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April 7, 2010 permalink

toy and candle for Morinville girl
The mother of a 21 month-old foster child that died while in care March 3 holds a candle and one of her daughter's favorite toys. By law the mother and child can not be identified.

More on the death of the Alberta foster child we have dubbed Morinville girl. The mother will not rest until her daughter's killer is behind bars. Meanwhile, the foster care system is following the script, claiming now that procedures have been tightened to prevent this from happening again. Just like in every other high-profile foster death for the last 25 years. The continuation is likely to end with some hapless foster mother convicted of a crime, without any real improvements to safety for children.

The unnamed mother seems to be acting alone. Real reform could be facilitated if she got in touch with serious opponents of the child protection juggernaut. We invite the anonymous mother , or anyone knowing her whereabouts, to get in touch with us by email to [ rtmq at ].



Mother won't rest until daughter's killer is behind bars

EDMONTON - The mother of a 21-month-old girl slain in foster care - speaking publicly for the first time - vows she will not rest until the killer is put behind bars.

“All I have left of her is her toys,” the grieving 31-year-old mother told the QMI Agency Monday.

No one has been arrested in the homicide of the toddler who was living in a Morinville-area foster home when she died in hospital March 3.

“I buried her a month ago and no one is in jail yet,” said the mother, who cannot be identified.

She is calling for more stringent screening of foster parents and the foster care system in general.

“I would like to believe this whole system can change and this will not happen to another baby,” she said. “I would like to believe that the death of (my daughter) will stop all of this.” Childrens’ Services Minister Yvonne Fritz said Monday she could not comment on this specific case but defends the screening process already in place.

“It is a very rigorous system to become a foster parent,” said Fritz.

The heartbroken mom received the horrific call that her daughter was being flown into the University hospital by STARS Air Ambulance in critical condition on March 1.

“I just knew my daughter was dying,” she said.

Two days later, on March 3, her daughter was pronounced dead.

Doctors told the mother the cause of death was either shaken baby syndrome or blunt force trauma to the toddler’s head.

“I could not walk at first, I was in shock,” said the stay-at-home mom.

Now she takes some comfort in the fact that her child is at peace.

“She is in heaven, that comforts me.”

Slowly, she is removing some of the physical reminders of her daughter, like her crib, from the small north-end apartment that they shared. Only photos will remain.

Fritz said that in 2008 the foster system was reviewed and several changes, particularly in regard to screening suitable foster parents, were instituted.

Foster parents, and any other adults living in the home, are screened very carefully and must go through various child care training sessions.

“It is extensive training,” said Fritz.

The process can take up to six months. Fritz added that there are presently 4,400 children in foster care in Alberta, and the vast majority are in safe, nurturing homes.