(May 24, 2017) – The Office of Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate has completed an Investigative Review regarding the suicide of a First Nation youth and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
The Advocate received information that 15-year-old “Levi” died by suicide. Although Levi’s last contact with Child Intervention Services occurred approximately three years earlier, his intervention record remained open until 20 months prior to his death.
“Levi’s story highlights the importance of a balanced focus in addressing the problems that parents experience with the needs of the child,” said Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. “This review also emphasizes a child’s right to be heard and participate in decision-making and the child’s right to have their basic needs met.”
“I also want to add that Levi was a quiet and reserved young man, who often seemed to be invisible to almost everyone of importance in his life. My hope is that his experience will demand systems pay greater attention to young people who might otherwise not be heard.”
The recommendations in this review must be acted upon, along with relevant recommendations made in other reports, to improve services for Alberta’s children and youth.
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 are available at: 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.