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Highland Shores Meeting

September 14, 2013 permalink

Highland Shores CAS held its first annual general meeting on Thursday. A news article and a comment by Curtis Kingston are enclosed.



Children's Aid Society: Finances and checkered past

Mark Kartusch
Mark Kartusch, executive director, Highland Shores Children Aid Society, converses with a colleague at the conclusion of the agency's annual general meeting on Thursday.

An embattled County child welfare agency is healthier financially and making headway in its bid to restore trust in the wake of a child abuse firestorm, its executive director says.

Bringing the scandal-ravaged Prince Edward County Children's Aid Society back into legislative compliance is just a small fraction of the work being done to close the many child care gaps identified in the county, Mark Kartusch said.

Though “ending the year with a balanced budget,” Kartusch said Highland Shores is bracing for financial challenges that will come in the form of government funding reductions totalling $4.5 million over five years.

“As we make improvements we're able to manage some of those cuts,” he said. “Next year and year after, I'm not sure if that cut is going to be bigger than what we can accommodate in the change.”

Prince Edward CAS is healthier now, since its April 1 amalgamation under the Highland Shores CAS umbrella, than it was as a standalone agency, Kartusch said Thursday at the Belleville Highland Shores headquarters, during the first annual general meeting of the consolidated agency.

“I think the organization as a whole is healthier,” he said. “We're in a better shape now with all three societies now amalgamated. We have been able to be a little bit more financially nimble.”

He acknowledged that the lives of the abused children will be “forever impacted” by the actions of several former foster parents convicted of sex crimes in connection with the defiling of youth entrusted in their care.

“Some of our youth are struggling and some are real angry at us for very good reason,” he said.

Combing through files to ensure compliance, staff changes and community meetings are among the work being done to restore the shaken trust as the overall structural amalgamation continues, he said.

“We continue that rebuilding,” he said. “I think we're on the right track.”

As work on the amalgamation finishes, the society will also face another major project as it participates in the implementation of the province-wide Child Protection Information Network, or CPIN. Highland Shores is one of 14 early adopter agencies with an implementation date of early June, 2014.

It will give Highland Shores the ability to help weed out potential foster parents who are unsuitable for child welfare service participation, “improving safety of children,” he said.

In Prince Edward, some of the court cases involving former parents are now moving through the courts.

As some of the cases for the aforementioned former foster parents facing sex crime charges continue to stream through the courts, Kartusch is not aware of any ongoing investigations which could trigger fresh charges.

“This was known and part of the whole group of homes,” he said. “The legal process is just winding it's way through the courts. This is not new.”

Also present at Thursday's meeting was one of the young women who lived in the Bloomfield home of a 73-year-old man who was convicted with sexually assaulting two girls. She said she met with Kartusch to talk about lingering issues from her time at the home and question what's being done to improve things in the county

“I wanted to hear what he had to say,” she said about her attendance Thursday. “I wanted to address that they're not doing there job right and I wanted to know if they were going to make it better in the future for these victims.”

Source: Belleville Intelligencer

Curtis Kingston

Here is an article on the Highland Shores CAS Annual General Meeting that took place this evening. This article is decently written and basically explains what happened at the meeting. But on the other hand what they don't mention is the fact that the speakers at the meeting including Mark Kartusch and Darcy French did nothing but lie through their teeth about almost every issue that was on the agenda but that is to be expected.

They also presented the JJ Kelso award to a worker that knowingly went against the law and instructed CAS workers to apprehend three children just hours after a warrant request was denied!

I am also impressed that the Intelligencer reporter did mention the fact that one of the victims from the recent PECCAS sexual abuse cases was in attendance and he made clear what her opinion was.

To this very special person who I still cannot name due to publication ban, you did amazingly well and you are the strongest person I know. The fact that you were able to sit through all of that propaganda bullshit and not punch somebody in the face just shows your true strength and I am more than proud of you

Source: Facebook, Curtis Kingston