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August 17, 2011 permalink
An enthusiastic participant in today's Chatham rally reports:
Darlene Duplessis The Chatham-Kent rally was WONDERFUL!!! At one point we had 30 ppl holding signs! Sounded like a sat. wedding with all the horns honking in support....Though we were asked to stay off court property...so we marched on the road back to Grand Ave. (I thought court houses were public property!!!!)
The Chatham Daily News posted the article below, they had to close comments within four hours.
CAS frustration results in rally
Organizers of an all-day rally Wednesday in Chatham wanted to bring awareness to the "abusive'' powers of Childrens' Aid Societies.
"We want government oversight of these non-government agencies that are publicly funded,'' said Dave Flook of Chatham, founder of Not All Dads are Deadbeats.
More than two dozen of Flook's supporters, each armed with signs, gathered in front of the Grand Avenue West courthouse at 10 a.m.
"We want the government and the Ministry of Child and Youth Services to begin taking full responsibility for CAS actions,'' he told reporters.
Flook said he receives a dozen calls or emails a week from people across the province who are having run-ins with the CAS.
Flook said he is receiving threatening letters from the CAS and wouldn't be surprised if they take him to court over a minor recent incident.
"You don't have to let CAS workers into your home without a court order,'' he said.
Flook said the CAS has the ability to take children from a home and put them up for adoption.
"All we are asking for is accountability and transparency,'' he said.
Flook said he also wants an end to what he says are CAS workers illegally practicing social work by using titles such as child protection worker and not having accreditation such as registered social worker to prevent accountability by the College of Social Workers.
Flook said Ontario is the only province in Canada not allowing its Ombudsman to investigate CAS, hospitals and retirement homes.
Mike Stephens, chief executive officer for Chatham-Kent Children's Services, said accountability reviews and mechanisms are already in place to help ensure children are well cared for and receive the best service under the Child and Family Services Act.
He said CASs have the exclusive mandate to protect children from abuse and neglect in Ontario.
"The legislation, regulations, directives and standards prescribe specific and detailed requirements regarding what CAS must do, how they must do it and the timelines in which critical and mandatory protection and prevention services must be provided,'' Stephens said.
He said Ontario has the second lowest rate of children in care in Canada and service trends for Ontario CASs illustrate the efforts that CASs are making a difference.
"Fewer children are coming into care and of those who do come into care, more are living in family-based care and more are living with kin,'' he said.
He said the family court system ensures individual client rights are respected and ultimately that children are protected. CASs act on decisions made by the justice system.
Stephens said CAS protection workers receive in-depth specialized training related to child protection work.
He said in addition to being trained, child protection workers follow strict provincial legislation, policies, procedures and standards that guide every step of their work.
"Their work is supervised by senior staff and often supported by many other experts in their communities,'' he said.
Stephens said the Social Work and Social Services Workers Act does not require child protection workers to be social workers and doesn't require them to be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Commenting on this article is now closed.
Source: Chatham Daily News