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Poorly Informed Critic

December 17, 2009 permalink

Sylvia Jones makes some poorly informed criticism of Ontario child protection. A proposal is pending to eliminate the need for a crown prosecutor's approval on transfers of information from the police to children's aid. Delays in promulgating the policy have come under fire from Mrs Jones. Her criticism takes no account of the incestuous relationship between children's aid and the police. The boards of directors of children's aid societies and the police contain common members in many jurisdictions, and at the rank and file level there are many marriages between police and social workers. In practice, limitations on transfer of information between police and children's aid are a sham. As for the effect of police records, it is hard to imagine any result except more damage to children through elevated levels of child removal. Better informed opposition would criticize the new policy for encroaching on the rights of families.



Caledon Citizen

December 17, 2009

Jones questions Attorney General on Children’s Aid Societies protocol delays

Dufferin — Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones recently asked Attorney General Chris Bentley to explain why his ministry is delaying signing off on a protocol that will streamline the screening of police and Crown records needed for child protection hearings.

Currently, if a Children’s Aid Society wants to do a criminal background check on parents or grandparents, any records that were used in a prosecution must be reviewed by police and Crown prosecutors for privacy issues. It is a lengthy process, meaning the court cases concerning vulnerable children in Ontario are being held up. In September, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and the Ontario Chiefs of Police approved a process where only the police will have the responsibility of screening cases that are no longer before the criminal court; not both the police and the Crown prosecutors, Jones observed.

“Streamlining the court records retrieval process will mean vulnerable children in Ontario will have their court cases heard sooner,” said Jones. “Children’s Aid Societies are trying to find efficiencies, but the Attorney General is standing in the way by not signing off on protocol that will help them save time and his ministry save money.”

She also charged that during Question Period Monday, Bentley did not seem to view this as an urgent matter, saying “the lawyers will take all the time they need.”

“The Minister’s comments and lack of action show a complete disregard for vulnerable children across Ontario,” said Jones.

This new protocol has just been sitting on his desk for three months. How many families have to wait for court dates because the Attorney General will not approve a process that will mean quicker access to justice for children, families and Children’s Aid Societies?”

Children’s Aid Societies were told that their budgets will be cut by $67 million midway through the fiscal year. As well, she reported that 37 of 51 Children’s Aid Societies have told the Ministry of Children and Youth Services that they will not be able to work within the new budget cuts, and layoffs have been announced. This new protocol would save valuable time for Children’s Aid Societies who are already facing the elimination of employees.

Source: Caledon Citizen