July 29, 2014 9:48 am

N.S. government services ‘fragmented,’ says review into child death

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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s acting ombudsman has identified several shortcomings in the way the province dealt with the case of a child who died after authorities were alerted to concerns about their well-being.

Christine Delisle-Brennan issued a report Tuesday that says there were vague standards, government services were “fragmented” and there were problems with communication.

The child’s name, age and sex were not released, but the administrative review says the child died at home as the result of blunt abdominal trauma.

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The report says an unnamed person close to the family was charged with manslaughter and was acquitted, but no other details were released.

Delisle-Brennan says her office’s investigation did not turn up evidence of government wrongdoing, but she says it revealed a series of disconnects and “uncertainty of approach.”

She says the Department of Community Services received five referrals or complaints about the child’s well-being and the department was involved in the child’s case for several months prior to the death.

Two separate investigations remained open when the child died, prompting Delisle-Brennan to look into the roles and responsibilities of the departments of Community Services, Justice and Health and Wellness.

Read the full report below:

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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