Stelmach defends foster care

Alberta’s premier is defending the province’s foster-care system in the wake of the death of a 21-month-old girl in a foster home north of Edmonton. The girl was admitted to hospital last Monday and died two days later.

LETHBRIDGE — Alberta’s premier is defending the province’s foster-care system in the wake of the death of a 21-month-old girl in a foster home north of Edmonton.

The girl was admitted to hospital last Monday and died two days later.

RCMP have not released the child’s cause of death, but they are investigating it as a homicide.

The provincial government has released few details about the case, but says it is investigating what happened, how it screened the foster parents and how it monitored the child.

The girl was in a foster home in Morinville, about 30 kilometres north of Edmonton.

While speaking to reporters in Lethbridge, on Saturday, Premier Ed Stelmach said the province has a growing number of children in its care.

The provincial government is putting more money into support services to take care of them, he said.

“We are investing a considerable amount of money in the whole social area,” said Stelmach. “There are more and more children that are in the care of the government and that in itself is an issue that we’re going to deal with.”

The biological mother of the girl says her daughter shouldn’t have been placed in a foster home. She was working with a lawyer on getting the girl back, she told CTV Edmonton.

The woman, who can’t be identified, says her daughter was under a temporary guardianship order for three months, but insists her child never should have been placed in a foster home because there were family members who were fit to take the child in.