Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.



Ruined by Foster Care

July 18, 2011 permalink

Paul Williams

Paul Williams, now 42 years old, posted the story of his years in foster care with the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto.



Paul Williams When I was a young boy I was taken from my parents, who werent the best at providing a stable environment. I keep running away from home and finally during the early winter months of 1975, I was taken, from a police station to a group home administered by the Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto. Well almost right from the get go I was subject to, corporal punishment by an older boy, who was the son of the people who ran the group home. The older boy would come to pick me up from school and as it was known I was a runner, if the older boy couldnt find me, hed get upset. When he did find me, hed beat the backs of my hands with a ruler. This occurred until I was put into a Group home, which was run by a black man and his family. The black man at the time, Al Harris was also employed by Earlscourt Childrens Services. While in this home I was also abused physically by three of the older boys in the home, Joey, Shane and Walter. Joey and Shane came one time with Walter into my room, loaded up with paper clips, kept shooting me and had Walter, who was 16 at the time, pull down his pants, Joey and Shane kept shooting at my face and head, until I took Walters penis in my mouth. It wasnt the only form of bullying I took at the hands of Joey and Shane, but it was so long ago I cant remember every event. As I was still a runner, disappearing from the group home, Al Harris would send Walter to pick me up at whatever police station I was at. Whenever Walter came to get me he would beat me with his leather belt.

One time after returning to the group home from a visit home, Walter took off his belt and in front of Joey, Shane and Al Harriss daughter beat my bare bottom so many times I lost count. I was in the Al Harris Group Home, until a space opened up in the Earlscourt Childrens Center. Nothing untoward occurred at the center, while I was there. In 1978 I was sent to foster home ran by Wayne Cubitt, on Airport Road south of Stayner Ontario. It was here that the worst of the abuses took place. There were two other boys in the home, Ralph Mitchell and Richard Simonato. Ralph was 16 and Richard was 13. Richard was the perpetrator of a lot of sexual and physical abuse, Ralph witnessed some of the physical abuse, such as Richard whipping me with branches from a willow tree, the pushing me to the ground, grabbing my feet and bending me over stomping on my back. Ralph had to warn him not to do that, or hed break my back. Other times Richard would have a way to get my mouth open and place 9-volt batteries on my tongue. Another time Richard tied a tea towel around my mouth so tight I started choking, couldnt breathe and vomited. When no one was around Richard would play with me, hed take his pants off, make me take mine off and would have me lie on top of him, and then hed go through the motions of intercourse. One time he had me lie down with my pants off in an old chicken coup. He then got on top of me and went through the motions of intercourse and then urinated on me. I eventually told Ralph what was happening and then told Wayne Cubitt. Wayne laid a beating on him and several days later Richard was taken out of the home by the Stayner OPP. Other things also went on such as, being forced to do work on the farm I was not physically capable of doing. Wayne Cubitt also one day in front of Ralph Mitchell kicked me several times, while wearing steel toed boots. The Cubitts, also rarely bought me clothes, I was going to school in the winter with running shoes with holes in them and clothes that were also in a similar state. My mother actually had to take me shopping and get me new shoes and clothes that were fit to wear. She eventually had to tell the Catholic Children's Aid that she wasnt taken me back there again, if something wasnt done.

In the spring of 1980, or 81 I was taken out of the Cubitts and placed in a foster home ran by Alvin Schultz. This foster home, I have fond memories of, was treated right and not subjected to any form of abuse. After being released from the Crown Wardship with the CCAS, I was really screwed up; I couldnt stay in school, or hold a job for any length of time, frequently going back and forth between the two. I got into trouble with the law. At 16 years old, after hijacking the TTC Subway, I was in real trouble, that incident actually made the newspaper the Toronto Sun. I have been in and out of jobs most of my life, made a little progress with school, have been in the hospital several times for psychological problems, have trouble with relationships and have had problems with my sexuality. I havent abused anyone, but have found it uncomfortable to be around children. I babysat my nephew a couple of times, and having to have to give him a bath, felt very self conscious, uncomfortable and still had to wash him. But I got through that and later as he grew older, wed constantly tell him that no one was allowed to touch him inappropriately.

I did after going through court ordered anger management, report Richard Simonato to the Stayner OPP.

He received 188 extra days in jail and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board awarded me $9000 for pain and suffering, plus put aside another $5000 towards covering the cost of any future medical costs I would incur if I needed counseling. I retained counsel (Gordon Vadum, Q.C.) to represent me with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The worker, who was involved with me at the time, was concerned enough, when the charges came out against Richard Simonato, to pay me a visit. Howard Otterbien, who was my worker back when I was at the Cubitts farm, admitted they knew Richard Simonato was a bully. But yet they placed me with this monster and with the Cubitts never seeming to be around to supervise, placed me in a position where I was personally damaged and have never recovered. I never received any counselling while I was in the Catholic Childrens Aid Society, for the events that occurred at the Cubitts farm in the years I spent in care afterwards. Today Im on Ontario Disability Support Plan, my family doctor, Dr. Howard Jay was responsible for getting me on it. I didnt react well to stress, was on medication for the longest time, and cant find a job, never graduated High School. Now at 42, have given up on having a meaningful productive life. The Catholic Childrens Aid of Metropolitan Toronto has never helped me out with counseling, compensation for their part in the neglect in seeing to my safety and well being, which was the whole point with me being placed in the Aid to begin with. How many other kids placed in homes administered by the Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto, suffered the same fate ? When are the Childrens Aid Societies, going to accept the responsibility that they have dropped the ball, offer an apology and compensation, then clean up the system, in which children are often abused, bullied and sometimes killed when under their care? How many victims have psychological problems which were/are untreated, have unproductive lives, have committed, or attempted suicide are going to suffer because of this? And why is it so hard, to sue them for the damages of their neglect?

Source: Facebook, Canada Court Watch