‘Serenity’ case off limits to Alberta child welfare panel: opposition

Serenity. Supplied to Global News

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally indicated Serenity died while in kinship care. However, on Oct. 6, 2017, Alberta’s Ministry of Children’s Services clarified that although it was through the kinship care program that she was put in the care of the man and woman now facing charges, they were later given permanent guardianship, meaning Serenity was no longer in kinship care. It was at some point after this development that Serenity died. 

Opposition members of an Alberta government panel studying how to keep children in government care safe say they are frustrated.

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The 13-member panel — which includes MLAs from all parties, along with other experts — is holding hearings in Calgary.

The panel was created after it was revealed there had been little action in the case of Serenity, a four-year-old girl who died over two years ago while in government care.

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READ MORE: Mother of 4-year-old Alberta girl who died in kinship care speaks out: ‘They completely ignored me’

Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon says so far the panel has not been allowed to discuss Serenity or any other individual cases and he worries any recommendations will not address the root problems.

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark says he is concerned government will never get to the bottom of why children die in care and suffer abuse.

READ MORE: Mother of young Alberta girl who died in care shares photos of her final days

But Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee says more details on individual cases will likely be heard in the second phase of the panel’s consultations.

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