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More CAS Cases

March 23, 2006 permalink

Here are two more letters to politicians and a third story communicated privately.

This letter to Liberal MP Lloyd St Amand of Brant will be forwarded to CAS by the politician, so there is nothing to be gained by concealing names or places.



Mr. St.-Amand

As the MP and a former lawyer of mine, I am asking for your help. I don't know who to turn to anymore.

If you recall, the C.A.S. has been in and out of my life and a few months ago I had contacted you regarding a matter that's before the court. This is not about this case that I am requesting your help. It's about myself and my unborn child which is due for July 11th, 2006. I have been informed by a worker from the Society that an alert has been placed across Canada due to the fact that I had left Ontario and moved to New Brunswick. I have returned back to Brantford in January 2006. The moment I give birth to this child, they will be apprehending. With all the lies and false accusations, they will not let me keep the baby. The main one is that I'm being told that my parenting skills are not appropriate or so they say. I have been more then cooperative with the Society over the years. Yet no matter what I've said and done, they seem to find faults.

I want to raise this child and be able to nurture her. But the Children's Aid Society is bound determined to make sure that this does not occur.

I am asking for your help because you are a government figure for our County and I believe that there could be a way that you could be of assistance. Please help me sir to keep this child.


Brantford ON N3R 1Y9
(519) 753 - 2720

Here is a letter to Andrea Horwath in support of her effort to get the Ontario Ombudsman to have authority to look into Children's Aid. It is one of the three most common kinds of case — the divorce continuation. A parent already separated tries to get CAS to protect their child from the other parent. In Dufferin, when complaints become annoying to CAS, they take the child permanently away from the complaining parent. As is typical in child protection cases, the family supports the NDP. The letter is posted with permission of the author, who says that there is no ban on publishing her case or her name.



Dear Ms. Horwath

Re: Collins, York and CAS Hamilton

My (now) ex, myself, and, my son (now almost 10) have been in court for almost five years. In October 2005 Justice Czutrin decided at the first Status Review (initiated in February 2004) that the case was not about child protection but custody and access. We are currently in court on the custody cross-claim (initiated after the child protection application by necessity). CAS is still involved - not in supervising my ex's care of my son but in providing supervised access for me.

My ex is registered on the Ontario Child Abuse Registry since 1984 for physically assaulting his nephew. The nephew (then aged 15) had visible injuries and was reluctant (he had been threatened) to report these. It was his probation officer who called CAS. The ex's nephew was made a crown ward and Hamilton Police did an investigation but did not charge the ex because the nephew was unwilling to testify and they felt the situation did not necessitate it with the Crown Wardship order.

My ex has an extensive criminal record including assaults, unlawful use of a firearm (resulting in a death), and, sexual assaults.

My ex has had charge of my son since he was five. I allowed my son to be placed with my ex on a temporary basis to prevent him from becoming a crown ward. (CAS Hamilton ridiculously prolonged the case and was never trial ready.) the child's placement with my ex was under CAS supervision. The order respecting this supervision was made on consent and ordered by Justice M. Bennotto in June 2001. The order was three pages long respecting the supervision with one paragraph respecting my access. I felt confident CAS Hamilton would enforce all of the provisions of the order and adequately supervise the ex's care of my child - they never did.

In July 2001 I reported possible alcohol abuse by my ex to CAS and Police. Police refused to investigate and CAS After Hours refused to attend while the ex was intoxicated yelling and threatening me on the phone with my child crying in the background. They didn't feel this was an emergency so they waited until sometime on Monday or Tuesday to investigate. The investigation consisted of asking the ex if he was drinking and he of course denied it saying I suffer "mental illness" problems. THey refused to send the ex for drug tests and stated there were no concerns.

In September and October 2001 I made belated reports to CAS Hamilton because I made immediate calls to Hamilton Police over the threats. Police did attend at the ex's and the ex told his stories. I did receive occurrence numbers and later charged the ex privately in 2003 (as this continued). My charges were thrown out of Ontario Court (Criminal Division) because CAS was involved and there was a trial pending in Family Court. The trial never occurred.

I started to contact the Office of Child and Family Services in September 2001 about the care situation but they refused involvement because my son was not in CAS care.

The Office of the Child and Family Services suggested I study the CFSA legislation (which I began to) and I also obtained a copy of the 2000 Ontario Spectrum of Service and Risk Assessment Guidelines. They also encouraged the CAS internal review process.

I have been minimally (if at all) satisfied with the internal review process at CAS Hamilton. I have gone through it about four times. THe first time I used the procedure of social work supervisor, (Sheila Penney now a manager), director, executive director, and Board of Directors. This process advises a "wait and see" as you move up. It is lengthy and inadequate and does not immediate address protection needs of children at risk.

At the director stage (Ingrid Hauth) in the first complaint procedure (November 2001) became enraged interrupting a court ordered parent capacity assessment with a motion to have the court assessor replaced with one of their own choosing. With each complaint some sort of Court Motion was filed with orders that eventually eroded my rights to my son little by little. CAS Hamilton's mental illness allegations increased with the overall undertone that my concerns for my child were a mental illness problem. THe concerns were never fully investigated and CAS kept saying there were no concerns.

In 2004 I started writing the letters in quadruplicate all at once only to be referred to the supervisor level.

I've written the Ministry in September 2005 when my son had further physical injuries which were (as usual) suspicious and sent out quadruplicates to CAS to all levels in the complaint procedure only to receive a letter back from the Ministry in October 2005 advising me of the internal complaints procedure (the letter to the Ministry noted all the copies already sent to CAS Hamilton).

The result from CAS Hamilton was that they informed the school to advise CAS Hamilton if they saw injuries. This is ridiculous as it was the social worker who saw the injuries at my supervised access and did nothing more than question the child taking his word.

That particular injury was a very large bruise and swelling of the child's forehead which the child stated occurred playing ball at school when a ball hit him. I doubt very much that a ball would or could impact a child's head causing that severe an injury. At the very least this should have been assessed by a doctor. The social worker (Nicole Wilcox) either left or was fired from CAS Hamilton. She is working (negligently) elsewhere with some other vulnerable victim such as my son.

My son has had numerous bruises around his eyes, a broken foot, staph infections near his mouth, etc. The broken foot took four days to be seen by a doctor, the mouth infection was immediately investigated by an after hours worker. Most of the time any investigation is minimal and very much after the fact when evidence is non-existent.

My son is afraid. At the initial start of the intervention in 2001 my son was upset after his grandfather died because he was used to having my full attention. CAS Hamilton put in affidavit material the very day of the temporary care hearing threatening an application for crown wardship. It stated my son said I hit him leaving red marks and bruises. In 2004 a review of the case notes revealed the worker asked leading questions and omitted the fact the child stated "but these go away after I go to my room for awhile". I am quite sure my son sees the result of this is losing his mother and so he will endure abuse at any length and not report it afraid of losing his father. My son is in need of psychological intervention and he should have had prompt thorough investigation of his injuries.

CAS Hamilton and mCSS has, and continue to, fail my child with their gross negligence. This is an overfunded agency making use of their funding to abuse situations and to accommodate the whims and fancies of their social workers and the power mongering of the director.

I believe with my son's eighteenth birthday he has a very possible lawsuit against the Province of Ontario for the existing legislative scheme which doesn't protect children in "kinship care cases". I think Bill 210 is very dangerous in that it promotes CAS to provide kinship care that doesn't fall under the Office of Child and Family Services. CAS' accountability when they are supposed to be supervising a child's care seems to include mostly their own discretion in investigation and management.

Bill 210 would take the minimal right of a child's outside complaint procedure for CAS care cases and abolish that. My situation illustrates what already has, and is happening. with cases of vulnerable children that have no recourse except the ridiculous CAS internal procedure.

I am of the opinion the internal investigation procedure is useless and should be abolished entirely. All it seems to be is an excuse for supervisors and managers to discuss a situation internally on the versional story from a social worker and supervisor without the complainant's presence to fully explain the situation and defend the CAS allegations. The meetings aren't taken seriously, the worker or supervisor makes allegations about the complaining parent, and not much is done.

I have contacted the Ombudsman's Office by phone only to be told to not even write because they can't do anything or get involved with CAS. I believe the Ombudsman's Office not only should have a right to investigate these situations but be given extra funding (perhaps out of the CAS budget) to do so.

I am thoroughly disgusted there was so much public uproar over the Liberal government's sponsorship scandal and our public money, but so little is done about these atrocities concerning our vulnerable children. I applaud the efforts of the NDP on this issue and hope and pray you win the next provincial election.

Please try to help my child.

Angelique Collins

The following story is typical of CAS intervention in the life of a young couple. Since CAS ordinarily retaliates against families going public, we have omitted the name, phone number and CAS venue.



March 15, 2006

My issues with the CAS are as follows. When I call my worker it takes days for a reply. I am a part of the groups that have been assigned to me through CAS. My social worker has made no attempt to inquire of my progress, yet insists that she needs good reports. She says that my boyfriend and myself are not working with the society, yet we have attempted to do every group meeting and every letter that has been set out for us. She has cancelled meetings, not shown up and has only met with me three times since my children were taken into care, a total of five months. My worker says that I cannot have unsupervised visits with my children. because it is court orders that visits be through and at the discretion of the CAS. Visits now take place at my mother's, under her supervision, not CAS's. My two daughters are presently in the same foster home and frequently show up at sessions, dirty, hungry and refusing to go back to the foster home. The two girls are often left in the care of the teenage children in the foster home. My son (8 months) has only been introduced to beginner cereal. I brought this up with the worker, she told me that she had no concerns. When I discuss things that my 6 year old says to me, the worker says that the child does not know what she is talking about. The worker showed up in the court and claimed that (boyfriend) has not done any drug testing, to her knowledge, because she does not have the results. We went to the doctor who did the test and got copies of the results, that day they were faxed to the worker. There have been other cases held open for months for the same reason, the excuse being that they are waiting for a fax which they had received previously, this seems to be a trait with CAS.

The reasons the children were taken into care, were neglect (thumb sucking, diaper rashes and ability to talk to our 6 yr. old appropriately). Lately CAS has apologized, regarding the diaper rash and the thumb also having a rash. Since being in care the problem is still present and is not going away. It is time that CAS listens to doctors and takes their advice and not jump to conclusions. Drug abuse (he has been six months clean and done related counselling) homelessness, domestic violence (1 time incident of him pushing me, no police reports were ever filed) and mental health (I take antidepressants) and I see a psychologist. The Children's Aid have started a court action against me and are asking for 6 month wardship, even though the children have been in care for 5 months and everything they have asked me to do is almost complete. We are having a hard time with the housing because I cannot work due to the groups. We have almost saved up enough money and will have our own place in April.

I feel that in most cases that CAS abuse the entire family by separating all members. We are desperate to receive help in order to get our children returned to us. We believe that we have carried out CAS's requests in order to do this, but it appears that nothing is going to please them and that we will never get rid of CAS from our lives.

Please feel free to contact me at 000-000-0000. I have lots more information to add to this.