“Any parent would demand justice if his or her child died in someone’s care, so why is it we’ve learned about another foster child death through the media and information requests instead of from the ministry charged with the child’s care?,” says Alberta’s NDP Child and Youth Services critic Rachel Notley.
Minister Yvonne Fritz has stuck to her usual code of silence on foster care deaths and refused to release any details about the April death of a four and a half month-old girl in foster care. She also revealed in a May 12 letter to Notley following questions from Alberta’s NDP Caucus a March 2011 foster child death the ministry called a homicide under investigation.
“We understand the need for anonymity and privacy in these cases, but Albertans are also stewards of these children, so knowing basic details would ensure preventative actions can be taken for when the minister would be held accountable by the public. I have no confidence in this minister,” Notley says.
Annual report updates two years after the fact with few details attached are not enough information to detect problems in the system, Notley says.
“They won’t share even basic information about how kids in Alberta’s care are doing, so we clearly can’t trust the Tories with our foster care system,” Notley says.