Child welfare worker tells inquest she didn’t know about Hamilton teen’s suicidal thoughts

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Published October 4, 2022 at 5:48 pm

Devon Freeman was found dead in 2018

A child welfare worker is telling a coroner’s inquest that had she known an Indigenous teen in her care had a history of suicidal thoughts and self-harm, she would have tried to talk to him about it.

Kim Loiselle was the child services worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton assigned to Devon Freeman starting in late 2016 until he became a ward of the Crown in June 2017. Freeman was found dead in 2018.

The inquest has heard that a residential program Freeman participated in shortly before going into the agency’s care documented his suicidal ideation, which included plans to hang himself.

Loiselle says she didn’t receive any records from that program, and having that information would have made a difference in how she approached the 16-year-old.

At times tearing up during her testimony, Loiselle said she would have tried to broach the issue with Freeman – particularly after learning he had tried to take his own life after running away from the Lynwood Charlton Centre group home in Flamborough in May 2017.

The inquest has heard Freeman went missing from the home on Oct. 7 and his body was found on the property more than six months later, in April 2018. An autopsy determined he died by hanging.

 

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