Province responds to judge’s recommendation in toddler’s fatality inquiry
Published Friday, September 27, 2019 4:07PM MDT Last Updated Friday, September 27, 2019 6:58PM MDT
The Children's Services Ministry has released a report in response to the ten recommendations presented by a judge who oversaw the fatality inquiry of 22-month-old Mackenzy Woolfsmith.
The toddler died in 2012 while in the care of a private babysitter. Caitlyn Jarosz was convicted in the child’s death and sentenced to 5.5 years in prison.
Of the ten recommendations to improve the child care system in Alberta and make it safer for children, none of them were rejected, however there wasn’t a clear plan as to how changes will be made.
In an email to CTV News, the Children's Services minister said…
“As recommended in the judge’s report, Children’s Services will be reviewing the Child Care Licensing Act, which will allow for a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the rules that govern Alberta’s child care system.”
Jennifer Woolfsmith, Mackenzy's mother, said the province’s report is encouraging and gives her cautious optimism there will be meaningful changes to come.
“I think it is positive news that they’ve accepted or at least accepted in principle all of the recommendations,” said Woolfsmith.
Some of the plans listed in the report include:
- More regulations in the private child care sector beyond the number of children a person can look after
- Increasing IT capacity for parent’s to look up and track serious incidents and the providers who are involved
- Improving the investigating and information sharing procedure when a child has been injured or is at risk of child injury
- Provide more support for care givers
Woolfsmith says in a case where a child care provider breaks the law, the recommendation from the judge was that unsafe daycares be closed and the caregiver be prohibited from providing child care services and if that wasn`t the case, the caregiver be monitored for compliance. However, in the province’s report, acknowledgement of a plan was directed only to licensed facilities and not private dayhomes.
“I think that is one of the areas that we will have to work with them to make sure we understand and do whatever we can to recognize that, that won`t be enough, ” said Woolfsmith.
“We need to have this cover all forms of child care if we are going to ensure the safety of our kids.”
To view the full report, scroll the document below or click HERE.