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Bring Daniel Home

February 28, 2011 permalink

A rally occurred yesterday at Toronto's Huron Street Public School for "Daniel", the pseudonym of the boy in an article by Rosie DiManno. One of the speakers was MPP Rosario Marchese, here are several other pictures: [2] [3] [4] [5]. A rally video (mp4) shows speakers Lyndsey King, Rosario Marchese, Margot Nelles, Jennifer M McLeod, (unknown). (Some of these names are guesses. Please correct mistakes by email). The Toronto Star report follows.



Ombudsman should oversee child welfare, MPP urges

The case of “Daniel,” who was removed from his foster parents’ home last year and placed in a youth treatment facility, illustrates why the provincial ombudsman should have the power to investigate children’s aid societies, an NDP MPP says.

At a rally in downtown Toronto on Sunday, MPP Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina) said he has sponsored a private member’s bill to give Ontario Ombudsman André Marin that authority, a move he said Marin supports.

“When there’s a problem with children’s aid, you’re on your own. And there are many, many families that have experienced problems because I’ve met them . . . and they have nowhere to turn to,” Marchese said.

The rally was organized by Lyndsay King, who worked with Daniel, 11, for four years but felt “morally obligated” to resign from Jewish Family and Child Service of Toronto over its decision last May to remove him from his foster parents and place him in the Youthdale Treatment Centre. A spokesperson for the agency has said he is prohibited by law from commenting on Daniel’s case.

“Group homes are meant to be a last resort when loving homes cannot be found. It is clear that Daniel has a loving home waiting for him,” King said.

Star columnist Rosie DiManno reported earlier this month that his foster parents, who can only be identified by the pseudonyms, Rebecca and David, have not been allowed to see or speak with him since October. The couple, who have been trying to adopt him, have spent an estimated $50,000 in legal fees trying to bring Daniel home.

Daniel, who was taken away from his drug-addicted schizophrenic mother as a baby, has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome — a developmental disorder — but has made progress while under his foster parent’s care, they told DiManno.

Margo Nelles, former executive director of the Aspergers Society of Ontario, said she knows the family well after the parents consulted her agency.

“They (parents) have worked tirelessly on his behalf. These people haven’t stopped fighting for him,” Nelles said, describing the child welfare agency’s actions as “sickening.”

“I know that when Daniel sees the support today, his healing process is going to be a better one,” she added.

Source: Toronto Star