Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teen’s death raises questions about secrecy surrounding kids in care

On a late afternoon in April, Justin Sangiuliano put on his helmet and gloves to go for a bicycle ride.

But staff at the unlicensed Oshawa group home where the 17-year-old developmentally disabled teen lived were planning to take him fishing instead. They locked the bicycle shed to be sure the energetic 6-footer got the message.

Justin was furious. He stormed around the home, swinging his fists until staff grabbed his arms to restrain him. Kicking and screaming — and still in the clutches of two staff members — the teen fell to the living room floor, where he reportedly rubbed his face back and forth on the carpet until his forehead, chin and cheeks were raw.

Some time later, he stopped struggling and staff released him. But Justin never got up. He was rushed to Lakeridge hospital and arrived without a heartbeat, according to a serious occurrence report filed by Enterphase Child and Family Services, the private company that runs the group home.

Justin, a ward of the children’s aid society in Timmins, Ont., never regained consciousness and died five days later.

Under Ontario’s current child protection system, his story might never have been told, because authorities concluded that neither criminal charges nor an inquest were warranted.

“It is stunning to me how these children... are rendered invisible while they are alive and invisible in their death,” said Irwin Elman, Ontario’s independent advocate for children and youth. Elman was unaware of Justin’s death until informed by the Star. Between 90 and 120 children and youth connected to children’s aid die every year.  (more...)


1 comment:

  1. Enterphase staff are unqualified and this won't be the last death! They trivialize teens with serious trauma and mental health issues.