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Boy Dies in Alberta Foster Care

March 3, 2010 permalink

A toddler boy has died in Calgary, shortly after being placed in foster care. We are not permitted to see anything of the family except the backs of the parent's heads. In case this story appears in the news again, we will refer to the deceased boy as "Calgary toddler".



Parents devastated after baby dies in foster care

Police say case not considered a criminal matter

family of late Calgary toddler
The mother of a one-year-old boy who died overnight while in foster care is frustrated with the lack of information. They are pictured in their home in Calgary, Alberta on March 1 2010.
Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

A Calgary couple is devastated their one-year-old son died within days of being placed in a foster home and frustrated by the lack of answers from officials.

The parents cannot be identified under provincial child welfare law.

They were waiting for a home visit with their three boys Monday morning when a case worker and three police officers knocked on the door and gave them the terrible news.

"I saw him on Thursday and he was perfectly healthy," said the 31-year-old father, adding the baby had suffered five seizures in the past.

Police say the baby's death is not considered criminal -- the medical examiner's office is investigating to determine whether sudden infant death syndrome could be to blame.

Clinging to her son's quilt for comfort as she wept, the boy's grieving mother told the Herald she's frustrated at finding few answers to their questions from Children's Services Monday.

"I just want to know what's going on," the 29-year-old said.

The parents say they were told by the medical examiner's office they'd have to wait view their child's body at a funeral parlour.

"I wanted to hold him," the mother said.

The couple asked to visit their newborn and two-year-old Monday after learning their son had died, but were denied, they say.

A scheduled visit today will go ahead, they were told.

On Feb. 19, the couple's newborn, one-year-old and two-year-old were seized by Children and Youth Services. For the past 10 days, they have had supervised visits in their northeast home. The family did not say what led up to the seizure of their children.

"It's very sad, such a loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and care workers," said Children and Youth Services Minister Yvonne Fritz.

Fritz said counsellors are available for both the biological and foster families.

"We have many knowledgeable people that are experienced with this kind of experience. This is about supporting the parents."

Because the matter is not being investigated by police, there will be no inquiry by the ministry, she said.

Source: Calgary Herald