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Miracle Reported

August 2, 2008 permalink

The report of the Paediatric Death Review Committee (pdf) for Ontario child deaths in 2007 is now available. Last year's report gave little information on how many deaths occurred in foster care, giving only the cryptic statements:

  • 83 children died with an open file or having had an open file to a CAS within the previous 12 months
  • 19/83 children were in the care of CAS (10 were Crown Wards; 2 were on an Extended Care and Maintenance program)

We commented that 19 was too low, and could not be consistent with measured foster care death rates in other jurisdictions. This year the committee examined 90 deaths with CAS involvement. The only revelation of how many deaths were in foster care is in the statement on page 56:

  • 4 of the 37 children were in the care of a CAS – 3 of 4 children were Crown Wards

Either children's aid has achieved a miraculous improvement in foster care safety, or the numbers have been cooked. Statistical arguments suggest for 19,000 children in care 25 to 50 deaths are to be expected yearly.