A mother is demanding accountability after her 14-year-old daughter died while in the care of the Ministry of Social Services.

Angela Severight had given up custodial care of Stellayna Severight as the child became a runaway, being swept up in drug and gang activity in Regina. Angela said she thought she was doing the right thing by Stellayna, so that the teen could get the help she needed. 

“I’m not going to let this go until there is some accountability, some change and I need to see it happen. I’m not going to let this go until I see it on paper,” said Angela. “The system needs to be changed, it needs to be addressed. There was no in-depth pounding on the pavement, looking for my daughter.”

Youth Outreach Worker, Bonnie Ford discovered Stellayna was in a trap-house in the city on April 28, 2022. Ford said she noticed other youth there unconscious, suspecting fentanyl induced.

She recounts that upon finding Stellayna, Ford proceeded directly to the Ministry of Social Services offices in Regina to get immediate help. She claims an unidentified child protection worker ignored her information and plea to take action.

“I stood right there when the receptionist called up for Stellayna’s worker, and she told the receptionist that ‘I’m not here.’ I heard that. This was an emergency, this was probably the worst case scenario that I’ve ever had to deal with,” explained Ford. “Had she done her job, Stellayna would still be here.”

A CBC report states that the Ministry acknowledged it received Ford’s warning. In emails obtained by the CBC, it appears over the next month, a case worker with the Ministry attempted to make contact several times unsuccessfully with Stellayna and her documented “caregiver.”

“Help us. HelpmMe. Don’t let my daughter die in vein. 29 days it took and people didn’t listen,” Angela said.

On May 27, the Ministry went to the trap-house, where Ford had located Stellayna a month prior. The workers were not able to gain access and the girl was reported missing to police.

Three days late Angela was informed by police that Stellayna was deceased, found in the trap-house. A coroner determined the death was from drug overdose.

Ford said she recommended that Stellayna be placed in a youth detox centre in Prince Albert, so that she would be away from Regina and the negative influences.

Angela and Stellayna’s story was brought to the Legislature Thursday, where the opposition New Democrats demanded action.

“No one went looking for Stellayna for 29 days. A month later on May 29, Stellayna died of a drug overdose in the very house where Bonnie [Ford] initially found her and asked the Ministry to go get her,” said Regina Elphinstone-Centre MLA Meara Conway. “[There are] serious systemic issues with our broken child-welfare system.”

Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky would not comment directly on the case, citing privacy legislation, stating he was willing to meet with the family.