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Child Advocate Stymied

January 19, 2015 permalink

Ontario's child advocate Irwin Elman tried to find out whether CAS in Ontario puts foster children in motels, as happened in Manitoba. He could not get an answer from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, so he asked the executive director of every children's aid society. He only got answers from half of them.



Irwin Elman

You might remember when I learned of the practice in Manitoba of using hotels and motels as a "placement" for children and youth in care I had asked the Ministry of Children and Youth Services if this practice was in place in Ontario. I asked whether there were guidelines about the practice. I was told the Ministry had no guidelines, that this would be up to each local CAS. I was told the MCYS would be surprised if the practice was used but that they did not know that I should check with the local CASs.

I then wrote every Director of a local CAS asking the same questions. Sadly but I guess not surprisingly only 24 of the CASs responded (approximately half) bothered to respond after two months.

Those that responded indicated either they do not make use of hotels or motels ever or only in rare instances for youth over 16 years on independent living in an emergency situation for a few days. One agency was using hotels as a temporary placement in past years but has ended the practice by policy and now never uses them. Another reported using a hotel once in the past as a "mental health" placement because there was no mental health supports available in the community.

It leads me to wonder about what the other half of the CASs do.

I will pass what I have learned on to the MCYS. Perhaps they might make their own inquiries. Until Bill 8 is proclaimed a CAS does not have to respond to me but they must respond to the MCYS.

I will keep at it and not lose this thread.

Source: Facebook, Irwin Elman