News from our office
Mental Health Symposium Summary Report released
"The Case for Change: Children and Youth with Complex Needs & Access to the Mental Health System"
On February 19, 2014 the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and the Alberta Mental Health Patient Advocate hosted a Mental Health Symposium in collaboration with the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. More than 100 provincial leaders from different sectors and disciplines in Alberta accepted the invitation to discuss and recommend action to improve mental health outcomes for vulnerable children and youth with complex needs who may need services from multiple providers across Ministries and sectors.
The report is a description of what we heard at the symposium, and includes a summary of themes, recommendations and suggested actions. This report has been provided to both the Minister of Human Services and the Minister of Health, as well as the 100+ symposium participants. A follow-up symposium to this event will be held on Wednesday October 29, 2014 in Edmonton.
Read the Summary Report here.
News release: Child and Youth Advocate releases Investigative Review involving the death of a 14-day old baby
May 5, 2014
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed its Investigative Review involving the dealth of a 14-day old baby and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
Newsletter for Youth
April 30, 2014
As part of our effort to reach out to youth, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has launched a newsletter for young people called "OCYA News." This fun and engaging newsletter will appeal to youth and also provide relevant and timely information to service providers, caseworkers and other stakeholders. We encourage service providers and youth to share this newsletter. If additional copies are needed, please contact our office through the contact information provided in the newsletter.
Click here to read our latest issue!
Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review involving a 7-year-old boy who drowned
January 21, 2014
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed its Investigative Review involving a 7-year-old boy who drowned, and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
Child and Youth Advocate celebrates National Child Day with launch of rights video
November 20, 2013
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate celebrated National Child Day today at Edmonton's Stanley Milner Library with the launch of a powerful child-rights video, "We Have A Voice."
Child and Youth Advocate releases investigative review into the suicide of a young person in care
"Kamil: An Immigrant Youth's Struggle"
November 18, 2013
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed its Investigative Review into the suicide of a youth and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
2012-2013 Annual Report of the Child and Youth Advocate Released
November 6, 2013
Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate, publicly released the 2012-13 Annual Report of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. The report was tabled by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly today and outlines the work and activities of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate during the reporting period of April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
Read the media release here.
Best Practices in Child Legal Representation
Our October 2013 Conference was held in Jasper, Alberta, Canada.
The conference was a huge success. Check back soon for photos, participant feedback and conference resources.
Del Graff at John Barnett Elementary School in Edmonton, October 7, 2013
Child and Youth Advocate releases first investigative review into the death of a young person
July 2, 2013
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) has completed its Investigative Review into the suicide of a youth in kinship care placement and is publicly releasing the results of the review as outlined under the Child and Youth Advocate Act...read full media release here.
Child and Youth Advocate releases Special Report on youth aging out of care
April 10, 2013
Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate, publicly released his first self-directed Special Report as an independent Officer of the Legislature..read full media release here.
National Child Day celebrated with a song and art contest
November 20, 2012
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) celebrated National Child Day at MacEwan University...read full media release here.
2011-12 Annual Report of the Child and Youth Advocate Released…
Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate, publicly released the 2011-12 Annual Report of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.
NEWS RELEASE: Child and Youth Advocate launches consultations on youth leaving or aging out of care
October 1, 2012
Youth aged 17 to 21 who are currently receiving services under the Child and Family Enhancement Act and are interested in talking about leaving or aging out of government care…Read the full media release here.
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate for Alberta
NATIONAL CHILD DAY:
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate supports the celebration of National Child Day on November 20.
National Child Day commemorates Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which outlines basic human rights for children and youth. Check our website for upcoming events to celebrate National Child Day in Alberta.
For more information on National Child Day, go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website:
and the Canadian Children’s Rights Council website:
NEWS RELEASE: Child and Youth Advocate Designated Independent Officer of the Alberta Legislature
April 1, 2012
With the proclamation of the new Child and Youth Advocate Act, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has been designated an Independent Officer of the Alberta Legislature. Read the full media release here.
New Director of Systemic Advocacy and Outreach Announced
Randy Baker is our new Director of Systemic Advocacy and Outreach effective April 10, 2012.
Randy has spent his career in the human services. He started his career education at MacEwan in 1980 and over time went on to a BA and MA. He spent most of his career in Region 6, going from the frontline to supervising and managing and was the Region 6 representative for the implementation of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. In recent years he went on a secondment to Human Resources doing recruiting and labor relations and spent a year working at Corporate Human Resources in Employee Engagement.
He is very values driven and thinks it is very important that everyone be treated with dignity and respect. He has practiced mediation part time since the early 90's.
New Director of Strategic Supports Announced
Bonnie Russell is our new Director of Strategic Support effective March 28, 2012.
Bonnie brings to the position of Director, Strategic Support strong leadership in the areas of finance, information technology and administration, and has over 30 years experience with the Alberta Public Service. Prior to joining the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, Bonnie was with the Ministry of Human Services (the former Children and Youth Services) for seven years, and held the positions of Director of Internal Audit and Risk Management, and Senior Manager of Financial Policy and Advisory Services. Prior to this Bonnie was the Senior Manager of Financial Reporting and Compliance with Alberta Finance, and also managed the delivery of financial and payroll services to Alberta Revenue, Executive Council, Office of the Chief Electoral Officer and other government entities. Bonnie’s experience also includes accounting, auditing, and business analyst positions with the former Ministry of Alberta Treasury.
Bonnie brings to the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate a strong background in policy development, financial reporting, budgeting, auditing, risk analysis, emergency planning, contract management and financial systems. As well, Bonnie has a sound leadership and supervisory background.
"Advocacy 101: The Basics and Beyond" held in Calgary and Lethbridge.
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate hosted the final two workshops in its 2011-2012 series entitled "Advocacy 101: The Basics and Beyond". These workshops were aimed at those individuals working with children and youth. Presented by the OCYA in partnership with the University of Calgary.
Participant feedback and comments will be posted soon.
2010-11 Annual Report of the Child and Youth Advocate Released…
Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff has presented the 2010-11 Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) Annual Report to Alberta Human Services Minister Dave Hancock.
New Senior Manager for Legal Representation for Children and Youth (LRCY) Announced
It is my pleasure to inform you that Terri Davies is our new Senior Manager for Legal Representation for Children and Youth (LRCY) effective October 1, 2011. Before moving to this new role, Terri was in the position of Quality Assurance Manager in LRCY for more than 4 years. Prior to coming to LRCY in 2007, Terri worked for 2 years as a Provincial Special Case Review Analyst with Alberta Children’s Services. Before that, she spent 5 years as a Casework Supervisor with the Edmonton & Area Child and Family Services Authority supervising Foster Care and Adoption services. Terri’s experience also included positions as a crisis worker, a medical social worker and a child welfare social worker.
Terri’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and completion of the Management Development Program for the Alberta Public Service.
Terri is passionate about her belief that young people are rights holders and that their voices need to be heard in decisions that affect them. It is this passion that has led her to be a strong advocate for young people in LRCY. She also brings a solid supervisory background, knowledge of best practice in child legal representation, and significant leadership experience to her new role.
New Advocacy Services Manager Announced
It is my pleasure to inform you that Jackie Stewart will be our new Senior Manager for Advocacy Services.
Jackie brings a passion for child rights and advocacy, as well as a wealth of management and practice experience to this leadership position. Jackie spent the last five years as the Senior Manager of Legal Representation for Children and Youth (LRCY) in the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. Prior to this role, she worked as a Senior Manager for Process Reviews where she managed the special case reviews for Alberta Children’s Services. She also worked for 6 years as the Manager for Litigation Support where she coordinated and managed the Ministry’s involvement with lawsuits. As well, Jackie brings significant experience in child welfare, where she was a Child Protection Specialist, a Casework Supervisor, an Assistant Manager of a District Office and a Caseworker.
Jackie’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of Calgary and completion of the Senior/Executive Manager’s Development Program for the Alberta Public Service.
New Child and Youth Advocate appointed for Alberta
Del Graff has been appointed as the new Child and Youth Advocate for Alberta. The Ministry news release is posted here.
Two new booklets on rights for children and youth in care are available.
Children Have Rights (for children 11 years and under)
Children and Young People Have Rights (for children 12 years and older)