A man whose son died while in foster care will now have to pay out of pocket for therapy sessions.
Chris Martell lives with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and said Saskatchewan’s social services minister at the time, Donna Harpauer, promised to fund sessions to help him deal with his son’s death.
In 2010, 22-month-old Evander Lee Daniels drowned in a tub full of scalding water. He was living in an overcrowded foster home at the time.
A report from the Saskatchewan Children’s Advocate in 2015 said the death could have been prevented.
That June, Harpauer travelled to Martell’s home in Sturgeon Lake First Nation to apologize on behalf of the province. The father said the minister stood in front of the media that day and promised him services.
“It just seemed like a publicity stunt,” he said.
Martell noted he received a total of three sessions before they were cut off.
Frustrations have since mounted as Martell said he’s now being told to contact the federal government for assistance.
“It is very much a slap in the face for those who suffer from PTSD. It’s a daily struggle and therapy is very helpful.”
In an email to 650 CKOM Thursday, the province said it was very limited in what could say about individual cases under the Child and Family Act.
The Ministry of Social Services said it can provide funding support and help connect Child and Family clients to counselling services.
“These supports are outside of any additional health benefits a person may be entitled to either through the provincial or federal governments. They would also be separate from any income assistance benefits a person may be entitled to through Social Service’s Income Assistance programs,” the statement read.
The province noted it also can’t speak to individual cases where people have applied or received benefits from income-assistance programs, including the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program.
Additionally, the email noted the minister’s office is not involved in determining eligibility of clients for SAID, or in the appeals process in the event someone wants to appeal the results of their assessment.
– With files from JT Marshall.