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No Real Reform

April 7, 2007 permalink

Who can best assess the needs of a child:

  1. mom
  2. dad
  3. a computer

If you chose c, you think like a Children's Aid reformer. In a complex press release, the OACAS announces policy changes responsive to the Auditor General's report. The most needed reform is not mentioned — independent oversight. The proposed changes are diversionary. The news article below simplifies the matter.



Changes to come at Children's Aid after auditor's report

Ontario's Children's Aid Societies vow to bring about major administrative changes after a hard-hitting auditor general's investigation revealed serious problems regarding the agency's spending habits.

Auditor General Jim McCarter tabled his report at the Ontario legislature last December, detailing expense abuses at several family and youth services agencies, including incidents where luxury vehicles, gym memberships and personal travel costs were charged to the province.

The investigation also reviewed the risk assessment system used by Children's Aid Societies (CAS), and new cases were delayed by weeks because of red tape.

McCarter made a series of recommendations that Children's Aid is now ready to implement, said Jeannette Lewis, executive director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies.

Those recommendations include:

  • New policies for international travel, credit card and company vehicle use.
  • New policies for staff spending.
  • New computer system for assessing abuse and neglect risk in reported cases.

Lewis acknowledges the agencies' reputation took a hit after the auditor's report, but said employees are committed to protecting children.

"Investigations will be completed professionally and in a timely manner, and I think that's what the public needs to know and understand," Lewis told CBC.

She wouldn't say when the policies would be in place.

Source: CBC