Foster parent wants all children in care deaths investigated
Edmonton-area foster father says privacy can still be maintained
An Edmonton area foster parent says details should be released on children who die in care, following a media investigation that suggests the province is under-reporting the number of deaths of children removed from their homes.
There has been a continuing call for a public inquiry into the death of foster children after an Edmonton Journal/Calgary Herald investigation showed 145 children have died in care since 1999.
That's three times higher than the official number of deaths reported by the province.
Alain Gauthier and his wife have three foster children, including two who were born addicted to crack. He says given the health of some children, it is not surprising that some die.
"Sometimes, the kids come to you very ill."
Still, he believes the circumstances of deaths should be released -- but not the names of people involved.
"That can be done easily without the name of the parent the foster parents or the child - just call them Baby Zero and Baby Two and Baby Three," said Gauthier.
Naming risks discouraging foster parents
Gauthier's concern is that naming a child could cast a stigma on the foster family and discourage other families from taking in children, which he says would be worse for kids.
"And you're breaking that cycle - that alcohol abuse and drugs. Maybe not this generation. Maybe the next one."
The Minister of Human Resources has rejected the idea of a public inquiry, offering instead to set up a roundtable discussion.