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Chambers Covers for CAS
December 1, 2006 permalink
Examination of yesterday's Hansard, now online, reveals what is really happening. Mary Ann Chambers introduced a new bill 165 to create an independent advocate for children. The bill text is not yet online, but according to Andrea Horwath who was filled in on its content, the proposed advocate will be a fluff position with no investigatory powers. Mrs Chambers introduced the bill in an effort to head off the more serious bill 88, which would give oversight powers to the provincial Ombudsman, an officer who does have investigatory power. When the proceedings reached questions, the main topic was the leaked auditor's report. Mrs Chambers rebuffed all questions with two claims: the liberals expanded the powers of the auditor to allow this report to be created, and we cannot comment because the report has not yet been released.
Since the press and the internet have gone wild on this story, and the Canada Court Watch discussion board is down, we include several comments in the addenda.
Here are the relevant sections of the debate:
Addendum: Here is news and commentary from Vivian Song in today's Toronto Sun:
Child welfare workers ripped
What child welfare workers have done is tantamount to stealing from children, says one woman who grew up in the system.
"Staff at children's aid societies get paid well enough," said Chantal Lalande, 22, who told her story in a heartbreaking documentary Wards of the Crown. "They shouldn't be taking money away from a child. These kids already had their (childhood) stolen from them. The last thing they need is to be deprived of more because someone wants to go out for a nice dinner with their family or buy a car."
Though appalled, Lalande said she wasn't surprised at the revelations, saying it was common knowledge among kids at the group home she lived in that staff expensed family dinners under the guise of taking out a child.
While working at a group home near Ottawa, Jane Scharf says she watched as the owners bought a new Jeep, built a new home and dined on expensive dinners while the children were starved of breakfast and went cold in the winter.
"These group homes are funded by the children's aid society," Scharf said from Ottawa. "There was no accounting of the money going into the children's aid society or to the owners of group homes."
BASIC NEEDS NOT MET
Scharf is now an outspoken critic of the child welfare system after a four-month stint as a careworker. The group home didn't take care of the kids' basic needs much less provide the services they needed to help them, she said.
Scharf applauded the government's announcement yesterday introducing legislation that would make the youth advocate an officer of the legislature -- and independent.
"What CAS is doing infuriates me," she said. "It's the most out-of-control organization I've ever seen."
Source: Toronto Sun
Addendum: A VOCA reader got the opinion of John Tory:
- December 1, 2006 12:44 AM
- firstname.lastname@example.org; NDP Members
- Tory, John
- who is paying for the PR firm to add the spin to this report? the tax payers?
And the CBC has also obtained an internal document showing that an outside public relations agency has been hired to develop a response to the damaging report and "to preserve the reputation of children's aid societies and their leadership."
- Tory, John
- Friday, December 01, 2006 7:56 AM
- RE: who is paying for the PR firm to add the spin to this report? the tax payers?
I hate to say it but you are. The taxpayers who thought the money was going to the kids and families are paying for the p.r. people too. Hopefully you might add your voice by writing to the Premier since his Minister didn't take this seriously yesterday. Thank you for writing to me. John Tory
Source: reader who prefers to omit his name
Addendum: Just in time for this scandal, here is a press release from the union representing children's aid workers, complaining that they do not get enough compensation.
Addendum: Some cynics have pointed out that junkets to the Caribbean also go a haven for money laundering.
CathyEthier rescued her son from children's aid by placing him with her parents (the boy's grandparents) in her native Bulgaria. Here is her comment on the scandal:
- Cathy <email@example.com>
- Fri, 1 Dec 2006 03:26:56 -0800 (PST)
- AfterFosterCare Minister of Children's Services - Announcement 1:00pm
Well , you know that York CAS wanted my son's school address in Bulgaria.
The reason for that is because Ms. Nancy French wanted to go on a vacation on the Black Sea. That's why she was trying to collect the address even two years after my file was closed. When she did not succeed, she got bananas and went to York Regional Police in an attempt to unsuccsessfully manipulate the Police.
Source: afterfostercare email group
Addendum: Anne Marsden comments:
- "The Auditors"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Fri, 1 Dec 2006 06:34:47 -0500
- CBC News
Whats worse is the billions that is being spent dragging innocents through the courts. December 6, 2006 will be another appearance by mom and family in the Bantford family court. This will be 4 years since it started December 5, 2002 with an illegal TCA. There is no evidence this child is in need of protection, the CFSA requirements to protect children have all been set aside - no temporary care and custody hearing and no protection hearing just a summary judgment without notice to mom and grandma who was a party. December 6th is a settlement conference for her sister who was apprehended from the hospital July 10, 2006 based on the same garbage the other little girl has been in care for four years now. Strange it only happens to the little girls, mom does produce beautiful baby girls, as the three sons mom has had all live at home. Judgment has been reserved on the temp. care and custody hearings since Oct 16th and there has been no temporary order since July 13, 2006 for this baby to be in care. Also on Dec. 6, 2006 is the third attempt commencing August 16, 2006 with all the evidence before the court that the order of July 13, 2006 making the 6 year old a crown ward no access has to be set aside. Consents to keep this child in care have been given by lawyers without any consent of the parties! The audit of these two cases are very detailed and the evidence is all there to support what we have been saying for years, children for the most part are being taken and kept in care outside rule of law. The Children's Minister refused to have a CFSA Section 67 review of this matter (have a judge investigate) and my request is right on Hansard as you all likely know. Anne Marsden
Source: email from Anne Marsden
Comment: Here is a quote from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. The same racket is practiced today, not by foster parents, but by children's aid societies.
Upon this the parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be "farmed," or, in other words, that he should be despatched to a branch-workhouse some three miles off, where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an elderly female, who received the culprits at and for the consideration of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny's worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be got for sevenpence-halfpenny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children; and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for herself. So, she appropriated the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance than was originally provided for them. Thereby finding in the lowest depth a deeper still; and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher.
Source: Oliver Twist, chapter two