Some caseworkers criticized by fatality inquiry judge still work for government
Judge criticized Kawliga Potts' caseworkers for a "fundamental failure" to do their jobs
Some caseworkers sharply criticized by a judge who reviewed the death of foster child Kawliga Potts still work for the Alberta government, Children's Services Minister Danielle Larivee acknowledged Tuesday.
"The individual status of them varies," she said. "But what I can say is that we do have processes in place to do ongoing evaluation of staff, and certainly we have made sure that staff have support within the department to make the very best decisions possible."
Kawliga, a three-year-old Indigenous boy, died in January 2007 from abuse suffered at the hands of his foster mother.
Lily Choy was convicted of manslaughter in 2011. The toddler died at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton of a massive head injury.
In a scathing report released last week, fatality inquiry Judge Fern LeReverend said the five unnamed caseworkers involved with Kawliga, Choy and three siblings who were also in the foster home showed a "fundamental failure" to do their jobs.
For example, a request by the boy's grandfather to care for him was never followed up by the caseworker.
The caseworkers involved with Kawliga noticed the bruises on his body but failed to do anything, the judge said.
Though the three-year-old had high needs, he was placed with Choy, who was inexperienced and only licensed to care for low-needs children over the age of five.
Larivee said all caseworkers now must consult with supervisors on larger decisions about a child's care.
"Workers don't make major decisions about a child on their own," she said.
"So they don't make them unilaterally anymore. They work together with their case supervisor to make sure. Because obviously that decision is best made by more than one person."
Caseworkers also have regular meetings with their supervisors and managers. Every government employee fills out a performance agreement each year.
The government has also changed how it chooses, assesses and supervises foster parents since the Choy case.
New foster parents are supervised for the first three months and assessed at the six-month mark.