Alberta’s child advocate calls on province to do more to protect kids

Del Graff is Alberta's Child and Youth Advocate. Global News

Alberta’s child and youth advocate is urging the province to do more to ensure kids who have been in government care are safe after they’ve been returned to their families.

Del Graff says families need to be trained and proper assessments need to be done before a child is sent back home or to relatives.

Graff reviewed the deaths of two indigenous girls who had been in government care.

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A four-year-old died of physical injuries while in kinship care and a nine-month-old returned to her parents died of undetermined causes.

Graff’s report says a more thorough assessment of the four-year-old’s placement home would have been helpful and suggests family reunifications should be monitored and adjusted.

Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir says the Alberta government accepts Graff’s five recommendations and will work quickly to make improvements.

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“Children are entitled to a safe home and caregivers need to be equipped with the necessary skills and supports to provide this,” Graff said in a release.

He said the four-year-old’s story “reminds us of the importance of continually assessing the needs of children and kinship caregivers, and the importance of ensuring the necessary supports are always in place.”

Graff pointed out that three reports in the last three years made similar recommendations to those he released Tuesday, but there has been limited followup.

-With files from CHED.

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