, 2001. She didn't see them again until July. She didn't know that Phoenix's parents had a second child April 29, 2001 until the hospital notified CFS of the birth.

Chief-Abigosis couldn't recall why there were no notes of her doing any work on the file.

Her supervisor, Balan, testified on Wednesday that she expected the social worker was keeping in touch with the family and doing the case work.

"The necessary contacts were not maintained," said Balan. She could not say why because her supervisory notes "have not been made available," she said. Her testimony continues today.

 

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