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Ontario's Shrinking CAS

October 3, 2008 permalink

The OACAS has released a report Ontario's Children in Care (pdf, local copy). The chart below shows the trend over four years:

Ontario's Child Population and Admissions to Care

The OACAS has (as far as we can tell) stopped issuing the uniform annual reports that were the basis of our bar charts showing a large increase in activity starting in 1997. The most recent report shows the opposite trend, a 26% reduction in admissions over the last four years. For some reason they use a deceptive chart suggesting the child population has dropped even more, though its reduction is less than one percent. Either CAS is shrinking, or it wants the public to believe that it is now less of a menace. There is still a long way to go to get back to the 1996 level. This month's report shows 17,945 children in care — twelve years ago it was near ten thousand. Agencies in other jurisdictions have fought back against reforms by giving great publicity to a case of a child dying at the hands of mom and dad, bringing on a foster care panic in which the number of children in their custody doubles in a few months.