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Posted: May 10, 2016

The legislation that governs my Office defines advocacy as “partnering with children and youth to bring their issues forward.” In partnering with and mobilizing young people with “special needs” – a rather difficult term used to describe a mandate area in my legislation – I looked for ways to meet with those within that definition, including individuals, youth groups, parents and service providers. I knew there would be a steep learning curve for me.

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Posted: April 29, 2016

With the 173 recommendations delivered today in Katelynn Sampson’s inquest, time seems to have come full circle for me.

In my first few days after being appointed the Ontario Child Advocate, Katelynn died. I was at Ontario Place with my family in August 2008 when I received a call from a reporter asking me if they could “interview [me] about the death of little Katelynn Sampson.” It was my first ever call from the media. As they interviewed me, I suggested that there should be an inquest. The next morning, the front page above the fold in the Toronto Star declared, “Child Advocate Demands Inquest.” From that moment on, Katelynn began leading me.

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