Foster Parents Didn't Know Alberta Girl Had Been Sick Before: Inquiry Judge

Article excerpt

Judge says foster families need medical info

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HOBBEMA, Alta. - A report from an inquiry into an Alberta baby's death says the child's medical history should have been forwarded to her foster family.

But provincial court Judge Bart Rosborough says that still might not have prevented the one-year-old girl's death.

The judge notes that the foster parents weren't informed that the girl had been treated for respiratory problems, including pneumonia.

The baby, who is not identified, died of pneumonia in March 2009 while in the care of an agency that provides child-welfare services to the Samson Cree Nation south of Edmonton.

The child had been sick, but her foster family assumed it wasn't serious.

Her caregivers didn't seek medical attention until she was discovered not breathing in her crib.

Rosborough acknowledges in his report that a previous case of pneumonia doesn't make a person more likely to get pneumonia again. He also notes that the foster parents should have realized earlier that she was seriously ill and should have been better trained.

Still, he writes, failure to inform the foster family of the girl's medical information was the factor that put her most at risk.

"Failure to observe this requirement should trigger an escalating series of notifications up to the director level," Rosborough writes in his report, which was released Thursday.

It says the girl's birth parents had serious addictions and the mother voluntarily surrendered custody to child-welfare officials after bringing the baby to hospital with pneumonia in December 2008. …

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