December 13th, 2017

Alberta United Conservatives introduce bill to help kids needing intervention

By The Canadian Press on December 5, 2017.

EDMONTON – The mother of a girl who died in government care says not enough is being done to keep children safe.

The mother of the girl, named Serenity, was in the legislature Tuesday watching as the opposition United Conservatives introduced a private member’s bill.

That bill, called Serenity’s Law, would require adults to report to police any child who needs intervention, under the threat of six months in jail or a $10,000 fine.

Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee told the house she has concerns about what she calls the “unintended consequences” of such legislation.

Her department says people already have a duty to report when children are in danger, but that it may be more helpful to children not in direct threat of harm to have those calls put directly to child intervention staff.

Serenity was four when she died in kinship care in 2014; her caregivers have been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

At the time of her death, she had severe bruising, hypothermia, dramatic weight loss and signs of sexual abuse.

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