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Child Abuse Nonsense Month

October 7, 2010 permalink

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, an occasion for an increased level of nonsense about child protection in the press. First, Orangeville.



October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

On Wednesday, Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) organized its second annual flag raising ceremony and a proclamation declaring October as Child Abuse Prevention month.

The observation is “an opportunity for children’s aid agencies to educate the community and encourage the public to learn more about their roll in protecting children in their community,” said Jacqueline Moore, coordinator of volunteers and community awareness at DCAFS.

Dufferin Warden Allen Taylor will be signing a proclamation declaring the county will be participating in the Child Abuse Prevention month.

Mrs. Morse said the proclamation gives residents an opportunity to visit to be able to educate themselves more “about the signs of abuse, what they can do to notify our agency and that kind of thing.

“Just really give them some education around it and really bring the awareness about child abuse prevention and that it’s every bodies responsibility to report.”

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is a membership organization representing Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) in Ontario.

During the month of October OACAS and CASs are launching a public education campaign to encourage the public to learn more about their role in protecting Ontario’s children.

According to OACAS, in 2009 over 27,000 children in Ontario were in need of substitute care and every year more than 156,000 calls about possible abuse and neglect of children are received by Ontario’s CASs.

In 1888 the child protection legislation was brought about by John Joseph Kelso, a journalist and later a government minister. According to the OACAS website after the first Children’s Aid Society was founded in 1891, 60 more Children’s Aid locations were established before 1912.

These Aid agencies were given the legal responsibility of protecting children from abandonment, mistreatment and neglect and where necessary place children in foster homes or institutions.

The face of child welfare has changed since its inception, moving from volunteer staff to professional with family and community-based services

The community “needs to bring attention to this incredibly unfortunate but important part of our society,” said Trish Keachie, Executive Director of DCAFS. She commented that DCAFS wants to ensure that the community knows that they are there to help and remind everyone that taking care of the children in their community is everyone’s responsibility.

Kim Evans, Director of Services with DCAFS, stated that a lot of the work DCAFS does in the community is preventative, “Safety and prevention is what we do first”.

Throughout the month of October a purple ribbon will be worn in support of Abuse Prevention Month.

Children’s Aid believes that children are the future and deserve to grow up in a loving and caring environment. Ontario Children’s Aid has a legal responsibility to keep children safe but they rely on the public to keep an eye on the children in their community.

“Humber College is also hosting a ‘go purple’ campaign on the 12th of October in support of our agency,” said Mrs. Moore. The event will be at Humber’s Alder Campus.

Students from Humber’s Child and Youth Worker program will be using their purple campaign to promote awareness of child abuse in their community.

According to Mrs. Evans, whenever DCAFS is out in the community talking about what they do it is important for them to explain the process that happens once someone contacts DCAFS.

It’s important, she said, “to explain who we are and we are not out there to take children away, most of our work is prevention. Everybody is responsible for the safety of children. Everybody in the community needs to help.”

Out of respect for the recent death of a teenager in Orangeville, the DCAFS flag has been lowered to half mast. It will not be lowered to add the Child Abuse Prevention month flag until after Chantal Dube’s funeral.

Source: Orangeville Citizen

The serious nonsense comes from Durham. The press claims that CAS fields 18,000 abuse reports a year. According to a Statistics Canada documentt (pdf) Ontario has 138436 live births a year, of which Durham Region, with 4.3% of Ontario's population, has about 6000. So every child in Durham is reported 2.7 times. What does CAS call for? More reports.



Durham CAS reminds community to be its eyes and ears

Olivia Henry, Jack Lemere, Emily Moschella, Joshua Matthews, Nolan Hornby and Chloe Prentice
OSHAWA -- Students from Adelaide McLaughlin Public School, including clockwise from bottom left, Olivia Henry, Jack Lemere, Emily Moschella, Joshua Matthews, Nolan Hornby and Chloe Prentice, helped the Durham CAS kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month on October 1. October 1, 2010

Local agency fields 18,000 calls a year, but many still don't report suspected abuse

DURHAM -- The Durham Children's Aid Society handles about 18,000 calls a year, but there are still incidents of child abuse that go unreported.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the local agency is reminding the community to be its eyes and ears when it comes to spotting kids in trouble.

"What we know from local and provincial surveys is, the main reason people don't call is fear that they may be wrong or a feeling that it's none of their business," said Durham CAS spokesman Shane Vieira. "We certainly understand that making the call to a Children's Aid Society can be extremely difficult, but not calling may mean a child continues to be a victim of child abuse."

Everyone has a legal duty to report known incidents of abuse and cases of suspected abuse and calls to a CAS can be made anonymously. Last year, 4,439 of the 18,000 calls that came into Durham CAS resulted in child protection investigations and there were 889 children in care.

About 21 per cent of abuse cases stemmed from a caregiver with a problem, while 19 per cent related to physical abuse, 17 per cent related to domestic violence and 15 per cent were as the result of neglect.

Other less common types of abuse investigated by Durham CAS included sexual abuse, emotional abuse and abandonment.

As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the local CAS is partnering with agencies across Ontario to help people learn what to look for and how to report suspected abuse.

A provincial website called has information about types of abuse, the subtle and not-so-subtle signs of abuse, when to call CAS and what happens when you call.

For example, a child who is being neglected may be frequently absent from school, often forget to bring a lunch or come to school in clothes inappropriate for the weather.

A child who is being physically abused may be wary of adults or become extremely aggressive or withdrawn.

Signs of emotional abuse could include bed wetting without a medical reason or frequent psychosomatic complaints like headache or nausea.

"When in doubt, call," Mr. Vieira said. "Don't wait until you're absolutely sure that abuse has taken place, by then it might be too late."

The purple ribbon used to symbolize Child Abuse Prevention Month has its roots in Durham Region. In 1992, Durham CAS introduced the concept, which has now become an integral part of the province-wide campaign.

In keeping with this year's theme of I Am Your Children's Aid, societies across the province are telling the stories of youth, families, workers, volunteers, community partners and foster and adoptive parents.

For more information visit or

Source: Metroland Durham Region
Thanks to [ justiceismyreward at ] for pointing out the Oshawa item.

Addendum: The Orangeville Banner article above ended with a cryptic tribute to teenager Chantal Dubé. The Orangeville Citizen fills in the facts. She was a resident of Melancthon. Chantal and 21-year-old Jeanine Blanchette of Orangeville formed a lesbian relationship after meeting at Dufferin Child and Family Services and committed mutual suicide near their meeting place nine months later. It looks like children's aid is covering up something in this case.



Deceased women’s families criticize police

The Orangeville area was rocked for a second time in recent weeks last Friday when the bodies of two women were discovered in a wooded area near Riddell Road and the Orangeville-Caledon Townline.

The women were identified as 21-year-old Jeanine Blanchette of Orangeville and 17-year-old Chantal Dubé of Melancthon.

The incident follows the murder last month of Sonia Varaschin, which is still under investigation.

While police have not released details of the cause of death, the Toronto Star reports the family of one of the women believes they overdosed on prescription medication.

Police say that, on Tuesday, Sept. 28, shortly before 8 p.m., the Dufferin Detachment of the OPP received a report that Ms. Dubé was missing from her Melancthon residence. A short time later, the Orangeville Police Service was contacted and information received that Ms. Blanchette was also missing from her Orangeville home.

Police investigating these two missing person’s reports believe that the two may have been traveling together, as they were known to each other, but that their destination and means of travel was unknown.

According to a police release, both the Orangeville Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police searched extensively for these two missing young women, but were unable to locate them until Friday, when they were found in a wooded area.

The Toronto Star story said Ms. Blanchette’s family feels Orangeville police didn’t do all they could to find the two women after two of their friends received “goodbye” phone calls from Jeanine and Chantal and reported them to police.

The young women are also reported to have left behind goodbye letters to family members.

Jeanine’s mother, Ellen Blanchette, told the Star that she was left with the impression that Orangeville police and OPP seemed to think the young women had just run away.

“I thought they were on top of it,” Ellen Blanchette was quoted as saying. “We put complete faith in the police, and that failed.”

On Thursday, family members posted 60 missing persons signs all over the town.

Ellen Blanchette’s 17-yearold nephew, Bradley Walsh, was the first person to spot the two figures in a wooded clearing on Friday, near the Dufferin Child and Family Services building in Orangeville where the two women apparently met in a group therapy session about nine months ago.

At press time there was no indication whether an inquest will be ordered.

Source: Orangeville Citizen