Children’s watchdog blames Alberta and B.C. for failing teen before OD death

VANCOUVER — The children’s watchdog in British Columbia says confusion and discord between child welfare authorities in that province and Alberta failed a teen who’d suffered sexual and physical abuse during a chaotic life before his death from a fentanyl overdose.

Jennifer Charlesworth has issued a report saying ineffective oversight despite an interprovincial policy involving services to children and youth led to the ”compassionate” teen’s death in May 2017.

She says the boy, given the pseudonym Romain, was born in Alberta and moved at age 13 to B.C., where he was placed with his eldest sister but Alberta didn’t notify B.C.’s children’s ministry about the move or formally request help until two months after his arrival.

Charlesworth calls that the first of a string of miscommunications and “dropped handoffs” between the two provinces and despite Alberta’s informal agreement to fund a highly specialized residential facility for Romain four years later, that was never confirmed as part of an interprovincial agreement.

She says B.C. did not take any action to provide him with the resources he needed for his multiple psychiatric disorders before he became suicidal and violent and then spent significant time in B.C.’s youth justice system.

The report’s top recommendation is the need for B.C.’s children’s ministry to take a leadership role in improving a policy that is supposed to ensure children and youth moving between provinces and territories receive timely and appropriate care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

In his 40 years in basketball, nothing Chuck Swirksy has seen compared… Continue reading

Canadian officials say more coronavirus cases expected but risk ‘remains low’

The first Canadian patient diagnosed with coronavirus began showing signs of illness… Continue reading

Quebec police divers find final sunk snowmobile amid search for missing tourists

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — Divers with Quebec’s provincial police say they have located… Continue reading

Personal spending a party matter, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer declined Saturday to shed any light… Continue reading

Human remains found in burned Alberta hotel after ice thaws enough to permit search

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — Police in Alberta say that after a week of… Continue reading

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter killed in crash

A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says… Continue reading

Ex-NBA star Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five… Continue reading

Canucks, Oilers, Flames primed for mad dash in congested Pacific Division

Matthew Tkachuk doesn’t need to be reminded of the Pacific Division’s razor-thin… Continue reading

Canada’s Drury wins silver and Thompson takes bronze at ski-cross World Cup

IDRE FJALL, Sweden — Toronto’s Kevin Drury won silver in the men’s… Continue reading

Officials track passengers on flight with coronavirus patient

Public health officials were working Sunday to track down some of the… Continue reading

Get coronavirus information from credible sources: public health officials

TORONTO — Even before Canada’s first coronavirus case was announced in Toronto… Continue reading

Deputy prime minister asks Opposition not to delay new NAFTA

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is asking the Opposition parties… Continue reading

Most Read