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Record Number of Indigenous Children Have Died Receiving Child Services in Alberta

Critics have called upon the Alberta government to revise its child intervention policy after a record number of young people (34) died while receiving child services from the province between April to November, more than two-thirds of whom were indigenous.

According to the report, most children died during the “initial assessment” phase (12) or while the child was transitioning from care and “receiving support and financial assistance” from the province (14). Six children died who were in care of the state – two who died were not in care. Another six suffered “serious injuries.”

As of 2019, 52,000 children are in care of the province.

“This has been a devastating time for many young people in Alberta but particularly the most vulnerable who are in care predominantly most of them are Indigenous,” says Rhaki Pancholi, NDP MLA.

Pancholi has called upon Premier Kenney to establish a multiparty panel “to improve and strengthen the child intervention system and ensure that we are doing everything we can do help children and vulnerable young Albertans transitioning to adulthood survive and thrive.”

Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz says the issue is set to be addressed.

"I requested a thorough review of government’s child Intervention policy and practice be completed to determine if changes can be made to better protect children and youth in our care,” she says.

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