Alberta – Child and Youth Advocate Report Released

Edmonton – The Alberta Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding the death of a young disabled man and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.

Ernie was of First Nation descent and became involved with Child Intervention Services shortly after birth. He had significant disabilities and was dependent for his care. Ernie had a strong and caring foster mother who advocated for him. When he turned 18, support services were transitioned from Child Intervention Services to the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program.

After his 19th birthday, Ernie was taken to the hospital three times because he was not feeling well. During the last admission, his breathing became rapid and he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit. He had exploratory surgery which revealed necrosis of both the small and large bowel. The surgeon ended the procedure and Ernie was returned to the ICU for palliative care. Ernie passed away the next day.

“There were a number of challenges for Ernie moving from the child welfare system to the adult disability system,” said Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. “This review must result in meaningful change to improve services for young Albertans with disabilities as they transition from one system to another.”

The intent of an Investigative Review is not to find fault with specific individuals, but to identify and advocate for system improvements that will help enhance the overall safety and well-being of children and young people who are receiving designated services.

A copy of the Investigative Review and recommendations are available on our website:http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/adult/publications/investigative-review/.

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent office of the Legislature, representing the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and young people receiving designated government services.