Some advocates for families say the status quo is not acceptable when it comes to Alberta's child welfare system.
One day after the release of a scathing review looking into how Alberta’s child welfare system failed a four-year-old girl who died while in care, some advocates for families say it demonstrates the need to recognize the status quo is not acceptable.
“This isn’t working,” Lynne Marshalsay said Thursday.
The Medicine Hat-based founder of Preserving Families, a support group for people dealing with Alberta Children’s Services, said she believes child welfare in the province is steeped in systemic racism and unfairly impacts Indigenous and low-income families.
“We need to tear this whole system down,” Marshalsay said. “There is no fixing the system… we need a complete overhaul.”
READ MORE: Fatality inquiry report looking into death of Alberta girl known as Serenity released
A fatality inquiry report released Wednesday made 20 recommendations to improve Alberta’s child welfare system after reviewing the circumstances that led up to the death of an Indigenous girl known as Serenity in 2014.
While Serenity died of a brain injury after falling from a swing at her guardians’ home in Maskwacis, Alta., the report found that “what led up to her death started the day she was removed from the care of her mother.”
According to the 117-page document, the main reason Serenity was taken from her mother was because of the domestic violence her mother endured at the hands of her partner.