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Advisory Committee Stacked

April 10, 2008 permalink

The laws of Nova Scotia provide for an advisory committee to review the Children and Family Services Act and related services. On April 1 the legislature discussed membership on the committee, suggesting that few parents could be recruited to serve.

Connie Brauer has responded (below). She applied to adopt the child of Carline VandenElsen and Larry Finck and was turned down, then unsuccessfully applied to become a member of the advisory committee. On the page that is the source of her letter there is also a video of Connie speaking.



Community Services Committee for Children and Family Services Act Advisory Committee

Posted on April 9, 2008 by familyjustice

Connie Brauer and Victor Harris
1061 Mines Rd.
Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0
Phone and Fax: 902.798.5267
To fax, call first or let ring to set up.

To be distributed to all who are there and read into the minutes at the next committee meeting COMMUNITY ( See baby at bottom)

Ms. Marilyn More (Chairman)
Hon. Ronald Chisholm
Hon. Leonard Goucher
Mr. Patrick Dunn
Mr. Gordon Gosse
Mr. Trevor Zinck
Mr. Keith Colwell
Mr. Leo Glavine

April 9, 2008

Children & Family Services Act Advisory Committee

Dear Committee Members,

I have just read the Hansard details on your last meeting, that a friend kindly sent to me and I wish to express my opinions on some of the subjects you discussed but did not resolve.

1. Lack of people applying for membership. There was actually quite a few people applying for membership, however they were not chosen. My husband and I applied. I know of at least half a dozen qualified people with a lot to say who applied but we were rejected. Why? First of all there is a very rigid selection criteria, which is very discriminatory. …this is regulated by Statute - two people whose children have been or are or may be in need of protective services; a representative from a child welfare agency; a representative of the minister; a legal aid lawyer; two people drawn from the cultural, racial or linguistic minority communities; and three other representatives as determined by the Minister.

There is a heavy reliance on government employees, officials and bureaucrats. Parents are most likely too beat up to attend. Then there are only a few seats open which the Minister must approve. Of course, the Minister will not approve of people or families who are upset and outspoken with the way things have been handled by the CAS. So there you go. I’m one of those people who is very upset with the way CAS apprehends children in this province and neither I nor my husband and 5 other applications of concerned parents were considered. This suggests to me that the deck is stacked against honesty and integrity and even controversy. I also discovered this at the CAS annual meeting we attended a few years ago. I asked a lot of questions and was told to send a letter.

I know these letters don’t get answered by CAS but are forwarded to the lawyers, Elizabeth Whelton in particular and she simply answers with her usual line. Nothing is explained or considered. I wanted to adopt a particular child, Mona-Clare Finck and was told I was not welcome. Why?

I was the next thing to family of Carline VandenElsen and Larry Finck. In fact, they asked our family if we would adopt her. CAS had applied for apprehension of their child before she was even born. These parents were not abusive or negligent in anyway. They were not charged under any of the conditions under the Children and Family Services Act, for the apprehension of their child, they did not have counseling or home care or home study from CAS. They just had their baby stolen. They fought against this inhumane act of violence, torture and terrorism against them and their family and all the legal proceedings in NS couldn’t and wouldn’t protect their Charter Rights and their family rights. They were even sentenced to prison for violating an order to give up their child and various weapons charges that were not supported by any evidence. The EMT swarmed their house for 3 days and then battered down the door in the middle of the night to forcefully take their baby away. The grandmother died of stress. For shame!

We know what happened as my husband and I attended all the trials. We have all the paperwork. We went to court for Mona-Clare five times and still we were not allowed to adopt her. Simply because we sided with the parents and their rights to have a family and because we were not blood relatives. CAS is not a blood relative either, yet they were granted permanent care and custody of a 5 month old, nursing baby for the purposes of pure profit.

She was in the custody of the very people who deliberately and forcefully destroyed her life with her parents.

We serve approximately 16,000 children and families at any given time in Nova Scotia and there are approximately 2,000 children in the care of the province. This includes a number of care arrangements: temporary care, temporary care and custody, and permanent care and custody. Approximately 70 per cent of the children in permanent care and custody are under the age of 10..

These alarming figures suggests that the most valuable and the most adoptable children are babies. Where do these babies come from? They have to be apprehended of course. They are always taken from lower income families who don’t have the resources to hire high priced lawyers to fight on their behalf. CAS violates their mandate to keep the family together. Now that CAS is part of the NS Government, it is also accountable to uphold the Charter of Rights, which it has violated.

Children and Family Services Act.

Purpose and paramount consideration 2 (1) The purpose of this Act is to protect children from harm, promote the integrity of the family and assure the best interests of children. Taking a newborn child from capable parents creates harm, does not protect the parents or the family, is not in the best interests of the child and is a heinous act of violence so reprehensible that it is equivalent to the Darfur killings or suicide bombings in Iraq. The child is dead to the parents and the system has killed them emotionally, spiritually and financially. What more harm can CAS and Community Services do to families?

How can this happen? Tell me! How can this happen continually and systematically in our country? How can this happen over and over again without any human rights investigation into the apprehension of normal children from normal parents? Huh? How can you turn down a willing adoptive parent while promoting adoption, daily, in your campaign blitz?

Where are our Charter Rights?

This is done for profit! Each child apprehended or put in foster care means more funding for the agencies, now part of Community Services. Federal Funding, provincial funding and donations. Until this changes, you will always have trouble getting people to join you. Your reputation is well established.

2. Meetings are held in secret. When was the last time you opened up the meeting to the whole community? When was the last time you put an ad in the paper and invited us in to have our say? Community Services is supposed to support the Community. We pay for it. But we sure don’t have a voice. It’s a secret society with no accountability to the families harmed or the community.

3. We want no more adoptions without the signed consent of both parents. The willing consent of both parents. Unless the child is in mortal danger, and it is proven with evidence in court, then it becomes a police matter.

Adoptions without signed consent from both parents suggests the child was stolen. Or the father doesn’t have a choice.

4. We want full disclosure. We want the forms made available to adopt children. If you have prospective parents who wants to adopt, you should make it as easy as possible and not force parents to use lawyers and part out with thousands of dollars which would be better spent on their new child or children. Everything in government has forms to complete, but not adoption.

5. We want proper statistics. How many of these children were taken from their parents? Was everything done to help them before even one child or teen was taken?

6. The Divorce Act and the Judicial system are largely to blame. The judges designate one parent as the custodial parent and the other parent as the non custodial parent. The nc parent is usually the father and he has no legal rightsto his children ever again. He has almost no chance of seeing or raising his children. The mother denies access with impunity. No obligation or punishment is meted out to this mother. Then the father is further alienated from hischildren. His only purpose is to pay child support. His expertise, love and affection and family values are denied, totally. The children are crushed and grow up without the precious bonding or the understanding of what has happened. They have no family values and may even reach the interests of the CAS. And guess what? The cycle continues.

7. We want a full public inquiry into the Finck/VandenElsen case and all the other cases who have been unheard.

We want the children back. These parents want their children back.

It doesn’t make sense to take away children, advertise for foster parents and adoptive parents, cost the tax payers millions, destroy families when all they need is to be left alone to sort out their own problems. If CAS was a caring and loving and not a fearful organization, then parents could call them for help if it was needed.

But right now, it is too risky and scary to call for help. It is deadly!


Connie Brauer
Civil Rights Crusader
Precious little babies

Source: blog posting by Connie Brauer