About 100 foster homes in Alberta have too many children, the province's minister of Children and Youth Services says.
Yvonne Fritz made the admission Wednesday evening when asked by another MLA at a government committee meeting about foster parents taking care of too many children.
"We currently have about a hundred homes out of our 2,500 foster homes that have a couple of children that are over capacity in those homes," Fritz said.
On Thursday, Fritz said she has asked for the situation to be reviewed.
"I've asked that those homes be re-evaluated," she said. "I would expect it would take, I would think, eight to 12 weeks."
Since 2007, there have been three cases where a foster child has died or been seriously injured in a home where parents were looking after too many children.
Woman had 6 in foster care
In one case, an Edmonton woman was charged with second-degree murder in the death of her niece. The woman was caring for six children in an arrangement known as "kinship care," where a child is moved into the care of another family member.
The death of a foster child in 2007 prompted the children and youth services minister at the time, Janis Tarchuk, to call for a review.
The resulting report, released in 2008, recommended the province ensure that no additional children or youth are placed in a home without a review of the foster parents' ability to take on the extra children.
Edmonton NDP MLA Rachel Notley says she's concerned about Fritz's statement and suspects overcrowding may be even worse than the government is admitting.
"When they say over capacity, it doesn't take into account the number of biological kids in the home," Notley said.
"So you can have a family that's in capacity with four kids, but they can have five of their own kids and that's not taken into account. That's particularly a problem in the kinship care setting."
Earlier this month, RCMP announced they were investigating the death of a 21-month girl who had been in foster care in Morinville. The province refuses to say how many foster children were in the home at the time.