Panel on foster deaths hears review system splintered, un-coordinated

Alberta’s chief medical examiner says the system is too splintered and disconnected when it comes to determining why and how children die in government care.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical examiner says the system is too splintered and disconnected when it comes to determining why and how children die in government care.

Dr. Anny Sauvageau (SOH-VAH-ZHOH) told a meeting on foster care that the province needs to create a specific committee of experts with the authority and resources to examine all child deaths.

She also says her office needs a broader mandate to examine not only the manner of death, but to propose ways to prevent similar tragedies.

She says while current fatality review hearings are held to make recommendations to prevent deaths of children in care, no one in government is tasked with checking to see if the recommendations are ever acted on.

Sauvageau is one of several experts and policymakers attending a two-day conference to determine how to publicly report more information on children who die in government care.

The meeting is the result of a series of PostMedia stories late last year that found the province covered up the deaths of 89 children in care since 1999.

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