SASKATOON — A Saskatoon police officer is calling for more supports for at-risk youth in the foster care system following the death of his son’s friend.
Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Brunton was shot and killed over the weekend and his death prompted an emotional response from Const. Matt Ingrouille.
A day after Brunton died, Ingrouille posted an open letter to his MLA, Gordon Wyant, on the Facebook page for Say Know Drug Education Project. The program was founded by Ingrouille, who is also a drug education advocate.
In it, he calls for more support for kids in the foster care system struggling with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and other severe traumas.
Ingrouille said his adopted son Tyson, who has FASD, was close friends with Brunton.
He said his son would be dead if it weren’t for the Circles of Care program run by Eagles Nest, a centre for at-risk youth.
“The only different between Isaiah and Tyson, was that Isaiah had no one with the support needed to succeed,” Ingrouille wrote.
The Circles of Care program started in August and its goal is to support the transition of young people residing at Eagles Nest back to a family-based care setting, whether it’s with their biological parents, extended family, adopted parents or foster parents, according to Eagles Nest executive director Susan Luedtke.
“The program is based on the development of a trusting relationship with the youths and their families,” she said in an emailed statement to CTV News.
Luedtke said 12 families are involved in the program.
Ingrouille is calling on the province to expand the Circles of Care program and others like it.
“Enough with kids like Isaiah dying. Enough with families like mine who try to help, being left completely alone,” he wrote.
The Ministry of Social Services calls the situation tragic and said its thoughts are with Brunton’s loved ones, family and friends.
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society, its stakeholders or funders.