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Child and Youth Advocate (AB) releases second mandatory reviews into child deaths
September 24, 2019
Edmonton…The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) has released reviews into the circumstances of eight young people who passed away between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.
“After reviewing the circumstances of these eight young people, I am encouraged by the number of promising initiatives and practices among service providers and ministries, along with the good work being done by frontline staff,” said Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. “However, three of these young people died by suicide and two others had attempted suicide in the past. It is important the Government of Alberta continue to invest in research on suicide, specifically focusing on suicidal behaviour, causes and prevention. As a society we must do more to stop this crisis.”
The Child Protection and Accountability Act expanded the mandate of the Advocate to publicly report on the death of a young person involved with Child Intervention Services, as a child in need of intervention at the time of their death, or within two years of their death.
Mandatory reporting increases accountability and transparency for government systems, benefitting both young people and their families involved with child intervention. Mandatory reporting also builds public confidence through identifying gaps, barriers and opportunities in systems that serve Albertans.
The mandatory reviews include two new recommendations, and reference a number of other recommendations made in recent years. These address issues that could have made a difference in the lives of these young people, including providing a safe space so the views of young people are heard, ensuring their complex needs are met, and that all young people are offered addiction services that meet their needs and are easily accessible.
The intent of an investigative review is not to find fault with specific individuals, but to identify key issues along with meaningful findings, observations and/or recommendations.
A copy of the report is available here: ocya.alberta.ca/adult/publications/investigative-review/
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent office of the Legislature. We Stand Up For Young People receiving designated government services.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta
780-638-4064; C: 780-499-3601
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