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Village People

October 13, 2010 permalink

For Child Abuse Prevention Month the Orangeville Banner salutes CAS with it takes a village. To put this in perspective, here is a comment on Lisa Gottlieb in the New York Times:


Mississippi prosecutor
August 28th, 2010 12:24 pm

In response to Ghost Xanadu: You apparently missed the point of this article. Strangers, however well-meaning, are still strangers to you, your child, your family situation. So, unless and until they walk in your shoes, how can it possibly be appropriate to tell a mother she is reading a newspaper improperly and may damage her baby's eyesight? Collective responsibility (i.e. "it takes a village") is one thing - asinine interference, another thing altogether. As for the judge who ordered the mother to take her child to the park everyday, it would be interesting to know how many days, in his entire life, he ever took his own children - to the park or anywhere else.

Source: New York Times

The biggest howler in the story is the line: Before taking a child away, Evans explained agency workers meet with the family to assess the risk, and assist the family in any way possible to address any concerns. Reality is that in many cases the child is taken on first contact with CAS. The most popular way to take a child is to pick him up at school. The parents find out in a panic when he fails to come home.



It ‘takes a village’ to keep children safe

Joseph Tomei, Kim Evans Trish Keachie and Sylvia Jones
Recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month:. Present for the proclamation were (from left) Orangeville police chief Joseph Tomei, Kim Evans and Trish Keachie of DCAFS and local MPP Sylvia Jones, among others.

Removing a child from their family is the last resort, but sometimes a necessary one in order to keep that child safe, said Kim Evans, Dufferin Child and Family Service’s (DCAFS) director of service for child protection.

“We do a lot of preventative work,” she told local dignitaries and others who gathered Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 6) to recognize October as Child Abuse Prevention Month. “We always know that power we carry, but the power is always kept behind us as we can do the best for the children.”

Before taking a child away, Evans explained agency workers meet with the family to assess the risk, and assist the family in any way possible to address any concerns.

She encouraged all residents to be conscious of those who are struggling and offer help if they can, keeping in mind the old adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’

“Dufferin County isn’t a village anymore — we’re growing. As we grow, it feels like we lose the intimacy of neighbourhoods and feeling at home,” she said. “We must help each other raise our children so they can be safe.”

The indicators of child abuse “often tend to be very subtle,” stated DCAFS executive director Trish Keachie, who urged residents to call if they think a child they know may be a victim.

“You don’t have to name names,” she said, explaining staff will listen to what you have to say, share information and explain processes. Depending on the situation, they may also advise callers to formally report what’s happening. “Please never be afraid to use your voice in that way.”

Last week’s ceremony was to be topped off by raising a purple ribbon flag, the symbol of child abuse prevention, in front of the DCAFS office.

The plan, however, was changed out of respect for Orangeville’s Jeanine Blanchette, 21, and Chantal Dube, 17, of Melancthon, who were found dead of an apparent suicide near the agency’s building.

“We’re not comfortable lowering the flag to put on the child abuse prevention flag and then raising it back up,” Evans said, noting the flag would be put up following the women’s funerals.

Blanchette and Dube reportedly met while receiving mental health services through DCAFS.

For more information about Children’s Aid Societies, as well as signs of child abuse, visit

Anyone interested in volunteering with DCAFS or who wants to make a financial contribution to its work, is asked to call the agency at 519-941-1530 or visit

Source: Orangeville Banner