Report released into overdose death of eight-year old girl in Alberta group home

Alberta’s child advocate is calling for improvements after an eight-year-old in a group home died from an overdose of sleeping medication.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s child advocate is calling for improvements after an eight-year-old in a group home died from an overdose of sleeping medication.

A report from Del Graff released Wednesday said that the unidentified girl had complex needs and was on various medications, including the sedative chloral hydrate.

A worker at the group home found her unresponsive in bed in early 2014.

An autopsy showed the child had too much chloral hydrate in her system. Police investigated but could not determine how the overdose happened.

“While all children who come into government care have some level of vulnerability, those with complex behavioural, developmental and/or medical needs are especially vulnerable,” wrote Graff.

He said the provincial government needs to ensure all caregivers follow medication policies.

An internal government investigation after the death found gaps in the group home’s medication procedures, the report said, although the home has since made changes.

Graff further recommended the province have a wider range of specialized caregivers and train all frontline child intervention caseworkers to better understand children with disabilities.

The girl, who was taken into care when she was seven, wasn’t toilet trained and hadn’t been in school. She had a risk of choking while eating and required a special diet and constant supervision.

She was diagnosed with severe social and intellectual disabilities as well as motor deficits and language problems. She was further assessed as being a risk to herself and others because of tantrums that lasted up to two hours.

She was initially put in a short-term group home for children with minimal needs. Instead of the maximum 72-hour stay allowed, she remained there for seven months because no other placement could be found.

The report said the girl was eventually moved to a foster home with parents experienced in caring for special-needs children. The girl only slept for a few hours at a time and was awake several times each night.

In the end, her foster parents found “her needs were beyond their capacity,” and she was moved back to a group home with one-on-one supervision.

She had been in that home for just over a month when she was found dead.

Just Posted

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read