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Decision to overturn cap on foster care payments causes CEO to resign
Published Wednesday, March 24, 2010 6:29PM MDT
A quick decision to overturn a cap on foster care payments has caused the CEO of child and family services in the Edmonton region to resign.
Minister of Children and Youth Services Yvonne Fritz says CEO of child and family services in the Edmonton region, Rick Semel, has resigned.
Earlier this week, Fritz issued an apology to Alberta foster parents who were informed that payments for special needs children would be capped.
Fritz quickly overturned the cap after the opposition released details to the media about the funding cutback, which was apparently set to begin April 1st.
Fritz claims a cap isn't necessary because foster care in Alberta got a funding increase of about $1 million in the provincial budget. She says she wasn't aware that department staff had plans to impose a cap in the Edmonton area as part of a pilot project.
The minister mentioned she would find out why the department ignored her directive to not cut foster funding. Fritz confirms Wednesday that she did not ask for Semel's resignation.
On Monday, NDP MLA Rachel Notley spoke to media about the proposed cap, saying the government should be working to attract more foster parents into the system, rather than drive them away.
Notley now says the province is attempting to do some damage control after Monday's fallout.
"This is an embarrassing attempt to cover up the fact that Yvonne Fritz doesn't know what's going on in her own ministry," Notley said in a press release.
Notley also charges that government cuts are part of the issue.
But the premier says foster care has seen a boost of $910,000, and while documents do show foster care has increased, it is only one piece of the ministry.
The overall budget for child and youth funding has been slashed by $36 million and the Edmonton area was cut by more than $6 million.
With files from Kevin Armstrong and the Canadian Press