Friday, April 21, 2017

-I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but the real insight offered by the Panel seems to be just how disengaged Members are with the realities families are living within. Someone needs to say it, to tell the truth and be critical despite hard feelings. Otherwise, 10 years from now, another group will be sitting in Panel lamenting deaths of our young.------The truth isn't nice nor upbeat; we have to speak about little dead children.--Trust cannot be built in the absence of Community inclusion in matters. Apology without change is futile. Acknowledgment of lack of awareness is a step forward, however, it's disheartening to witness Panelists exclude the very individuals they hope to bolster to success. Respect is missing. If this were not so, the Panel would include the Public at ground level. by Velvet Martin Protecting Canadian Children----------The question of privacy and publication bans was raised repeatedly throughout the first stage of the panel’s work as members grappled with the death review process and how it needs to change. Wildrose panel member Jason Nixon said Thursday he worries privacy concerns are stymying the sharing of pertinent information between social services, law enforcement and Alberta Health Services.


CIPanel.Submissions@gov.ab.ca
Re: Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention Meeting April 20, 2017:
Generally, I prefer to offer positive feedback despite personal negative experience in effort to be impartial and constructive. However, the impression I and other onlookers took away from the Panel Meeting, I must honestly report, was dismal.
If I were able to sum up a single statement to offer to Panelists - which was not even an option for Public consultation at the table - is the fact that a humongous elephant in the room continues to be evaded:
While I appreciate we're stressing caution towards blame, unfortunately, that blanket aspect hinders true protection of children. Accountability is a must; healing cannot occur without Justice and means to amend wrongdoing.
Each week the System sees the death of an additional child. Yet, we forego response to avert crisis because we don't want hurt feelings. Frankly, it's BS and anyone who honestly wants to improve conditions will need to put aside pride and accept responsibility to move forward.
Questions Panelists inquired about, for instance, centred on gaining Public trust. The solution fundamentally rests with the problem asked in and of itself amongst the Panel instead of directly to affected Persons. As with Reconciliation initiatives, words and incentives from Academics are meaningless without imbedded community action.
Families continue to be damaged by the System; therefore, gaining trust cannot reasonably be expected.
There are wonderful workers with good hearts. It's obvious amongst selected Panelists who grew teary-eyed at revelations. However, there is a vast number of workers who do not function with respect, caution or diligence. Like it or not, this is a harsh reality which must be recognized. Individual interpretation by unqualified, prejudiced Authorities creates unequal ground that is not a positive conduit for healing.
Examples would likely astound some Members of the Panel. As one confessed, they were largely unaware of themes impeding First Nations' persons bearing generational trauma and suspect ignorance resonates amongst others.
The Panel itself consisted mainly of visibly white Members aside from an Elder who offered prayer and his hand in introduction to onlookers.
Imagine being judged by Authorities whose image of culture is wrought with stigma? A relative of one child who died had, for instance, applied for guardianship, submitted to Child Welfare and Criminal Record background investigation. The results were clear; however, the social-worker callously expressed surprise at a positive determination. Plain and simple: Prejudgment and prejudice due to the colour of skin exists. This is also true of other factors such as age, disability, and economics in the treatment of benign conditions.
Trust cannot be built in the absence of Community inclusion in matters. Apology without change is futile. Acknowledgment of lack of awareness is a step forward, however, it's disheartening to witness Panelists exclude the very individuals they hope to bolster to success.
Respect is missing. If this were not so, the Panel would include the Public at ground level. In the Audience, there was a social-worker who happens to also be a Residential School survivor. Why is this individual not at the table utilizing first-hand wisdom to educate Panelists who self-proclaim disjointed understanding of conditions? There are Members of the Public who have risen to become eloquent speakers and professionals in the humanities. Persons who continue to interact daily with families in situations of trauma and can bridge Family-Centred Care between Administration and Public.
Problematic themes include the following:
Members of the Public were situated behind presenters, thus unable to view expressive language.
Break for dining was offered Panelists while Members of the Public were excluded. Some interested individuals had traveled to Edmonton from as far as Calgary. Members of the Public do not have the benefit of financial incentives, only desire to stop our youth from being harmed. Given limited audience, it would have been respectful to offer a token meal to guests as well.
Formal identification needed to be surrendered to Sheriffs prior to admittance. For those lacking Government ID, Public input was therefore not truly an option.
"Should" and "ought" were words heard frequently during discussion, yet phrases which do not occur outside of Panels.
Interaction needs to occur. Instead the Panel watched video content. We can participate in educational data at any time but coming together is a unique opportunity to hold meaningful discussion.
Research on management of toxic stress provided some understanding of generational trauma, but stopped short of addressing the same conditions of harm that is imposed by the System itself on families through imposed alienation.
Enough with being prim and proper. The truth isn't nice nor upbeat; we have to speak about little dead children.
Which, leads me to address the conclusion of the Panel meeting: Utilizing the musical piece - "Here Comes the Sun" -was traumatizing and offensive for many of us. While obviously a well-intentioned manoeuvre to look towards hope, darkness remains harsh reality. That truth is evident in Panelists' lack of insight to the unique conditions which continue to plague Child Welfare recipients and the emotions involved; particularly amongst those who survive trauma.
I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but the real insight offered by the Panel seems to be just how disengaged Members are with the realities families are living within. Someone needs to say it, to tell the truth and be critical despite hard feelings. Otherwise, 10 years from now, another group will be sitting in Panel lamenting deaths of our young.
Sincerely,
Velvet Martin,
Spokesperson for Protecting Canadian Children
Founder of Samantha's Law

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Bursting bubbles of spin generated by the members of the Panel is essential. The problems of the child welfare system are being dealt with by folks who have no sort of experience of the system from the bottom of the power pyramid. Families are being talked down to and disregarded.
Why would families therefore believe any of the spin generated by the panel that has followed countless other spin efforts by the GOA?
What's required is for families to speak out about this farce--that is the ongoing farce of cynical government responses to burgeoning public frustration of the government to solve human problems that have solutions. What's required is for all of us to speak about #PanelPolitics and the culture of entitlement, cover up and lack of performance at the GOA.

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http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/changes+coming+this+spring+child+intervention+panel/13315345/story.html


Changes coming this spring as child intervention panel enters second phase


EMMA GRANEY, EDMONTON JOURNAL  04.21.2017
Changes coming this spring as child intervention panel enters second phase
Children's Services Minister Danielle Larivee
GREG SOUTHAM / EDMONTON JOURNAL
Aggressive movement to change Alberta’s child intervention system will see new legislation introduced this spring.
But before that happens, the province’s child intervention panel will wrestle with whether or not to roll back transparency measures around reporting the death of children in care.
The panel moved into its second phase this week, holding a meeting Thursday night in Edmonton to hear about the historical over-representation of indigenous children in the system.
The question of privacy and publication bans was raised repeatedly throughout the first stage of the panel’s work as members grappled with the death review process and how it needs to change.
Wildrose panel member Jason Nixon said Thursday he worries privacy concerns are stymying the sharing of pertinent information between social services, law enforcement and Alberta Health Services.
“If those kinds of things are happening because staff are feeling confused about what they can and cannot share about a child, I think that’s very important for the panel to bring up and suggest changes to make it easier,” Nixon said.
Privacy changes were made by a similar government panel in 2014, giving families four days after the death of a child in care to seek a publication ban in court.  
Liberal party panel member David Swann said Thursday there needs to be an objective review of that change.
“In 2014, we were so concerned about the government hiding information that we wanted to open everything up,” Swann said.
“Now we realize the families affected feel they have no capacity to make a timely decision given the grief they’re in.
“How do you square the importance of privacy at a time of crisis with the need for the public to know? That’s what we’re wrestling with.”
The panel will make that decision in a month, after it hears from stakeholders.
Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee was handed the panel’s Stage 1 recommendations last week, and Thursday reaffirmed her commitment to improve the system.
“There have been challenges for a long time, so the last thing I’m going to do is sit on (the recommendations). We’re taking action right away,” she said.
Larivee said the next phase of the panel’s work is “huge,” but she’s optimistic it will develop positive changes that address the root causes of child intervention.
“I’m sure we’ll see engagement on many of the bigger issues, as to how we start reducing the number of kids brought into care in the first place and making some improvements in the system for those that are,” she said.
egraney@postmedia.com
twitter.com/EmmaLGra


Julie Ali ·
It is amazing to me that governement has to spend decades on issues that involve families and yet do not include families in proposed changes that impact them. In the matter of privacy concerns no one has actually talked to families and asked them what they want.

Why does government keep insisting we want everything kept secret? Some families believe it is important to reveal system wide failures in the care of vulnerable citizens. Other families may not wish to reveal any information.

This panel is doing the same pendulum swing that the Tories were so good at. It's important for the public to know. But if families do not want them to know we accept that we won't know. If families do wish their cases to be made public, well then we get to find out the problems in the system. I feel when families make the choice to go public they are doing us a public service by telling us about poor performance by the government of Alberta and associated agencies. Without the stories of families and other relevant information--- we cannot hold the government accountable for failures in service delivery and performance.

The question is asked here : “How do you square the importance of privacy at a time of crisis with the need for the public to know? That’s what we’re wrestling with.”

Suggestion--if the familiy does not want the information released don't release the information. But if the family does want to release the data then do it. It's that simple.
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Julie Ali
Our political hires are entirely without common sense.
Surely they can decide that consultation with families is the way out of their so called problem of respecting privacy of these same families when considering the public's right to know of the GOA's system wide failures in the child welfare system?
The gold standard should be the rights of families.
The government should release information that families agree to. If the families do not want their stories of harm, neglect, abuse and fatality to be public data-so be it.
But if the families do want their stories to be public documents to inform the public of the failures in performance of the GOA, then this information should be part of the public record.
In any case, a great deal of the information about government failures can be made public. In my opinion, there is no reason why reviews of the messes can't be made public with suitable redaction of information. This sort of redaction is common in PPIC report investigations so why can't we get the information suitably redacted? Also other information like audits should automatically be part of the public record. In my opinion, there is no excuse for not releasing such information other than the cover your butt syndrome that is common at the GOA.


Aggressive movement to change Alberta’s child intervention system will see new legislation introduced this spring. But before that happens, the province’s child…
CALGARYHERALD.COM

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