Edmonton Journal´s Karen Kleiss interviewed by Global News in November 2013 after publishing a series on foster children deaths in Alberta.

The Edmonton Journal´s Karen Kleiss talks to Global News about the investigation conducted by journalists after winning a four-year legal battle between the newspapers and the province of Alberta. The provincial government declined to release information on deaths of foster children while in care until ordered to do so by Alberta´s privacy commissioner.

Alberta´s Human Services minister Dave Hancock told the house that they fought the release of the information to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to prevent collateral harm to people connected to those in foster care.

The same old ruse used by service providers in the child protection industry. This is self serving and hypocritical.

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Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Statistical Data Surrounding Deaths of Foster Children in Alberta Between 1999 to 2013
  3. Response of Service Providers and Elected Officials
  4. Questioning Foster Care Should Not Be Allowed?
  5. An Anecdote of Laughable Government Propaganda: North Korean Astronaut Landed on the Sun
  6. Why Bureaucrats Are Not in the Press Conference?
  7. Defence Tactics
  8. The Real Political Function of LRCY Revealed
  1. Is Child Protection Money Driven?
  2. Comparisons Between the Child Protection Industry and Oppressed Parents
  3. Different Provincial Law of Publication Ban and Percentage of Population with Children Removed
  4. MCFD vs MHS
  5. More Deaths Revealed in January 2014
  6. The End of Child Protection Service?
  7. Our Anticipation of the Future
  8. Six Steps To Fix Alberta's Child Welfare System
  9. Conclusions
  10. References

Unreported Deaths of Albertan Foster Children


Each province in Canada has its own child protection agency. Age of protection ranges from 16 to 19. While most agencies are run directly under a provincial government ministry, some are operated by "non-profit" organizations (such as the children's aid society or CAS in Ontario). They are all fully empowered by a provincial statue to remove children from their parents at will.

Child protection agencies have a different name in different jurisdiction. Some are more suggestive than others of the alleged nature of child protection. In Alberta, child protection falls into the mandate of the Ministry of Human Services (hereinafter known as the MHS), formerly known as the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. MHS is governed by the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA) that empowers bureaucrats to remove children from their parents based on their opinion. Unlike many other Canadian provinces, Alberta has a provincial law banning publication of names, photos and other identifiable information of children who die in government care. The Alberta government is effectively shielded from scrutiny, grieving parents are silenced and the media does not have much to report. Such restrictive law works very well for the child protection industry (hereinafter known as the industry) until it backfired in November 2013.

Deaths of Alberta foster children in care attracted attention of journalists. When they sought information from the Alberta government on these deaths, they ran into stumbling block. Of course, refusal to provide information is obliged by law under the pretext of protecting privacy of deceased children. The media commenced a four-year long legal battle with the province of Alberta to seek release of this embarrassing information. Alberta's privacy commissioner ruled in favour of the media and ordered the provincial government to release information on deaths of foster children while in care.

Upon receiving information potentially detrimental to the industry, Ms. Karen Kleiss of the Edmonton Journal and Mr. Darcy Henton of the Calgary Herald published a 6-part series of news articles surrounding deaths of foster children while in care from 21 November 2013. They found 145 foster children have died since 1999, nearly triple the 56 deaths revealed in government annual reports over the same period. This attracted unwanted publicity, a nightmare that the Alberta government and the industry fear since inception of state-sponsored child removal. Testimonies of parents reminiscing how their children died in foster care is heartrending. This news series is described as a must-read by the anchor of Global TV.

Atrocities covered in the news series do not surprise us. They add to the mountains of evidence confirming that child protection agency is the largest institutional risk to child safety. Responses of service providers, bureaucrats and elected officials of the Alberta government shed insight on how the industry defends its position and interests when challenged. The hidden objectives to protect power, reputation and, above all, financial interests are clearly revealed.

Unless stated otherwise, statistical data, photos, charts, cartoons, news video footages and other materials used in this web page are extracted from the Edmonton Journal or their respective copyright owner(s). These materials are reproduced under fair use for the purposes of criticism, comment, non-profit education to advance public knowledge in building a safer future of children, research or de minimis. We claim no credit on these materials and applause media effort made to uncover one of the most hideous crimes against children in the history of mankind.

Hover your mouse to pause the slide show and to view description.

Statistical Data Surrounding Deaths of Foster Children in Alberta Between 1999 to 2013

Thanks to the tireless effort of the journalists in Alberta in this project, statistical data surrounding deaths of Alberta foster children, previously unknown to the public, are now published. These deaths do not include deaths of those who were receiving out-of-care services from the ministry when they died. Tables and charts on the right were extracted from the news series published by the Edmonton Journal.

The most disturbing discovery is the deliberate cover up of foster children deaths while in care. A six-month Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald investigation found 145 foster children have died since 1999, nearly triple the 56 deaths revealed in government annual reports over the same period. We wish to bring to the attention of our viewers that these data were provided by the Alberta government without independent audit conducted by an imperial professional third party. Accuracy and completeness have not been verified. The real figure could be higher.

Statistical data surrounding deaths of foster children living in foster homes, kinship or group care between 1999 to 2013 in Alberta confirm the following:

  1. More foster children died in care are male (70 male versus 62 female). Among the 145 deaths, gender of 13 cases is not provided by the government without any reasons.
  2. 39% of foster children deaths are baby (57 out of 145). Among these 57 deaths, one of the most common reasons of death is sudden infant death. The description of this category does not provide any concrete reason of why these foster infants died other than their deaths occurred suddenly. Be mindful that if infants suddenly die in care of biological parents, their parents will be scrutinized and may face criminal prosecution or jail sentence.
  3. Aboriginal children constituted 48% (or 69 cases) of total deaths. Ethnic background of 35% (or 51 cases) of foster children deaths is not provided by government.
  4. Most foster children deaths (57 cases or 39%) occurred at the infant age (1 or under). Most suicides are found in older age group (13 to 17). These two extremes suggest that MHS fails to prevent deaths among very young and older children.
  5. 15 cases of homicide and 14 cases of suicide amounts to 20% of total foster children deaths. These deaths are possibly preventable or avoidable if proper care is provided to foster children.
  6. Locations of 12 death cases were not provided by government. The vast majority of deaths occurred in Edmonton (54) and Calgary (37). Given the fact that most people in Alberta reside in these two metropolitan centres, these statistics are within expectation.
  7. 77 out of 145 (or 53%) death cases occurred at foster homes. This refutes the allegation that foster homes are known safe place.
  8. Between 1999 and 2013, 2004 and 2013 exhibit a remarkable low number of deaths (under 5 each year). Death count in less than the 12-month period contributes to the low figure of deaths in 2013.
  9. Known causes of death include:
    1. hanging (14 cases)
    2. cranial trauma (11)
    3. drowning (4)
    4. (drugs) overdose (3)
    5. stabbing (1)
    6. blunt force trauma (1)
    7. alcohol poisoning (1)
    8. massive trauma (1)
    9. malnutrition (1)

    The causes from these 37 death cases suggest abuse, neglect, failure to protect from physical harm, failure to provide basic necessities of life and failure to prevent access to harmful substances. Hence 26% (37/145) of all death cases are preventable and ought not to have occurred in the "known safe place" of foster homes.

A number of unknowns (such as gender of 13 cases, ethnicity of 51 cases) are found in the statistical data as the Alberta government did not provide such information. We find it unacceptable for an accountable government not to provide such information. Responsible government ought to have kept such information and to release in full when obliged by the order of the Privacy Commissioner.

Response of Service Providers and Elected Officials

In November 2013, former Minister Dave Hancock, QC of MHS defended his ministry's position and told the Alberta Legislature that release of information was fought to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to prevent collateral harm to people connected to those in foster care. This is a classic self serving ruse used by service providers in the industry. It is akin to murderers alleging that victims cannot be disclosed to prevent harm to their families. He completely missed the point. The public expects and demands transparency to:

  1. seek accountability, hold wrongdoers, if any, responsible and to serve justice for the deceased children;
  2. get complete and accurate information to make informed decisions on what to support surrounding state-sponsored child removal;
  3. mitigate corruption and racketeering in government;
  4. build a safer future for our children.
Alberta Human Services Minister Dave Hancock and service providers damage control propaganda

Politician, bureaucrats and service providers locked arms to defend the child protection industry after the media uncovered their failure to protect children, effort to cover up, refusal to provide death information and lack of accountability.

Desperate damage control cannot fool those with discernment of good or bad, right or wrong. History will prove that such self serving political and propaganda ruse cannot save the downfall of an oppressive regime.

On 27 November 2013, Mr. Hancock led service providers whose livelihood depends on state-sponsored child removal and promptly called a press conference to defend the industry. Self-serving political ruses are often used by his counterparts around the world when the value of the industry is questioned. In his twisted logic, Mr. Hancock characterized the child intervention system as one of hope in reality instead of one of despair. He commended compassionate front-line staff of his ministry and care givers. He further alleged that thousands of children do well and even thrive in care. Other service providers (such as Alberta's foster parent association representative Katherine Jones, psychotherapy practitioner Hull Services) echoed the Minister and demanded that their work of caring for children be recognized as positive. Some even alleged that their system is the best in Canada. In the raw Global News video, Ms. Jones said that she received many e-mails and letters from foster parents in Alberta who were affected by the media. The first article was published in the Edmonton Journal on 26 November 2013. We doubt whether letters from foster parents could reach her in less than one day.

How could one characterizes so many unreported deaths of foster children as a system of hope? Do they really expect people to be naive enough to believe their allegations when ample evidence supported by heartrending testimonies from parents whose children died in care suggests the contrary? It is an insult to the intelligence of his audience. We find it appalling to characterize the child intervention system as one of hope in reality. Will they say the same if their loved ones are on the receiving end of their services and victimized by perpetrators? Such arrogance to beautify the hideous industry will only cast more doubt and attract more criticism. Some of these deceased foster children are probably still alive if they have not been removed from their parents under the pretext of child protection.

Detective Bill Clark of the Edmonton Police remarked that Ms. Choy has no remorse, no emotional feeling towards the child and simply did not care

The Alberta Court of Appeal is considering whether to double the six-year sentence handed an Edmonton foster mother convicted of killing a three-year-old boy in her care in 2007.

Lily Choy was convicted of manslaughter in 2011 four years after the toddler died of massive head trauma.

Today Crown prosecutor Joanne Dartana argued Choy´s sentence is much too light and does not take into account the abuse leading up to the fatal injury.

The court heard that Choy abused the child before his death, spanking him, making him march up and down the stairs at midnight, and leaving him wearing only a diaper in a unheated garage in the winter.

The sentence also doesn´t reflect that Choy is a registered nurse and must have known her actions could cause the boy´s death, Dartana said.

However Choy´s lawyer Mona Duckett said it was "nonsensical" to suggest the appeal court justices are in a better position to weigh the evidence than the trial judge who listened to all the witnesses.

Choy appeared by closed circuit television from a prison in British Columbia.

To illustrate the atrocities created by state-sponsored child removal and the point that foster homes are not known safe places, we reminisce the following cases of death of foster children in Alberta:

  1. Edmonton mother Jamie Sullivan went public after her infant Delonna Sullivan died in care on 11 April 2011 after 6 days in care;
  2. Lily Choy, a foster mother in Edmonton convicted of killing her 3-year old foster kid in 2007;
  3. Velvet Martin whose daughter Samantha died after being in foster care.

The second case above is a murder committed by a foster mother Lily Choy in Edmonton. Choy is a registered nurse convicted of manslaughter in 2011 four years after the toddler died of massive head trauma in January 2007. According to the court, Choy abused the child before his death, spanking him, making him march up and down the stairs at midnight, and leaving him wearing only a diaper in a unheated garage in the winter. Choy received a six year jail sentence. In 2013, the Crown appealed to double the sentencing to 12 years. Pictures of the three-year-old foster child showing bruises on his neck, back, arms and legs were entered into evidence at the trial. This is the system described as the best in Canada by service providers in Alberta.

One foster child death banned to go public by Alberta's restrictive law

Alberta parent whose identify cannot be disclosed due to restrictive provincial law spoke on the atrocitiy.

They believe that service providers are removing children for money. Like many oppressed parents who roll over and play dead, the distressed mother wants closure.

Of course, the foregoing are just a few cases in Alberta known to the public and do not include cases in which oppressed parents chose to roll over and played dead. When parents want a closure (like the one in the video on the right) before holding perpetrators responsible, the child protection industry wins.

How can one describe such system as the best and one of hope in realty? Governments are good at shrewd use of semantics to serve a political end. For instance, they changed unemployment insurance to employment insurance, learning disability to learning difficulty, handicapped as physically challenged. For all intensive purposes, they are the same in reality despite what terms are used to describe them. Even one foster child dies is one too many. There are 145 and many of these deaths were previously unreported. It is like the police finds a dead body and does not report or open a file for investigation. Government calls this scary system of death and despair as one of hope in reality. Is this the definition of hope and accountability in the child protection industry? Obviously, it is an attempt to cover up and to make a wrong thing right to protect themselves and their lucrative business. Mr. Hancock is a lawyer by profession. He ought to have known that failure to report deaths of foster children in care amounts to obstruction of justice and breach of trust.

We feel sorry for politicians who must go in front of TV cameras to defend the problems created by the industry. Like taxpayers, they are an indirect victims of racketeering. What have they done wrong in creating these atrocities? Nothing, save and except failure to repeal child protection law that grants absolute power to bureaucrats and to stop the funding to sponsor child removal.

On 13 December 2013, Dave Hancock stepped down as minister of MHS and became the Deputy Premier. Mr. Manmeet Bhullar became the new minister of MHS. All children protection departments which empowered with child removal authority exhibit a high minster turnover. Minister shuffling is common in ministries where criticisms are often received. This is a political ruse to diffuse attention and to shift responsibility as the incumbent could allege that he or she has no conduct of the former minister's portfolio. Likewise, malicious or incompetent child protection workers who foul up are often replaced so that the new worker could allege in court that he or she has no conduct of the file prior to the replacement and deny all responsibilities that his or her predecessor ought to have taken.

Despite how well organized and sophisticated their propaganda is, our view on such devious and desperate effort can be summarized as follows:

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does the truth become error because nobody will see it." Mahatma Gandhi (Young India 1924-1926)

Questioning Foster Care Should Not Be Allowed?

According to a disturbing report from CBC on 27 November 2013, Katherine Jones (the head of the Alberta Foster Parent Association) said media reports questioning foster care "should not be allowed." Government officials at the press conference attacked the premise of the investigation, saying there are limits to what the public should be told about foster care.

There is no justification given to support the argument of no questioning on foster care. Such modus operandi is common among service providers in the industry. Often, an allegation or argument is made unsupported by any good evidence or sensible logic for self serving purposes. In this context, they believe that their work is unquestionably noble, professional and infallible. Despite what results they create on children and families, no one is qualified to question them.

What arrogance and stupidity would suggest such god-like infallibility? This self-serving allegation defiles the laws of an open and responsible government. Former Human Services Minister Dave Hancock said: "The public doesn't have the right to know everything." Why did they say this in the press conference? For only one purpose, use religious-like indoctrination to mislead the public to believe that people should not have the right to know what is happening in foster homes. Why? To protect the privacy of children or to hide problems in foster homes ranging from unspeakable trauma to sexual abuse and murder? Under the pretext of protection, children are forcibly removed from their parents and placed at risk in foster care. It is our children and tax dollars. Why the public does not have the right to know everything? If parenting skills and propriety of child custody of biological parents can be questioned by bureaucrats, why foster care may not be questioned by the public and the media? This is double standard. Negative publicity is what the industry fears most. Under reporting the total number of foster children deaths is to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Nobody is ever charged or held accountable for the damage done to the children. Removed children are in the hands of service providers of this caliber, no wonder some of them die. In such an oppressive lopsided system, parents should shudder when self-serving people motivated by financial incentives and job security are given the absolute power to remove children from their families.

Mr. Hancock further added that parents of children in foster care are restricted on what they can say publicly unless a judge gives permission. Why the industry wants so badly to get the judiciary involved? The industry heavily relies on the unchallengeable judiciary to condone its activities and to protect its interests. Most Canadians believe that judges are imperial, professional and sworn to uphold justice. Judicial decisions therefore will provide sufficient check and balance. Lopsided case law in favour of the ministry at all court levels suggest otherwise. Moreover, once a case is in court, politicians could strengthen their refusal to comment when questioned by the media.

Lawyers are one of the major beneficiaries of the industry. Milking taxpayers whose pockets are in control of free spending bureaucrats and occasionally more affluent parents who are willing to spend every penny of their saving to regain custody of their children is a lucrative business. They will go to court and argue that the sun rises from the west if they are paid enough to do so. Lawyers and judges (who were all lawyers in the past) seldom speak against the industry and will not advocate revoking general child removal authority. Be mindful that judges are apex service providers in the industry. Our view is derived from the Insight Magazine (June 18, 2001) written by the American scholar Professor Stephen Baskerville who is of the opinion that it is to the interest of the judiciary to pack the courts with cases:

"The one great principle of the law," wrote Dickens, "is to make business for itself." Like all courts, family courts complain of being overburdened. Yet it is clearly in their interest to be overburdened, since judicial powers and salaries, like any other, are determined by demand for their services. "Judges and staff ... should be given every consideration for salary and the other perks or other emoluments of their high office," Judge Page suggests, adding that divorce-court judges should aim to increase their volume of business. "As the court does a better job more persons will be attracted to it," he observes. He also writes, "The better the family-court system functions, the higher ... the volume of the persons served." A court "does a better job" by attracting more mothers (who file the overwhelming majority of divorces) with windfall divorce settlements.

An Anecdote of Laughable Government Propaganda: North Korean Astronaut Landed on the Sun

At times, government propaganda is entertaining and hilarious. An unconfirmed report alleged that North Korea sent a man to the Sun on 24 January 2014. A North Korean central news anchorman reportedly announced during a live broadcast: "We are very delighted to announce a successful mission to put a man on the sun. North Korea has beaten every other country in the world to the sun. Hung Il Gong is a hero and deserves a hero's welcome when he returns home later this evening."

According to the TV news report, Hong Il Gong is a lone 17-year-old astronaut who took off at 3 a.m. on 21 January 2014 in North Korea and landed on the sun four hours later. The take off time at 3 in the morning is to avoid the strong light of the sun when it is dark out and to protect him from a massive ball of fire. He is bringing home samples of sun spots as a souvenir. The anchor proudly claimed that North Korea has beaten every nation on earth in sun landing under the leadership of the great leader Kim Jong-un.

We are unsure whether the North Korean TV actually broadcast such incredible news. It could be false or could be a fabricated news released by antagonistic parties to mock North Korea. Despite whether or not this TV news broadcast took place, government propaganda carries objectives that at times delude audience to serve a political agenda. The aforesaid news report bears remarkable resemblance with the press conference held by Albertan service providers in November 2014.

Why Bureaucrats Are Not in the Press Conference?

Bureaucrats like team leaders and child protection workers do not appear to be present in the press conference. Among all service providers in the industry, they are the first one that owes the public and parents with children died in care an explanation. Where are these god-like creatures when their deeds are scrutinized by the public? Why are they hiding behind their political master? How can accountability be restored if front line workers do not need to answer to public inquiry?

Despite they are called social workers and have little law enforcement training, child protecting workers are indeed de facto bureaucratic police enforcing a very unique child protection law. They have immense absolute power like entry of residence without a warrant, removal of children with the assistance of police as they see fit, unrestricted access of information and records under the custody of public bodies. They answer to no one and could disobey court orders without running the risk of contempt. Deep pocket of taxpayers provides unlimited resource to recruit foster parents, launch endless legal actions against parents, buy psychological reports to support their decisions, pay huge damages to settle wrongful death lawsuits when foster children die.

One of the main thrust in the newspaper series is the 89 unreported deaths of foster children from 1999 to 2013. How could this possibly happen in the best foster care system in Canada? This bears remarkable similarity with the unreported death of many residential school children in the 20th century. In both child removal regimes, parents of deceased children either did not know where their children were or did not know that they died. Parental ties have been completely severed. Cover up is a convenient way to avoid attracting unwanted attention. This suggests that modern child protection is a derivative of the now renounced residential schools. Such corruption could not have happened without the negligence or, more seriously, the accompliceship of child protection workers to cover up deaths of foster children. They have the legal duty to ensure safety of children not only when they are in the care of their biological parents but also in foster homes. Be mindful that foster parents receive pay from government when they warehouse removed children. In British Columbia, foster children are divided into three categories (Level One to Three) with different foster care monthly rates ranging from $803.82 per child to $1,816.66 per child. As long as foster children exist on paper, foster parents keep getting paid. The video on the right revealed how adoptive parents fraudulently obtained government huge subsidies when their foster children went missing but unreported.

Some child protection workers have close ties with foster parents. Investigation should begin with the relationship between the foster parents and MHS's child protection workers in those 89 unreported death cases.

Child protection workers did not speak in the press conference. They never have to answer to anyone. They play god when scrutinizing parents, become faceless and nameless before the media. Confidentiality is often used as a convenient excuse to evade discussion on any individual cases. They are indemnified by the government, ie. taxpayers, who pays for all legal costs and damages of lawsuits arising from their wrongful deeds. Their defence is always acting in good faith to protect children. If their actions turn out to be embarrassing to the regime, a new worker will takeover and allege that he or she has no conduct of the file prior to taking over and therefore cannot be held responsible for what his or her predecessor may or may not have done. In Alberta, law prohibits publication of personal identifiable information of foster children died in care. This further protects bureaucrats from being held accountable. How could accountability be restored if bureaucrats never have to justify their own actions?

Bureaucrats did not show up in front of the camera in the press conference. But they are not uninvolved. Each ministry has its own communication manager to orchestrate propaganda campaign for their political master. They write the speech script, tell elected officials what to say and what not to say, who they should see and who they should avoid. No information will get through without the approval of bureaucrats serving as the right hand man of their minister.

Defence Tactics

The following propaganda techniques and defence tactics used by politicians and service providers are noteworthy:

  1. Accuse critics of stereotyping, ie. characterizing all service providers as bad. We believe that there are good service providers, or least not as bad as the others, in the industry. However, their presence does not rectify corruption and therefore offers no remedy. To further illustrate our point, the presence of good terrorists, if they ever exist, does not render terrorism acceptable.
  2. Emphasize the noble cause of their business of caring and protecting children against their own parents.
  3. Alberta child welfare system grave
    Dave Hancock described this cartoon disgusting and foster home association representative called this unacceptable, hurtful and should not be allowed. We give them more CPS related cartoons to criticize at the end of this page.
    Materials displaying the extent of atrocities or mocking the worthiness of the children protection regime are considered unacceptable, hurtful and should not be allowed. In the press conference, the cartoon on the right appearing on newspaper drew criticism from a foster parent association representative as creating fear to those who are in foster homes.
  4. Their system is the best in Canada which deserves positive comments and no criticism. The following three S are common among service providers in the industry:
    1. Self righteous;
    2. self serving; and
    3. self boasting

    Many of them have a rather unique job skill set that is unlikely to earn a gainful employment elsewhere. Who will hire someone with twenty years of work experience in removing children from their parents? Who will pay a psychologist $6,000 to do an assessment on his or her parenting capacity if not compelled by child protection workers via either a supervision order from court, a threat of removal or a condition to consider returning removed children? Suppressing criticisms and disagreement by retaliation is often.

  5. Child protection workers in charge of the files in question are not present in the conference to avoid being questioned. These god-like creatures ardently speak of child protection. When their failures, incompetence, negligence and wrongdoings are being uncovered, they cowardly hide behind their political masters and let them do the dirty laundry of cover up.
  6. Legitimate complaints and criticism are considered demoralizing service providers in carrying out their duties. They try to confuse our moral compass to believe that criticism of the industry amounts to speaking against child protection. If such argument holds, then those who criticize are necessarily evil because criticisms could always be perceived as demoralizing on the receiving end. They simply do not want to hear anything that does not please their ears, and above all, that could lead the public to doubt the value of the industry. This is a typical guilt trip ruse not worthy of paying attention to.
  7. The art of perpetrator plays victim is often used to garner sympathy, to mislead public opinion and to mitigate the seriousness of the problems service providers created.
  8. This video contains profanity from a mother. Viewer discretion is advised.
    Minister Dave Hancock alleged that the death rate of foster children in care does not exceed that in the general population. At the point of writing, we do not have statistics on the death rate of children under 19-year of age in the general population to compare. We are unsure on the accuracy of his statement. Note that no statistical data were given by Mr. Hancock other than his verbal allegation.

    Since service providers claim to be professionals and imply that they can protect children better than their parents, even one death in care is one too many. Assuming that Minister Hancock is correct in his statement, why waste $684 million in Alberta's child intervention if some children are going to die one way or the other? To fulfill his mandate, the death rate should be zero. Isn't this what one should expect and demand from the best system as one service provider alleged?

  9. Just 1 day after the media launched the series on the child protection industry, politician and service providers called a press conference defending their business. Prompt response in calling the damage control press conference is impressive and suggests that they are well prepared to deal with a crisis like this. The industry is organized, combat ready and could be mobilized to respond on very short notice. Service providers of various disciplines work in concert to protect one another in coordinated defence. This implies that graft is a form of corruption common in the industry.

In essence, what service providers say is: we should not be criticized despite what we do and what the end results of our works are. They show absolutely no remorse of their despicable cover up effort, lack of transparency, accountability and, above all, the deaths of vulnerable children in their hands after forcibly removed from their parents. Such shameless and self-serving effort only serves one purpose - to preserve the status quo of the $684 million child protection industry in Alberta. The financial interest and job security of service providers are their main concern.

The Real Political Function of LRCY Revealed

Introduction of the 6-part series on Alberta's Fatal Care: Foster care tragedies cloaked in secrecy.

Alberta´s Human Services Minister Dave Hancock used the establishment of child and youth advocate office in 2012 to argue that substantial improvement has been made. Like the Representative of Children and Youth in British Columbia, the child and youth advocate office has no real power to reverse wrongdoing of child protection workers.

This supports our view that watchdog office will be used as a defence that child protection agency is accountable and sufficient check and balance has been established to improve transparency.

Incidentally, Minister Hancock used this ruse on 26 November 2013 after we published our view on 17 November 2013.

The child protection industry is so predictable.

Politicians know that state-sponsored child removal will eventually draw unwanted attention, face public scrutiny and meet resistance one day. Alberta's Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) established on 1 April 2012 is a seemingly plausible defence that government has made every reasonable effort to restore accountability and transparency. Like its counterparts nationwide, the OCYA appears to be critical on deficiencies of the child protection regime and publishes reports containing statistics generally unavailable to the public. In fact, it has no mandate, no intent, no power to undertake any meaningful reform and, above all, subtly serve to protect the status quo. Few children benefit from the dust collecting reports that generate little or no ameliorative action.

Similar offices were created by governments with child removal authority. Remarkable similarities are found not only in the title of the Representative of Children and Youth (RCY) (Legal Representation for Children and Youth or LRCY in Alberta) and the statutes that govern its power but also in the orange theme colour of the web sites.

Damage control propaganda spearheaded by the Human Services Minister Dave Hancock and a number of service providers was launched to defend the oppressive child protection industry. Minister Hancock found a defence that the Alberta government has restored accountability citing the establishment of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate in 2012. In just ten days after we published our view on the real political function of RCY, the counterpart of Ministry of Children and Family Development (hereinafter known as the MCFD) in Alberta confirmed our view. Alberta established the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate long after the B.C. government established the same in 2006. But the Alberta government beats the B.C. government in using it as a political shield when the media gets them in hot water.

Mark our words. If MCFD faces the similar crisis one day, the Office of RCY will be used as a defence that the B.C. government has taken a pro-active approach to maintain accountability and transparency.

Is Child Protection Money Driven?

When the child protection industry is challenged of using children to earn federal subsidies, service providers vigorously fight back. Mr. Tom Emberton Jr., Social Services Commissioner, Kentucky argued that they have to spend $39 million to earn $1 million of federal subsidies and therefore make no net profit (watch Mr. Emberton's interview at video marker 5:54 near the end).

On the surface, Mr. Emberton's explanation appears plausible. But do not lose sight that they are always spending tax dollars. Federal subsidy is just a bonus and an incentive to target Aboriginal children. The primary objective of service providers in the industry is to raise child protection spending to the maximum that taxpayers could bear so that they could keep their jobs and their lucrative businesses. Government run and non-profit organization run child protection agencies alike are simply a corrupt temple used to legally transfer wealth from taxpayers to service providers. They are not the shareholders of their parasitic host and do not care whether or not it goes bankrupt.

We keep reiterating that state-sponsored child removal is tax dollar driven. But child protection workers do not make an extra penny by removing more children. How can our money drive theory hold? It is true that child protection workers earn no bonus by removing more children. We do not believe that any child protection regime is stupid enough to give its front line workers a removal quota to meet in their job description. However, child protection workers need more files on their desk to justify their job. Those who are higher up in the child protection food chain need more removed children to provide businesses for the industry, seek a larger budget and to prove that there is a strong demand of child protection service in society. Be mindful that child protection workers possess a very unique work experience, ie. removing children from their parents, that has very limited value to employers elsewhere. Few of them are able to find gainful employment if they lose their job in their current capacity. Protecting their job security is one of their primary concern. Hence, our money drive theory still holds. Parents and their supporters are the only party who walk into a child protection hearing courtroom without getting paid. If there is no money, child protection workers will be the first one to walk followed by "love abundant" foster parents and the ministry's lawyers.

Comparisons Between the Child Protection Industry and Oppressed Parents

The unwanted publicity in Alberta prompted the industry to respond and hence reveal their defence tactics and strategy. Parents who lost their children due to government intervention also spoke to the media. Victims and perpetrators displayed a sharp difference of sophistication in the propaganda war. Attributes between the two opposing parties are compared as follows:


Child Protection Industry

Oppressed Parents

motivation motivated by protection of political popularity, job security and financial interest, fear of loss of public trust, lawsuit and the potential legal consequences seek justice for their deceased children and to raise public awareness to prevent similar atrocity from occurring in other Canadian families
trust worthiness of allegations despite the huge clout of service providers from various disciplines, most of their allegations (such as death rate in foster care is not higher than that in the general population, best foster care system in Alberta) are not supported by empirical evidence, statistics and testimonies from parents and children tangible evidence of death of loved ones and testimonies of what had transpired
organized defence exhibited high level of organized defence within a very short time, extremely well prepared and coordinated among service providers who have formed various associations to protect their interests (some called one another by their first names in the press conference, it suggests that they know one another well) most oppressed parents act alone, are not organized and have little or no support from community, family and other oppressed parents
financial strength access to the deep pocket of taxpayers and wealth accumulated from aggrandizement most oppressed parents are from the grass root class and have very limited financial strength
ability to launch propaganda campaign Politicians generally possess good communications skills required for propaganda. Government enjoys classic competitive edge of clout, numerous action venues and access to information in conducting propaganda campaign. Many oppressed parents are not well educated. They have little skill in propaganda and in dealing with the media. Their seemingly absurd allegations meet skepticism and must pass scrutiny from their only venue - the media

Oppressed parents are the underdog on every front. Campaign against the industry is a David and Goliath fight. Such disparity in strength does not change the fact that parents and above all their children are victims of state-sponsored child removal. From a strategic angle, the industry is a paper tiger because it does not serve the best interests of people. This corrupt temple will eventually meet the fate of tyrants who ran oppressive regimes that harm the majority to benefit a privileged group. That said, the industry is very formidable at the tactical level. To those who have children under 19, it can create substantial damage to your children and completely shatter your families.

Different Provincial Law of Publication Ban and Percentage of Population with Children Removed

According to "Restrictive law silences grieving parents" written by Ms. Karen Kleiss of the Edmonton Journal and Mr. Darcy Henton of the Calgary Herald, provinces in Canada have 7 different levels of publication ban (ranging from no restriction to illegal to publish) on the name and photo of foster children died in government care are depicted in the map below.

Victoria Whitehorse Edmonton Yellowknife Regina Winnipeg Iqaluit Toronto Ottawa Quebec Fredericton Charlottetown Halifax St. John's Northwest Territories Saskatchewan Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Victoria Yukon can be published if information comes from family or other sources Whitehorse may publish and be identified with the consent of parents Edmonton Regina Yellowknife Nunavut Winnipeg Manitoba Ontario Iqaluit Ottawa Quebec Toronto Quebec City Fredericton Charlottetown Nova Scotia Halifax Prince Edward Island St. John's A clickable map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces and three territories, and their capitals.

Hover your mouse to the name of the province and click to access the link on demographics of the province or capital city.

Efforts have been made to update links in this table. However, links change frequently. Links contain herein may or may not work. Please kindly advise us if you discover any links that are no longer current.

Information in this section was last updated on 12 February 2015.

(child protection Ministry/agency)7
Ban Level1 Rate
 %age  Age of
Child Protection Statute(s)
British Columbia
Ministry of Children and Family Development
can be published if information comes from family or other sources 10.1 0.01% 19 Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA)
Ministry of Human Services
may publish and be identified with the consent of parents 10.6 0.01% 18 Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA)
Drug-endangered Children Act
Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act
Ministry of Social Services
can be published if information comes from family 21.7 0.02% 16 Child and Family Services Act
Emergency Protection for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Act
Department of Family Services
can be published if information comes from family 24.4 0.02% 18 Child and Family Services Act
The Child and Family Services Authorities Act
53 children's aid societies (CAS) under the
Ministry of Attorney General
no publish restriction 6.4 0.006% 16 Child and Family Services Act
Children's Law Reform Act
Director of Youth Protection
illegal to publish
but not enforced
7.8 0.007% 18 Youth Protection Act
New Brunswick
Department of Social Development
illegal to publish 9 0.009% 16 Family Services Act
Nova Scotia4
Department of Social Development
illegal to publish 8.8 0.008% 16 Children and Family Services Act
Prince Edward Island
Department of Community Services and Seniors
can be published 5.3 0.005% 16 Child Protection Act
Newfoundland & Labrador
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
can be published if information comes from family or other sources 7.5 0.007% 16 Children and Youth Care and Protection Act (replaced the Child Youth and Family Services Act)
Department of Health and Social Services
24.7 0.024% 19 Children’s Act
Child and Family Services Act
Northwest Territories
Department of Child and Family Services
30.8 0.031% 16 Child and Families Services Act
Department of Family Services
15.3  0.015%  16 Child and Families Services Act
1   Information extracted from "Restrictive law silences grieving parents" The Edmonton Journal, published on 28 November 2013
2   Rate per 1,000 children in care (Source of Data: "Foster care in Canada")
3   Children with disabilities are eligible for protective services until age 19.
4   Provinces in red have a provincial child abuse registry.
5   In Alberta, it was illegal to publish without a court order lifting the ban until the cabinet approved Bill 11, which lifts the automatic publication ban on children “who have come to the attention” of the director of children services on 23 July 2014. Politicians in Alberta did not lift the publication ban of their own accord. It was due to the immense public pressure after the media uncovered a large number of unreported deaths of Albertan foster children in November 2013.
6   In Quebec, child welfare services are provided by “youth centres” (Centres jeunesse) in 18 administrative regions across the province. Each youth centre is managed by a Director of Youth Protection and is mandated to provide a range of specialized services to ensure the safety and well-being of young people under the age of 18. In addition to protection services, youth centres provide family counseling, legal expertise in custody disputes, adoption referrals and birth-parent searches. An association of youth centres (Association des Centres jeunesse du Québec), provides information and advice to centres and over 8,000 youth protection workers in the province.
7   Since the federal government decentralized child removal authority to provinces and territories, child protection agencies have different names in each jurisdiction. Despite what they are called, they all have the statutory power to remove children based on bureaucratic opinion with or without good evidence. Their names are so diverse. It serves to diffuse public focus if CPS created atrocities in one jurisdiction attracts outcry. The racket is so brilliantly structured to cover all angles when the oppressive and inhumane act of child removal inevitably draws criticism and opposition.

The map demonstrates inconsistency in publication policy surrounding death of foster children in care among provinces. There are calls to have a nationally-based death review system, which do not address the real problem of corruption arising from absolute power and racketeering, and why foster children died. Our view is supported by the example in Ontario, which is most liberal in publishing death of foster children in care. Yet similar problems are found there where child removal authority is delegated and executed by CAS.

The white column in the table above demonstrates a very important key to success in the industry. An extremely small percentage of the population (the highest 0.031%) have children removed. The most populous provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta exhibit a percentage at or under 0.01%. Including their extended families, friends and sympathizers, the percentage of population affected by child removal will not exceed 1%. The majority of the population have little idea of what the child protection regime does, do not care or are misled to believe that it really protects children. Public ignorance, apathy and misconception serve the industry very well and allow service providers to aggrandize under the pretext of child protection.

The Alberta publicity is a good test to see if Alberta can be brought into line with the several other provinces that allow publication of identifiable information on deceased children while in care by families. In January 2014, MHS announced members of child intervention round table appointed are:

  • Dr. Lionel Dibden, Pediatrician Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Protection Centre, Stollery Children’s Hospital; Chair, Child and Family Services Council for Quality Assurance
  • Dr. Nico Trocmé, Professor of Social Work, McGill University; Co-chair, 2010 Child Intervention Review Panel
  • Trevor Daroux, Deputy Commissioner of Community Policing, Calgary City Police
  • Tim Richter, President and CEO, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Legal representative (to be determined, unconfirmed information suggested a judge)

As expected, all members appointed are directly or indirectly on government payroll. Despite their diverse background, they have the following in common:

  • have immense clout and respect in society
  • are authoritative in their area of specialty
  • share the same mindset of industry service providers that child removal based on a bureaucratic opinion is an acceptable government action
  • on good term with government is imperative in their career
  • never have children removed or on the receiving end of child protection services

At the point of writing, the round table meeting has not taken place. Based on the background of the members, recommendations from the round table will likely cost taxpayers more money, further enhance the power of the industry and removed children continue to die in care. Like in British Columbia, they will probably recommend periodic publication of statistical data of death and serious injury of children in care to placate public anger. They will fail to restore accountability, prevent racketeering and solve other problems created by the industry. State-sponsored child removal is a serious socio-political problem that must be solved at the political level.


Response from service providers in Alberta on 27 November 2013 after the Edmonton Journal launched "Foster care tragedies cloaked in secrecy" allows comparison of status quo protection tactics between MCFD and MHS.




pro active readiness to
combat negative publicity
  • created the OCYA and LRCY in April 2012, just in time to use it against media and public criticism in November 2013
    Del Graff, Alberta's child and youth advocate

  • published the "Case Practice Framework that will support quality decision making and supports for children, youth and families receiving child intervention services in Alberta" video (19 September 2013)
level of sophistication demonstrated sophisticated propaganda skills to deliver a consistent message of good child protection work supplemented by protection of privacy by refusing to discuss individual cases mere allegation of public confidence (by ex Minister Yvonne Fritz, in office from 15 January 2010 to 12 October 2011) and a system of hope (by ex Minister Dave Hancock) after foster children died in care
political will to reform none none
media scrutiny
(as of the date of writing
since the inception of PAPA)
size of the industry

Note that the last two ratios are higher than what they should be due to the use of total MCFD budget in the calculations. We cannot find the budget allocated to child protection alone to provide a more accurate ratio comparison.

statutory power
  • Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) grants absolute power to remove children from their parents and place them in government care
  • Social Workers Regulation exempts government employed social workers from registration under the Social Workers Act, hence they need not be abide by the code of ethics of the professional government body (this exemption is shrewdly hidden in a regulation outside CFCSA to avoid catching unwanted attention)
  • Provincial Court Act prohibits publication of anything that would reasonably be likely to disclose to members of the public the identity of the child or party involved in family or children's matters before the court
  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA) grants absolute power to remove children from their parents and place them in government care
  • provincial legislation prohibits disclosure of information of children (dead or alive) and families involved in child protection proceedings without a court order lifting the ban

Despite that they may have very different names, most child protection agencies in English-speaking nations have similar structures, governed by similar laws and similar values. MCFD and MHS are of no exception. They are similar in power, modus operandi and the problems they create. Both are equally formidable to parents under scrutiny. Although MCFD in British Columbia has not encountered major challenge from the media, its bureaucrats are smart enough to advise their political masters to launch preemptive propaganda to swing public opinion, to numb the media and to garner support of its child protection activities before the hideous business of child removal gets the MCFD into hot water.

Both provinces have restrictive laws to prevent atrocities created by the industry from being published. Publication ban in Alberta extends to after death of foster children while ban in British Columbia is only valid while family and child protection matters are before court.

In B.C., the most disturbing practice is the selective enforcement of such restrictive law. In the "Removal of 1-Year old S. from Mel in Victoria, British Columbia (December 2007)", the lawyer of MCFD sent a threatening letter to us demanding removal of identifiable information of the family. The same case was aired by a local Vancouver TV and identifiable information of the family has been disclosed. The TV station has not received similar threat from the MCFD. Such discriminatory law enforcement has brought the administration of justice into disrepute. There are obvious reasons to suppress a weak non-profit organization that is critical of the state-sponsored child removal. We are an underdog and do not have the financial resources comparable with that of a TV station to challenge the threat. This is an act of bullying, intimidation and retaliation.

More Deaths Revealed in January 2014

# of deaths admitted
prior to Nov 2013 56
between 26 Nov 2013 to 7 Jan 2014 145
after 8 Jan 2014 741

On 8 January 2014, the Alberta government finally revealed its total number of deaths of children who were known to the MHS: 741 deaths between 1 January 1999 and 30 September 2013, including the 145 fatalities previously revealed. In view of the new figure, the number of deaths (56) previously admitted before is only 8% of the real total. The new figure includes death of children whose homes were under active investigation, children who were not in care but who had open child welfare files, children who had been in care but whose files had been closed, children who did not have open files but whose siblings or teenage parents did, teens and young adults who died soon after graduating from the child welfare system after reaching 18 years of age. These were all children and youth who had some previous or ongoing contact with Alberta’s child welfare system.

Unlike his predecessor Dave Hancock who insisted this information must be kept secret, the new minister Manmeet Bhullar talked a different tone and vowed to make statistical data of foster children death public and to turn the death records over to outside academic experts to analyze for trends and patterns. He further alleged that a transparent round table on child welfare reform will be live-streamed online. An expert panel will be appointed to examine long-ignored recommendations from children’s advocates and fatality inquiries, and cherry pick the best. He also pledged to review the draconian CYFEA.

The approach of the 33 year-old Bhullar won back some goodwill from the media. Some believe that his proposed reform could mark a radical, revolutionary shift in the way the province cares for children at risk and make Alberta a national leader in child welfare reform.

Despite there is a specialization called child protection in social work, there is no such expert in reality. Those who profess as experts, like retired judges and academicians, may not have children. Furthermore, be mindful that B.C. publishes death and injuries statistical data of children receiving services from MCFD since 2001. So what? Children still die in care. Problems remain. Bhullar's proposal is a small step ahead. It gives better transparency but does not solve the problems created by state-sponsored child removal. From a political point of view, his approach could give a false hope to silence critics and public outcry. Albertans will be misled to believe that the government is taking the right approach. The industry will be business as usual, probably armed with more power and a higher budget.

The End of Child Protection Service?

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs order abolishing state's CPS agency on 13 January 2014

Child Protection Service (CPS) has created numerous problems worldwide not only to children and parents, but its political masters as well. Humanity will be better off if money wasted on CPS is used to build more schools, hospitals, roads and bridges. Embarrassments and scandals surface every now and then. Politicians use up their goodwill to conduct anti-common sense damage control operations to save the industry. Few have the political wisdom to see how society could benefit by eliminating CPS. Rare bird who has the courage to speak against the industry conveniently died a sudden and tragic death.

Incidentally, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona announced that she has abolished the state's CPS department and has replaced it with a new division on 13 January 2014. She asked the state legislature to help in creating laws related to the new agency called the Division of Child Safety and Family Services. The new agency will be responsible for all programs related to child welfare and protection. The agency director Charles Flanagan will report directly to the governor. At the point of writing, we are unsure what power it carries, what its budget is and what the new legislation entails.

The decision to abolish CPS was prompted by an internal investigation that revealed 6,000 reports of child abuse or neglect were never investigated. "Enough with the uninvestigated reports of abuse and neglect. Enough with the lack of transparency. And enough with the excuses," the governor said in a disturbed tune. On the surface, it appears that CPS suffered a setback. Elected official finally showed leadership and made the right decision to dismantle this corrupt, oppressive and counter productive regime.

The population of Arizona in 2013 was 6,553,255, which is ranked the 15th largest population in the United States. 42.2% of the state’s population is nonwhite. The Hispanic population alone makes up 30% of the state’s residents. In 2010, Arizona was one of seven states where the majority of children were children of color, with a high percentage of children of American Indian and Alaska Native decent.

In 2010, 27.5% of Hispanic households and 41.8% of African American households with children under the age of 5 lived below the poverty line, compared to only 13.5% of non-Hispanic white households.

These demographic data suggest a significant presence of poor visible minorities and Native Americans in Arizona. This is an ideal environment to spawn the industry. The Arizona governor did not revoke child removal authority. She replaced the old CPS apparatus with a new division with a different name under a new administration. Given the fact that her decision was prompted by 6,000 uninvestigated child abuse or neglect reports, it remains to be seen whether the new agency will be given more power and a higher budget. If the new agency does receive more power and more money, CPS has not been abolished but further empowered and sugar-coated under a different name. The abolishment is nothing but a renaming exercise. Like the now renounced residential schools in Canada, the industry is undergoing a political metamorphosis. It never disappears and has reemerged in a different name - modern child protection and expanded its sphere of operation to the entire population. This crisis could well be an opportunity to the industry.

Our Anticipation of the Future

Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they are ratified into law. The industry has been very careful in re-structuring after the federal-run residential schools system taught the government a lesson on the liability arising from centralized child removals. Decentralization by delegating child removal authority to each province permits the federal government to wash its hand clean and shrewdly avoid lawsuits. Numerous expendable foster and group homes provide a shield for government to evade responsibility if removed children die in care. We anticipate the following will occur in the future:

  1. Creation of Political Shields

    We expect government to continue establishing political shields like the RCY to protect itself and the child protection industry. When they run out of ammunition, they will eventually pull out their big gun and allege that government must retain child removal authority and use it as its bureaucrats see fit. Canada is obliged by the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a signatory on 28 May 1990.

  2. Futile Reform Proposals

    Reports, often written by retired judges who are on good terms with the ruling political party, to identify problems and reforms in the industry will continue to surface. Like service providers in the industry, the writers of these reports will of course charge a fee for their service. Nepotism is a subtle form of reward for subservience and loyalty to government.

    Futile and non-binding reform proposals will continue to surface because only service providers and like-minded parties whose income largely depends on tax dollars are solicited. We expect the forthcoming round table meeting in Alberta will result in proposals of this nature. Recommendations and action plans will likely require more funding and more power to front line workers. The root problem of structural corruption will never be addressed since government never admits that there is corruption to begin with. At the end, there will be no real improvement and possibly worsen the problem when more power and money fall into the wrong hands.

  3. Child Protection Budget On Gradual Increase

    Budgets allocated to child protection agencies may fluctuate within a small range but remain largely the same. While sudden sharp increase in budget will attract unwanted attention, a gradual increase muzzled by some slight drop in some fiscal years will ensure the industry to fly under the public scrutiny radar. We expect the number of children in care varies and the total costs of care per child generally rises. This smart strategy ensures that the child protection business continues to be lucrative without attracting more attention from the public.

  4. The Rise of Children with Special Needs

    Children with special needs qualify for more services and funding. They are high value targets to the industry. We expect more children will fall into this category. This allows the industry to derive more ill-earned income without removing more children, hence minimizing the chance to cause more unwanted attention and public outcry that may collapse their lucrative business.

  5. Over Representation of Aboriginal Children and Children from Single Parent Families in Care

    Like the rest of Canada, Aboriginal children will continue to have an over representation in foster homes in Alberta because of the following reasons:

    1. Since the federal government subsidizes the removal of Aboriginal children on a per head basis, First Nation children are high value targets. There are compelling reasons to believe that child protection is a derivative of residential schools. Service providers will strike where the money is available. To avoid criticism of cultural assimilation, delegation of child removal authority to Aboriginal service providers will become more common. This smart move will create special interests whose financial interest ties with state-sponsored child removal and turn them into die-hard supporter of the industry.
    2. As a result of multi-generation oppression under the residential school system, Aboriginal families are marginalized rendering their children more susceptible to attracting attention of child protection agency. This reflects the long term harmful effect of state-sponsored child removal on families.

    Another observation is that most of the parents who went public after their children died in care are mothers. Fathers of the deceased children do not appear to partake in the fight in the cases cited by the Edmonton Journal.

  6. Continued Resistance of Mandatory Registration with Professional Governing Body

    We expect the industry will continue to resist mandatory registration of child protection workers with any professional governing body, hence avoid being abide by any code of ethics. To control the supply of foster children and hence the demand of services from the industry, absolute power is necessary. Mandatory registration with a professional governing body will inevitably put a leash on them and compromise their power to remove children as they see fit.

    Having said the foregoing, some child protection workers are registered with the College of Social Workers to create an illusion of professionalism. Registered workers will be assigned to files of real child abuse while their unregistered colleagues will handle cases created to support the industry.

  7. ABC news footage on over-medication of foster children
  8. Excessive Use of Psychotropic Drugs on Foster Children

    Once children are in foster care, all their expenses are on taxpayer's tab. This includes expenses on prescription drugs. Such deep pocket permits another round of free spending on the psychotherapy industry. There are more and more complaints of child protective services in English-speaking nations of forcing removed children to take lethal, addictive drugs for non-medical reasons. These drugs include antidepressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, anxiety medications, anti-convulsants medications.

    Edgy and jumpy children are nightmares to foster parents. It is imperative for service providers in the industry to keep foster children under control and silence their desire to go home. Mind-altering psychotropic drugs offer a conveniently means to keep foster children at bay and to create an illusion that they are mentally ill and are children of special needs. Be mindful that children of special needs are high-value assets to the industry.

  9. Frequent Shuffling of Foster Children

    Foster children will continue to be shuffled from home to home for the following reasons:

    1. even profit sharing among foster parents to keep them in business;
    2. increase the difficulty for biological parents to locate their stolen property - removed children;
    3. force biological parents to have more contacts with service providers so that the latter could fabricate evidence like anger control problem, inappropriate actions during supervised visits, lack of parenting skill, ... etc. to support child custody applications in court;
    4. mitigate the chance of getting caught of abuse in foster homes.

    This suggests that most foster homes are neither safe nor stable.

  10. Regular Cyber Surveillance to Hunt for Information

    MCFD regularly browses the internet to hunt for information that could be used to silence opposition or to further the interests of the industry. Needless to say, websites like ours inevitably attract the attention of their agents. Intimidations like threat of lawsuit are expected to continue whenever they find an opportunity. Their last intimidation on us was when we published the Removal of 1-Year old S. from Mel in Victoria, British Columbia (December 2007). Fairchild TV that made the documentary in question never receives any demand from MCFD to remove identifiable information. There is clearly an act of selective law enforcement. Such practice is common in corrupt regime with absolute power acting in secrecy and typical in bullying the weak while leaving the strong alone.

  11. Suppression of Critical Opinions

    The industry will continue to suppress unfavorable and critical opinions that could harm the power and the financial interest of its service providers. Professionals who disagree with the industry are isolated by their peers and in some extreme cases disqualified to practice by their professional governing bodies. Whoever betrays the principle of accrual of power and money, others betray him. Those who have spoken against the industry are blacklisted and should forget about getting a job or a business contract with government.

    Mudslinging is common to discredit different views. Once you have been a wolf, it is hard to be staked down like a goat. Critical opinions will be characterized as biased, radial, cynical, extreme, ignorant, dismissive and pertaining to a small minority. Showcase success including using subservient foster children will be used to mislead the public and to silence critics. Credible threats will be dealt with by tougher means such as lawsuits and other retaliatory methods.

    The federal government will continue to work in concern with provincial governments to prevent non-profit organizations (such as ours) that hold a different opinion on the industry from obtaining charity status. According to tax laws, advocating for change in child protection policy and law is political lobbying and therefore does not qualify as charity. Donations to such organizations are therefore non-tax deductible. Raising funds becomes more difficult. Governments are hopeful that this measure will eventually choke and extinguish organized resistance.

  12. Rewards to Service Providers and Supporters of the Industry

    On the other hand, individuals and organizations supportive of the industry will receive commendation and fame. Rewards, subtle at times, are used as financial incentives to strengthen support. These rewards may include:

    1. Financial Rewards
      • direct financial subsidies by way of research grants or bursaries
      • award of business contracts
      • invitations to speak in conferences with generous pay
      • assistance to obtain charity status to facilitate fund raising
    2. Non-financial rewards could include:
      • no action against abuses on foster children in their care (such as the Howard Smith Raping Underage Foster Child case in Scarborough in 1978), rendering foster children a toy, often a sex toy, and a money making machine to foster parents
      • assist in obtaining child custody in the event of marital breakdown
      • expedited adoption of desired children

  13. Continue to Resist Reduction and Annulment of Child Removal Authority

    Absolute power to remove children from their parents controls the supply of foster children and therefore the demand of services from the industry. It is one of the most imperative elements and a key to success for the industry. Service providers will fight tooth and nail to protect this power and will invent every excuse imaginable to justify that such oppressive, and often counter productive, authority is needed to protect children.

  14. Aggressiveness of Service Providers

    As the hideous nature of their business is being unveiled in an internet era, service providers are expected to be more aggressive when criticized, challenged or held responsible. Foster mother of infant Delonna Sullivan who died after 6 days in foster home filed a $20,000 countersuit against the biological family on 4 October 2013. The mother Jamie Sullivan and the grandmother filed a lawsuit of $2.5 million against the Alberta government, the foster mother and other defendants. In her statement of defence and counterclaim, the foster mother denied any wrongdoing in connection with the baby’s death. She alleged psychological damage because of the publicity and claimed costs of seeking treatment from mental health professionals. The foster mother's loss, if any at all, is trivial compared to that of the biological family. The art of playing victim is a brilliant tactic to garner sympathy.

  15. Expansion of New Arenas for Intervention

    Obesity of children becomes reason of child removal
    removal due to medical child abuse

    To ensure sufficient children are removed to support the industry, service providers will continue to be creative in inventing new arenas for intervention. The following are some new arenas that attract the attention of the industry:

    1. obesity of children (advocated by Dr. David Ludwig of Children's Hospital in Boston);
    2. excessive suntanning (Patricia Krentcil charged of child endangerment on 30 April 2012);
    3. taking innocent nude photos of children Lisa and Anthony Demaree child removal, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. aired on September 18, 2009);
    4. medical child abuse (ie. giving children too much medical care).

    These absurd reasons for intervention may appear hilarious. If you think deeper, they imply a very scary reality. Bureaucrats may enter your home or school of your children with the assistance of police and remove your children at will without any evidence, court order (at least in B.C.) or fear of repercussion. Such intervention may result in losing permanent child custody or at the very least separating them from their parents for a few months, often a few years in most cases. In any event, children will be traumatized and parents will be plundered by service providers either by way of legal fees and/or taxes.

  16. Raising the Age Limit of Foster Care

    At the point of writing, the age limits of protection in B.C. and Alberta are 19 and 18 respectively. A convenient way to protect the financial interests of the industry is to raise the age limit of protection. Since many, if not most, foster children lack proper parental care in foster homes, these children lack the ability to live an independent living when they reach adulthood. Some become welfare recipients, criminals, homeless and suicidal.

    Advocacy to raise the age limit in foster care becomes more prominent recently. The media plays a role in assisting such advocacy. Award winning documentary "Against the Odds: Aging out of Foster Care" and "BC parents support extending foster care from 19 to 21 (by Pieta Woolley, The Tyee 9 October 2013)" are typical examples. Note that age of protection in B.C. is 19. This is the highest among all Canadian provinces. To the industry, enough is never enough. We expect that the government will face pressure to raise the age limit of protection from 19 to 21. Taxpayers may have to pay a higher price to take care of the endless aftermath created by state-sponsored child removal.

  17. Mutually Beneficial Relationship With Pseudo Science

    The industry will continue to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with pseudo science and use it to justify child removal policy and activities. Psychotherapy will continue to be a frequently prescribed remedy. Psychological assessment becomes a commodity for sale as expert evidence in the court of law to support child custody applications.

    We expect mental abuse to become a more common reason of removal. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has succeeded to convince government to accept that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. This means the absence of mental illness symptom does not mean that one is mentally healthy. Hence, every person on the face of this planet could be mentally unhealthy and become a client of psychotherapy practitioners. All the industry needs to justify custody application in court is an opinion from psychotherapy practitioners, which is easy to obtain given the handsome fee the child protection regime could pay.

  18. Abuse of Child Removal Authority Continues to be Prominent

    We expect child removal authority will continue to be abused by the following parties:

    1. embittered estranged spouse who did not get child custody are often advised by their counsel to use the child protection agency to regain custody of their children and to punish their spouses;
    2. hostile in-laws;
    3. malicious neighbors;
    4. other government agencies (such as the police and prosecutors) who run out of means to beat their targets into submission and could use child removal authority to accomplish their goals under the pretext of child protection (for example, in the bail hearing of the "Templeton Secondary hit list teen whose sister was removed on 29 June 2009", the Crown and the police used MCFD to seek re-litigation of bailing hearing under CFCSA previously settled under the Criminal Code at the same provincial court level).
  19. Lack of Political Will to Implement Meaningful Reform

    It is noteworthy to remark that Mr. Dave Hancock was replaced as minister of MHS on 13 December 2013 after the news series was published on 26 November 2013. Some may expect Mr. Hancock was demoted due to his mismanagement. Wrong. Defending the industry and the status quo carries a political reward. Mr. Hancock received a promotion to the position of Deputy Premier.

    On the other hand, advocating meaningful reform will attract isolation and punishment. There are speculations that politicians, such as Nancy Schaefer of Georgia, die trying. Despite whether or not the conspiracy theory is true, turnover in the political position, such as minister in Canada and director in the U.S., heading the child protection regime remains high. Few politicians appreciate that they are indeed a victim of the very industry they serve to protect. They are like sitting on a time bomb without knowing when it will explode. Furthermore, they have to find more taxes to support this cancerous industry and eventually pay their political price. Former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is an example when his unpopular HST announced on 23 July 2009 met strong resistance and forced him to resign on 14 March 2011. We are mindful that there are many special interests that prey on taxpayers. The industry is just one of them, but the most harmful to society.

    We find it laughable when Mr. Hancock sent his video to Alberta child care workers thanking them for their work on the 30 November 2013 before stepping down as the minister of MHS. According to the CBC, Hancock spoke dismissively of media reports in his video. Politicians often avoid antagonizing reporters and journalists for an obvious reason. Undermining this excellent media report to appease service providers of the industry is a risky act. This suggests that politicians would rather antagonize the media than the industry. Why on earth politicians fear the industry so much? Are they leader or follower? Why are they acting against the interests of the people who elect them in office? These questions demand further research to answer.

    In the foreseeable future, we expect that politicians, especially those from the ruling party, will continue to turn a blind eye to atrocities created by the industry and lend a deaf ear to the outcry of meaningful reform. There is no political will to confront the industry. While more foster children die in care, politicians will continue to use ruses to diffuse public attention, to inflate the success of intervention, find excuses to defend service providers and to undermine the atrocities created by state-sponsored child removal and the harm to children.

Child protection is a multi-billion dollar industry nationwide. Service providers will not give up their lucrative businesses without a vigorous fight. What course of action should we anticipate from the child protection industry in the future? Government will turn on its propaganda machine to swing public opinion and to create an illusion that sufficient effort has been made to restore accountability and transparency. Rest assured that no meaningful reform will be made at the end. Children will continue to be traumatized and parents oppressed under the pretext of child protection. Some foster children will die in care. The industry will continue to create more problems than it solves. Society must bear the huge financial and social costs that could one day bankrupt the nation.

Six Steps To Fix Alberta's Child Welfare System

On 30 November 2013, the Edmonton Journal proposed the following six steps to fix Alberta's child welfare system:
  1. Overhaul Alberta’s child death review process
  2. Repeal the publication ban on children’s names
  3. End the funding disparity for aboriginal child welfare agencies
  4. Focus on prevention, and early intervention
  5. Undertake a thorough study of infant sleep protocols
  6. Improve work conditions and raise educational standards for front-line caseworkers

In our opinion, only the second step of repealing publication ban on children's names carry some weight in improving transparency but is insufficient to solve the problem. Our view is supported by the empirical evidence in Ontario where there is no restriction in publishing names and photos of foster children who died in care. Parents under the scrutiny of the Children's Aid Societies experienced the same problems that victims of state-sponsored child removal suffer around the world. The foregoing is supported by:

  1. "Children's Aid Society workers should be reined in" Kevin Libin, National Post (12 June 2009)
  2. "The Problem with Children's Aid Society" Barbara Kay, National Post (27 February 2013)
  3. "Powerful As God" (2011)

Secrecy, absolute power, fear of retaliation, public ignorance are keys to success in the child protection industry. The rest of the suggestions are of marginal use. The last step of improving work conditions and raise educational standards for front-line caseworkers could even be counter-productive.

Except repealing publication ban on children’s names, all other proposals cost taxpayers money to implement. Spending more tax dollars is precisely what service providers want. Most Canadians seem to believe that allocating more money could solve the problem. Putting too much money and power in the wrong hands seldom strike them minds. With all due respect, this fiasco cannot be ended by implementing these steps. Do not waste time and money on useless reforms. Children are dying in care. There is only one solution to end this problem once and for all. Our views are documented in "Flaws of CFCSA" and will not be repeated here.

In view of the background of appointed members in the forthcoming round table, it is likely that the child protection industry will be given more power and funding. To placate public anger, publication of foster children death and injury statistics may be recommended after the meeting. However, this will not solve the problem either. Representative of Children and Youth in B.C. publishes such reports of this nature every quarter. Children keep dying in care. Racketeering continues under the pretext of child protection.

Short of revoking the general child removal power per Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, the following will offer some deterrence of abuse of power, keep children out of harm's way and reinstate the long-lost rights of parents:

  1. Remove government indemnification of child protection workers against tort lawsuits on extortion, public malfeasance, negligence causing child endangerment or wrongful death and abuse of power. Why would taxpayers pay for their legal expenses and court-awarded damages? If they are so certain that their child removal decisions are so righteous and lawful as they always allege in court, they ought not object to this.
  2. Mandatory registration with the provincial social worker professional governing body so that code of ethics may apply to their conduct. In B.C., all child protection workers are exempt persons under the Social Workers Regulation and may practice without registration.
  3. No child should be removed without laying criminal charges on parents or application of removal under the Mental Health Act.
  4. All interviews with child protection workers may be recorded at the discretion of parents. In B.C., most child protection workers do not allow recording. They will walk if parents insist and will report to court as non-cooperation, which is a legal ground of child removal.
  5. Access of records and information held by public bodies must meet the consent of parents. The CFCSA of B.C. allows child protection workers to access this information of all family members without the subject of scrutiny knowing it. Privacy is the last thing they concern except when they appear in front of the camera.
  6. Foster parents must pass security clearance and provide surety no less than $50,000 per foster child placed under their care. This serves to protect removed children and taxpayers in case of a lawsuit.
  7. Job performance of child protection workers should be measured by the number of children they return to their parents.
  8. Cancel the Children's Special Allowances (a tax-free monthly federal payment made to agencies, institutions and foster parents who are responsible for the care and education of children under 18 who physically reside in Canada and who are not in the care of their parents) hence reduce the financial incentive to keep more children in care.
  9. No child removal is allowed without a hearing. Although the judiciary often rubber stamps the Ministry's decision in child protection hearings, court consent still offers some protection to families. At least, it buys some time for parents to prepare for the forthcoming onslaught. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services changed its child removal policy in October 2013 is a good start.

Of course, the ultimate solution is to revoke the general child removal power based on bureaucratic opinion and to enshrine child custody of one's offsprings as a constitutional right. We realize that this may take generations to accomplish and will meet immense resistance from service providers and those who have little knowledge on the negative impacts of child removal. Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they are ratified into law. For our children, this arduous and dangerous mission is worthy.


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Since the inception of government, desirable commodities are often taxed. Table salt, iron, land, gas and fuel are some items taxed by government in the past and present. The most common reason of wars is the quest of necessities like land and natural resources. The industry found something that most parents want to keep - their children, and brilliantly built a system to use children as pawns to aggrandize under the pretext of child protection. Since most parents scrutinized are from the grass root class and have little the industry could plunder, service providers shrewdly turn their eyes on the deep pocket of taxpayers. Guided by expediency rather than principle, ambitious politicians are happy to be a willful partner because of the noble nature of child protection. High profile involvement could easily be turned into political assets. Public apathy, ignorance and mistrust contribute to the success of the industry to build a lucrative business primarily on tax dollars.

Horrible ministry-created atrocities could not have happened without the failure of government to duly exercise its power. Brutality is a way of life. Child protection workers are unclouded and untouched by the notion of cruelty, remorse or guilt. They know with terrifying certainty of what it takes to be a successful child protection worker, namely, to use their fearsome statutory child removal power for their best interests under the pretext of child protection. The industry is a conglomerate. There is no head to cut off. If a service provider betrays the principles of the accrual of money and power, the others betray him. This is a human weakness that cannot be eliminated in democracy.

We are not suggesting that there is no child abuse that requires government intervention. Real child abuse is rare and does not support the size of the industry. It is a crime and must be dealt with according to the Criminal Code. The industry, for its self serving interests, defines child abuse, controls the demand of its services and suppresses different views and complaints from parents whom its service providers call clients.

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but because conscience tells one it is right." Martin Luther King., Jr.

Why a democratically elected government could become so corrupt? Who should be held responsible? How many more foster children must die before political will is built to rectify the problem? How can politicians ignoring outcry of people continue to remain in office? When will those in power admit that there are serious problems and act decisively to restore accountability?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lack of transparency, weak or non-existent oversight, financial motivation provide fertile soil to spawn corruption. Our views are documented in Our Comment on "When Talk Trumped Service" and will not be repeated here.

Media publishes horrendous atrocities created by state-sponsored child removal every now and then. These stories never gather enough momentum and public support to dismantle the industry. Although it only reveals the tip of an iceberg surrounding problems created by state-sponsored child removal, the Alberta publicity is an unprecedented serial uncovering of abuse of power and corruption. It prompted politicians and service providers to take immediate action to defend their bread and butter. As we have correctly predicted in our web page titled "MCFD Propaganda, appalling ruses such as diverting attention to successful interventions, allegation of worthless reform, faulty reasons of not conducting public inquiry were used to avoid further scrutiny and to protect the status quo. Politicians fail society in due exercise of power in office.

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Like the MCFD in B.C., Alberta's MHS is also a provincial minister. Yet, similar problems occur. This is a thought-provoking call to parents in Ontario who are pursuing a provincially run ministry to replace the non-profit CAS. It does not matter in what form and shape that child removal authority is being exercised. The problem is state-sponsored child removal itself.

Court scheduling difficulty created by counsel's delaying tactics, lengthy hearings, litigation on irrelevant issues, procedural wrangling, problems caused by well-intentioned but ill-considered child protection legislation, lopsided case law all combine to thwart natural justice. Acceptance of fabricated evidence and coerced admission of guilt in child protection hearings has brought the administration of justice into disrepute. Our views may appear cynical, acerbic and iconoclastic. But they accurately point to the child protection system's foibles and failures. Our criticisms will inspire outrage from service providers, incredulity from the public who knows little about the industry and echo from oppressed parents to demand judicial and legislative reform.

There is no political will to implement any meaningful ameliorative changes. State-sponsored child removal is oppressive, barbaric and inhumane. It is a systematic attack on a civilian population using means and methods of wanton cruelty. Child removal authority could be used to target any individual or group of people. It is a potential cause of social unrest and creates social problems such as cross generation poverty, heavy tax burden to support worthless social services, waste of police and court time to accommodate industry's counter productive activities. Our safety and freedom are seriously jeopardized. This is a global problem that pertains not only in Canada but also in countries where government has the power to remove children from the parents based on bureaucratic opinion. The United Sates, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, where there are similar child protection law and influences on government child welfare policy from the industry, all exhibit the same problem. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love of our children has no meaning. Modern child protection is a derivative of the now renounced residential school and has no place in a civilized society. History will eventually prove that our cause is correct and serves the best interests of our nation, families and, above all, children.

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." Martin Luther King., Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through persistent struggle guided by conscience, wit and wisdom. As a parent and a citizen, it is our duty to rise and build a safer future for your children. Evil prevails when good men remain silent. No individual could fight such oppressive and formidable power alone and win. Join us. Act before your loved ones fall prey.


Alberta Media

  1. "Five other cases of deaths in care the public should know about" The Edmonton Journal, published on 25 November 2013 download pdf
  2. "Secrecy in child welfare system fails the powerless" The Edmonton Journal, published on 25 November 2013 download pdf
  3. "Fatal Care Foster care tragedies cloaked in secrecy" The Edmonton Journal, published on 26 November 2013 download pdf
  4. "Questioning Foster Care "Should Not Be Allowed" says association head" CBC News, published on 27 November 2013 download pdf
  5. "National review system needed to save lives experts" The Edmonton Journal, published on 27 November 2013 download pdf
  6. "Restrictive law silences grieving parents" The Edmonton Journal, published on 28 November 2013 download pdf
  7. "The story of one Alberta foster child we wanted to tell you — but can’t" The Edmonton Journal, published on 28 November 2013 download pdf
  8. "Advocate says he would investigate all child deaths in care if directed by government" Calgary Herald, published on 29 November 2013 download pdf
  9. "Dave Hancock Vulnerable children need all Albertans to care" The Edmonton Journal, published on 29 November 2013 download pdf
  10. "First Nations chiefs call for urgent reform to child care after revelations of deaths" Calgary Herald, published on 29 November 2013 download pdf
  11. "Minister Hancock sends video to Alberta child care workers Edmonton CBC News" CBC News published on 30 November 2013 download pdf
  12. "Simons We must count the fall of every sparrow" The Edmonton Journal, published on 30 November 2013 download pdf
  13. "Six steps Alberta can take to fix the child welfare system" The Edmonton Journal, published on 30 November 2013 download pdf
  14. "Foster mom denies wrongdoing in death of baby Delonna sues" The Edmonton Journal, published on 22 December 2013 download pdf
  15. "Alberta reveals hundreds more children died while receiving provincial care" The Edmonton Journal, published on 9 January 2014 download pdf
  16. "Simons: Do province’s admissions signal a child welfare revolution?" The Edmonton Journal, published on 9 January 2014 download pdf
  17. "Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs order abolishing state's CPS agency" abc15.com, published on 13 January 2014 download pdf

Research and Statistics

  1. Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal
  2. Table 5.4 Deaths and death rates of children and youth, by age group, 1998, 2003 and 2008 Statistics Canada download pdf
  3. Abuse in children's foster care: State officials call for outside review Michelle Cole, The Oregonian (2 September 2009) download pdf
  4. Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. (e-mail: jjdoyle@mit.edu), Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology download pdf

[This page was conceptualized on 23 December 2013, published on on 3 January 2014, last revised on 12 February 2015.]