Sunday, February 12, 2017

Linda Pushor Wow. I am astounded. I had no idea that there would be no transcripts of this committee's meeting and I am absolutely stunned and disconcerted.--------Julie Ali Until the public speaks out in a non-negotiable fashion the politics of evasion with reference to the failures in the child welfare and continuing care system will continue. It's sad but there you go. The GOA is not interested in empowering citizens and this power imbalance is the main reason for the lack of information about the abuse/deaths in both the child welfare and continuing care system. The retribution faced by citizens is sufficient to silence them. In my opinion, this is exactly how the GOA wants the situation to stay-with lots of talk, no action and no sort of preventative programs to ensure that repeated adverse events and fatalities do not occur again. Most citizens do not know of these problems or aren't interested. We get a public outcry over a child or senior death and then everyone simply forgets until the next death. Only a few of us like Velvet Martin has worked hard to keep the public attention on the over 800 kids dead in the child welfare system. Ruth Adria of the Elder Advocates of Alberta has been working for decades to rouse us from our stupor over abuse and fatality in the continuing care system. Both of these advocates have been awarded JHC human rights awards. http://www.jhcentre.org/our-projects/human-rights-awards-0 Without the work of Velvet Martin and Ruth Adria the history of calamity and death for our most defenceless citizens would have been written over by the mountain of panel reports, roundtable paper and fatality inquiry data. It just goes on and on and there is no change.----

It was a long strange day at Government House today - hours of technical formalities, followed by some statistical bombshells. Now, if only you could watch.

Since 2014, neither the PC nor the NDP government completed a single statutory child death review.
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM

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Linda Pushor Wow. I am astounded. I had no idea that there would be no transcripts of this committee's meeting and I am absolutely stunned and disconcerted.
Paula Simons I was shocked, too. It's silly.
Sandy Wilson It's absolutely wrong not to have representation from people who have been through the system on the committee. Those who think they know better do not always know better.
Seesee Mouallem So Sad the state of child welfare. This has been happening for years and each year it seems to get worse. Our government needs to start funding it properly and get enough staff and mental health programs going to match the number of cases. It's an overworked department who can't properly deal and handle each case. They also need accountability so they can start seeing improvement
Velvet Martin Funding is a red-herring: Monies never reach intended recipients, the children. Instead, funds are pooled to further apprehensions and the over-burdened circle continues to climb. Muriel Stanley-Venne has reported that "Alberta apprehends the most chi...See More
LikeReply1February 2 at 3:29pmEdited
Janet Butler Thanks so much for staying focused on this topic, Paula. It's so important, and has been SO neglected.
Linda Pushor Sorry, just meant to start a paragraph. Guess hitting the enter key actually enters so this will be a run-on entry. The "excuse" given does not hold water. If the child advocate can issue written reports and protect the privacy of the children and yout...See More
Velvet Martin The Government routinely breaches its own Policy by televising and publishing online the identities of vulnerable children. On the AB Gov't website (Wednesday's Child), anyone with access to a computer is able to scour images of children in care and even select a target by gender and age! These are vulnerable LIVING children. Children who have been failed to death required protection and in death, the only attribute left to offer is to honour them with judicial accountability and the dignity of their identity. Typically, persons benefiting from silence are wrongdoers.
Karen Willis Having no transcripts is already a huge break down for moving forward. What is the panel supposed to reference and where will the openness be with no back up? Not a good start.
Paula Simons There was nothing that happened today that needed to be kept private. No one was named. There was nothing said or shared today that couldn't have been part of a public record. Other government buildings have the capacity for live streaming. Hansard does transcription work of this nature all the time. But I guess I should also be grateful that the public and the press were allowed to attend at all. I wasn't so sure, at the beginning to this process, that that would be allowed, either. So I'm glad I was able to be there and report back for you.
Linda Pushor Thanks Paula, your reporting is very much appreciated and vital for those of us who can't be there.
Linda Pushor Just the fact that you say and feel gratitude for being able to attend and report on this tells me that this government needs a wake-up call. As do all Albertans. The public right to know what their government is doing supersedes this veil of secrecy.
Karen Willis Ate they only meeting once a week?
Paula Simons Karen Willis The schedule isn't set. They may meet more or less frequently as things go forward.
Velvet Martin There are a few politicians who are definitely trying to alleviate wrongs and positively impact the system, however, they typically seem to get shut down. Back in 2013, Dr. Raj Sherman formally requested that I be included in Roundtable discussion regarding the Child Welfare fatalities revealed by journalists in the Fatal Care Series, yet was ignored. Similarly, a renown pediatrician disclosed to me that they offered to provide insight since much of the pediatric practise is comprised of children in care. However, they were told by previous gov't that their input was unwanted as the Members were NOT seeking solutions!
Velvet Martin Late Minister, Manmeet Bhullar publicly revealed the total number of fatalities tied to the Child Welfare System on Jan 12/14. There were 741 casualties. Now we learn through media that an additional 73 deaths have occurred since Apr 1/14 to the end of Dec 2016. This means that at least 814 fatalities (not even counting any children who likely died between Jan 12-Apr 1/14.) Alberta is now home to well over 800 child fatalities. 💔 What a hideous legacy and STILL families are excluded from Policy decisions.
Emily Weatherston That's brutal
800 dead kids and how come no ones going to jail?
Velvet Martin As well, an issue I have tried to raise: Are statistics available on MISSING children? How many of this population may be deceased? The murdered/missing Aboriginal may largely be comprised of children from the System. These stats are from MB; I imagine similar exists Nationwide: http://www.cbc.ca/.../80-of-missing-persons-in-manitoba...
Velvet Martin Where are the Panel Members when fatality hearings transpire? Who is listening and taking action regarding circumstances? A 15-year-old girl with tremendous burdens and a history of suicide attempt goes awol from a group home where her family trusted treatment would be provided. Instead, staff does not sound alert, but only by chance walk in a room to close an open window and find her lifeless body. It had been 12 hours since she was last seen by anyone. She was terrified by others in her surroundings. How long would it have been before that missing little girl was sought? THESE are the incidents that need to be raised. Judges keep making the same tired recommendations for Policy to be adhered to yet it is disregarded. Alongside children like Serenity and Samantha who were not viewed by their caseworkers for a year. Samantha's case is from 2006 and here we are today with the SAME exact failures to check on these vulnerable children. Zero repercussions. Zero incentive to change.
Karen Willis I don't like hearing what you are saying but am liking the fact that you are saying it
Velvet Martin It needs to be said. I am reminded - to paraphrase an observation of Paula Simons work and her response - Reader: "When will you stop talking about dead kids." Paula Simons: "When they stop dying."
Destiny Angel Southworth 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻❤️
Destiny Angel Southworth No one deserves to learn the hard way 💔💔
Kelly Ann Armstrong Hopefully a little less meetings, lot more action!!!!!!!
Marjorie Beaudry Malachi Beaudry, died in CAS care, 6 months old(grandson). Mona Redbreast, age 13 died in CAS care (niece). Rest in peace baby's!
Kelly Ann Armstrong Absolutely shameful 
So sorry for your loss
Julie Ali Until the public speaks out in a non-negotiable fashion the politics of evasion with reference to the failures in the child welfare and continuing care system will continue. It's sad but there you go. The GOA is not interested in empowering citizens and this power imbalance is the main reason for the lack of information about the abuse/deaths in both the child welfare and continuing care system. The retribution faced by citizens is sufficient to silence them. In my opinion, this is exactly how the GOA wants the situation to stay-with lots of talk, no action and no sort of preventative programs to ensure that repeated adverse events and fatalities do not occur again. Most citizens do not know of these problems or aren't interested. We get a public outcry over a child or senior death and then everyone simply forgets until the next death. Only a few of us like Velvet Martin has worked hard to keep the public attention on the over 800 kids dead in the child welfare system. Ruth Adria of the Elder Advocates of Alberta has been working for decades to rouse us from our stupor over abuse and fatality in the continuing care system. Both of these advocates have been awarded JHC human rights awards. http://www.jhcentre.org/our-projects/human-rights-awards-0 Without the work of Velvet Martin and Ruth Adria the history of calamity and death for our most defenceless citizens would have been written over by the mountain of panel reports, roundtable paper and fatality inquiry data. It just goes on and on and there is no change.
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