Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lynn Wilson It is not the purpose of an inquiry to hold a person accountable for a death or to punish them. If a person is indeed accountable for a death, they should be charged in criminal court. An inquiry has a different purpose. Like · Reply · 1 · May 30 at 10:00pm Julie Ali Julie Ali And what is that purpose? To make recommendations that government ignores? I guess it might be to give us the illusion that government is taking action when it is sitting around doing nothing. Like · Reply · 22 hrs Lynn Wilson Lynn Wilson The purpose is to examine outcomes and recommend policy changes in an effort to improve policies and practices to hopefully yield a better result in the future. Like · Reply · 22 hrs Julie Ali Julie Ali Lynn Wilson And so far none of the recommendations of any of these inquiries have been implemented that I know of. Where is a database of the recommendations of inquiries done to date? Where is the evidence that any of these recommendations were implemented? If I just consider the pile of paper generated in the continuing care system I am doubtful that these inquiries do anything other than provide an illusion of review and accountability.

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/alberta-government-to-unveil-changes-to-reviews-of-children-who-die-in-care

All deaths of children in care to be reviewed within a year under proposed Alberta law

Published on: May 30, 2017 | Last Updated: May 30, 2017 7:02 PM MDT
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Danielle Larivee (Alberta Children’s Services Minister) tabled the Child Protection and Accountability Act at the Alberta Legislature on Tuesday May 30, 2017.
Alberta’s child and youth advocate will examine every death of a child in government care under new legislation tabled Tuesday.
The advocate also will have to publicly report on each child death review, and complete each investigation within one year.
Under the changes, any ministry or agency that interacted with a child who dies in care must proactively share information with the advocate, and those people won’t suffer legal repercussions for doing so.
The changes are part of Bill 18. They stem from recommendations made by the first phase of the province’s child intervention panel.

Child services culture shift

Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said the notion of proactive sharing marks a massive culture shift for child services.
“The proactive disclosure piece is huge in terms of highlighting the fact that information sharing is as important — or more important sometimes — than the privacy pieces,” she said Tuesday.
Yet there will be no consequences for those who don’t adhere to the new rules.
For Wildrose children’s services critic Jason Nixon, that’s a big problem.
Nixon sits on the child intervention panel struck after the details of Serenity’s death were revealed by the Edmonton Journal.
The four-year-old indigenous girl was in government care when she died in 2014, weighing just 18 pounds and arriving at hospital with severe injuries that included a fractured skull and a body covered in deep bruises, including her anal and genital areas.
Like other opposition members on the panel, Nixon is galled that his attempts to discuss Serenity’s case have been stymied by the government.
There have been no answers around her death, he said, no charges laid, so the notion of accountability bothers him greatly.
“We have seen through the whole panel process that nobody is in charge,” he said Tuesday.
“That’s one of the largest concerns I still have as a panel member, and the minster still has not answered that question — about who we can hold accountable.”
Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee (right) met with social work students at the legislature on May 30, 2017, before tabling the Child Protection and Accountability Act. LARRY WONG / POSTMEDIA

Next steps

The changes to the advocate’s role will demand a bump in funding to that office. Larivee and Nixon both said they expect co-operation in pushing through whatever the advocate needs.
Bill 18 is the first in a series of steps to improve the child welfare system.
The act that governs the advocate is also being reviewed, and the panel continues with its broad review of the child welfare system.
Nixon offered tentative support to death review changes, but said it’s the next steps that will make all the difference in helping Albertan kids in care.
“There are so many other pieces that will have to interact with this legislation, and … those are the questions we’re looking at right now,” he said.

Other changes

• Transparency: The advocate will be required to report to the legislature every six months on the number and status of reviews.
• Timely action: Government departments will have 75 days to respond to advocate recommendations. If a review can’t be completed in a year, the advocate must report the delay.
• Investigations: The advocate must check with law enforcement if a review will interfere with a police investigation. If so, police can request a delay, but the advocate must check in every six months. An information-sharing protocol will also be signed between the government, advocate and law enforcement agencies.
egraney@postmedia.com
Serenity, as a happy toddler riding her trike. SUPPLIED

Velvet Martin · 
STILL no repercussions for employees who fail to follow Policy; thus, we will continue to revisit the deaths of children in care. 
UnlikeReply3May 30, 2017 3:25pm
Julie Ali · 
Really Velvet--did you expect the NDPCs to do the right thing by the children? It is never the purpose of the politicians to do the right thing.
It's our purpose.
Let's go kick GOA rump.
LikeReplyMay 30, 2017 5:12pm
Julie Ali · 
Frankly speaking I am curious why the GOA is even bothering to make this proposed law. If there are no penalties for failing to disclose information aren't we at the place we started from where there was no disclosure to the advocate and no one cared? Am I missing something here?

Why is the GOA wasting our time in this way? I mean if the legislation simply begs departments to disclose proactively to the advocate and they don't do this without any problems well it's a waste of time in my mind.
Sure the advocate has to report more but if the GOA simply responds and does nothing as has been the ...See More
Julie Ali · 
This situation reminds me of the failure of the GOA to hold folks accountable in the continuing care system. As noted by the HQCA -everyone is responsible for residents and no one is responsible. It's a problem of oversight being poor, and penalties being nil.

This is a convenient set up for all concerned with reference to either the children in the child welfare system and the seniors in the continuing care system because when harm, neglect, abuse and fatality occurs --well the entire system is to blame but no one specifically is held accountable. I believe penalties are required. If abus...See More
Velvet Martin · 
The Alberta Government under Tory Leadership hid the deaths of almost 700 babies, children and youth. This 'serial-killer' otherwise known as Child Welfare/Human Services needs to be independently investigated by Public-Police!

https://www.change.org/.../force-rcmp-to-do-a-criminal...
Peter Cooke · 
Well there's a fabulous idea. Let's all concentrate on making sure everything is done correctly and on time AFTER the CHILD DIE'S. I know our province is in great hands when I hear things like this. BRAVO
LikeReply3May 30, 2017 4:25pm
Mike Olesik · 
Your corrupt,theiving pc,s were in power when Serenity died, you moron.
LikeReplyMay 30, 2017 8:54pm
Peter Cooke · 
Mike Olesik Having a little trouble staying on topic Mike. Here's a news flash; the United States has secretly developed what they are referring to as the Atom Bomb, some sort of nuclear device which is expected to be...
LikeReplyMay 30, 2017 9:44pm
Julie Ali · 
Mike Olesik And guess what the NDPCs are now in charge. Why are they making it harder to hold the GOA accountable?
LikeReplyMay 31, 2017 8:12am
Clara Lynn · 
i wanted to leave facebook bcos of how horrible i am becoming daily wit worry of my sick grandson in care. he needs a heart-transplant so bad but soc serv believe and have done eerything in their power to make him believe we dont love him and want him back bcos of his illness. but if ppl actually keep talking about sticking up for our native children is important than i wont deactivate. maybe therre is hope of seeing my grandchildren again. especially him. when i need him the most. there must be a God if i ever see them all alive again. for real, people. God bless you, who have heart and soul.
Leslie Young · 
What about the children who don't die in care but are living in dire straits. Would any of these changes had helped Serenity or brothers before the death?
LikeReply2May 30, 2017 4:15pm



Paula Simons
I can't describe how disappointed and frustrated and angry I was at this latest development.

Fewer public inquiries in open court. More names kept secret. And fewer people held accountable.
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM

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16 Comments
Comments
Susanne Debney I share your feelings.
Faye Mock Governments pay lip service but don't have the backbone and intelligence to put needed legislation in place. Enshrining it in secrecy only protects government agencies.
Karen Willis Did the committee as a whole make these recommendations?
Christine Way The committee made recommendations, the government chose which to address in this Bill and which they would address outside of legislation. Very disappointing indeed.

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1
May 30 at 8:21pm
Kristin Freeman Very disappointing. Writing my MLA.
Alyssa Miller "Too bad we can’t protect them while they’re still alive." <--- THIS. Is crucial. It is heartbreaking. The system has to change to better support these incredibly vulnerable and beautiful children - before they die.

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5
May 30 at 8:30pm
Sian Winter This is just more CYA for social workers - making sure they cannot be held publicly accountable for incompetence causing the death of a child.
Karen Lebens So sad, disgraceful.
Trevor Doering Then I recommend we all hit the system a little harder. Want some more stories for your newspaper Paula?
Bobbie Garnet Bees I don't think she does. Her bosses won't let her become too aggressive. It's just the way the media works these days.

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1
May 30 at 9:56pm
Bobbie Garnet Bees Paula, I tell you I'm shocked, I'm really shocked.........
Who the hell would have thought that the government would move to hide things and downplay things.......
Man, it's almost like saying that the Canadian Armed Forces moved that court martial of 
...See More
Bob Oswin There will not be a socialist left in the entire country within 24 months. It's blatantly obvious that these elected officials consider themselves the elites and no amount of common sense or reasoning or petitioning will change them.

Good work Paula!

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1
May 30 at 9:59pmEdited
Julie Ali No matter who we hire, they morph into the elite and serve themselves.

Reply22 hrs
Bob Oswin Julie Ali The money offered for these leadership positions fails to compensate the best in our society.
Add to this the constant barrage of insults in the house and from the street.
Why would any sane person give up a career for this unless that had some score to settle? 

Currently we have some pretty fine ladies and gentlemen in the opposition and if we don't take advantage of this our fate is sealed.

Reply21 hrsEdited
Julie Ali Bob Oswin It is a difficult job for sure and yet no one is forcing any of the political hires from doing this job. What we are asking for is value for the tax dollars spent on the political hires. I think this is a reasonable request. The social contract requires that the people we pay for do represent us rather than make legislation that makes it difficult for us to receive justice or even information. It's troubling that the NDP folks who were so active in the opposition are now failing to do the changes required in the legislation and are instead preparing legislation that decreases transparency and prevents accountability. Very troubling. Hopefully this same transformation does not happen with the Wildrose folks we hire in the next election. My feeling is that the Wildrose folks should steer clear of the PCs who had 44 years to provide value and failed.

Reply1 min
Lynn Wilson It is not the purpose of an inquiry to hold a person accountable for a death or to punish them. If a person is indeed accountable for a death, they should be charged in criminal court. An inquiry has a different purpose.

Reply
1
May 30 at 10:00pm
Julie Ali And what is that purpose? To make recommendations that government ignores? I guess it might be to give us the illusion that government is taking action when it is sitting around doing nothing.

Reply22 hrs
Lynn Wilson The purpose is to examine outcomes and recommend policy changes in an effort to improve policies and practices to hopefully yield a better result in the future.

Reply22 hrs
Julie Ali Lynn Wilson And so far none of the recommendations of any of these inquiries have been implemented that I know of. Where is a database of the recommendations of inquiries done to date? Where is the evidence that any of these recommendations were implemented? If I just consider the pile of paper generated in the continuing care system I am doubtful that these inquiries do anything other than provide an illusion of review and accountability.

ReplyJust now
Karen Tweed Governments have never cared for the children. Sorry to say this one is no different.

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1
May 30 at 10:44pm
Brian Bittorf No surprises here!

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ReplyYesterday at 10:26am
Ann L What Paula needs to do is not expose more kids who die in care but expose the executive management team for their idling and dysfunctional leadership. This is why kids die in care in the first place. This legislation proposal just took children's services problem and dumped it on the advocate. how does that fix anything? Advocate will review and make recommendations and reports to a legislative committee okay... CS doesn't follow through who do they answer to? No one really until it goes away. What needs to be done is to attack the leadership. This is the leadership that was there under the conservatives and now the NDP. This is the real problem. Why has no internal review been done? Why is there no accountablity? Why is no one talking about this? Paula is the person who i think can get this information and updates. The people want to know!

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ReplyYesterday at 6:46pm
Julie Ali I doubt that anyone is able to investigate the government of Alberta and expose the problems completely. The fact is that information access is difficult and limited in some cases. As well the government doesn't have to do anything (so it seems) that it doesn't want to do. For these reasons we are only able to get small parts of the system wide failures in the care of vulnerable children, youth and seniors. It's very sad. I imagine this situation will not change until the public is roused and then (usually) the public indignation burns out and we're back to the beginning of trying to get the attention of citizens. The NDP aren't doing a good job in terms of legislation and won't be rehired. I am curious what the Wildrose Party will do in the next round of debate on this issue of poor government culture because this is where the problems are I believe. Government -after 44 years plus of PC dynasty seems to have become indifferent, dysfunctional and politicized. Until this culture of non-performance, disinterest, and no penalties is changed, we will have production of useless laws and no amendment of existing poor legislation. At least we get to dismiss the contracts of our MLAs every four years; too bad we can't do this for the entrenched bureaucrats and department heads who need a good turnover just about now.

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Reply22 hrs
Velvet Martin Paula will you please attend? Mom has asked me to share:

Edmonton Courthouse June 12 Fatality Hearing for Nevaeh.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/Nevaeh.../10060457/story.html

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