Friday, May 19, 2017

Serenity’s great uncle, who saw himself as more of a grandfather to the child, labelled government inaction on the file as “bureaucratic stupidity at its best,” and said Premier Rachel Notley should be ashamed. “We’re supposed to be a progressive society, but I don’t see it,” he said. “When our leaders turn a blind eye to children dying, it’s unacceptable.”

We expected change with the NDP folks and we got nothing. No change.
What we have are NDP supporters bleating about change when the facts are clear.
1) Autopsy report took two years and happened under the NDP watch.
2) The police investigation is taking forever and is happening under the NDP watch.
3) Instead of doing a public inquiry we have the continuation of the PC fun and games of the roundtable sort in the #PanelPolitics.
4) We have two kids (siblings of Serenity) yanked from the home where there were problems and yet we are given the unbelievable news that there are six other kids who aren't yanked. Why not? Why is it unsafe for Serenity and her siblings but not for the kids remaining in the home?
Current Circumstances
Naomi and Kolby have been returned to their mother’s care. The criminal investigation remains ongoing.
5) From the report on "Marie" who is Serenity by the Child and Youth Advocate's Office we get the surprising news that the adult members of this family other than the prospective guardians were not subject to a police check. What the heck??? Does no one see a problem in this failure?
A home study was completed over three visits with Anne and Bruce. While some of their children and grandchildren were present during the home study, they were not interviewed separately. Criminal record checks and child intervention history checks were completed for Anne and Bruce, but not for their adult children residing in the home.15
6) The mother's concerns were investigated and no abuse found; then community members complained and a case file was opened but no action taken for the three months that it took for Serenity to receive the end game status.
http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/…/InvRev_4-Year-Old-Marie_2016No…
Marie at 4 years old
Shortly after Marie’s fourth birthday, the police received a concern that Naomi and Kolby were unsupervised in the community and appeared to be malnourished. The
police met with Anne and she said the children had tapeworms when they were placed with her.
Child Intervention Services was notified and the matter was assigned to an Intake worker.21
Circumstances Surrounding Marie’s Death
Three months later, four-year-old Marie was taken to hospital with an extensive brain injury. Doctors noted bruising, at various stages of healing, on her body and she was significantly underweight.22 Her guardians said that Marie had fallen while playing with her siblings on a swing.
The following day, Naomi and Kolby were interviewed by child intervention staff and police. They disclosed that Marie was often hit because she was bad, did not listen and stole food. Naomi and Kolby were apprehended and placed with a relative. Marie was apprehended and remained in hospital on life support for about one week before she passed away.
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It is astonishing to me that folks are blaming the mother for the death of Serenity. Then there are comments about First Nations folks that indicate to me a lack of respect for them
What does Allan Starr mean by "Typical native attitude"? I'd say we indicate to him that this sort of comment is rather biased.
Allan Starr
Melanie. She died in the care of kin. Typical native attitude, it always the Goverments fault.....
Like · Reply · 6 · May 17, 2017 6:17pm
Julie Ali · University of Alberta
It is the government's fault. They were responsible for the care of the children as the Public parents.
If the government takes children away from the parents, it is responsible for the care of the children.
When the government fails to determine that the placement is appropriate, when government fails to investigate care concerns, when government takes three months to investigate concerns from the community during which time Serenity dies, well then it is the government's fault.
Please note also that there were failures to do the proper checks of all the folks living at this placement:
http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/.../InvRev_4-Year-Old-Marie...
A home study was completed over three visits with Anne and Bruce. While some of
their children and grandchildren were present during the home study, they were not
interviewed separately. Criminal record checks and child intervention history checks
were completed for Anne and Bruce, but not for their adult children residing in the
home.15
Like · Reply · 10 mins
Julie Ali · University of Alberta
Also what exactly do you mean by "Typical native attitude". Is this the same as "Typical Non-native attitude" that natives think like this?
Like · Reply · 9 mins

Serenity’s family is demanding a public inquiry into the little girl’s death. They sat in the legislative gallery Wednesday, stone-faced as they surveyed question period…
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM


http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/serenitys-family-demand-public-inquiry-into-the-little-girls-death


Serenity's family demand public inquiry into the little girl's death

Published on: May 17, 2017 | Last Updated: May 17, 2017 6:06 PM MDT
Serenity, as a happy toddler riding her trike.
Serenity, as a happy toddler riding her trike. SUPPLIED
Serenity’s family is demanding a public inquiry into the little girl’s death.
They sat in the legislative gallery Wednesday, stone-faced as they surveyed question period below.
The family members made their way to the legislative building in Edmonton to get answers about the little girl who died, aged four, after a traumatic head injury while in kinship care. Under the provisions of the province’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, the Journal cannot publish information which would serve to identify Serenity’s surviving siblings.
Serenity’s great uncle, who saw himself as more of a grandfather to the child, labelled government inaction on the file as “bureaucratic stupidity at its best,” and said Premier Rachel Notley should be ashamed.
“We’re supposed to be a progressive society, but I don’t see it,” he said.
“When our leaders turn a blind eye to children dying, it’s unacceptable.”
Serenity was just 18 pounds when she died, the weight of a typical nine-month-old infant, and had arrived at hospital with severe hypothermia, a fractured skull and a body covered in deep bruises, including her anal and genital areas.

Unanswered questions

Mike Ellis, Progressive Conservative MLA for Calgary-West, asked questions on behalf of the family, yet the answers from Notley and Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley provided little comfort.
Ellis wanted to know why Serenity’s mother hasn’t been kept abreast of developments in the police case, why the government has withheld information from her since her daughter’s 2014 death, and why no moves have been made to take other children from the same home where Serenity was living.
Ellis also repeated a call he has made numerous times this session, which was echoed by the family afterwards — there should be a public inquiry into Serenity’s death.
Serenity’s uncle acknowledged there are cases where blind disclosure is inappropriate, but demanded action on the file.
He came to the legislature Wednesday hoping for some resolution to the family’s ordeal.
“But honestly, I got what I expected out of Premier Notley today, which was nothing,” he said.

Still no justice

The case is currently with a Crown prosecutor, but it took more than two years after Serenity’s death to get there. In fact, it took two years just for the autopsy report to be done.  
While Notley offered an apology to the family Wednesday, she said it is important for the justice system to do its work.
“It is frustrating for all of us, but we can’t compromise that, because that would be yet another injustice,” Notley said in the legislature.
“We absolutely owe them an apology, all of us do, because there are so many ways in which the work that we do to support these children and their families can and must be better. That’s absolutely true. There’s no qualification to that.
“It must be done better.”
egraney@postmedia.com


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Julie Ali · 
It is interesting how one's allegiance for a political party determines the assessment of the case.
It's best to understand that all political parties are the same. In the time of the PCs they didn't care about the most vulnerable citizens and didn't bother to pretend that they cared. Hence their surprise when we objected to the closing of the Michener Centre while they were wasting cash on their ego monument of the Sky Palace, ignoring the anti-democratic nature of the Tapcal Fund and basically operating on autopilot for most of their tenure in office.

So we got fed up and use the broom of the NDP folks to rid ourselves of the pestilence of the PCs.
Now what do we get for change? We get no interest in the children who are dying in care but certainly we get better spin in terms of the media releases. The #PanelPolitics gambit is the same as the Roundtable of Spin trick that the PCs employed to keep the public off the back of the government. The excuses for the lack of transparency are the same. We basically have the PCs reconstituted in the NDP folks.

But because of blind allegiance to the cause, the NDP supporters think that Notley and crew are actually working. Really? Where is the work? What information will this panel provide that is not already present in the prior fatality reports, the previous studies and reviews? What will yet another panel accomplish when it's not even allowed to investigate the problem of the death of a child called Serenity who died unnecessarily? The entire purpose of this panel as was the case of the roundtable is deflection of blame and avoidance of responsibility for the failures.

As for the folks blaming the mother sure go ahead. The mother is to blame for all of this right? So then why was the mother denied any access to her kids when she complained of the abuse of her children? Why was the system so incompetent that when other folks in the community complained about the care of these children--that there was not immediate action taken and removal of the kids so that Serenity died soon after? Why did the GOA allow the other six children who are presently in the home to remain while Serenity's siblings were removed? Why is the mother to blame for all of this egregious performance by the system? In my opinion, after the mother lost custody of the children the system is to blame for the problems these children endured and certainly the GOA is to blame for the untidy investigation of this child.
LikeReply24 mins
Mark Rozario · 
Maybe the great-uncle should "demand" accountability from the birth mother and ask why this little girl needed to be removed from the custody of her parents in the first place. In no way does that excuse the torture this kid endured, but there ALWAYS seems to be so much anger and outrage from family members after the needless death of a child. Where were YOU, great-uncle?? Or other members of this family??
LikeReply17May 17, 2017 5:14pm
Melanie Fafard · 
Hey that's in called for. You don't criticize us mothers. Genocide is happening all over again. I think the family deserves to know why little serenity died in the care of family child services.
UnlikeReply3May 17, 2017 5:19pm
Mike Mackenzie · 
Melanie Fafard Was there no family visitations allowed? If anyone in the family network was allowed to see this little girl they should have been following up with her and her caregivers.
LikeReply5May 17, 2017 5:31pm
Mark Rozario · 
Melanie Fafard "Us mothers"? I wasn't directing it at all mothers in general. Good Lord, get a grip. And don't even *think* of making this a racial issue, because it isn't. Yes, the family absolutely is entitled to know why their child was placed in the care of this household. There is also accountability on the part of the birth parents to provide for their child. Where was great-uncle when this little girl was being tortured? What about the rest of the family?
LikeReply7May 17, 2017 6:17pm
Dar Dealmeida
So pathetic that the opposition keep pushing this instead of admitting that the government can not change the investigation till it is complete and it's also sad that they are feeding off this innocent child's death for political points! What did they do haul this great Uncle into the legislature? I also think its funny that this Great Uncles is attacking the NDP government when they are the first provincial government trying to fix the system and work with respect with indigenous people. So sad but we must respect the investigation and we must remember that these people still have their biological children and nothing can be done about that until people come forward and speak out against them, the people in their community! And yes Great Uncle - where was the family when Serenity was abused?
LikeReply4May 17, 2017 8:02pm
Harvey Bishop
Dar Dealmeida The foster care system in Alberta is very broken and can't be fixed very quickly. That is how it is. The Alberta PCs didn't do anything about this for years and years. Multiple deaths of children in foster care in Alberta happened prior to the Serenity case. Heather Forsythe, (who convienently deflected to the Wildrose to avoid being held responsible for her incompetence and neglect) and Iris Evans also did nothing. Both were the Ministers of Children's Services in the Alberta PC cabinet. Ric McIver didn't do anything either, when he held this position. That's when the Serenity case happened. The new government is trying to do something, which is good.
LikeReply1May 17, 2017 11:34pm
Jody Lean · 
Melanie Fafard Serenity died when she was staying with her own relatives.
LikeReply1May 18, 2017 3:15am
Patricia Chartrand · 
Mike Mackenzie
the children were moved into kindship care after being in foster care for some time. The mom was told they would be seperated and adopted out seperately. Since she was determined to get her kids back, they were moved into kinship care where they could stay together. After visiting all of the time, mom complained to the authorities about the weight loss, bruises and other issues and was subsequently banned from the property by the kinship family. She has other relatives visiting them to check on their well-being, but they were subsequently banned by the kinship family as well. So to answer your question- yes mom and family members were following up and even made complaints to the Provincial authorities. it didn't stop this tragedy from happening....
LikeReplyMay 18, 2017 7:38am
Morag Mackenzie · 
Jody Lean The Wild Rose have exploited little Serenity's life for poltical gain. Serenty was in the care of relatives, assuming the abuse happened at home, the witnesses would be the family members in the home. From identifying information provided by the Wild Rose in question period children in the home would be the witnesses to the abuse and therefore be the ones having to testify in a court.The courts require evidence to convict and little Serenity's case is highly traumatizing for Serenity's family, and the children still living. It is being made worse by the exploitation by the Wild Rose - the sad situation is being investigated by the RCMP and I agree with the advice that the time to stand up and report abuse or check up on children is when they are alive. We are all responsible.
LikeReply1May 18, 2017 9:14am
Julie Ali · 
Harvey Bishop What exactly are the NDP folk doing? We had the roundtable of spin with the PCs. And now we have #PanelPolitics with the NDPCs. It's pretty clear to me that we can change the political party but the government stays concrete. And unfortunately for the children and other vulnerable citizens they will continue to be at risk because of apathy, indifference, incompetence and no accountability.
LikeReply37 mins
Julie Ali · 
Maybe the government of Alberta should explain to us why the mother was banned from seeing her children when she complained of problems? Maybe we should put the blame where the blame is warranted? The child died in the care of the family selected by the GOA to care for them. The child did not die in the care of the mother did she?

So let me get this straight. The GOA removes a child and her siblings from the mother for problems. Then the GOA puts the children in the care of a family from which the children are ultimately removed because one of them was starved and found with multiple indications of abuse. Finally we have the puzzling reasoning of the GOA that is is only reasonable to remove Serenity's siblings from this family and yet leave six other children in this home.

Maybe there needs to be more attention placed on the poor decision making of the GOA rather than blaming the mother for the original problems that resulted in the ultimate catastrophe of system wide failures?
LikeReply20 mins
Julie Ali · 
Dar Dealmeida You indicate: "I also think its funny that this Great Uncles is attacking the NDP government when they are the first provincial government trying to fix the system and work with respect with indigenous people."

There is nothing funny about this issue. I don't think you understand the NDP government at all. They are the same as the PCs. It's all about cover your butt once you get to the government place.

In addition I see no evidence that the GOA is working with First Nations folks. If they were perhaps they would have had First Nations families who have been impacted by the system wide failures in the foster care system on this panel. But then the panel isn't really for the purposes of solving problems is it? It's for deflection of the attention of the public. It's about #PanelPolitics.
LikeReply16 mins
Michelle Sitzler · 
Sad sad sad. My heart hurts thinking of what this little girl endured during her short life. First a parent that obviously could not or would not care for her. Then put into the hands of a trusted care giver only to be tortured some more. There needs to be someone accountable, someone needs to pay for this disservice to this little girl. No slap on the wrists here please.
LikeReply2May 17, 2017 5:20pm
Nick Dmetruik
Where was this so called family when she was
alive ? You want answers, look in the mirror ! !!
What this poor little girl went through made me
physically ill and leaves me totally pissed off!!!
LikeReply16 hrs
Julie Ali · 
The mother was banned from seeing her children after she complained about their care. There were other family members who tried to get help.

I am only curious why folks blame the mother when the GOA is to blame -before, during and after the fatality.
Could it be that no one has read the case from start to finish?

Serenity's mum did her best to get the help for her babies when she spotted problems but how are you to do this when you are banned from seeing them? I also bet she didn't have a lot of cash to get a lawyer.
LikeReply13 mins
Melanie Fafard · 
No the government let this happen. If I was the minister of children family services. I'd be too ashamed to come forward with the reason why serenity died in their care.
UnlikeReply1May 17, 2017 5:22pm
Shannon Girard
No the government did not let this happen. Some twisted horrible woman did this to that little girl. This is about the death of "Serenity". Where is her justice and WHY are there still children in that home? These are the questions that need to be answered.
LikeReply6May 17, 2017 6:33pm
Wendy Peers · 
People should stop having children if they can't care for them. Stop expecting the government to support and parent your children.
LikeReply5May 17, 2017 6:49pm
Dar Dealmeida
Melanie Fafard
When a child comes into the world the health and welfare starts with the family and if you want to blame the government - blame them for not increasing the social services staff and budget for 40 years not the current government that are trying to improve the system!
LikeReply5May 17, 2017 8:05pm
Julie Ali · 
Shannon Girard There were complaints not only from the mother but also from the community. The mother was banned. The community complaints were being processed but not fast enough to save Serenity. The report on "Marie" by the Child and Youth Advocate indicates this. Marie is the name used for Serenity.

Why did it take three months to assess the situation so that Serenity died?

http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/.../InvRev_4-Year-Old-Marie...

Marie at 4 years old
Shortly after Marie’s fourth birthday, the police received a concern that Naomi and
Kolby were unsupervised in the community and appeared to be malnourished. The
police met with Anne and she said the children had tapeworms when they were placed
with her.
Child Intervention Services was notified and the matter was assigned to an Intake
worker.21

Circumstances Surrounding Marie’s Death
Three months later, four-year-old Marie was taken to hospital with an extensive brain
injury. Doctors noted bruising, at various stages of healing, on her body and she was
significantly underweight.22 Her guardians said that Marie had fallen while playing with
her siblings on a swing.
The following day, Naomi and Kolby were interviewed by child intervention staff and
police. They disclosed that Marie was often hit because she was bad, did not listen and
stole food. Naomi and Kolby were apprehended and placed with a relative. Marie was
apprehended and remained in hospital on life support for about one week before she
passed away.
LikeReply8 mins
Melanie Fafard · 
Genocide
LikeReplyMay 18, 2017 11:15am
Allan Starr
Demand ?? Why didn't you demand the parents to be responsible in the first place then this never would have happened. Its always someone's else fault right... You people should be ashamed that you !! let this happen.
LikeReply10May 17, 2017 4:49pm
Julie Ali · 
Why is it the fault of the mother when the children were alive with her?
The child died after they were taken away from the mother remember?
There is shame here and the shame is on the folks who approved the placement and who did not follow up in a timely way when concerns were raised.
LikeReply7 mins
Carolyn Astgen · 
WHAT? Why would there still be children in the care of the people who murdered this little one?
LikeReply1May 17, 2017 6:31pm
Wendy Peers · 
Because they are the biological parents of the children currently in their home. And the caregivers were not convicted of murdering Serenity.
LikeReply4May 17, 2017 6:48pm
Carolyn Astgen · 
Well who did?
LikeReplyMay 17, 2017 6:49pm
Dar Dealmeida
Carolyn Astgen
It's still under investigation but from my understanding it involves a lot of closed mouths protecting relatives scared to speak out
LikeReply4May 17, 2017 7:56pm
Julie Ali · 
Wendy Peers But if it was unsafe for Serenity's siblings to remain in this home why is it safe for any other kids to remain in this home?
LikeReply6 mins
Terry Ted · 
Investigate why bother, until the unionized idiots whose best interest to have the system in constant flux go away nothing will change
Julie Ali · 
I am beginning to feel that this is the case. While unions do provide some job quality I believe we now have a culture of non-performance in the GOA that can only be tackled by downsizing the entire government and privatization of the system.
Sad but there you go.
LikeReply5 mins
Hal Gibbens · 
There should be a public enquiry into the reasons why the child was not with her parents or others of her family.
Jody Lean · 
She died when she was living with her relatives despite the fact that her biological mother insisted that she live in a foster home instead of her relatives.
LikeReply1May 18, 2017 3:17am
Hal Gibbens · 
Jody Lean The question sill remains, why was she not with her parents, why did the mother want her in a foster home?
LikeReplyMay 18, 2017 7:33am
Allan Starr
Melanie. She died in the care of kin. Typical native attitude, it always the Goverments fault.....
LikeReply6May 17, 2017 6:17pm
Julie Ali · 
It is the government's fault. They were responsible for the care of the children as the Public parents.
If the government takes children away from the parents, it is responsible for the care of the children.
When the government fails to determine that the placement is appropriate, when government fails to investigate care concerns, when government takes three months to investigate concerns from the community during which time Serenity dies, well then it is the government's fault.

Please note also that there were failures to do the proper checks of all the folks living at this placement:

http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/.../InvRev_4-Year-Old-Marie...
A home study was completed over three visits with Anne and Bruce. While some of
their children and grandchildren were present during the home study, they were not
interviewed separately. Criminal record checks and child intervention history checks
were completed for Anne and Bruce, but not for their adult children residing in the
home.15
LikeReply1 min
Julie Ali · 
Also what exactly do you mean by "Typical native attitude". Is this the same as "Typical Non-native attitude" that natives think like this?
LikeReplyJust now

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