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Apprehensions in London.
May 30, 2014 permalink
A story from London Ontario leaves more questions than answers. CAS has seized two children after a ten-year-old boy was found locked in squalid conditions for two years. This may be a case of CAS exaggeration. Or, since he was under care of his aunt and uncle, it may be a child placed with the family by children's aid. Since there are no names in the story, it is impossible for more research to fill in the missing pieces.
London, Ontario boy found locked in room for nearly two years, aunt and uncle charged
The aunt and uncle of a 10-year-old boy have been charged after the boy was discovered locked in a filthy bedroom in a London, Ont. home, where it is alleged he was confined for 18 to 24 months.
“There was feces… the child’s pyjamas were soaked with urine when we found him,” London Police Det.-Insp. Kevin Heslop said at a Friday afternoon news conference. “It’s a horrific case.”
The boy was taken to a hospital Thursday afternoon, where he was diagnosed as underweight and malnourished. Police said he was only being fed twice a day.
Police said the boy was found in a locked master bedroom, “living in filthy conditions.” The bedroom had an ensuite bathroom, so the boy did have access to a toilet and shower.
“The room — in fact, the entire house — was in squalid condition,” Det.-Insp. Heslop said. “The bedroom had food waste, feces and urine on the floor and on the bed.”
The boy’s aunt and uncle, his guardians, are both charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and forcible confinement. Police are not releasing their names to protect the identity of the boy.
Police said the child’s parents are out of the country and they have not been in touch with them yet.
The boy has been released from the hospital and is in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. The Childrens’ Aid Society was initially alerted to the situation on an anonymous tip from the public.
Police said the couple have an older biological child but say there’s no evidence that the child was also locked up in the house. That child has also been taken into the care of the Children’s Aid Society.
Police were alerted to the home by the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex and when they arrived the home was unoccupied. When the homeowners returned, police discovered the boy after entering the premises.
Police were called because a Children’s Aid worker thought a shadow could be seen behind the drapes, although no one was answering the door.
“Our community came together in service of a child and he and another child are now safe,” Jane Fitzgerald, the executive director of Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex, said Friday afternoon. “The one thing he said he wants was he wants regular food and he wants to go to school.”
Police say they had no previous contact with the couple, but the Children’s Aid Society had brief contact with them in 2007 in regards to another child, who no longer lives with them.
Source: National Post
Addendum: Here is a video of the news conference (mp4), captured by Pat Niagara.
Source: City News
Police detective Kevin Heslop and London CAS executive director Jane Fitzgerald give a press conference. Fitzgerald starts her part by saying she is overcome with joy. She wants you to think of joy at saving a child. The real cause of her joy is the rare opportunity to draw attention to CAS as the savior of children.
The child is foreign and speaks little English. The parents do not live in Canada. The conference did not disclose the country of origin and gave no indication how the aunt and uncle came to be the guardians.
CAS Establishes Trust Fund For Child Locked In Bedroom For Up To Two Years
After an outpouring of support from the London community, the Children’s Aid Society has established a fund to help support a 10-year-old boy who was locked in a bedroom for up to two years.
The child was rescued by London Police and CAS officials on Thursday. The little boy, who was being cared for by his aunt and uncle, was found in filthy conditions and doctors say he was malnourished from only receiving two meals of fast food a day.
After being plucked from the disgusting environment, the little boy was placed in foster care and officials say he’s doing much better even playing video games and making friends with another child in his new foster home.
“We’ve had folks calling in to offer to be foster parents, to adopt, how can they provide financial support to this guy,” said Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald. “So we just felt it was important that we set a fund up that would allow the community to express their support, not only for this child, but also for all the other children that we care for.”
Fitzgerald says the young boy also has a healthy appetite and has a “particular fondness for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” The CAS says the little boy’s nine-year-old female cousin is still in a separate foster home and is also doing well.
In a release issued Monday afternoon, the CAS says the London community’s interest in and compassion for the boy is enormous and there have been many inquires regarding donations to help support him.
As a result of the outpouring of support, the CAS of London & Middlesex has set up a private account to be held in trust for the child, called From London with Love.
The funds will be collected through the Society’s fundraising portal and will be held in trust by the CAS until the child’s permanent living arrangements are known.
“What we would hope is that this would permit this young person to eventually go on to seek their dreams in post secondary education, if that’s what they wish to do,” said Fitzgerald. “So it’s hard to speculate at this point what those funds would be used for, but as a Children’s Aid, we do receive funding from the Ontario government to cover the care costs, so that’s not what the money would be going for, it would be for his future.”
If you wish to make a donation, please visit www.caslondon.on.ca/donate-now and reference From London with Love.
Fitzgerald admits this is likely just the beginning of a life-long process.
“He’s really been in an isolated state for, well, we’re estimating between 18 and 24 months,” said Fitzgerald. “We are pleased that he is wanting to play with another child in his foster home. The foster parents report that he is very kind and very sweet, and we’re seeing those good signs. But we’re really beginning quite a long road with him, and we’ll really have to see how he does in the long run.”
The boy’s aunt and uncle have been charged in connection with the case and are scheduled to appear in court on July 10th.
To find out more about the Children’s Aid Society of London-Middlesex and the ways the community can get involved, please call (519) 455-9000.
Source: CFPL 980AM
Addendum: While CAS conceals the facts, the foreign language press has started to provide answers. The boy's father found out about his son's condition, not from children's aid, but from press reports. The Korea Times reports that the father and child are Korean. When the boy's mother died, the father was incapable of supporting his son. On May 5, 2010 the father sent the boy to live with his younger sister, the boy's aunt, in Canada. He was as shocked as anyone to learn of his living conditions. The father is making efforts to get his son back. Even the Korean language press refuses to disclose the family name. An English language press report is enclosed.
Father of 10-year-old confined to a bedroom for up to two years shocked to learn how his son treated
The father of a 10-year-old boy held captive in London by his aunt and uncle is preparing to come to Canada, reports say.
Shocked to learn how his son had been surviving — police say the boy was locked in the squalid master bedroom of a southeast London home for 18 to 24 months, and fed only fast food twice a day before his rescue last week — the man is getting his passport, he told the Korean Times Daily in Toronto.
The boy’s mother is dead and his widowed father sent him to Canada four years ago to live with a younger sister who promised to look after her nephew, said reporter Jay Jung at the Korean-language newspaper. .
“He was very upset with his sister,” said Jung, who talked to the father in Korean.
The man doesn’t speak English, said Jung.
“He has never been overseas . . . He has to make a passport.”
The man said he sent his son to Canada in 2010, after the loss of both his wife and his business.
The man’s mother, the boy’s grandmother, took her grandson and dropped him off for the sister to look after him in 2010, Jung said.
London police said last week the little boy arrived in 2010 and had never been to school.
Authorities also said then they hadn’t reached the boy’s parents.
The boy’s father said he hadn’t been in contact with his son, but feels guilty and angry about the situation, said Jung.
Contacted by The Free Press, the South Korean consulate in Toronto declined comment.
An anonymous tip to the London-area child-welfare agency led to the boy’s rescue last week. His pyjamas and bedding were found soaked in urine, in the room reeking of human waste.
The couple who live at the house, who had operated two London-area variety stores, are charged with confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.
The Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex took the boy into its care, along with a nine-year-old girl living at the house — the boy’s cousin — whom authorities say was not confined.
Under Ontario law, information that would identify the boy and the girl can’t be published.
The family in the case isn’t known in London’s Korean community.
“The whole community is in shock,” said Danny Choi, head of the Korean Canadian Society of London.
“We’re ashamed and really sorry about this . . . We are family-oriented people and we look after our children very well. We are very, very sorry about this.”
About 5,000 Koreans live in London, he said, and the community is tight-knit. It has a bi-weekly newsletter and is fundraising to build a community centre.
He said no one seems to know the couple charged in the case.
“We don’t have a lot of information,” said Choi. “It doesn’t make sense to us.
“Members of our society might go to court to see what information we can get. We don’t want this to ever happen again.”
Source: Woodstock Sentinel Review