Thursday, December 15, 2016

---Silence is complicit ----Mdm. Marie-Claude Landry Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission-----------------Julie Ali · University of Alberta I hope the opposition parties do continue to hold the GOA accountable. I am also hoping that all Albertans look at their children and imagine for one minute what if? What if their child had been Serenity? What would we have done? How would we feel about this case? When it is personal, when it is one of your own, everything changes.

December 13

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Alberta government to focus on permanent homes for children in care

Published on: December 14, 2016 | Last Updated: December 14, 2016 6:21 PM MST
Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper said the second breach in 12 months shows a "continual lack of respect for the legislature."
Wildrose House Leader Nathan Cooper. ED KAISER / POSTMEDIA, FILE
The Alberta government is looking at ways to reduce the number of homes through which children in care are rotated, with details of a plan expected next month.
Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday the province has been working internally to address the root causes of failings in the child intervention system.
She was tight-lipped on the details of a new plan, but said the government has put a lot of thought into addressing the issue of permanence and how many homes children find themselves in over the period in which they’re in care.
It’s a concern Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff has been raising for some time. He’s glad the issue is getting some attention from government.  
When children go through multiple unplanned moves, in the case of placement breakdowns for instance, it’s detrimental to their well-being, he said Wednesday in an interview.
“The most important thing we see with kids who do well, there’s stability in their home life, their relationships, their school, their leisure and community interests — in those areas of their life that give meaning to it,” Graff said.
“It’s one of those things we don’t really think about when it’s there, but when it’s not, it can be really troubling.”
Notley said her government has taken strides to address the root causes of children ending up in government care in the first place, including increases to the child tax benefit, eliminating the flat tax, and increasing funding for women’s shelters and front line services.
But when it comes to the framework for a new child intervention review panel, the official Opposition says it has yet to hear anything about how the panel will operate.
Embattled Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir announced the panel last week in response to demands for his resignation over his handling of the file of Serenity, a four-year-old First Nations girl who died in 2014 while in government kinship care.
On Tuesday, opposition parties banded together in an unusual show of solidarity, saying the panel announced by Sabir lacked teeth and would delay taking action to improve the system.
They proposed an alternate framework, which included implementing the recommendations of past reviews, ensuring the panel’s work is in public and recorded in Hansard, and removing Sabir from the panel so he can be grilled about his department.
Notley said Wednesday afternoon that the demands made by the opposition parties would all necessarily be included, but she’s hoping to get them an answer soon.
Opposition House Leader Nathan Cooper said it was “more than a little disappointing” not to have heard from government.
“Yesterday … the minister of human services said in the house that they reached out or were reaching out, none of which has transpired,” he said.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to be accused of playing politics when the government is saying one thing and doing another.”
Still, Cooper remained hopeful the opposition parties and government can come to an agreement.
“Under the right circumstances, I’m sure we can find a way to make this effective, but the government needs to be willing to start talking,” he said.
Whatever the outcome, Notley said the opposition seats will remain at the table, “should they choose to join at some point in the process or not.”

Julie Ali ·
I have to agree with the opposition parties that there is enough information from previous work done by the PCs to begin to solve the problems in the child welfare system.

I don't quite see how the measure mentioned by Ms. Notley such as increasing the child tax benefit and increasing funding to women's shelters will reduce the apprehension of kids by the province. Maybe she is thinking of battered women here?

I also don't see how increasing front line service will solve the problems of the child welfare system if the workers themselves are not trained appropriately or if they deal with the families in unproductive ways. I note from various stories I have read that families have been made to jump through all the hoops that bureaucrats can provide for them. Here is one story that stood out for me about the lack of respect the GOA has for the families of these apprehended kids:

Dead in Six Days The Story of Baby Delonna
For a social worker to tell the family to --"Back off and jump through our hoops" -well in my opinion, that's not classic social work or good job performance.

The case of Serenity indicates further problems in the training of staff particularly with reference to evaluation of placements, oversight of children in placements, complaint resolution and follow up. It's troubling that the NDP have not integrated their own past direct knowledge from families who came to them while they were in opposition to go beyond the sort of clumsy GOA response that is being provided here.

We've had enough panels. There is enough information. There is no reason for the delays in the GOA taking action. The GOA should have an inquiry into the case and accept full responsibility for any failures on its part. Workers who did not perform well should be penalized and lose thier jobs at the very least. It's not a witch hunt at all. It's about taking responsibility for the fallout from not doing the work of government. Or is the GOA exempt from the consequences that ordinary citizens are subject to when such problems and events occur in families?
LikeReply3 mins
Rossome Marshall
I think it's like the cop out the CRA used in Vancouver saying going after chinese foreign tax dodgers would be racist. This is a First Nations incident and there may be more to deal with.
Jeremy Johnston ·
Might have something to do with the Opposition turning this into a witch hunt and wanting the committee to be a public circus from which they can score political cheap shots.
LikeReply2Dec 14, 2016 1:44pm
Leslie Young ·
It should be a witch hunt , why cant't it be public and lets call out the people who have made such poor decisions its costing children there life. Stop the insane political correctness. What they are trying to do is remove the same barriers the PC's envoked when they were in power. If the NDP want to prove they are different lets see something differnent not the same old actions or the previous government.
UnlikeReply3Dec 14, 2016 3:23pm
J.E. Molnar
Leslie Young you sound exactly like one of the squawking Wildrose bloviators from QP.

Leave it to Alberta's opportunistic opposition parties to grandstand. Their concerns aren't about helping children in danger, but solely about a political witch hunt. They are choosing to play politics with kids lives --- not committed to fixing the problems. Only the government can and will fix this festering mess left behind by years of Tory neglect. The government doesn't need obstructionist like the Wildrose and the PCs grandstanding and impeding progress on this important file.
LikeReply1Dec 14, 2016 4:28pm
Troy Runzer ·
J.E., I'm beginning to suspect that you are simply an NDP mouthpiece. Knock of this nefarious political intrigue nonsense. People can disagree with you without being right-winged hacks. The NDP have had over a year to take a run at the Human Services mess that the PCs left them. Very little of substance has changed. Yes, the Wildrose is shamelessly pandering - get over it. This issue needs to be felt deeply in the hearts and minds of every Albertan. I hope all parties beat each other up over this issue, and when the dust clears maybe we can work toward solutions that save lives.
UnlikeReply3Dec 14, 2016 5:42pm
Troy Runzer ·
By the way, no one has ever accused me of being right-winged (let alone a Wildroser), so lets put that nonsense to rest.
LikeReply1Dec 14, 2016 5:44pm
J.E. Molnar
I find it quite curious Mr. Runzer that you are signalling me out for my posts, when I have never seen a post from you extending similar concerns to right-wing posters who are often a lot harsher and more zealous in their comments than I have ever been. Particularly those that post death threats, debase government MLAs etc. Where's your outrage on those issues. You are silent.

So please don't lecture me on what I can post and cannot post. Don't read my posts if they irk you so much --- and don't bother responding. But more importantly, realize that free speech, not hate speech, is permitted in this country and in Postmedia publications. Good talk.
LikeReply1Dec 14, 2016 6:49pm
Troy Runzer ·
J.E. Molnar J.E, your reply is laughable. My history on these forums is decidedly the exact opposite of what you describe. I have been the recipient of a great deal of nastiness from those with strong right wing views. The fact that someone like me is taking you to task should be a signal that your comments have reached an absurd level. You are no better than rhe right winged zealots who post (and yes I have had countless "conversations" with them as well). Keep this on point. Have you noticed that you barely give Serenity a mention in your posts?
UnlikeReply221 hrs
Julie Ali ·
J.E. Molnar I voted for the NDP in the last election. I have been waiting patiently for them to fix the messes left by the PCs. They have done nothing. In this case there are multiple problems that I want answers for. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the lack of GOA accountability and transparency of which there has been no change since the time of the PC error.

The questions I want answered are these:
1) Who did the transfer of the children from a stable foster care placement to the inappropriate kinship placement and why was the mother pressured into this arrangement by the authorities?
2) What sort of evaluation was made of the kinship placement?
3) What sort of training did the kinship placement folks have in order to increase their family by three kids?
4) When the mother complained about abuse what were the results of the complaint resolution?
5) Why was the mother barred from seeing her kids after she complained so that the boots on the floor surveillance system of family advocate was removed?
6) When other community members complained about abuse what sort of investigation was done and what were the results of these investigations?
7) When the GOA got the news of Serenity's death, why was the autopsy report mysteriously not done for 2 years despite the fact that the medical examiner's office seemed to have known the cause of death?
8) What explanation can the GOA give for the delay in the production of this autopsy report--the so called other investigations that needed to be done?
9) Why didn't the GOA hand over all reports to the RCMP immediately? Why isn't the GOA responsible for sending a copy of any piece of data not only to downstream public bodies in charge of children like Serenity but also to the RCMP and the Child and Youth Advocate?
10) Why was the Child and Youth Advocate's Office not provided with the full story so that the recommendations made do not address all the information in this case?
11) Who failed to ensure that this child and her siblings would get the oversight that was required especially since this family had been subject to several abuse complaints? The kids did not get a visit for 11 months.
12) Why did not a single person ask for a medical examination report for the kids? It's possible to get this and this would given a clear indication of physical, sexual abuse and starvation.

I am glad the opposition parties are holding the GOA accountable. When the GOA won't listen to citizens maybe they might listen to the opposition parties. While the PCs are to blame for the messes in this case that caused Serenity's death, the NDPCs are no better in terms of the messes after Serenity's death. No one is accountable for her death. It is only in the child welfare system and the continuing care system that vulnerable citizens can be maimed, abused and die without anyone being blamed. This should change. Beginning with this minister and this child.
LikeReply28 mins
Julie Ali ·
I hope the opposition parties do continue to hold the GOA accountable. I am also hoping that all Albertans look at their children and imagine for one minute what if? What if their child had been Serenity? What would we have done? How would we feel about this case? When it is personal, when it is one of your own, everything changes.
LikeReply26 mins
Julie Ali ·
Troy Runzer I too, have been subject to irrational chatter from both the right and the left. Rachel Notley's Facebook Page has banned me from commenting about my handicapped sister's abuse in continuing care in Alberta. Justin Trudeau's Facebook page won't let me comment. Some Wildrose folks don't like my comments. And NDP sites refuse to believe I supported the NDP and voted for Dr. Bob Turner in Edmonton Whitemud. I guess you can't have opinions that are different than the fixed mindsets.
When you meet with concrete folks best to remember this quote:
“Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.” Dr. Brené Brown
LikeReply20 mins
Image result for pictures of serenity child death

The Book Of Love - Martin Kerr (Cover) Live at the Citadel Theatre 

ment? It's a farce. This farce should end. But will it end? Nope. The GOA is not interested in the children. Or seniors. Or really any citizen. The GOA folks are only interested in their own turfs, their own jobs and their own place in the system.
The children in the child welfare system like the families are disposable people.
It's sad but reality is sad.
There is no interest by the public to hold the GOA accountable and really if we can't hold the GOA accountable by changing the political parties running the GOA then what the heck will hold the GOA accountable?
I'm thinking a Wildrose government which will prune this overgrown tree of entitlement and self service down to a splinter.

The Alberta government is looking at ways to reduce the number of homes through which children in care are rotated, with details of a plan expected next month.…

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