March 28, 2023… The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) released reviews into the circumstances of 18 young people who passed away between April 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022.
This mandatory report is the largest the office has released.
“This report highlights the importance of promoting the well-being of children and families to help reduce these tragic outcomes so that young people have the brightest possible futures. Well-being encompasses safety and security, supportive and nurturing relationships, and a sense of belonging within family, community, and culture. This is increasingly important for young people involved with Child Intervention Services because they are more likely to have had traumatic experiences and their connections disrupted.”
Terri Pelton, Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate
Pelton notes the OCYA continues to receive notifications about a large number of young people dying from drug-related causes. Of significant concern, this crisis is impacting younger children. In this report, the youngest was 13 years old when she passed away from drug toxicity. The Advocate has repeatedly called for urgent action to implement a youth opioid and substance use strategy to address the ongoing and tragic loss of young lives to drug toxicity.
“The disproportionate number of Indigenous youth dying, related to addictions, has a direct link to the loss of traditional ways of knowing and access to ceremony. Indigenous populations have traditional ways of capacity building and maintaining healthy communities. We need to invest in sustainable pathways back to community to stop this epidemic.”
Dr. Lana Potts, Medical Director Aisokinaki Clinic, Piikani Nation
You can read the full news release here:
News Release – Mandatory Report April 2022 – Sep 2022
A copy of the reviews is available here: www.ocya.alberta.ca/adult/publications/investigative-review/Date published: 28-Mar-2023 View All News