OCYA-AB: Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving deaths of three Indigenous youth
November 06, 2017
Edmonton…The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) has completed an Investigative Review involving the deaths of three young people and is publicly releasing the results of the reviews as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
Over seven months in 2015, three young people of Indigenous heritage from different communities died: two by suicide, and one in an accident. Each one of them were receiving child intervention services when they passed away, or had received services within two years of their death.
“It is important that we explore the ongoing vulnerability of children who have been exposed to early childhood trauma and work quickly to identify opportunities for child-serving systems to find solutions,” said Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. “Government must take action on my recommendations so that young people in similar circumstances to those of Tina, Shirley and Jazmine can succeed and reach their full potential.”
Although Tina, Shirley, and Jazmine had unique life experiences, some common themes emerged. Their mothers abused substances and were unable to care for them, the girls experienced early childhood trauma through exposure to violence, addictions and neglect, and they had multiple caregivers.
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/.
On April 26, 2016, the OCYA released “Toward A Better Tomorrow” chronicling the suicides of seven Indigenous youth. The report and its recommendations are available here: http://www.ocya.alberta.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/InvRev_Toward-a-
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.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta