This release was issued under a previous government.

Introduced on April 22, the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Amendment Act, 2014, is yet another step taken in support of Human Services Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar’s five-point plan to build a system of continuous improvement in the child intervention system.

An amendment to the publication ban provisions of the Act will make the ban no longer applicable to a child receiving services who has died. Families will be empowered to speak publicly about their children using their name and photograph, and share their experiences with the child intervention system.

“Our government believes that it is a basic right of each and every one of us to express grief publicly, or to protect privacy in a period of tremendous sadness. This decision is not one for the government to make; it is one for families to decide what is in the best interests of children.  This bill follows through on that belief and embeds into legislation a stronger set of measures focused on quality assurance and continuous improvement.”

Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Human Services

Proposed amendments

  • The publication ban will be amended so that the name or photograph of a deceased child and their parents or guardian may be published.
  • A family member or interested party who does not wish the name or photograph of a deceased child to be published may apply to the courts to have a publication ban on the name or photograph of the child and their guardian or family members.
  • Quality assurance requirements for child intervention will be embedded in legislation, including a clarified and enhanced mandate for the Child and Family Services Council for Quality Assurance and reporting requirements for the ministry to regularly release information about the system and quality assurance activities, including those pertaining to reviews of death, serious injury and serious incident.
  • A related amendment to the Child and Youth Advocate Act will expand the Advocate’s investigative mandate to include a death of a child that occurred up to two years following the child’s involvement in the child intervention system.

"The Child Welfare League of Canada is encouraged that Alberta Human Services is moving ahead with a series of enhancements that will help to ensure a higher level of accountability in the provision of child intervention services. Minister Bhullar and his officials are to be commended for making good on their commitment to developing a more transparent reporting system. The proposals for strengthened annual public disclosure, in particular, are consistent with recommendations made by the CWLC."

Gordon Phaneuf, CEO, Child Welfare League of Canada

“The government’s commitment to quality assurance will result in a better understanding of what has been working well for children and families, and what needs improvement. When regular, routine reporting of data from child-serving ministries is combined with surveillance and analysis, trends can be identified and acted upon quickly.”

Robyn Blackadar, President and CEO, Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research

In the past four months, Human Services has: 

  • released an unprecedented amount of data relating to children in care;
  • launched four new Parent Link Centres and two satellite locations to support families;
  • signed an agreement with the Calgary Police Service to fast-track police checks and share more information to expedite kinship care applications;
  • invested an additional $5 million towards mental health supports for vulnerable children and families;
  • committed to working with its partners to increase services for young adults’ receiving services from the child intervention system by two years; and
  • has begun work on a provincial challenge to ensure every vulnerable child who needs a mentor and positive influence in their life has access to somebody.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.