At least five New Brunswick children whose families were known to protective workers have died, but little is known about their deaths – and the province’s child and youth advocate says that has to change.
The provincial government accepted most of the recommendations from a review committee’s investigation of the cases on Monday, but authorities released no information that could identify the children or the circumstances of their deaths.
Advocate Norm Bosse says the public needs to know more about the children to have a better understanding of the problems that exist – the public should know the age, gender and area of the province where the death occurred.
He notes that in some situations names have been released, such as the case of Ashley Smith, a New Brunswick teen who was able to strangle herself while under a suicide watch in a women’s prison in Ontario.
He says it’s important for the public to report cases of neglect or child abuse.
The Child Death Review Committee reviews the deaths of children under the age of 19, including those who were in legal care of the minister of social development, or whose families were in contact with the child protection system within 12 months before the child’s death.