By Kelly Geraldine Malone THE CANADIAN PRESS The number of newborns taken into care dropped dramatically as birth alerts ended across Canada, but child welfare experts warn ceasing the practice cannot be the only step governments take to keep families together. “(Birth alerts) really risk being kind of a red herring in the real issue of ensuring that children have an adequate opportunity to grow up with their families,” said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. “What we really need to get at is issues of systemic racism, poverty and domestic violence.” Birth alerts were used to notify hospitals and child-welfare agencies that a more thorough assessment was needed before a newborn was discharged to a parent deemed high-risk. The practice had long
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