Manitoba woman who killed daughter poorly monitored in shelter: inquest report

By on May 24, 2014

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WINNIPEG—An inquest report says a Manitoba woman who smothered her young daughter was not properly monitored by child welfare workers or by the shelter where she was staying.

Nicole Redhead was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing her 21-month-old daughter, Jaylene, at the Native Women’s Transition Centre in Winnipeg in 2009.

The inquest report from provincial court Judge Lawrence Allen says caregivers at the centre thought Redhead was sober, but she was drinking and using crack cocaine.

Allen says Redhead also had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and child-welfare workers did not put enough safeguards in place after returning the child to her.

The report also says social workers responsible for Redhead had caseloads double the recommended number and were “underpaid, over-worked and over-stressed.”

The judge recommends the Manitoba government boost funding to lower caseloads and hire more fetal-alcohol specialists.

“We as a society can and must do better to accommodate people affected by gestational alcohol consumption,” Allen wrote.