Alberta Child And Youth Advocate Says COVID Has Made Things Worse For Vulnerable Youth

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By Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – The overlapping public health crises of COVID and opioid poisoning are having a significant impact on some of Alberta’s most vulnerable youth, according to a new report from the province’s child and youth advocate.
Child and Youth Advocate Del Graf told the CBC in the wake of his office’s new report last week that his office received reports of 81 deaths and serious injuries among vulnerable youth in 2020-21 — a 31 percent increase from the 2019-2020 figure.
There is a vast Indigenous overrepresentation in Alberta’s child welfare system, composing 64 per cent of the province’s entire child intervention caseload.
Many of these children suffer from intergenerational trauma resulting from the horrific legacy of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, as well as poverty, Cheryl Whiskeyjack of the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society told the CBC, adding that these issues are best addressed within First Nations themselves, rather than through the...continued.

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