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Rally for More CAS Funding

March 20, 2010 permalink

Dawn Gauthier had a bad childhood experience with children's aid, ended only when she benefited from a family preservation program. She is organizing a rally for March 29 to save that program from funding cuts.

Past experience shows that supporters of children's aid societies are often employees. Suspicion is increased by noticing that the Facebook event Rally For CAS Family Preservation mentioned in the article does not exist. Instead of funding the family preservation program, a more cost-effective way to improve childhood experiences is to defund the family destruction program.



Former foster child laments end of Algoma CAS program

Dawn Gauthier
Michael Purvis Sault Star
Dawn Gauthier is organizing a March 29 rally to protest cuts to Children s Aid Society of Algoma programs.

Dawn Gauthier believes her childhood could have been vastly different if her parents had the kind of support now available to families in Algoma.

Gauthier said that's why she was stunned to learn of the Children's Aid Society of Algoma's plan next month to wind down its Family Preservation Program.

"It's unbelievable, the negative effect this is going to have on our community," said Gauthier, 28.

On April 12, CAS Algoma will lay off six workers and one supervisor who make up an in-home program that helps at-risk children in "open child protection families."

In the meantime, Gauthier, is organizing a March 29 rally in front of the court house from 1-2:30 p.m.. She said she hopes the sound of hundreds, "screaming that we need those programs," will get the attention of Queen's Park.

Gauthier said she and her younger brother were sent into foster care when she was two. She blames CAS at the time for "overstepping its boundaries," and she said programs now available, including the Family Prevention Program, probably would have prevented the "living hell," her parents went through.

"My parents needed help. They didn't need to have me removed," said Gauthier, who spent "several years," in foster care.

"Life wasn't the best (at home), but there was no reason to go through what we went through," she said.

A smaller, similar program, Diversion From Care, is scheduled to wrap up in March, 2011, but CAS Algoma expects it to fade away sooner as the workers in that program move to other areas.

The cuts are in response to a lingering deficit CAS Algoma says is due to inadequate funding from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.

Both CAS Algoma and the union representing the workers about to lose their jobs have warned the loss of the prevention programs could put more children into care. The union and the local CAS branch have called on the province to add funding that would allow the programs to continue.

Gauthier has set up a Facebook event for the rally, called Rally For CAS Family Preservation.

Source: Sault Star