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January 9, 2010 permalink
When unemployed, disabled mother Laura Traversy asked for help getting Christmas toys and clothing for her two children, St Thomas-Elgin children's aid turned her down because her home was too nice. Adding to the irony, Laura is a former crown ward, so the rejection came from her own (legal) parent.
She could have left a pile of clothes in the laundry room, a spoiled food item in the fridge and fresh poo in the catbox, but then she would be fighting for her kids now. There is no right home for children's aid.
Home too nice, agency claims
ST. THOMAS: Laid-off mother of two astounded by refusal to provide Christmas help
By KYLE REA, QMI AGENCY
Last Updated: 8th January 2010, 9:45am
ST. THOMAS -- The day before Christmas, Laura Traversy was sure she was getting some help from Family and Children's Services of St. Thomas-Elgin to give her children a merry Christmas.
The 34-year-old laid off mother of two was referred to the local agency by Christmas Care for some assistance with toys and clothing for her children, ages 13 and 15. Instead of gifts, the 34-year-old St. Thomas woman said inspectors arrived and turned down her request, saying her home was "too nice" and she was "too well-off" to receive aid.
Traversy worked for eight years as a temporary worker for Presstran and Formet and was set to be hired on full time earlier this year, before layoffs hit. Now unemployed and on disability, she wanted to provide her children with a good holiday season and turned to Christmas Care for a bit of help.
She was referred to Family and Children's Services (FACS) and told they adopt families for Christmas.
Traversy was initially told no help was available, but then received a call from a woman she identified as "Jennifer" who asked what her children wanted and their clothing sizes, among other questions.
"She said she would get back to me and everything would be OK," Traversy said. "Come the day before Christmas, I still hadn't heard anything back. I started panicking."
Traversy noted she got in touch with "Jennifer," who informed her staff would be there in an hour with gifts for her children.
Instead of presents, two workers arrived and began inspecting her apartment.
"They investigated me like I had done something wrong."
When they were done their inspection, Traversy said she was told no help would be available.
"(They) told me I was too well off to need anything," she explained, adding she was also informed, "I keep too nice of a home to be in need."
The inspection, and results, stunned Traversy. She said she keeps her house neat and tidy and does have some items, such as an eight-year-old TV.
"Am I supposed to go and sell my TV to buy my kids something for Christmas?"
Originally a ward of the Crown, Traversy has dealt with Children's Aid her entire life and previously acted as a foster parent.
"They've known me my whole life, I have nothing to hide."
Dawn Flegel, director of services for Family and Children's Services, said she couldn't comment on Traversy's situation, citing confidentiality rules.
She said FACS does run a limited Christmas assistance program, but only if someone has an open and active case with the agency.
Source: London Free Press