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Action on Unlicensed (Social) Workers

March 16, 2011 permalink

Most children's aid workers in Ontario don't use the title "social worker" but "child protection worker". In so doing they skirt a law requiring registration of all social workers, and unlawfully carry out functions that can only be done by registered social workers. Chris York has brought this defiance of the law to his MPP, Peter Kormos, a sympathetic MPP who says that CAS is out of control (play the video).

A recent article about Hastings CAS contains an assertion in the comments section that registration is voluntary. Chris York has pointed this out by phone to the regional director of the southeast region. She promised to investigate the allegations in the article, to be sure that no one in Hastings CAS is practicing social work without being properly registered. Mr York will keep us informed of developments.



Hello Mr. Kormos.

My name is Chris York. I am a constituent in your riding and have been advocating for change to the 53 Ontario children's aid societies in regards to accountability. I am in full support of bill 131 which was brought forward by Mr. Rosario Marchese. I wanted you to take note of a situation that needs to immediately be investigated by the ministry of children and youth services, who have direct oversight of the Ontario children's aid, in regards to the local children's aid societies deliberately and blatantly breaking the law. The law I am referring to is the social service act 1998. This law was proclaimed in force in 2000 to promote accountability and passed by the Ontario Government in 1998.

Since this law was passed the Children's aid workers in a bid to avoid accountability has since changed their titles to child protection workers. This was done to avoid being registered with the college of social workers. Currently the Niagara family and childrens services is advertising employment opportunities on their website for social workers and the job description clearly states that their job will require them to do social work commence child protection hearings and make recommendations to the courts. Under the law that was passed in 1998 and proclaimed in force in 2000, section 46 and section 47 clearly states no person shall identify themselves as a social worker or social service worker nor practice the act in any way unless they are in fact registered.

What these private corporations are doing is a direct violation of the law because they clearly are not registered with the college which can be proven and verified and they are in fact practicing the act of social work. They will claim that they have the authority to act under the child and family services act, which they are authorized to do under section 40, however with that being said section 40 of this very act states that they have the authority to remove a child that is in danger or at risk and take it to a place of safety however once the child is taken to a place of safety that is where their job ends. The law of the social service act then takes precedent and states that only registered social workers can handle the file and make recommendations to the courts however this does not take place.

Under this law and scenario in order for a child protection worker to determine a child is at risk or in danger they would have to practice the act of social work to make that determination. An investigation means they would be assessing the issues in the home and identifying problems which is practicing social work. Unless they are registered with the college of social workers they are not legally qualified to make those assessments as a matter of law.

There is an article in the Belleville Intelligencer in regards to this very matter as well where as the executive director is identifying themselves in the article as SOCIAL WORKERS. Unless these workers are all in fact registered with the college, which they are not, they are in fact in violation of the current laws that our government had passed and are required to uphold. I am posting a link to this article in my email to you for you to read. If you look closely also at the bottom of the article where the comment section is you will find statements from CAS workers stating how they do not have to register and stating that it is voluntary to register which it clearly is not.

I am asking that an official investigation be asked of by the ministry of children and youth services as to why these organizations are breaking the law that was set out by our own government in 1998 with complete immunity from prosecution for this act. The law was put in place for a reason yet these private corporations are blatantly violating these laws and using our own local police departments to aid and abed them in their crimes against the families in Ontario.

I understand you have long been an advocate also for accountability and support the numerous rallies that have been held outside of the legislature in Toronto, even though you have not attended any even with a personal invitation from myself during the Niagara food festival in Welland to which you replied to me in person you would come outside to speak with the group of advocates that were in attendance, I want you to understand exactly how much we appreciate your support and we do understand being the NDP house leader that you are very busy with the house being in session and do not necessarily have the time to attend every protest or every rally that is held but that you do support us in what we are trying to achieve. For that we thank you.

As a constituent of your riding however I would like to know what you plan to do in regards to this clear violation of the law by the childrens aid societies of Ontario and even more so with regards to the family and childrens service of Niagara itself in your own riding in violation of the law.

An investigation must be commenced into this action and made public as to why they are allowed to violate the laws of our province with complete immunity.

It should also be known that the courts of Ontario are also assisting the CAS across Ontario by also refusing to acknowledge these laws and enforce them by demanding proof that these workers are in fact registered and qualified under the law to make these recommendations to the courts instead of giving automatic credibility to these private corporations.

Please note I am also forwarding a copy of this email to Canada Court Watch, Fix CAS as well as the Minister of Children and Youth Services for replies.

I graciously await your reply.

Yours Truly,

Chris York
52 Queen st. North
Thorold, Ontario
L2V 2R3

Source: email from Chris York