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Chatham Rally

June 3, 2010 permalink

The Chatham Daily News reports on yesterday's CAS rally. The rally call named the boy discussed in the article as Connor.



Group protests CAS seizure

Citing a need for more accountability, those promoting parental rights slammed children's aid societies in Ontario on Wednesday.

A handful of people gathered in the rain near the Chatham-Kent Courthouse in support of a local father who had his infant son seized.

The grandmother, who can't be named to protect the identity of the child, said the baby suffered a broken arm, as well as other medical problems, allegedly while in foster care.

She said the infant had lived in seven different foster homes, and she was unable to find out who specifically was responsible.

"Somebody needs to be accountable," she said. "If those injuries happened to that child and he was in my care, I'd go to jail."

She said the baby was born addicted to drugs, since both parents were users.

However, she said the father changed his behaviour.

"(He) cleaned up immediately because he wanted his child," she said.

Her grandson is nearly a year old. The matter is still before the courts.

John Butts, Burlington-based chairman of Families Opposed to Children's Aid Societies Deceit (FOCASD), said raising awareness is key.

"We're particularly here because of one family," he said. "We're trying to educate."

Butts also accused CASs of failing to provide full disclosure, as well as using delay tactics.

He said his organization is developing a database of various situations.

"I have a website where people contact me daily, pleading for help," he said.

Butts said a large rally is planned for northern Ontario this summer.

Dave Flook, founder of Not All Dads Are Deadbeats, said cases of children being seized aren't unique.

"We deal with a lot of CAS calls every day with people falsely accused of things," he said.

Flook said a big problem is there is no third-party oversight.

"It allows them to do whatever they want to do," he said.

Mike Stephens, CEO of Chatham-Kent Children's Service, said he couldn't comment on the protest or the case in question.

"It's before the courts," he said.

As for the protesters' disclosure concerns, he said the agency abides by the law.

"The Ministry of Children and Youth Services provides guidelines and standards for confidentiality and disclosure of information," he said. "Our agency's in full compliance."

Source: Chatham Daily News