Child Intervention Review Panel Updates

Alberta Government Child Intervention Panel.

Ministerial panel will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

Meeting Summary Minutes and Audio Recordings

ALIGN REQUEST FOR AGENCY/EXPERTS PARTICIPATION
ALIGN Board members and our ED crafted a letter to Premier Notely,

ALIGN RESPONSE TO BUDGET March 19, 2017

Dear members:

Last week the government announced Budget 2017.  We have been capturing the relevant information for you and placing it on our website.  There will be more analysis this week but we thought we would share what we have learned to date. This budget for Children’s Services and Community and Support Services basically is a maintain status quo budget for both ministries. Any increases that are mentioned are to meet current needs.  No increases or forecasted increases.

In Children’s Services most increases went to growth caseload areas; financial and support agreements and advancing futures bursary funds.  The 60 FTE’s announced are to be put into the system in these growth areas.  Exactly where is still to be determined.

Senior staff are optimistic that funds will come with future recommendations made by the Child Intervention Review Panel.

We have had conversations about procurement, contracts, and moving forward with the Minister and senior executives.  With the splitting of the ministries it has been a bit confusing about who will address the procurement table recommendations.  We have made it very clear that this activity needs to receive focus and cant wait for panels.  We are assured that discussions are underway to figure out a way forward for services in child intervention.

We also  feel it is very important that the Panel get an accurate picture of the entire system and recommendations for improvement. Please review the minutes and live casts. The meetings are open to the public.  I would encourage you to attend or at least listen to it.  If you feel an area needs to be highlighted please send in a submission.   www.childinterventionpanel.ca

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Executive Director

NEWS

March 14, 2017 Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving death of an 18-year-old man
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding the death of a young man and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.

March 14, 2017 Children’s Services Minister Responds to OCYA Report
Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review of 18-Year-Old Peter:

Young homicide victim’s voice not heard by child-welfare system, advocate says in report By Nola Keeler, CBC News March 14, 2017
A new report from Alberta’s child advocate into the life and death of an 18-year-old Indigenous man calls on the government to do a better job of transitioning troubled young people out of care. “The Ministry of Children’s Services should ensure that policies regarding transitioning youth out of care are fully understood and implemented,” Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff wrote in his investigative review into the case of a homicide victim he calls Peter…

Family voices are needed in child death reviews: Ministerial Panel member By Gareth Hampshire CBC News March 1,2017
One of the members of the Ministerial Panel on Alberta’s child intervention system is pressing the government to include families more when examining the circumstances behind their children’s deaths in care. Patti LaBoucane-Benson delivered the message to a senior official in the Children’s Services department at the latest panel meeting Tuesday…

‘If they can’t give the answer, then why are we here?’: Culture of secrecy prompts outburst at child intervention panel
Emma Graney Edmonton Journal February 22, 2017
Opposition members of the government’s child intervention review panel worry a veil of secrecy and bureaucratic protectionism around child welfare will impede changes to the system. Time and again over the three panel meetings so far, social workers and managers have declined to give their opinions, lobbing the ball back into the court of panel members with, “That’s for you to decide…”

Ministerial Child Review Panel Feb 9, 2017 Minute 2nd mtg
The second meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was held Feb 9, 2017 at the Federal Building on traditional Treaty 6 territory. Elder Leonard Bastien provided the opening prayer, sang the Sacred White Buffalo song and acknowledged we were meeting on Blackfoot traditional territory. Elder Bastien spoke passionately of his work with children in care and families engaged with the system. Elder Bastien reminded the panel of the importance of their task on behalf of all children receiving services, particularly indigenous children; overrepresented as a result of the residential school system, cultural genocide and legislation.
The second agenda for the panel was focused on child death investigation and review mechanisms in Alberta. The public were encouraged to submit their views to CIPanel.submissions@gov.ab.ca or on-site through a written submission to the panel. Minister Larivee commented on the positive deliberations of the panel and the Chair acknowledged the commitment of the panel to work together, focused on the safety and well-being of children…

Alberta child intervention panel holds 2nd meeting By Slav Kornik and Phil Heidenreich Global News Feb 9, 2017
A non-partisan panel tasked with finding ways to improve the province’s review process when a child dies in government care is holding its second meeting Thursday. The public is is invited attend the Ministerial panel on Child Intervention’s meeting at the Federal House in Edmonton Thursday morning…

To Fix Child Services Address Negative Narrative Around Indigenous People: Director By: Kevin Maimann Metro Published on Tue Feb 07 2017
Bent Arrow is one of several groups contracted by the Alberta government to provide support workers for parents who are struggling to care for their children. Bent Arrow Executive Director Cheryl Whiskeyjack is speaking out about the need for change in Alberta’s child welfare system. This is the second part of a three-part series examining Alberta’s child welfare system. Read Part 1 ‘Completely unfair’: Edmonton mother fighting to get her children out of government care The director of an organization working with families in the child welfare system says poverty and attitudes toward Indigenous people need to be addressed before the system can be fixed.

Death of Disabled Alberta Teen Raises More Questions About Kids in Care Feb 7, 2017 Alberta Child Advocate wants improvements after 19 year old died following move to group home
By Gareth Hampshire, CBC News Posted: Feb 07, 2017
The 2014 death of a severely disabled Alberta teenager from a group home has prompted the Child and Youth Advocate to again call for improvements to the province’s child-intervention system.

OCYA Investigative Review: 19-Year-Old Ernie Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving death of a disabled young man Feb 7, 2017
Edmonton…The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding the death of a young disabled man and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act. Read the full News Release here. Read the report “19-Year-Old Ernie” here.

Child Intervention Review Panel Must Adopt Transparency: Wildrose By Gateway Gazette / February 6, 2017
The NDP government must increase transparency and accountability at the child intervention review panel, Wildrose Shadow Human Services Minister Jason Nixon said. There is currently no live-streaming video of the panel’s proceedings nor are there any transcripts for panel members, the media, or the public to go back and reference. “Given the important work that this panel is doing we ought to be meeting in committee rooms in the Federal Building,” Nixon said. “Doing so would provide easier access for media and the general public as well as provide teleconference and livestreaming capabilities.”

Fatality inquiry’s status questioned in light of newly formed child intervention review panel Michelle LePage Edmonton Journal February 3, 2017
A fatality inquiry into the death of a three-year-old boy who died in foster care will continue as planned after questions arose in court about potential overlap between the hearing and Alberta’s new child intervention review panel…

Paula Simons: Child death review panel opens with disturbing new numbers Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal Published on: February 2, 2017
The most disturbing thing we learned at the first session of the province’s new all-party child intervention review panel wasn’t the number of children who’ve died in provincial care. What was far more shocking was the number who’ve died while the province was figuring out whether to apprehend them — or after they’d been returned to their families…

Children’s Services Minister Responds to OCYA Report Feb 1, 2017
Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review entitled 19-Year-Old Ernie

Panel reviewing deaths of children in care criticized for lack of First Nations representative
‘The lack of that information being at the table will really water down the review’ By Kim Trynacity, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2017 3:25 PM MT Last Updated: Feb 03, 2017 A panel asked to find ways to improve Alberta’s child-intervention system is being criticized for not including a First Nations representative. Aside from MLAs from each political party, the panel includes three expert advisors with backgrounds in child welfare or aboriginal family issues. One member, Patti Laboucane-Benson, is director of research and evaluation for Native Counseling Services of Alberta, and identifies as Métis-Ukrainian. Since April 2014, a total of 73 children have died while receiving government services. Forty-two of those children were Indigenous, according to information from Children’s Services…

Ministerial Panel On Child Intervention Meeting 1 Summary
Wednesday February 1, 2017 – 9:00am to 4:00pm
The initial meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was held at Government House on traditional Treaty 6 territory. Elder Francis Whiskeyjack provided the opening prayer and focused on the panel’s work to support the improvement of the system and honor the stories and histories of those who have experience with child intervention. The initial agenda for the panel was largely focused on process and how the panel will work together to develop concrete actions focused on improving the health, safety and well-being of children, youth and their families and communities. Presentations were also provided regarding privacy legislation, an overview of the child intervention system and an introduction to the child death review process used by Children’s Services following death of a child who is receiving services…

10,000 reasons to get it right’: Alberta child intervention panel meets for first time Panel struck after serious concerns were raised about the death of four-year-old Serenity in 2014 By Kim Trynacity, Natasha Riebe, CBC News Posted: Feb 01, 2017 The first meeting of Alberta’s latest child-intervention panel was fraught with questions and criticisms about how transparent it will be and who will be allowed to participate. The panel, made up of opposition and government MLAs and experts in social work, does not include children or families actually involved with the child-care system…

Privacy vs. lived experience: Child intervention panel’s balancing act Edmonton Journal Feb 1, 2017
Shauna Parks was a teenager in government care when she contributed to an overhaul of Alberta’s child welfare act 20 years ago. Now with a master’s degree in social work, she traveled Wednesday to Edmonton from Calgary for the first meeting of the province’s child intervention panel…

Social Work professor named to provincial government child review panel Bruce MacLaurin chosen for his expertise in child welfare policy and service delivery By Don McSwiney, Faculty of Social Work UToday January 23, 2017
Bruce MacLaurin, professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, was chosen by the Alberta government as one of three expert advisers to the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention, reflecting his extensive research and expertise in child welfare policy and service delivery, child welfare, and foster care outcomes and youth at risk. “I’m excited about the work that is coming,” says MacLaurin. “I’m looking forward to the important agenda we’ll be tackling in the coming months. I think it’s important to have representatives from all parties around the table, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate and to come up with some solid recommendations to protect Alberta’s children in the future…

Merwan Saher comments on findings of report on Indigenous children in care CBC News Jan 24, 2017
Children’s Services needs people with project management skills, auditor general says Merwan Saher comments on findings of report on Indigenous children in care

Serenity’s mom hopes for change: Alberta continues focus on fixing child welfare Edmonton Journal January 25, 2017
As the push to change Alberta’s broken child welfare system continues, Serenity’s mom plans to keep talking about her four-year-old daughter’s death…

Alberta Government News Release January 18, 2017 Government moves forward with panel to strengthen child intervention Members have been selected for a panel that will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

The 13-member panel includes representatives from all parties in the legislature and leading Alberta experts on child intervention and Indigenous issues:

  • Chair: Debbie Jabbour, MLA for Peace River
  • Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East
  • Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs
  • Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw
  • Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning
  • Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane
  • Jason Nixon, Wildrose caucus, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
  • Ric McIver, Interim Leader, Progressive Conservative caucus, MLA for Calgary-Hays
  • Dr. David Swann, Leader, Alberta Liberal caucus, MLA for Calgary-Mountain View
  • Greg Clark, Leader, Alberta Party caucus,  MLA for Calgary-Elbow
  • Dr. Peter Choate, MSW, PhD, Mount Royal University
  • Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, PhD, Native Counselling Services of Alberta
  • Dr. Bruce MacLaurin, MSW, PhD, University of Calgary

Request from ALIGN Executive Director Rhonda Barraclough to include agency/experts in panel review
Letter to Premier Notely December 20 2016 re Serenity Marie Case Review
On Behalf of ALIGN, a membership organization of over 100 community services, we want to acknowledge and compliment your Child Intervention staff on their professionalism and hard work. We recognize that many times they are facing real tragedy in real time. Often, the general public is unaware of this work. We at ALIGN are aware as many of our agencies also work with those children and their families to ensure they are safe and well and able to function in the community ..

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services and MLA for Calgary-McCall, will sit as an ex-officio member on the panel.

Members of province’s child intervention review panel unveiled Edmonton Journal January 18,2017
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….

Need to expand powers of Alberta’s child advocate suggested by auditor general CBC News January 17, 2017
Alberta’s auditor general has put forward ideas that would give the province’s child and youth advocate more clout, and compel bureaucrats to explain how they follow or ignore recommendations from the advocate’s office.

“Reports from my office are automatically referred to a standing committee of the (legislative) assembly,” said Auditor General Merwan Saher. “That’s not the case with the child and youth advocate.”

Saher submitted his ideas to an all-party legislative committee reviewing the Child and Youth Advocate Act. He said he waded into the discussion after seeing the differences between how recommendations from his office are handled compared to what happens to recommendations made by the child and youth advocate…

Death of four-year-old Alberta girl prompts demand for changes to kinship care Keith Geren Edmonton Sun November 17, 2016
The traumatic death of a malnourished four-year-old girl has prompted Alberta’s child and youth advocate to demand the provincial government bolster safeguards for children removed from their parents and placed in the home of relatives.

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews titled 9-Month-Old Sharon and 4-Year-Old Marie November 15, 2016

Death of four-year-old Alberta girl prompts demand for changes to kinship care Keith Geren Edmonton Sun November 17, 2016
The traumatic death of a malnourished four-year-old girl has prompted Alberta’s child and youth advocate to demand the provincial government bolster safeguards for children removed from their parents and placed in the home of relatives.

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews titled 9-Month-Old Sharon and 4-Year-Old Marie November 15, 2016

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review titled 15-Year-Old Netasinim November 1, 2016

Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Review titled 17-Year-Old Onessa November 1, 2016

Additional

Alberta Child Welfare Class Action  (Deadline January 15, 2017)

 

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