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CFS supervisor has 'no concerns' about workers' performance on Sinclair case

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A manager in charge of some of the child-welfare workers and supervisors involved with the Phoenix Sinclair case said he has no concerns about anyone's job performance related to it.

"There's nothing that I've read that jumps out at me," Dan Berg told the inquiry into the death of the little girl.

Berg was a Winnipeg Child and Family Services assistant program manager from 2003 to 2005, during the last years of Phoenix's short life. Berg said that when he started his job supervising the supervisors, morale was low, workload was high and there was wide-spread confusion about the standards they were to follow.

Phoenix was in and out of care from the time she was born in 2000 and killed the summer of 2005 by her mother, Samantha Kematch and stepfather, Karl McKay. Her death wasn't discovered until 2006. Kematch and McKay were convicted in 2008 of her murder and in 2011 the province ordered an inquiry into how the little girl fell through Manitoba's child-welfare safety net.

The inquiry has heard that Phoenix's case was closed several times by workers without ever seeing her. When crisis response unit workers recommended her file get moved up to the intake unit for longer-term investigation, it was returned to the crisis responders. The inquiry has been trying to find out why the intake unit didn't keep the file and make sure Phoenix was safe. Her mother was reportedly emotionally abusive and locked her in a bedroom. Her stepfather had a criminal history of domestic abuse and a lengthy CFS file.

The CFS supervisors who've testified at the inquiry already say they can't recall. Any notes they may have taken have disappeared or been shredded, and some admitted to not taking notes at all.

Berg hasn't been able to give an answer so far, either.

"We didn't have a very good supevision policy around record-keeping and note taking," said Berg. In 2004, a supervision policy was put in place that required supervisors to take notes and conduct regular supervision meetings one on one with workers.

Berg's testimony continues this afternoon.

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