Wednesday, January 18, 2017

----Silence is complicit ----Mdm. Marie-Claude Landry Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission ----The panel is the most recent attempt in a string of reviews to improve Alberta’s child welfare system. It was formed following the case of Serenity — a four-year-old girl who died of a traumatic head injury after being in government care. When she arrived in hospital, she was suffering from serious hypothermia, catastrophic malnutrition, anal and genital bruising, and weighed just 18 pounds, the typical weight of a nine-month-old baby. The case took two years to get to police, who are still investigating. ---Sabir told Postmedia Tuesday it wasn’t hard to find experts willing to review the system. “It’s an issue that everybody cares about — it’s about the vulnerable children, the vulnerable citizens — so whoever we reached out to, everybody was very positive,” he said. “Everybody wants to work on this file.”----------J.E. Molnar Let's hope the opposition parties don't hijack the process with grandstanding and cheap political attacks against the government. If the opposition is serious in their intent to correct the situation, they won't place blame on present and past governments, but deal with the issues at hand to identify and ameliorate the problems.---------Julie Ali · University of Alberta J.E. Molnar This panel needs folks who are "experts" in their own way. Adults who went through the foster care system, their families and foster families themselves would have been useful for the panel. As for the opposition being "serious in their intent to correct the situation" I think they are being serious about their purpose. I am puzzled by your mention of the possibility of the opposition parties hijacking this process. If anyone is hijacking the process it is the GOA.. The hijacking of the issue of the child deaths has been going on for decades with the generation of paper by the GOA. This generation of paper also occurs with the abuse, harm and fatalities in the continuing care system. The main strategies of the GOA folks---in order to reverse bad publicity are to deny evidence, delay information release or destroy information (see Shauna McHarg case). When these strategies fail they use the panel, the review and the public inquiry strategies to reassure folks that things are fine and we can go back to sleep again. As for the blaming business, I see no problem with it at all. If you don't blame then no one is responsible. I seem to remember not too long ago when the NDP folks in the opposition were lambasting the PCs for the over 700 dead kids under their watch. I don't see any problem with the Wildrose Party going the same "cheap political attacks against the government" that the NDP once did. It is the job of the opposition party to keep the GOA accountable. Like you I feel the political parties need to work together to solve problems that in my opinion have been studied to death. Almost 800 kids are now dead under the NDP watch. What more do we need to get the GOA to do it's job? I'd say real penalties for the failures to do the work required. When there is a failure to provide the oversight that could decrease the numbers of preventable fatalities there should be lawsuits by the Public Guardian's Office. This is being done in B.C. with the case of the child who was tasered by the RCMP. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/.../province-bc-sued-boy... Province Of B.C. Sued By Guardian Of Boy Tasered By Police A civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court alleges the boy, who is now 14, endured years of emotional and physical trauma while living in numerous foster homes and group homes across the province. The court document says the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia is suing the Ministry of Children and Family Development for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. It alleges the ministry consistently put the boy in homes where he suffered emotional and physical abuse. "The ministry repeatedly failed to provide a safe, stable and nurturing home for the plaintiff," it says. "Rather than providing supports for foster parents, or pursuing the option of adoption, the ministry moved the child into a series of group home settings that could not provide security, stability or a long-term sustaining relationship for the plaintiff." The province's director of child welfare, the two owners of a Dawson Creek-area foster home, and a social worker are also listed as defendants in the case. ************ In my opinion this sort of legal repercussion is the only way to get the GOA to change it's poor performance. In addition, the opposition political parties should ask for public funds to be made available for families who have lost their kids due to GOA failures. Such a fund would allow families to sue the GOA. I feel a few legal judgements would have a salutary effect on GOA performance especially in the area of oversight of the child welfare system. Unlike you. I believe that there should be blame given to past and present government. Why not? We have employees in the GOA and associated public bodies. They do a bad job. We need to provide penalties and blame. If the work doesn't get done properly we need to terminate folks and hire new people to do the job properly. We do not want to pay for folks to sit around without deliverables. I feel that our tax dollars are being used poorly in the child welfare system and a cultural change is required in the GOA to fix the problems that are present. If abuse and fatality happens in the family there are charges and change. Why not with the GOA? Or is the GOA above the laws of the land? I think it is time for Ms. Notley to do her job of leadership and get this leaky ship fixed. The same leaky ship she was asking the PCs to fix while she was in opposition.-----

Velvet Martin:

--Silence is complicit ----Mdm. Marie-Claude Landry Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission --


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video

It is clear to me that the Office of the Public Guardian will have to sue the GOA to get change in Alberta. Or families need to go to lawyers like Robert P. Lee to get help. Here is the video at the award ceremony to introduce families to him.

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/government-names-child-welfare-panel-experts

Government names child welfare panel experts

Published on: January 18, 2017 | Last Updated: January 18, 2017 6:05 AM MST
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir said that details about the child intervention review panel will be released Thursday.
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir said that details about the child intervention review panel will be released Thursday. GREG SOUTHAM / POSTMEDIA
A professor, a social worker and a director of the Native Counselling Services of Alberta will provide the provincial government with expert advice to try and fix the province’s broken child welfare system.
Peter Choate, registered social worker and assistant professor at Mount Royal University, Bruce MacLaurin, professor at the University of Calgary’s social work faculty and Patti LaBoucane-Benson, research and evaluation director at NCSA, have agreed to join five NDP MLAs, and one from each opposition party, to take a magnifying glass to child intervention.
More details of the panel are expected Wednesday, including the date of the first meeting.
Progressive Conservative interim leader Ric McIver first proposed a child review committee in November.
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir instead proposed a ministerial panel, causing opposition parties to demand changes to the panel’s terms of reference. They reached a compromise on Dec. 22.
Sabir told Postmedia Tuesday it wasn’t hard to find experts willing to review the system.
“It’s an issue that everybody cares about — it’s about the vulnerable children, the vulnerable citizens — so whoever we reached out to, everybody was very positive,” he said.
“Everybody wants to work on this file.”
The panel has its work cut out — it has six weeks to recommend changes to the death review process, and a larger report recommending concrete actions for systematic change is due in six to eight months.
The panel is the most recent attempt in a string of reviews to improve Alberta’s child welfare system.
It was formed following the case of Serenity — a four-year-old girl who died of a traumatic head injury after being in government care.
When she arrived in hospital, she was suffering from serious hypothermia, catastrophic malnutrition, anal and genital bruising, and weighed just 18 pounds, the typical weight of a nine-month-old baby.
The case took two years to get to police, who are still investigating.

The experts

Peter Choate

A registered social worker, Peter Choate holds a PhD in addictions and a master of social work, and is an assistant professor of social work at Mount Royal University.
Choate is engaged in clinical private counseling with an emphasis on addictions, domestic violence and child protection matters, and has been qualified as an expert witness multiple times in the Alberta Provincial Court and Court of Queen’s Bench.
His particular emphasis is on child and adolescent mental health including maltreatment, neglect and abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) and those issues within family systems.  

Bruce MacLaurin

Bruce MacLaurin is a professor of social work at the University of Calgary, where he teaches classes on child maltreatment, social work evaluation, research and social work policy at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
His research interests include child maltreatment, child welfare policy and service delivery, foster care outcomes, street youth and youth at risk. Before moving to the University of Calgary in 2002, he was a research associate at the University of Toronto’s Bell Canada Child Welfare Research Unit.
MacLaurin is currently the primary investigator in a three-year study for the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research, and is a co-investigator on three other major studies funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in human ecology, focusing on Aboriginal family resilience, and a Master of Science in family ecology. She has worked for the Native Counseling Services of Alberta for 16 years, where she is currently the director of research, training and communication.
Laboucane-Benson has been the principle or co-investigator on many community-based, applied research projects within the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Canada.
LaBoucane-Benson was also the lead on the healing program curriculum for Aboriginal offenders for NCSA, and is the managing editor of international periodical Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Aboriginal Community Health Research.
egraney@postmedia.com
twitter.com/EmmaLGraney



Dar Dealmeida
Sounds like the government found the right mix of people to correct the problem and correct the system that has not been working for decades.
LikeReply23 hrs
J.E. Molnar
Let's hope the opposition parties don't hijack the process with grandstanding and cheap political attacks against the government. If the opposition is serious in their intent to correct the situation, they won't place blame on present and past governments, but deal with the issues at hand to identify and ameliorate the problems.
LikeReply1 hr
Julie Ali ·
J.E. Molnar This panel needs folks who are "experts" in their own way. Adults who went through the foster care system, their families and foster families themselves would have been useful for the panel.

As for the opposition being "serious in their intent to correct the situation" I think they are being serious about their purpose.

I am puzzled by your mention of the possibility of the opposition parties hijacking this process. If anyone is hijacking the process it is the GOA..

The hijacking of the issue of the child deaths has been going on for decades with the generation of paper by the GOA. This generation of paper also occurs with the abuse, harm and fatalities in the continuing care system. The main strategies of the GOA folks---in order to reverse bad publicity are to deny evidence, delay information release or destroy information (see Shauna McHarg case). When these strategies fail they use the panel, the review and the public inquiry strategies to reassure folks that things are fine and we can go back to sleep again.

As for the blaming business, I see no problem with it at all. If you don't blame then no one is responsible. I seem to remember not too long ago when the NDP folks in the opposition were lambasting the PCs for the over 700 dead kids under their watch. I don't see any problem with the Wildrose Party doing the same "cheap political attacks against the government" that the NDP once did. It is the job of the opposition party to keep the GOA accountable.

Like you I feel the political parties need to work together to solve problems that in my opinion have been studied to death. Almost 800 kids are now dead under the NDP watch. What more do we need to get the GOA to do it's job? I'd say real penalties for the failures to do the work required. When there is a failure to provide the oversight that could decrease the numbers of preventable fatalities there should be lawsuits by the Public Guardian's Office. This is being done in B.C. with the case of the child who was tasered by the RCMP.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/.../province-bc-sued-boy...
Province Of B.C. Sued By Guardian Of Boy Tasered By Police

A civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court alleges the boy, who is now 14, endured years of emotional and physical trauma while living in numerous foster homes and group homes across the province.
The court document says the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia is suing the Ministry of Children and Family Development for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. It alleges the ministry consistently put the boy in homes where he suffered emotional and physical abuse.
"The ministry repeatedly failed to provide a safe, stable and nurturing home for the plaintiff," it says.
"Rather than providing supports for foster parents, or pursuing the option of adoption, the ministry moved the child into a series of group home settings that could not provide security, stability or a long-term sustaining relationship for the plaintiff."
The province's director of child welfare, the two owners of a Dawson Creek-area foster home, and a social worker are also listed as defendants in the case.
************
In my opinion this sort of legal repercussion is the only way to get the GOA to change it's poor performance. In addition, the opposition political parties should ask for public funds to be made available for families who have lost their kids due to GOA failures. Such a fund would allow families to sue the GOA. I feel a few legal judgements would have a salutary effect on GOA performance especially in the area of oversight of the child welfare system.

Unlike you. I believe that there should be blame given to past and present government. Why not? We have employees in the GOA and associated public bodies. They do a bad job. We need to provide penalties and blame. If the work doesn't get done properly we need to terminate folks and hire new people to do the job properly. We do not want to pay for folks to sit around without deliverables.

I feel that our tax dollars are being used poorly in the child welfare system and a cultural change is required in the GOA to fix the problems that are present. If abuse and fatality happens in the family there are charges and change. Why not with the GOA? Or is the GOA above the laws of the land?

I think it is time for Ms. Notley to do her job of leadership and get this leaky ship fixed. The same leaky ship she was asking the PCs to fix while she was in opposition.
LikeReplyJust now

#justiceforserenity #MediaAttention Yet another panel to brainwash citizens that change is really happening. What is happening folks is yet another paper generation event for the GOA to downsize a major media catastrophe to manageable spin levels. I doubt any change will come from this panel. The main purpose of the panel is to reassure us that there will be no more failures in oversight but I can't see how this will happen unless there is a major cultural change at the GOA where there is no accountability and transparency. So far, I have seen only disrespect and lack of accountability for citizens. I figure it will take a few more changes in government to root out poorly performing bureaucrats, politicians and executive staff. It all comes from the top and the lack of performance at the top is matched by the failures in work performance at the bottom. In other words, how can we expect the workers in the child welfare system to do their jobs when the folks at the top of the pyramid of power are never responsible for any of the non-compliances, lack of oversight, harm, abuse, deaths in care? It will take legal action by the Public Guardian's Office and the families of kids who die in care to ensure accountability.

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Velvet Martin shared a link.
A member of the Public shared this with me:
"Dear Honourable Irfan Sabir:
I read this article today in the paper. I am quite concerned about the panel because in my opinion it's missing the most important experts, namely:
- Adult Children of the System (a survivor of abuse in foster care)
- Bio parents who have lost a child in the system
- Foster parent that is caring for children at risk.
Text book experts are great and I agree they are needed, but only experience can truly tell the story of the magnitude of suffering that occurs as a result of government decisions. It's the recommendations of those that have suffered of the system that most need to be addressed and heard. It is after all those in the system that we are supposed to be serving and those in the system that deserve answers. I hope this government will be blatantly honest about the problems that have occured. That instead of sweeping issues under the rug to save face, that our government has the courage to tell the truth. Only in the truth will the problems be solved.
I kindly request as a citizen of Alberta that your panel invite those that have suffered in the system to be active in the creation of solutions to the problem. Thank you."


A professor, a social worker and a director of the Native Counselling Services of Alberta have been named to panel of child welfare experts.
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM

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5 Comments
Comments
 Typical of them to forget whose opinions really matter. Sharing!
LikeReply13 hrs
Velvet Martin I am reminded of the Previous Government's handling of circumstances. Opposition Leaders publicly recommended my inclusion in the Child Welfare Roundtable and were ignored. A renown paediatrician offered expert input as an individual in contact with many children attached to the System, but was excluded. What changes have we seen stemming from the Roundtable? Our youth continue to die! And, they will continue to perish until there is concerted efforts to add public voices and ensure ALL individuals are held equal before the law.

Why is this Minister not listening?

Velvet Martin
Spokesperson for Protecting Canadian Children
LikeReply13 hrs
          We're not making enough noise?
LikeReply13 hrs
Julie Ali  Yup. We gotta go public.
LikeReply22 hrs

     I've wanted to make a short video documentary..and/or organize another peace protest...
LikeReply12 hrs
Velvet Martin Julie Ali: #justiceforserenity #MediaAttention Yet another panel to brainwash citizens that change is really happening. What is happening folks is yet another paper generation event for the GOA to downsize a major media catastrophe to manageable spin levels. I doubt any change will come from this panel. The main purpose of the panel is to reassure us that there will be no more failures in oversight but I can't see how this will happen unless there is a major cultural change at the GOA where there is accountability and transparency. So far, I have seen only disrespect and lack of accountability for citizens. I figure it will take a few more changes in government to root out poorly performing bureaucrats, politicians and executive staff. It all comes from the top and the lack of performance at the top is matched by the failures in work performance at the bottom. In other words, how can we expect the workers in the child welfare system to do their jobs when the folks at the top of the pyramid of power are never responsible for any of the non-compliances, lack of oversight, harm, abuse, deaths in care? It will take legal action by the Public Guardian's Office and the families of kids who die in care to ensure accountability.
LikeReply2 hrs
Velvet Martin http://www.calgaryherald.com/News/12709480/story.html


Alberta government drags heels on child intervention panel
CALGARYHERALD.COM|BY ,EMMA GRANEY
LikeReply2 hrs
Velvet Martin In January 2007, I submitted several recommendations to the Government under Minister Janis Tarchuk. Amongst those implemented by the Ministry were the ones I made, however, the Department failed to acknowledge the work as my own. Media even questioned origin of content so obvious the fact recommendations did not align with the case it promoted as basis of change.:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php...

Alberta will implement foster care recommendations: minister

CBC News

June 10, 2008

Janis Tarchuk, Alberta's minister of children and youth services, is promising to follow all eight recommendations of a report into foster care in the province that was prompted by the death of a three-year-old foster child.

None of the recommendations refer directly to the case that led to the review. The department has refused to discuss the details of incident, citing privacy rules.

In addition, I was directly informed by a member of the Department that CYFA FSCD Policy was thoroughly explored and adjustments made due to Samantha’s case to ensure families tasked with disability and medical concerns without intervention issues would be protected in the future. Section 2-3 of the FSCD Act was revised and made retroactive to December 2006 reflective of Samantha’s date of death; revision is noted in the Manual as indicated. However, no one to date since 2008 has acknowledged the truth that the revision was legitimately attributed to Samantha and need be proclaimed a House Bill, “Samantha’s Law.” Again, thousands of signatures were summoned in support of naming FSCD section 2-3 properly. I cannot put into words strong enough how betrayed I feel.



Alberta will implement foster care recommendations: minister
CBC.CA
UnlikeReply22 hrs
Julie Ali Shameful lack of acknowledgement by GOA. The folks there strike me as not very professional. The MLA for Riverview did not meet with another advocate for vulnerable citizens--Ruth Adria. The last time she attempted to make an appointment the office staff did not recognize she was not on the "No Meet List" and made an appointment. Ruth got a message later to say the meeting with Lori Sigurdson was cancelled. This junk never happened with the PCs who at least would meet with us even if they did nothing. It's not democracy. It's puppetry.
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