How foster child got methadone that killed him stays a mystery
A fatality inquiry judge has found that little could have been done to prevent the death of a 13-year-old foster child from Stony Plain who died of a methadone overdose.
The boy — identified as K.W. to comply with a publication ban under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act — took the drugs when he was sleeping over at a friend’s house in April 2010.
He was found dead the next morning.
In his fatality inquiry report, provincial court Judge Ken Tjosvold offered no recommendations on how K’s death could have been prevented.
K was under the care of a "caring and responsible" foster father, the judge found. He says staff with Children and Youth Services made appropriate arrangements for his care.
The judge writes that the most troubling question is how the boy got hold of methadone, a drug prescribed to heroin addicts and administered under close supervision.
“On the evidence, there was nothing that could have been done by those responsible for K’s care that would have prevented him from wanting to acquire and consume the methadone,” the judge says.
“It was also impossible, after a thorough police investigation, to determine how the methadone became available to him.”
The inquiry heard that K had used other drugs like LSD, marijuana and morphine.
His social worker and foster family were trying to get him into a drug prevention program though the AADAC at the time of his death.
Members of the boy's extended family said they felt "cut off" from his care and said there should be an aboriginal advocate for children in care.
The judge said provincial Human Services officials should take that suggestion into account.
The office of the Alberta Child and Youth Advocate says they have First Nations advocates who work independently of the government available to help family members.