Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
June 11, 2010 permalink
On the same subject, here is a fragment of a CBC report (mp3) provided by Neil Haskett, including an interview with John Dunn.
Expand for a news report on the rally including reader comments.
Protesters reject CAS's fight for ban -- (add your comments)
While Douglas Klasges was being sentenced inside the Sudbury Courthouse on Wednesday morning, several people were outside protesting the involvement of the Children's Aid Society in the child molestation case.
Klasges, 65, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for sexually exploiting an 11-year-old foster child in his care and in his home. The girl, who bore Klasges' child at 14, was placed there by the CAS.
Protest organizer Neil Haskett objected to the CAS's fight for a publication ban on the entire court case.
"Children's Aid lawyers used our taxes attempting to protect the identity of a pedophile to prevent his identity from becoming public against this survivor's wishes so other victims would be able to come forward," Haskett said.
His group, which is fighting for better oversight over Ontario child protection agencies, alleges gruesome cases like this one may be more frequent than anyone knows because of the blanket publication bans CASs demand, and all too often get, from the courts.
While the CAS does aggressively pursue publication bans on court cases, they are in the best interests of children, the executive director of the Sudbury-Manitoulin Children's Aid Society says.
The purpose of banning publication of every part of this case is to ensure that no identifying information is leaked, however incidentally, Colette Pevost said.
In fact, the CAS sought a publication ban at every juncture of Klasges' case, she said.
"The more information we allow that is peripheral information, the more the case comes to find itself having a face," she said. "Or the child finds herself in position to be identifiable, although not by name, but certainly by description. And that's what we always try to mitigate."
She's less concerned with protecting the abuser, she said.
"Under no circumstances have we ever had any interests in protecting the rights to anonymity of the perpetrator."
She points out it was the CAS that went public with the charges against Klasges two years ago when making a public appeal for other potential victims to come forward.
Even though no other victims have been found, it's possible some come forward in the future as their memories are jogged, she said. It's their interests that need to be protected.
That's not good enough for Haskett, who wants the office of Ontario's Obudsman to oversee CASs in the province.
In its annual report, the office of Ontario's Ombudsman noted it had received 429 complaints and enquiries about the province's CASs in 2009 and that the number of complaints have increased significantly over the past eight years.
Among the allegations raised against CAS are:
- Refusing to investigate allegations of abuse;
- CAS refusal to disclose information relating to the reasons for apprehension, or services provided to children in care;
- Allegations of abuse of authority by CAS workers;
- Allegations of retaliatory actions against parents who challenged CAS decisions;
Ontario, the report notes, is one of only two provinces that does no allow its ombudsman to oversee child protection services, as well as many other public institutions, such as hospitals and municipalities. Newfoundland and Labrador is the other.
Haskett notes a Facebook group -- Reform the Children's Aid Society NOW -- has drawn thousands of members.
Comments on this Article.
go after these shysters and tear down their empire.Keep up the the pressure
Neil ,you are doing the community a great service by showing the inside of this discusstfull organization .. make them accountable
We can read between the lines here.
There are a handful of malcontents that feel they've been done wrong by the CAS. They sit and wait for the one-in-a-million case that goes wrong. Then punce.
With personal agendas the 'handful' (read 3-4) folks are upset. They've got their martyr and will exploit this case shamefully for their own benefit.
Shameful and disgusting for sure.
No public, or private, company is perfect. Mistakes happen and thankfully are the rarest of the rare. Look at the tens of thousands of CAS cases investigated and successfully conculuded every year. Witness the abuse and protection provided by these people.
On the front lines, they see and experience things the average citizen dare never think of.
BUT, the few that feel conspired against. Done wrong. Got a raw deal from their own doings, are up front complaining.
Bottom line here is the CAS works 99% of the time. Don't let a few sour grapes, hate and agenda driven picketers muddy the truth.
It is true that CAS does do good work, but Mr. Haskett's work is not against deadbeats trying to avoid responsibility for their actions. It is against the system that has abused, neglected or otherwise maltreated people. It is more than a "handful of malcontents" - read the stats for yourself before generalizing and judging. The CAS may be well-intentioned, and yes, they definitely have benefited some people, but there are HUGE flaws in the system that cause devastation in an astounding amount of cases. Over a period of 8 years, I had 30 foster children in my home and at least 75% of those situations could have been handled better by the CAS, and many of them should never have had CAS involvement in the first place. I know of one foster family who were investigated due to a false allegation and it has all but ruined them. Even though it was found to be false, the CAS ignored all the evidence and justified their finding. That is a clear example of an enormous amount of power being in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, you are right when you say "mistakes happen" but you couldn't be more wrong when you say they "are the rarest of the rare".
All CAS agencies should have full Ombudsman oversight. This is not about a few disgruntled members of the public who have just cause for concern to say the least.
If these agencies are acting legally WHY are they refusing Ombudsman review.
Why are so many CAS executives on the Ontario Sunshine list?
Why do these agencies insist their are no problems when they have been involved with one horror story after another.
CAS needs to be audited by the Ontario auditor. It needs to be investigated by the Ontario Ombudsman AND criminal investigators and it needs oversight and accountability, if not being shut down completely and replaced!!
And no one believes the crap that they were not trying to hide this case as they were every step of the way!
Enough, Ombudsman oversight is the least of what should happen.
The CAS had over 600 complaints to the office of the Ontario Ombudsman a few years ago including their OWN workers abusing children.
The child advocate reported 90 kids killed in CAS care in one year.
The CAS does NOT WORK 99% of the time period. The public wants oversight of these agencies. The only people that are fighting are CAS.
WHAT ARE THEY HIDING...................
This is also just one of three different cases of foster care sexual abuse involving CAS agencies in the past few months. These are only the few that has managed to get into the media from this mafia like group of organizations.
Abuse in foster care is NOT rare. And it should be no wonder it is going on with the arrogant, crass and pathetic disregard of these agencies.
OMBUDSMAN OVERSIGHT OF CAS NOW!!!!
One in a million case? Absolutely total nonsense.
EVERY media outlet in Ontario has covered the horror stories of these agencies.
Every single one has reported of some of the most horrific cases of child abuse involving CAS that one could imagine. How very disturbing to try and twist this again as usual. How very sick.
Instead of berating a very concerned public CAS what are you doing about abuse in foster care??
Nothing, as it does not exist to you people. Bring on the Ombudsman McGuinty and STOP PROTECTING CAS! START PROTECTING CHILDREN!!
And to the screaming monkey - no one can look at anything in CAS so what you say is nothing but total garbage. It is a secretive organization that hides all information - the media cannot get in, even police have had a hard time.
Look at all the cases? Ridiculous. And any data that they spew out many would not trust any more than they would a report from a tin-pot dictator in a third world country!
Finally to the screaming monkey man. An agenda?? Well if the good folks that care about children and who protested have a so called "agenda" to get Ombudsman oversight of CAS and PROPER ACCOUNTABILITY is suspect, it only confirms precisely that they are correct.
What agenda does the CAS have in hiding from the Ombudsman and any oversight what so ever?
What agenda do they have in covering up these agencies to this point?
What are THEY DOING and why are THEY DOING IT?
Wow Man About Town, we actually agree on something! This is a very tough situation. On one hand, the public should know who this disgusting person (and all the others who have done the same) is, yet on the other hand, enough has happened to the victims, that the last thing they need is media houding them down once they find out who they are (oh, and you know they will!)... so who wins? The squeeky wheel I guess (which are the loudmouths demanding answers to something they have nothing to do with). I know people who work for CAS and it is certainly one of the toughest jobs out there. I could not imagine seeing and hearing day in and day out all the horror stories that they come across... and the second that one thing goes wrong, the press is on them and a huge portion of the world is against them. As you said Man About Town, this is not something that happens every day. Yes, it is VERY wrong and VERY tragic, but why can't we think of all the good CAS has done as well? All the children who have been saved and helped THANKS to CAS? No, because we focus on the negative and believe everything we hear in the media and from other people... and then pass our judgements based on rumours and assumptions. Isin't that what you are doing "CAS oversight NOW"? What involvement do you have in the CAS that you know all this? Remember, you can't believe everything you hear...
kiki30, give me a break! The second that one thing goes wrong. Are you kidding - a girl left with a pedophile paid foster parent for years.
The arrogance, denial, stupidity, vengeance, and pure disregard by CAS is disgusting.
The public has had enough - OMBUDSMAN OVERSIGHT NOW!
And if these agencies are so wonderful they will not object to criminal investigations and the Ombudsman as well as the Ontario auditor will they??
Again, what do you know about CAS... just what you hear in the media?
kiki30, and if the CAS is not engaging and participating in the aforementioned allegations in this article, why are they fighting against Ombudsman oversight.
Is it all okey dokey? No, it is not. Nor has it been for decades.
These agencies have more power than the police and no accountability what so ever. They answer to no one.
That is not a model we need for child protection, that is a recipe for abuse of power, chaos, crimes and illegalities.
No wonder it is a disaster, which it is.
Ombudsman oversight now for the real and true best interests of kids, not the ridiculous claptrap and nonsense any longer.
And yes I do trust the media who have reported on this nightmare case more than I ever would any CAS on earth. The media is not hiding, they are not fighting against Ombudsman oversight.
CAS is, gee I wonder why???????????????????
kiki30, you people are just mad that the media reported this horrible case, as all you people ever want to do is hide in secrecy.
Tough luck. And what do you people expect at CAS, that the public would not be upset that a young girl was given to a paid pedophile. And do not pretend this is rare as it is not.
That's what I know, as does anyone that knows about these agencies. Any other information that we know can be reported to other authorities to. We don't answer to the CAS.
Kiki30, I have worked for and with the CAS for over 20 years, at more than one Agency. I can tell you that although CAS oversight NOW's tone and manner may not be appealing, he or she is speaking the truth. I have seen travesties with my own eyes and been on the receiving end of their injustices - it's not just what I've "heard in the media", as you suggested to CAS oversight NOW. It is not a case of "the second something goes wrong"....believe me when I tell you that there is a lot that goes wrong that never makes it to the media. And, I'm not "anti-CAS" - there are situations that need their intervention - but they have a LOT of power and are not accountable to anyone; they cover their own tracks, make life-changing decisions that leave people devastated, families destroyed, children FURTHER victimized; write reports in wording skewed in their favour....I could go on. There NEEDS to be a shake-up and they NEED to have accountability. There *has* been a focus on the good they do, and the errors have been minimized, outright denied or covered up. I've been there and have seen it happen right in front of me - *many* times. When the evidence is intangible or covered up, someone can get away with something for a long time. It's time for the general public to know the truth and for the horrible injustices to stop. There has to be a way to keep the good and fix the bad.
So again avoinding the question, you have no involvement in CAS whatsoever except the things you hear in the media.. which apparently you believe. Do you believe in bat baby and that elvis is still alive as well? I am not at all mad that the media reported this. I think it very important to know and reminds CAS workers to be diligent and thorough in their foster parent selection. Everyone needs to be kept on their toes. What I am mad about is that people never hear the good things CAS does, the stories of happy children who were removed from horrible situations. All we hear about is the bad stuff and then people jump all over them. They do ALOT of good and that is all forgotten when something bad happens. People feed off negativity and don't care about or even read about the positive stuff. I understand that the public is mad about this situation, I am as well. I think it what that poor girl went throught was very terrible, but I would not dicount all the other great work the CAS has done at the same time.
Lormacea, I understand what you are saying and know that things go wrong. I never once said that things were perfect. I know, just as in any business, company, etc. things are good and things are bad... and the bad gets covered up. I don't doubt what you experienced there, but again, my point was that there is also good and we can't just get rid of CAS because some things went wrong. Yes, we need to take a good hard look at them as with any other agaency, but still it's not all bad all the time and I am sick of the media portraying it that way. You ask the general population and they have the same attitude as CAS oversight NOW... which is negative and judgemental without knowing anything but what they hear and that is wrong. I don't think they deserve a free pass for the work they do, but I do think that work needs to be appreciated and recognized.
How about we read between the lines with your agenda Mat? It's clear oversight is wanted by many and the Ombudsman who does a great job protecting people of Ontario should do it. If someone is wronged by the system they deserve the opportunity to be heard. CAS's have been caught committing perjury and that's a crime too. Kids are equally being abused in care and we need an independent system in place to protect everyone. Investigation will prove who is good within the agency. It's a win win.
You should also know your one in a million are the lucky one to get publication bans lifted.. Less than 47% of all CAS cases are substantiated and we here all the time about cases within that 47% that turn out after the parents scrape up the $50,000~$300,000 to defend themselves their cases are proven to be malicious.
No public, or private, company is perfect
Post #2 By Man About Town
Yeah but to fight a victim to hide the truth that is just pure evil. Her parent's failed her, CAS failed her and they victimize her again. Talk about twisted.
CAS should not be a publicly funded (read Govt and taxpayers) entity with impunity to do as they wish. They call themselves the authority on children, and write their own rules and they do perjure themselves to the courts to get the children so they can get more funds from govt and the cycle continues. We have documents from court and case files proving CAS perjures themselves but the Ministry won't listen, the lawyers hands are tied and you can't get to the judge. And CAS retaliates if you bring them up on it. Not all children taken are abused - a foster mother was told an infant was abused, when the fact of the matter is the child was born 3 months premature, dead, had CPR done EMT and rushed to Childrens hospital and CAS took the child and said the mother abused it. So CAS does lie. Children do get abused, molested in foster homes. Did you not hear of the Cornwall Public Inquiry with documented evidence of this? Time for people to wait up and not believe all the hype fed to you by CAS. IF they have nothing to hide, they should welcome Ombudsman oversight. An innocent person welcomes inspection
Commenting on this article is now closed.
Source: Sudbury Star