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Statement From Kerry Towle on Report into Baby Annie's Death

EDMONTON, AB (May 5, 2014): Today, Wildrose Human Services Critic Kerry Towle released the following statement on Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff’s report into the death of 14-day-old Baby Annie:

“Mr. Graff’s report is truly heartbreaking and exposes some serious gaps in Alberta’s child welfare system as well as ongoing government failures to remedy them.

“Baby Annie’s parents were well known to the child welfare system. Her mother’s six previous children were all apprehended by Child and Youth Services and ended up in government care. She was also a known prescription drug addict. Yet Baby Annie was still allowed to go home with her mother 17 hours after her birth. Just two weeks later, she died.

“Current legislation prevented social workers from conducting a safety plan prior to Baby Annie’s birth, even though her family’s history of drug abuse and violence is well documented. Additionally, past recommendations for Child and Youth Services and Alberta Health Services to develop a shared mandate for the wellbeing of children have been ignored.

“In light of Baby’s Annie’s tragic death, the Alberta government needs to step up their efforts to eliminate these gaps in the system and get vulnerable and innocent children the protection they deserve.”