Two reports from Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate call on the province to do more to make sure kids in government care are safe when they are put back with their families.
Four year old Marie died of physical injuries while in kinship care, and nine month old Sharon died of undetermined causes while with her parents. Both of their names have been changed.
Advocate Del Graff stressed that proper assessments need to be done before a child is sent back home, and the family also needs to be trained and prepared for it.
“Children are entitled to a safe home and caregivers need to be equipped with the necessary skills and supports to provide this,” said Graff.
In Marie’s case, the report says a more thorough assessment of the home the child was to be placed in would have been helpful as well.
“Marie’s story reminds us of the importance of continually assessing the needs of children and kinship caregivers and the importance of ensuring the necessary supports are always in place.”
In Sharon’s case, Graff pointed out three previous reports in the past three years where similar recommendations had been given, with only some progress reported in following up with those. (kdr)