Southeast Child and Family Services
- Serves: Nine communities, some of which are fly-in and very poor, including Berens River, Bloodvein, Brokenhead, Buffalo Point, Hollow Water, Black River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Poplar River
- Kids in care: 1,126
- History: In 2005, Tracia Owen hanged herself in a garage in Winnipeg's West End after spending her life in and out of foster homes. She'd been moved 64 times between various foster homes and her alcoholic parents. She was involved with drugs and was sexually exploited. She was in the care of Southeast. In 2010, a damning review of the agency found the chiefs who ran it offered little oversight and had unprecedented control over the finances. The review found shoddy documentation on case files, demoralized staff who felt isolated on reserves and a too-cosy and confusing relationship with the Southeast Resource Development Council, the tribal council run by the region's eight chiefs that has an office in downtown Winnipeg. The agency's finances were so enmeshed with those of the tribal council and its offshoots that investigators struggled to unravel it, suggesting cash meant for children was often diverted to other purposes. The agency has been in administration since then.
Anishinaabe Child and Family Services
- Serves: Five communities including Dauphin River, Pinaymootang, Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan
- Kids in care: 602
- History: Anishinaabe Child and Family Services underwent a quality-assurance review that was slated to be completed in the fall of 2009. It was never released publicly. At the time, the agency's executive director and one other person were put on leave, and an administrator was brought in to manage things. The agency has been in administration ever since. Several of the bands served by the agency have been flooded, with hundreds of their members relocated to Winnipeg for years. Because of that instability, it makes sense for the Southern Authority's administrator to continue overseeing the agency until bands such as Lake St. Martin can get resettled.
Sagkeeng Child and Family Services
- Serves: Sagkeeng First Nation
- Kids in care: 428
- History: There's been a history of child deaths involving Sagkeeng CFS wards, and this is the agency's second time in administration. The agency was responsible for Fonessa Bruyere, a 17-year-old girl who was slain in August 2007 after being in and out of foster care. In 2008, a review into the death of toddler Gage Guimond found he fell through the cracks at an agency rife with nepotism and incompetence. Social workers failed to perform safety and criminal checks on the homes in which he was placed. In 2012, Sagkeeng social workers told CBC the agency was in crisis, with high caseloads and huge staff turnover. And, last year, the slaying of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, whose body was found in the Red River, raised questions about the ability of CFS to monitor and care for kids who have open files.
-- sources: 2014-15 figures, reviews completed by the Southern Authority, Free Press archives