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

Town of Sylvan Lake has big ideas for lakeshore

Day mooring docks wanted but first water licence needed from province

Everything from coffee makers to coats in latest Canada Games sale

Sale runs 1 to 7 p.m. at Games office at Bower Place mall

Red Deer business moves away from overdose prevention site

At least one Red Deer business has moved away from the temporary… Continue reading

Roof structures failed before Radiohead stage came down, inquest hears

TORONTO — Metal structures meant to hold a roof over a stage… Continue reading

Business tax relief is a sound idea

NDP leader should avoid picking winners and losers

Svechnikov scores in overtime, Carolina beats Montreal 2-1

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes struggled to beat Montreal goaltender Carey… Continue reading

Canadian men’s soccer squad off to Gold Cup with 4-1 win over French Guiana

VANCOUER, B.C. — Canada’s men’s soccer team is looking to the future… Continue reading

Inquest into fatal Radiohead stage collapse set to get underway in Toronto

TORONTO — An inquest is set to get underway today into the… Continue reading

The Latest: Streisand apologizes for Jackson comments

NEW YORK — The Latest on Barbra Streisand’s comments about the sexual… Continue reading

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

NICE, France — French authorities are investigating the case of an older… Continue reading

Most Read