Gateway Gazette

Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving serious injury of a 17-year-old

Serious injury occurred after suicide attempt

“This young lady had over 20 placements by the time she was 17 years old. While Makayla has recovered physically from her injuries, she still has emotional difficulties. There needs to be a recognition of the debilitating effects of loss and trauma on youth and how it can impair a child’s success and development as they grow into adulthood.”

~ Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding a serious injury and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.

In 2014, 17-year-old Makayla was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. At the time, she was the subject of a Permanent Guardianship Order. Makayla has recovered from the injuries related to her suicide attempt; however, she continues to struggle emotionally.

The information gathered through this Investigative Review revealed two issues related to the systems that serve children and families and resulted in two recommendations for Government to act upon.

The intent of an Investigative Review is not to find fault with specific individuals, but to identify and advocate for system improvements that will help enhance the overall safety and well-being of children and young people who are receiving designated services.

A copy of the Investigative Review and recommendations is available on our website: ocya.alberta.ca/adult/ publications/investigative- review.

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent office of the Legislature, representing the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and young people receiving designated government services.

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