Questioning foster care 'should not be allowed,' says association head
Katherine Jones of Alberta Foster Parent Association made comments after damning media investigation
The head of the Alberta Foster Parent Association says media questioning of foster care should not be allowed.
The comment followed a damning media investigation that found the number of children who have died in government care is nearly triple the official numbers.
In a news conference Wednesday in Edmonton, the Alberta government spoke out in support of the foster care system. A joint Edmonton Journal/Calgary Herald investigation released Monday concluded a total of 145 children died in government care since 1999 but the province only reported 56 of those deaths.
Speaking as part of a panel of foster care supporters, Katherine Jones said media reports questioning foster care "should not be allowed."
Government officials at the conference attacked the premise of the investigation, saying there are limits to what the public should be told about foster care.
"The public doesn't have the right to know everything," said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock, adding that parents of children in foster care are restricted on what they can say publicly unless a judge gives permission.
Push for inquiry
Aboriginal activist Muriel Stanley Venne says she doesn't accept the minister's response.
"Should he not resign for withholding this information from the general public? The little coffins — the suicides. Nobody is ever charged. Nobody is ever held accountable for the damage done to the children."
Stanley Venne says workers who put children in dangerous situations should be held accountable.
"It is a weak response. There should be a public apology," said Sharon Gladue, who works with the Creating Hope Society to prevent children from being apprehended by the government.
Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith continues to push for a public inquiry.