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Judy Finlay Reports

June 25, 2007 permalink

Last week Judy Finlay released a report We are your Sons and Daughters (pdf). Her office did not respond to requests for a copy, but we have found one on the internet.

Press reports concentrated on her conclusion that foster care produced better results than group homes.

The research team interviewed a sample of children in the care of three of the four children's aid societies that were the subject of the Ontario Auditor General's report last December. That research method prevented discovery of the most serious problems, since children living in fear of their fosters find it too dangerous to be candid about their problems. The advocate never looked into the abuses used to separate children from their parents.

The average number of placements per youth was 3.9, found by asking the sampled children. In principle, this figure could be found more accurately by examining the records of the children's aid societies. Perhaps even the child advocate has trouble getting the records.

The report confirms one abuse reported frequently by Canada Court Watch — foster parents embezzled the kids' money. As the report states it: "Didn't get clothing allowance (very common complaint)".

The report recommends: "That there be a public inquiry into the standards and quality of care afforded children in state care across Canada". A good idea sure to be ignored. Any inquiry will use the same method as Mrs Finlay: evidence gathered in private from witnesses never named.

A few of the kids mentioned their mom and dad in answer to the research questions. The report itself never uses the words mother or father, except as foster parents. While ignoring the resource of parents, the child advocate calls for the recruitment of more foster parents.