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Kids 4 Adoption
December 22, 2012 permalink
Ontario opposition leader Tim Hudak wants to advertise every child available for adoption on the internet. In addition, he wants to pay a reward to children's aid societies when they place a child with an adoptive home.
The payment of bonuses to adoption agencies produced a policy disaster in Britain. To meet the adoption targets, agencies ignored their large pool of unadoptable foster children, and began targeting pregnant women for child removal even before giving birth. For a chilling example, listen to social workers speak to Vanessa and Martin Brookes (wmv) in a recording removed from YouTube by social services legal action. Here is another case with more belligerent parents (flv), also removed from YouTube.
With this proposal Mr Hudak joins the long parade of politicians showing how clueless they are about family law. The biggest problem with foster care is not a deficit of adoptions. It is the large funding provided by the legislature that serves as an incentive to separate children from mom and dad.
But listing all adoptable children might do some good. Ontario's crown wards would come out of the shadows with at least some public mention of their existence. It would be possible to check the numbers coming out of the OACAS, and when a crown ward died, CAS would have to account for his disappearance.
Ontario Tories want all children in need of adoption to be listed online
The Progressive Conservatives want to make it mandatory for Children’s Aid Societies to list all of the children in care who need parents on the Adopt Ontario website.
Only about 155 of the 7,600 children in Ontario looking for a family are actually listed on the website the government set up to help them find a permanent home.
Opposition Leader Tim Hudak says the Children’s Aid Societies have no incentive to list children on the adoption site because they get paid for each child in their care.
Mr. Hudak wants to force the societies to list Crown wards in their care on Adopt Ontario and change the funding formula so they are rewarded for finding kids new homes, not for keeping them.
The Tories also want to provide funding to adoptive parents, between $8,000 and $15,000 per year depending on special needs, to help get more children into full-time families.
PC children’s critic Jane McKenna says the current system is fragmented and ineffective, leaving a growing number of kids on waiting lists.
Source: Globe and Mail
Addendum: The full document is PATHS TO PROSPERITY - a fresh start for children and youth (pdf). Of its 21 pages, two are devoted to pictures of PC leader Tim Hudak. It has no instances of father and only one of mother — it uses primarily the generic parent, possibly to be inclusive of same-sex parents. The suggestions come in the form of eleven paths, set out in headlines and developed in the text. The path to place all children for adoption on the internet is one of them. Most of the paths are the common bureaucratic suggestion of reorganizing so that lines of responsibility are altered. The only other path that seems to be more than repeating old ideas is number four:
Allow Ontarians to invest in the future success of their community and youth through Social Impact Bonds. The government should use a “pay-for-success” model that only pays out if goals are reached, reducing the burden on taxpayers while improving results for our youth. Children win, investors win and the government wins.
This is the way governments fund public improvements like toll roads, sewers and sports stadiums. So far it has not been applied to child care. It is doubtful it will help even if implemented. The problems in child protection come not from inadequate funds, but from too much funding.
There is no suggestion for more transparency or real oversight of children's aid societies, such as by giving the provincial ombudsman the authority to look into children's aid cases. Ontarians can expect little real improvement in child protection from the election of a PC government.