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Hint on Foster Deaths

November 6, 2006 permalink

Earlier we raised the question of the true rate of deaths in Ontario foster care. An exchange took place today on the Canada Court Watch message board that suggests a larger number than previously suspected, 78 deaths per year. The message board allows anyone to post with a screen name, and there is no way to verify authenticity. The user identified as Susie may be a conscientious public servant hiding behind anonymity or an impostor, but either way the suggestion to approach the pediatric coroner of Ontario deserves to be followed up. What follows is a slightly edited version of the exchange.



Subject: how many children died in CAS care this year?

11:31:10 AM   rock327

Does any one know?

12:16:12 PM   friend

If there was one that's one to many....but im sure the stats are WAY higher....

12:21:48 PM   There was one...

This was in the news last winter... sometime in February if memory serves... a 15 year old boy, AWOL from his placement. Became involved in some verbal altercation with older boy who then stabbed him in the chest. The assailant took off, and the CAS ward was found in a parking lot somewhere -- the parking lot of a medical clinic which was closed at the time (ironic). It was in the paper, and on the news for a bit, and then they caught the assailant. But the story eventually went away. It wasn't like when Jayne Kreba was killed in Toronto last year or anything... it was as if no one remembered the kid at all. There was no flowers at his death site, no public outcry for him or the family. No friends interviewed for the paper... It was like it was a lightening bolt that struck, and then a brief clap of Thunder... then nothing.

12:39:46 PM   rock327

Let's find out. Should be able to find out how many have died in CAS care.

12:42:08 PM   Rae

You will only find out the reported ones. Im sure there are lots not reported and covered up.

12:47:50 PM   rock327

Can't we find out ny freedom of informatio act? Can we write all CAS offices and ask them? There has to be a way. Any Ideas?

1:32:14 PM   stats can?

Would statistics Canada know?? Just curious. Would the ministry know? Would they report a figure??

4:11:26 PM   Robert T McQuaid

I try to get accurate numbers on deaths. Multiplying the best available death rate of foster children (derived from a report to the Arizona legislature) by the number of foster children in Ontario gives 28 deaths per year. From press reports, I have only three in the last year:

Matthew Reid,
  Welland, three years old,
  December 15 2005, suffocation
Jerome Bennett,
  Oshawa , fifteen years old,
  February 3 2006, stabbing
Omar Wellington,
  Toronto, seventeen years old,
  July 15 2006, stabbing

There is another reported yesterday on the CCW main board, which I am investigating, but it in not in the press. So 25 deaths a year get covered up.

Robert T McQuaid
Mattawa Ontario

5:42:35 PM   hmmm

1 is to many.

6:00:40 PM   rock327

of course 1 is to many. The point is how many are in CAS care, how many die? what % per 1000,000?

8:51:27 PM   Susie

78 children died in CAS care last year.

9:07:55 PM   For Susie...

Wow! Just out of curiosity, can you please advise where the statistic was obtained? I'm wondering if we can get more specifics: ie: does your source indicate cause of death? Or... whether child was in company of worker or foster/group home gaurdian at the time of death? Is this stat specific to Ontario or does this cover all of Canada?

9:25:07 PM   Christine

wow..78..that's really high..sad

9:53:48 PM   susie

My source is within the government. It is for Ontario alone.

10:33:18 PM   rock327

Can you give us names and locations without putting yourself at risk? These are things that the people should know about. That's how thing get changed by people like you.

10:48:05 PM   susie

I cannot. Should be attainable under Freedom of Information from the pediatric coroner of Ontario.

Source: Canada Court Watch message board