June 14, 2005
The Honourable Sandra Pupatello
Minister of Community and Social Services
6th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street, Queens Park
Dear Madam Minister:
Re: Oaklands Regional Centre
I write regarding the recent publication of the report from the Office of the Chief Coroner on the investigation into the deaths at the Oaklands Regional Centre. The extensive media coverage and the intense interest within the Sector concerning the potential implications of those sad events have prompted this letter.
OASIS applauds your Ministry’s continuing involvement with Oaklands and the decision to provide additional funding which we expect will enable full implementation of the recommendations of the reports. OASIS is also pleased that Oaklands will have more human resources, that the staff will receive additional training and that steps are being taken to ensure greater physical security. In sum we would expect that this combination of measures will reduce the possibility for recurrence of similar tragedies.
The actions taken thus far are strikingly consistent with observations and the recommendations of the ?Beyond Numbers Report?. You will recall that this report noted that static funding levels despite rising costs portend additional risk, poor staff training, low staff morale and the chronic problems associated with recruitment and retention.
The Coroner’s Office Report identified that the main recommendation currently facing the Ministry, is for the Ministry to make a decision regarding the future of Oaklands. OASIS recognizes that this is a decision that the Ministry must make, and recommends that it be made soon.