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CAS Lacks Oversight
March 29, 2006 permalink
Most of today's news stories on bill 210 are based on the Ontario government's self-congratulatory press release. Ontario Ombudsman André Marin has a different view.
CAS review board not good enough: ombudsman
The creation of a neutral third party to hear complaints against Ontario's 53 Children's Aid Societies does not go far enough, says the province's ombudsman.
An amendment to the Child and Family Services Act, which passed this week, will see the formation of an independent Child and Family Services Review Board.
But Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin, who has jurisdiction over the board, says there is no change to how an actual investigation is carried out.
"We have a remote, third-hand ability to oversee a tribunal or agency of the government, which does not give us the ability to do a frontline investigation," said Marin.
Marin says the province missed an opportunity in not dealing with that part of the act.
But Children and Youth Services Minister Mary Anne Chambers said the creation of the new review board is more than adequate.
"It does not stop with the board of directors at a Children's Aid Society now, it goes well beyond that," Chambers said.