Foster parent wants all children in care deaths investigated

An Edmonton-area foster parent says details should be released on children who die in care, but that names should stay private.

Edmonton-area foster father says privacy can still be maintained

One Edmonton area foster parent is supporting investigations into the deaths of children in care, as long as names are not included. (CBC)

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.