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Dr. Cop MD

September 16, 2006 permalink

Here is a follow-up to the story of the mother jailed for trying to get a second opinion on treatment for her baby's kidney problem. The baby got the disputed surgical implant on June 30. The mother has drawn a suspended sentence, meaning that any failure to follow the doctor's orders will place her back in jail. Parents now have to treat doctors the same way as cops.



Mother who took baby from hospital out of jail

A mother who snatched her sick baby from Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center and triggered a statewide dragnet in June walked out of the King County Courthouse a free woman Friday after being sentenced on a reduced charge of custodial interference.

Tina Carlsen ran away with her 9-month-old boy, Riley, on June 21 to spare him from dialysis treatment for kidney problems, believing that naturopathic treatment was a better way to return the baby to health.

It was the culmination of months of discord with physicians who ultimately prevailed upon state Child Protective Services to take custody of Riley to ensure he received dialysis.

Tina Carlsen
Scott Eklund / P-I
Tina Carlsen is sentenced Friday for custodial interference for kidnapping her sick baby.

"You're not before this court because there was any intent to harm your child ... or that you acted for any reason other than out of love for your child," Superior Court Judge Richard Jones told the tearful defendant.

Jones sentenced Carlsen, 35, to a one-year suspended sentence on the misdemeanor offense.

Following nearly identical sentencing recommendations from the prosecutor and defense attorneys, Jones ordered Carlsen to ensure that Riley makes all his dialysis appointments. The mother also must follow all recommendations and conditions of both CPS and the dependency court in Pierce County that granted the state custody of the boy.

Carlsen will continue to have unlimited access to Riley, who is living with his father, Todd Rogers, as long as Rogers is present.

Carlsen's flight with her son prompted authorities to issue an Amber Alert and initially charge her with kidnapping.

"When she was on the run, we didn't know her intent," Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Johnson told the judge Friday. "The child's medical condition was tenuous."

If Carlsen had fled the state and was pulled over on a traffic stop, a felony warrant would appear when officers ran her name through police databases.

Johnson told the court Carlsen's actions were "well-meaning" but "misguided."

Defense attorney Michele Shaw portrayed Carlsen as a strong-willed woman acting out of a deep maternal instinct to protect her baby.

Before Riley was born, doctors told Carlsen that he would be born profoundly handicapped as a result of a genetic defect. They pressured her to have an abortion, but the mother refused "for personal and religious reasons," Shaw said.

Carlsen did extensive research on the Internet to assure herself that Riley would be OK. The baby did not have the genetic defect, but shortly after birth, he was diagnosed with kidney failure.

Carlsen stuck to her own faith in alternative treatments and opposed plans to start dialysis, prompting doctors to seek intervention by CPS.

The morning of June 21, several hours before scheduled surgery, Carlsen "panicked" and fled with her son, according to Shaw's memo to the court.

"I apologize for what this has caused," Carlsen told the judge with tears in her eyes.

"The state has expended a lot of money. This has gotten way out of hand. I do apologize for all the craziness that has trailed behind me."

Jones told her that she got in trouble for violating a court order giving CPS custody, not for challenging her doctors.

"I'm not condemning you for considering alternative or naturopathic medicine," the judge said. "That's a philosophical issue that could go on until the end of time."

Shaw said Riley continues to undergo dialysis treatment and is "thriving."

P-I reporter Paul Shukovsky can be reached at 206-448-8072 or

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Website Blocked

September 15, 2006 permalink

Today the website casinternment went down. The domain name, registered by TUCOWS INC, is on status REGISTRAR-LOCK. Today was the deadline for the website owner to remove the site or go to jail. We have no way of knowing whether she removed the site herself, or CAS bullied the webhost. The Russian mirror site is still available, though it takes several minutes to load a page.

Addendum: Here is a message from the Canada Court Watch forum purportedly from the owner of casinternment. It confirms that she took down the site herself. It is in the form of a reply to another member with screen name FYI.



Re: ON FIXCAS Date Posted: 9/17/2006 1:20:18 AM


You must have misunderstood what you read. I am ordered to, with the threat of jail, not to name CAS workers, lawyers, Judges. I am ordered to not publicize any information on my court matters, that includes posting here on this forum even under an assumed name. My post here today will be used against me in the next affidavit and will be used as evidence of my contempt and used to try to jail me.

It is used against me that Courtwatch posted a letter my son wrote to the judge. This did not identify my son, it of course was regarding my case. I received a new affidavit today that states the front page of site is available on fixcas. This does not identify my family or children, this is publicizing the case and this was in an affidavit given to me today to support my contempt and reason to jail me in court next Thursday. If I ask for advice on this forum or discuss my case it is against court order, even if I do not identify myself and children. As I say even if I use a pen name, If they can figure out it is me I will be in contempt. I was even blamed and accused of writing a post in this forum last March that I had never seen before. It was someone else's.

The postings I made and other people made this week regarding my case on this forum are in this new affidavit and will be used in court for contempt and for the purpose of supplying evidence to have me jailed. Also in evidence against me is any other web site who mentions anything to do with this case. Even if I myself have no knowledge of this website. They wish not only to control me but everybody else. They expect me to be aware of and be responsible for what everybody else is doing. This is a totally unreasonable and impractical order.

I am ordered back to court next Thursday with this evidence of contempt and to attempt to jail me.

This is not about protect children's identities. This is a gag order to protect themselves and to intimate us for speaking out critically against them. If they are successful with me, everybody could be next. Everybody who reaches out for help, understanding or advice on this forum or others. Every web site that speaks out will be targeted. In my affidavits court watch and fixcas are targeted. Every body who speaks out critically for change can be jailed.

Courtwatch and fixcas and any media could not effectively function if they were bared by law not to publish names of judges or workers or any information on individual cases. We need to be able to publish injustices, not be afraid to speak out about them. This case could make a precedent for that. They could go after more people for stating opinion or asking for advice on this site.

If you too, FYI are before the courts, you could also one day be in contempt for your above post. If you mentioned any thing of your case on here you too could be targeted and held in contempt. I think I know who you are, and I believe you have published here information on your case when you were distraught. You then are as much in contempt of this law as myself.

In the affidavit that was given to me today the Frontenac CAS says that they hire people to work in what they call their "information technology department." What they do is surf the net and try to find anyone who has spoken out and report on them. I am obviously a threat and am targeted by there stalking and harassing.

This has nothing to do with identifying children. This has to do with silencing criticism and intimidating people and trying to stop us from organizing and informing people of the changes needed in this out of control child protection industry.

What they are scared of is that I will be a successful threat to them with valid and well documented corruption in their system. That I can and will expose it. I am learning and getting better. I took down casinternment at 12 oclock, by the court order. Casinternment will be up again. It will be better. There will be no law they will be able to use against me although I am sure they will try in their will to protect themselves. I think I know what to do to make it better, just the facts and shorter. What they said in there affidavit. What they said on tape. The total conflicting mess of their own records and affidavits. This is why they are after me, because they think I will do a good job. They are right.

So not to piss on your crusade but your information is wrong. The truth of what they are attempting to do is very scary and you should be very scared at the obstruction of all of our rights and our ability to organize and bring attention to a government organization that is out of control.

Source: Canada Court Watch discussion board
There is no way to authenticate or trace messages on this forum

Comment: The post ends with a good point, the statements most damaging to Children's Aid are their own. The mother has less to fear than she thinks from jail. Fathers are jailed for years in family cases without public notice, but jailing mothers attracts the kind of attention that leads to their release, and reform.

Bye Bye Baby Goodbye

September 14, 2006 permalink

Here is yet another use for the threat of child removal. A hospital is threatening parents to get them to remove their medically fragile baby from the only equipment that can save his life — a saturation monitor.



Take your baby home or face foster care

A MUM who has refused to take her newborn baby home over fears for his life has been told she faces having him fostered.

Goodenough family
The Goodenough family: Kevin holding Bobbi, 4, Tina with Denia, 1, Dion, 6, Mercedes, 5, and Carina.

Tina Goodenough, who gave birth to twin boys in April, is still coming to terms with the death of one of the babies, Sonni, born 16 weeks premature.

Now Tina, who has five other children, has been warned by hospital staff that little Dijon, who has also been desperately-ill, could be taken into care.

Dijon, now 20 weeks old, is currently in St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth. But Tina and husband Kevin say they are afraid to take their son home without specialist medical equipment as Dijon has stopped breathing several times.

Tina and Kevin have been left shattered by the news. They say that they do not know what to do - risk the life of their son and take him home or see him taken into care.

A spokesman for the hospital, which denies Dijon needs specialist equipment, has confirmed that Tina was informed foster care was an alternative.

Tina, 35, said: "It's devastating for us because we cannot even grieve for our other baby until we know that Dijon is going to be okay."

Up until three weeks ago, Dijon suffered from apnia attacks, which meant that he suddenly stopped breathing.

Tina and Kevin, 51, want to take Dijon to their home in Bellfield, Titchfield, but they insist on having a saturation monitor, which would alert the couple if Dijon stopped breathing.

Tina said: "Since he was born we have had to watch Dijon be resuscitated again and again. It's been terrible.

"If we had a saturation monitor we could be sure that if another attack happened we could be there in time to get him breathing again. Without one, we could wake up one morning and find that he had suffered an attack during the night and died. We feel like we have been pushed into a corner."

Hospital staff have told the parents that because Dijon has not had an attack for three weeks he is well enough to go home, but Tina believes that three weeks is not long enough.

She said: "With all that we have been through, with the loss of our first son, Sonni, we just don't think it's right to risk Dijon's life by bringing him home without a monitor. Of course we would love to bring him home but not if it puts his life at risk.

"We cannot stay awake for 24 hours a day just watching to see if he stops breathing. That's crazy and we have five other children to look after. All we are asking is either for a monitor to take home or to keep him in for longer. Any parent can understand what I am saying."

Portsmouth Hospitals Trust has said that it is doing its best to deal with the family's wishes even though it would not normally supply this type of equipment to patients.

A spokesperson said: "There was a general conversation between the family and a newly-appointed senior staff nurse. During that conversation the mother asked the specific question what would be the alternatives to not taking him home?

"There was then a general conversation where one of the alternatives mentioned was foster care. Once a baby is fit enough to be discharged the best place for the baby is back in the community, not an acute hospital setting."

3:00pm Wednesday 13th September 2006

Source: This is Hampshire website

Mother Vilified

September 14, 2006 permalink

Comments follow the story.



Drunk mom held

A 46-year-old Kingston woman was arrested Monday after she flew off the handle when two Children's Aid Society workers showed up at her house. Police arrived at a Cherry St. home to help the CAS workers assess two children at the residence. Upon arrival, police met the woman, who was extremely drunk and home alone with her two children, aged 5 and 8. Police arrested her for disturbing the peace and the woman spent a few hours in custody before being released.

Source: Ottawa Sun

We can't understand why the mother in this story was agitated. Normal mothers love to have Children's Aid workers help them with threats. Cops have long removed drunks from public places, but now they can arrest you for drinking in private.

What happened to the kids? Did CAS leave them home without mom? They probably are in custody now, where they will remain for a long time. Critics have speculated on how the story would sound from the mother's point of view, but since there are no names in the article, we will never know.

Carline - A Mother's Convictions

September 14, 2006 permalink

A film about Carline VandenElsen, stripped of her baby for no reason other than practicing motherhood, then jailed for a standoff with police, is scheduled for a showing in Halifax.



Halifax Daily News, Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Films get a second chance

Carline VandenElsen
Topical doc: Carline VandenElsen is the subject of one of the films. (File photo)

Salon des Refuses welcomes films rejected by the Atlantic Film Festival

FILM - Some of the films rejected by the Atlantic Film Festival will get a big screen debut after all.

"As an artist, - filmmaker, specifically - you get pretty used to rejection," said Steven James May, who is holding a Salon des Refuses Atlantique at the Khyber Club tomorrow night.

Now in its fifth year, the one-night film festival is a feel-good chance for people rejected by the Atlantic Film Festival to still have their movies screened.

Five films will be shown at tomorrow's screening, including three works by Halifax directors. They are Mirco Chen's horror The Birth of Serfs, Convivial Daze's documentary Carline - A Mother's Convictions, and Megan Wennberg's comedy My Name Is?

Also being show are the drama Morning Radio, by Winnipeg director Vanessa Loewen, and the drama An Open Door, by Los Angeles director Crystal Us.

Unlike the Atlantic Film Festival, where a committee selects the works which will be shown, the Salon's selection process is all about the luck of the draw.

"Every application is assigned a number, and I write each number on an ibuprofen tablet," said May. "I put that in a jar, and the first one I pull out is the first one I screen. I do it until I have a couple hours of programming."

All you need you need to enter the salon is a film and a festival rejection letter.

The salon has been in existence since 2001 - when May received his first rejection letter from the Atlantic Film Festival.

He named the event after the Salon des Refuses that Napoleon III created in the 1800s to provide a venue for painters refused by mainstream galleries because their art was seen as too progressive.

"Those dudes turned out to be the impressionists, like Renoir, Monet," said May.

Similar salons have since popped up in all areas of art, from photography to film and music.

"I've heard there are people that don't like the salon, but nobody has said anything to my face," said May. "Some people might not like the films, but I don't care if they are good or bad, I just put them out there."

Source: Halifax Daily News

One-sided Inquests Supported

September 10, 2006 permalink

The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills held hearings on Ontario bill 89. It provides that when a child dies at the hands of a parent after custody is returned to him, that death must be the subject of a coroner's inquest. The committee departed from the usual dull hearing format, presenting action-drama. The first four witnesses expressed the view of aggrieved, or even terrified, mothers, none expressed a father's viewpoint. The witnesses were:

  • Jenny Latimer. She told the story of her son Kevin, fatally injured owing to inadequate supervision while under her estranged husband's care.
  • Julie Craven. A woman in a bad marriage told of the loss of her son in a murder/suicide by her ex-husband.
  • Witness X. A mother with a bad relationship tells of her frustration at inability to exile dad from her eight-year-old child's life.
  • Annette Sackrider-Miller. She spoke for her eight-year-old son. It was surprising that the committee accepted this hearsay as evidence. Again, the story was frustration at inability to rid the family of dad.
  • John Muise. This former cop spoke in favor of the bill.
  • Judy Newman. She represented the Attorney General, and described the program for supervised access.
  • Anne Marsden. She said that the provisions of the Child and Family Services Act are rarely followed — parents do not get the hearings required by law, and lawyers appointed for children do not represent their interest.
  • Trinela Cane. She spoke for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in support of the bill.

The Hatfields and the McCoys had a legendary feud. Imagine that when a Hatfield kills a McCoy, the story is reported in full, but when a McCoy kills a Hatfield, the story is suppressed. Readers will think (falsely) that the Hatfields are doing all the killing.

That is what bill 89 does. When a parent deprived of custody gets a child back and later kills it, we will get the news. But when a parent does not get a child back and CAS kills it, it will remain (as now) a secret.

While the aggrieved mothers giving testimony are deserving of sympathy, the solution is to disclose all child deaths, not just those fitting the CAS agenda.

Escape from Canada to Russia

September 10, 2006 permalink

Canadians can now exercise free speech by fleeing to Russia. The website casinternment has now appeared on a (slow) mirror site in Russia! This ensures its survival, even with the threat of jail to the family that created it.

Jail for (name banned)

September 9, 2006 permalink

The mother in the Kingston casinternment family is is now being ordered to jail, unless she corrects her contempt before September 15. The contempt seems to be posting names on the internet, and hiding her runaway son. According to her own statement below, the boy ran away from CAS, not from her, and she does not know his whereabouts. The website complies with the laws of Ontario by blotting out the names of all family members, but that is not enough for CAS — they want the names of their own workers (not restricted by legislation) removed. Ontario needs a family to stand up in court for the right to mention their own names. This family too poor for counsel will not be the one.

CAS seems to want jail someone for a website, terrifying their other victims. They failed with Aneurin Ellis, but could succeed in this case. In the future, CAS websites may be limited to those families able to hire a lawyer.

Here is the mother's typed version of the judge's order, verbatim with misspellings.



9/8/2006 5:24:55 PM

I just received the endorsement from judge Belch.

3. Following this Court’s finding that XXX XXX is in breach of the CFSA and the order of Justice Brennan of march 8, 2006 and thereby in contempt of that order, XXX XXX is directed to reframe from any future publications and is to immediately remove from her internet site any material identifying anyone involved in these child protection proceedings. The removal is to be completed by September 15, 2006 and if it is, then XXX XXX contempt motion is to be purged. In the event that XXX XXX ignores this court order, there shall be a warrant to issue for her arrest and she is to be returned to this court for determination of penalty pursuant to rule 31 of the Family Law Rules.

2. Delivery of (son) to the care of the Children’s Aid Society by September 15, 2006 will purge XXX XXX conduct in failing to follow the November 10, 2005 order of Justice Sheffield. In the event that XXX XXX does not comply with the said order, there be a warrant to issue for her arrest and XXX XXX is to be returned to this Court for determination of penalty to rule 31 of the Family Law Rules.

4. A copy of this Order is to be served upon the internet providers of XXX XXX together with a copy of s. 45(8) of the CFSA.

I have never read in the CFSA that you could not publish CAS workers names or the name of the society. I read that you cannot publish your or your children's names, which I have followed.

The CAS lost my son. I do not know where he is. They want to throw me in jail for something that is their fault. he never ran away from me.

Source: Canada Court Watch discussion board

Dog facilitates child testimony

September 6, 2006 permalink

Texas allows a dog to accompany children while testifying in court.



Bexar County allows dog to calm children testifying in court

SAN ANTONIO Chance the golden retriever has a new job in the Bexar (BEHR) County courts. County commissioners have approved a plan to let the dog help calm children who must testify in family court.

Commissioners agreed to allow Chance in the courthouse after District Attorney Susan Reed and other children's advocates asserted the dog wouldn't expose the county to any undue liability.

The eight-year-old shaggy male will be the county's first "society" dog -- similar to those that work in hospitals, prisons and psychiatric wards to help calm difficult situations. Chance will spend time with children forced to testify during emotionally difficult cases involving their families.

Chance's owner is Child Protective Services court liaison Becky Snodgrass. She says the dog's training has been informal, made up of being around children over the years.

Source: San Antonio Express-News

Politicians Clueless

September 6, 2006 permalink

Foster child Marcus Fiesel broke into the news in Ohio on August 15 when foster mother Liz Carroll had a blackout from a heart condition while taking her children to a park. Two-year-old Marcus disappeared during the blackout. Six days later the foster mother appeared on television to plead for help in finding the boy. She wore the same clothes as on the day of the disappearance to help viewers remember her.

While the foster mom was looking for the boy, the police were working out what really happened. The fosters had tied up Marcus and locked him in a closet on August 4, then left for a family reunion. They returned two days later to find him dead. They took him to Brown County Kentucky, burned the body and dumped the remains in the Ohio river. On August 10 they dodged a caseworker visit with the excuse that Marcus was sick. When the facts became known, foster parents Liz and David Carroll were arrested and held on ten million dollars bail each. Ohio child protectors responded with the usual party line, we cannot comment because of confidentiality, but we are changing procedures to prevent a recurrence.

Two Ohio Republican politicians have published opinion pieces giving their suggestions for improving the child protection system. Most of the suggestions show that Ohio Republicans are clueless — only the suggestion to open the records of dead children will help. A third opinion by Richard Wexler gives the real solution, letting parents care for their own children.

Ontario politicians are spared the requirement to give their opinions, because most foster deaths are suppressed before they get to the press. From what little is available, many Ontario politicians are just as clueless as Ohio's Republicans. Howard Hampton and Andrea Horwath are exceptions.



Jones on children's safety

Lawmakers must keep kids safe


Last week we were reminded how vulnerable children are when they are failed by a system built to protect them. Police say Marcus Fiesel died at the hands of his foster parents. Outrage doesn't even begin to describe the feelings of this mother and candidate.

As a legislator, the strongest power I'll have is the power of the purse and when government agencies come to me with budget requests, I'll fight to divert dollars from the back office bureaucracy to the front lines of all child protection agencies.

But lawmakers must do more.

In fact, it was my disgust at a system that allowed for the rape and murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford that prompted me to run for the Ohio House. I supported enacting Jessica's Law in Ohio - a law mandating a minimum 25-year sentence (without parole) for child sex predators - and spent the spring campaigning for its passage. While I'm pleased that it finally passed, I'll fight to ensure that these stricter sentencing guidelines are enforced by judges.

Our leaders must do all they can to prevent rather than just respond to child tragedies. If we're serious about protecting children, we must also crack down on child pornography, Internet obscenities, and sexually oriented businesses - before we read about another attack or murder of a child. We must insist on tougher penalties for those who pander obscenity and sexually oriented material involving a child - on the first offense before more children are victimized. Prosecutors tell us that by the time they convict a pedophile, that criminal has already committed dozens of similar crimes that went undetected.

This November, when choosing a candidate for state legislature, vote like your child's safety is depending on it - because it just might.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Ohio's system needs a lot of work


Ken Blackwell
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is the Republican candidate for Ohio governor.

The tortured death of Marcus Fiesel tragically reminds us that Ohio's child protection system can be as dysfunctional, broken and fractured as the families it serves. It also highlights several reforms necessary to avoid this tragedy in the future:

Open all records: Could the child protection system have done more to protect Marcus? We may never know because Ohio law allows an agency to keep the records secret, and so far the Butler County Children Services Board has said they intend to do just that - keep the records sealed. That's wrong.

When a child dies, how can the release of the records relating to the child's case hurt him? Who is really being protected by keeping the files secret - the child or the system?

The law that allows these records to be hidden behind a wall of secrecy should be changed to require the release of all files for a child who dies while in the custody and care of the child protection agency.

The only exception should be if the prosecutor determines that the release of part or all of the records would adversely affect the prosecution of the criminal case. But after the criminal case is over all records relating to the case should be made public.

Increase state supervision: Marcus' death also underscores the need to have more oversight over state and local child protection agencies. Yes, child protection agencies do a lot of good work. Hundreds if not thousands of Ohio's children are alive today because the dedicated workers of our child protection system were there to rescue them from harm. But those who work inside the system are also human, and human beings make mistakes.

The law should require that child protection agencies be subject to ongoing independent performance and case reviews. The independent review system used by Ohio's Department of Aging is a good model for such oversight.

Give all foster children equal protection. Current state law requires that each foster child receive an in-home visit once every 30 days. Unfortunately, some counties have contracted out these in-home visits to the same entity that placed that child in that home. That conflict of interest should be removed, using an independent third party to visit all network placement children. All children must have independent supervision.

Improve information sharing: If a foster parent runs afoul of the law, this warning light should be immediately communicated to child support agencies. This will take technological upgrades and improvements, but I know how to do this well. As secretary of state, I have improved that office's technology and support services, shortening the time for baseline business transactions from 16 to three days. Upgrading children's services information and technology systems can prevent future tragedies from taking place.

It is a horror that Marcus Fiesel died the way he did. As your governor, I will fight to enact these strong, aggressive reforms to make sure that never happens again.

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is the Republican candidate for Ohio governor.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

Another Child 'Protected to Death'; Response to Ohio Foster-Care Tragedy Ignores 'Elephant In the Room,' National Child Advocacy Group Says

9/5/2006 11:50:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Richard Wexler of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, 703-212-2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The outrage that has swept through Ohio in the wake of the death of a 3-year-old foster child will accomplish nothing if everyone ignores the most important fact about the case: Like thousands of other foster children, this child, Marcus Fiesel, probably never needed to be taken from his birth mother in the first place, according to a national child advocacy organization.

Marcus' foster parents are accused of tying him up and locking him in a closet overnight. When they returned to find Marcus dead, the foster father allegedly burned the body.

"Once again, a child has been protected to death in foster care," said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. "There is no question that Marcus' birth mother was overwhelmed and couldn't care for him by herself. But she almost certainly could have cared for him had she gotten the right kind of help. Instead, the response of authorities boiled down to 'take-the-child-and-run,'" Wexler said.

Marcus' death comes only months after adoptive parents in Ohio were convicted of confining 11 special-needs foster children in what prosecutors called cages.

"Of course the majority of foster parents don't abuse the children in their care. Many are true heroes," Wexler said. "But the rate of abuse in foster care is far higher than in the general population and far higher than generally realized. In one recent study, one-third of foster children reported being abused in care. The rate of abuse in group homes and institutions -- latter day orphanages -- is even worse.

"You can't fix the problem by tightening licensing standards and background checks, or demanding that caseworkers knock on the door one more time," Wexler said. "That's ignoring the elephant in the room: Ohio takes away children at a rate 30 percent above the national average and double or triple the rate of model systems with exemplary records for keeping children safe.

"States that take away too many children will always be begging for foster homes -- and beggars can't be choosers," Wexler said.

"The only way to fix foster care is to have less of it."

Source: U.S. Newswire

Addendum: On February 22, 2007 Liz Carroll was sentenced to a long term in prison. She will be able to apply for parole in 54 years. There was no punishment for the social workers legally responsible for the boy.

Court Reforms

September 4, 2006 permalink

The Ontario Attorney General has posted a document Justice and the Media (pdf) advocating real reform in the courts of Ontario. It suggests:

  • Allowing parties to litigation, their lawyers and the press to bring unobtrusive sound recording devices into the courtroom. This is permitted by law now, but thwarted by informal policies at the courthouse, such as security staff denying admission to parties with recording devices (or even roughing them up).
  • Allowing access to case records at the courthouse. This includes providing photocopies at affordable cost.
  • Placing dockets and judgments online.

These reforms should be a real help to parents in child protection cases. Canada Court Watch reports that in a case in which they got a recording device into a courtroom, Children's Aid returned the children to the parents within an hour, in preference to having their atrocious conduct recorded.

Other reforms proposed in the document are mainly of interest to larger organizations, such as the Toronto Sun or CBC.

Jean Supports Adoption

September 2, 2006 permalink

Canada's Governor General Michaëlle Jean, an adoptive parent herself, supports adoption. The article does not say whether she supports the methods used to separate babies from their parents.




The Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) is proud to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D. Governor General of Canada has agreed to be the Patron of the organization.

This formal grant of patronage provides the ACC with the name and status of vice-regal office.

The board and staff of the ACC are very honoured by this announcement, as Her Excellency is the first Patron of the organization. “We are particularly pleased that the Governor General has agreed to be a patron of the Adoption Council of Canada because of her deep concern about disadvantaged children and her personal knowledge of adoption” proclaims Sandra Scarth, President of the ACC.

Source: the Adoption Council of Canada

Killers Try Again

September 2, 2006 permalink

Michigan DHS, already known for serial deaths in the Lethbridge family, is trying again.

In the case of Matt and Jennifer Lethbridge, the state of Michigan has seized nine children, even reaching across the border into Canada to grab one. Their oldest girl died of medical problems, a boy was murdered, and according to information from the family not yet in the press, another girl was infected with hepatitis. In the two occasions in which the Lethbridges had a child in their own care for over a year, it suffered no harm.

Last year Ricky Holland, Casey Jo Caswell's son seized by Michigan DHS and placed for adoption, was murdered by his adoptive parents. The shameless agency has just taken another child from Casey Jo for its "protection".

Sadly, serial seizure is routine in cases of children killed in protection. In 1999 Massachusetts DSS removed two children, Kyle and Damien, from their mother Diana Ross. In June 2001 Kyle Ross was killed by the foster family's rottweiler. DSS shamelessly took her next child, Aaron, born two months later, into their custody.

Maybe real parents should get a chance to care for their own children.



State seizes baby from Ricky's birth mom

Infant is woman's fifth child taken by officials; one was boy adoptive parents allegedly killed.

Ricky Holland
Ricky Holland

For a few joyous hours Wednesday, Casey Jo Caswell -- the birth mother of murdered 7-year-old Ricky Holland -- thought she would get another chance to raise a child.

But 11 hours after giving birth at Lansing's Ingham Regional Medical Center, state Department of Human Services took custody of the child and forbid Casey and her husband, Matt Caswell, from having contact with the 8-pound, 11 1/2 ounce girl named Alexia Jordan.

"She's devastated," Matt Caswell said.

"The baby's in the nursery, and she's not able to get any breast milk from her mother."

It's the fifth baby for Caswell, 25. The state took custody of the other four, including Ricky, and eventually allowed Tim and Lisa Holland to adopt them.

They both face trial in Ingham County Circuit Court for the murder of the boy reported missing July 2, 2005, and found in a swamp in January.

Both blame the other for the death. Lisa Holland's trial starts Sept. 11, while Tim's is scheduled for January.

Ricky's siblings are now in the custody of Tim Holland's relatives.

By law, the state must immediately file a petition to terminate the rights of parents who previously had children taken away and parental rights terminated, if there's evidence that another baby would be harmed, said Steve Yager, director of the state Office of the Family Advocate.

Ricky was 3 years old when a Jackson Circuit Court Judge terminated his birth mother's parental rights, citing longstanding homelessness and unemployment.

In 2005, she married longtime friend Matt Caswell, who pleaded no contest in 2003 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 3-year-old girl. He claims he was framed and is innocent.

You can reach Karen Bouffard at (734) 462-2206 or

Detroit News

Big Tony is Watching

September 1, 2006 permalink

Nanny state used to be a figure of speech. Britain plans to have social workers supervise the care of large numbers of children from before birth.



Problem children targeted at birth

By Andrew Grice, Published: 01 September 2006

Tough new plans to target babies and young children in problem families were unveiled by Tony Blair yesterday. He said social workers should intervene much earlier to prevent children in "dysfunctional" families turning into problem teenagers.

His initiative could mean that families who refuse to co-operate would lose state benefits or have their children taken into local authority care more swiftly.

The Prime Minister said it was possible to predict problem children "prebirth" in some cases. He suggested that single mothers might be forced to accept state help before their children were born under the plans to tackle a hard core of more than one million "socially excluded" people.

In his first interview since returning from his summer break, he told the BBC: "If we are not prepared to predict and intervene far more early then there are children that are going to grow up in families that we know perfectly well are completely dysfunctional, and the kids a few years down the line are going to be a menace to society and actually a threat to themselves."

Mr Blair added: "You either steer clear and say that's not for government to get into, in which case you don't deal with the problem. Or, I think we need to deal with these particular issues and we actually do intervene and we intervene at a very early stage."

Denying the plan smacked of a "Big Brother" state, he admitted many people might be uneasy with the idea of intervening in family life but said there was no point "pussy-footing".

Mr Blair was confident that the work would outlast his time in Number 10.

"For us as a party and a government, this is something we are passionate about, that we have developed for a number of years and will continue long after I've gone," he said.

Social exclusion has emerged as Mr Blair's "big idea" for this autumn as he tries to show his administration has not run out of steam. He will make a big speech on the issue next week and Hilary Armstrong, the Cabinet Office minister, will unveil a new government strategy the following week.

The Tories accused Mr Blair of creating a nanny state, while others stressed that the same early intervention proposals had been unveiled four years ago by David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories' policy chief, said: "The answer is... to encourage social enterprise, the voluntary sector, community groups and to help people without trying to run their lives for them."

Tough new plans to target babies and young children in problem families were unveiled by Tony Blair yesterday. He said social workers should intervene much earlier to prevent children in "dysfunctional" families turning into problem teenagers.

His initiative could mean that families who refuse to co-operate would lose state benefits or have their children taken into local authority care more swiftly.

The Prime Minister said it was possible to predict problem children "prebirth" in some cases. He suggested that single mothers might be forced to accept state help before their children were born under the plans to tackle a hard core of more than one million "socially excluded" people.

In his first interview since returning from his summer break, he told the BBC: "If we are not prepared to predict and intervene far more early then there are children that are going to grow up in families that we know perfectly well are completely dysfunctional, and the kids a few years down the line are going to be a menace to society and actually a threat to themselves."

Mr Blair added: "You either steer clear and say that's not for government to get into, in which case you don't deal with the problem. Or, I think we need to deal with these particular issues and we actually do intervene and we intervene at a very early stage."

Denying the plan smacked of a "Big Brother" state, he admitted many people might be uneasy with the idea of intervening in family life but said there was no point "pussy-footing".

Mr Blair was confident that the work would outlast his time in Number 10.

"For us as a party and a government, this is something we are passionate about, that we have developed for a number of years and will continue long after I've gone," he said.

Social exclusion has emerged as Mr Blair's "big idea" for this autumn as he tries to show his administration has not run out of steam. He will make a big speech on the issue next week and Hilary Armstrong, the Cabinet Office minister, will unveil a new government strategy the following week.

The Tories accused Mr Blair of creating a nanny state, while others stressed that the same early intervention proposals had been unveiled four years ago by David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories' policy chief, said: "The answer is... to encourage social enterprise, the voluntary sector, community groups and to help people without trying to run their lives for them."

Independent (UK)

Ellis Not in Contempt

August 31, 2006 permalink

Earlier we reported on the efforts of the Waterloo Children's Aid Society to jail Aneurin Ellis for two counts, one of which was testifying before the provincial legislature. Today his case was heard and the judge dismissed the motion. Members of the Ontario Legislature were alerted to the case against Mr Ellis. We do not know how much the court was influenced by the arguments of Mr Ellis, and how much by the legislature. Here is the order of the judge:



August 31/06

Defendant argues reference in the impugned e-mail is a generic reference to Children's Aid Societies at large. There is no reference to the Children's Aid Society of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo specifically. As a committal for contempt is a quasi-criminal proceeding the wording of the Order must be strictly construed. As there is no specitic (sic) mention of the Waterloo CAS there is an element of doubt whether strictly speaking the Order has been breached. The motion is dismissed.
Thomas Lofchik J

Source: photocopy of judge's handwritten notes

Police Chase

August 31, 2006 permalink

A Belleville mother tried to escape from CAS with her two children in a minivan. Police chased the van through the streets, stopped it by blowing the front tires and smashed the window to pull the mother out. The children were terrified, but through good luck survived their life-threatening experience without physical harm. Police can be satisfied now that the children will no longer be cared for by their mother.



A 34-year-old woman is in jail after leading police on a winding chase through the city with her two young children in the back of her minivan.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, police and officials with the Childrens Aid Society were conducting an investigation involving the woman and her children at a home on Tracey Park Drive.

According to police, the woman who did not have legal custody of the children took off from the scene with the youngsters in the back of her green Ford Aerostar minivan.

As the van zigzagged through streets in the citys north end at speeds reaching 70 km/h, police followed and attempted to get her to pull over and stop safely, said one officer, who asked not to be identified

The van began intersecting side streets in the west hill area when officers deployed a stopper stick a device similar to a spike belt on Murney Street.

With both front tires flattened, the van slammed into a pole on the east side of the street, just south of Henry Street.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Dunwell was in her upstairs bedroom when she heard the commotion outside.

I looked down and saw the whole thing happen, she said, standing on the front lawn of the home she shares with her brother, father and step-mother.

The woman refused to open the (drivers side) window, so the officer had to smash it ... and pulled her out.

As their mother was being pulled from the front seat, Dunwell said the children in the rear of the vehicle were screaming.

It was very disturbing to watch ... there was a female cop trying to take them out of the van and calm them down.

Meanwhile, the mother appeared to put up quite a fight, she said.

She was screaming too, but she wasnt saying very pleasant things. I thought she also bit an officer, Dunwell said.

The mother was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser as a family friend arrived to comfort the children. A short time later, a case worker with the CAS picked up the children.

Dorothy Wardhaugh thought firefighters were responding to a call on her street when she heard the sirens.

I looked out and saw a police cruiser pull up on my front lawn ... its something you dont see everyday, she said.

Wardhaugh, who has lived on Murney Street for 60 years, shook her head as the children involved were taken away by officers.

Its so terribly sad to see children in the middle of something like this.

There were no reported injuries to either the woman or her children and, according to Sgt. Brad Lentini, there were no injuries to officers as a result of the altercation.

Police are withholding the name of the woman to protect the identity of the children.

Source: Canada Court Watch discussion board
The Belleville Intelligencer website does not permit authentication of articles more than one day old.

Forced Experimentation

August 30, 2006 permalink

In this article, mother Davina McLean was compelled to consent to a dangerous medical experiment on her child by the threat of child removal.

In just the past week's articles, we have cases of the threat of child removal being used to force a divorce, a medical experiment and an involuntary sex act. Legislators dream powers given to child protectors help children. In fact, those powers harm parents and children. Parents will not be able to protect their children, and themselves, until effective protection from child removal replaces the current sham.



Professor in police inquiry over brain damage to boy

Sandra Laville, Monday August 28, 2006, Guardian

Detectives have stepped up an investigation into claims that the leading paediatrician David Southall left a child brain damaged as a result of a controversial breathing experiment 15 years ago, the Guardian has learned.

South Wales police have broadened their inquiry into an allegation that Professor Southall assaulted the boy by carrying out the test and are asking dozens of parents whose children may have come into contact with the paediatrician over the years to come forward if their child suffered any injuries as a result of his treatment. Professor Southall has denied that his treatment has harmed any child.

In a letter to parents last week, Detective Inspector Chris Mullane, of the force's child protection unit, said further inquiries could be opened as a result of the responses from parents. The letter says police are investigating an allegation of assault on a boy that may have occurred while he was undergoing treatment by Prof Southall at the University Hospital of Wales. It asks parents: "Has your child been treated directly or indirectly by Professor Southall ... Did your child suffer any injuries or adverse effects from that treatment ... Have you reported this matter to the police or any other body?"

The investigation began after the parents of Ben McLean alleged that he had been left brain damaged by Prof Southall's experiments at the University Hospital of Wales in 1991.

The child's mother, Davina McLean, believes that without their informed consent, her five-year-old son was given carbon dioxide to breathe and his airway was occluded during a sleep study. She claims that she and her husband were forced to take part in the study after Prof Southall said they were suffering from Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, and warned that unless they allowed Ben to take part he would be taken into care. Prof Southall has also denied these claims.

When Ben left hospital he was placed in foster care, but a year later a court found the McLeans had not harmed their child. Ben, now 20, lives with his parents and has severe speech and learning difficulties. Mrs McLean told the Guardian: "We are pleased that other parents out there who may have concerns are being contacted. All we want is justice for our son."

Prof Southall has attracted praise and controversy during his long career. Last year he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and banned from child protection work for three years after wrongly accusing the husband of Sally Clark of killing their baby sons.

Other parents have made allegations against Prof Southall, who is one of the leading proponents of the diagnosis of Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, in which a parent or carer is said to harm a child to attract attention. He is due to face another disciplinary hearing before the General Medical Council later this year.

Many of Prof Southall's peers defend his work, and say a witchhunt is being carried out against him. They say paediatricians involved in child protection are being subjected to a campaign by groups defending parents accused of abuse.

Margaret Taylor, Prof Southall's solicitor, said he was not commenting on the police inquiry or on other aspects of Mrs McLean's allegations.

Guardian (UK)

Shotgun Divorce Opposed

August 30, 2006 permalink

An American is suing for relief over his shotgun divorce.



Whitman's CPS War

What would you do if someone threatened to take your kids away unless you dumped your significant other? If you were anything like Los Gatos resident Charlie Whitman, you'd tell them to back off. But that's been easier said than done for Whitman, who's still waging a six-year-plus legal battle against Santa Clara County for allegedly violating his First Amendment right to associate with whomever he wants. In 2000, Whitman and his fiance Kelly Lynn Tucker got entangled with the county's Child Protective Services when they sought counseling for one of Tucker's kids (to deal with an issue they say had nothing to do with their parenting skills). We'll spare you the complicated details for the time being and get to the part that swayed a federal judge: a county social worker threatened Tucker's custody of four children if she continued to see Whitman — essentially forcing her to leave him. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in 2004 that Whitman's First Amendment rights may very well have been violated, and now the case is headed to trial in federal district court. Whitman, who has no history of drug abuse, violence or crime, says he was baffled and hurt. Once a mild-mannered geologist, this whole mess has turned him into an outspoken advocated for CPS reform. He's now out to prove that county social workers engage in a rampant practice of telling parents who they can't hang out with. So far, he says he has 21 witnesses who've allegedly been bullied in the same way. With his attorney Bob Powell, he's seeking more people willing to testify. County Counsel Ann Ravel defends the social workers at CPS. "People are human," she said. "When there's an emphasis on protecting children, there are bound to be some decisions that maybe in hindsight aren't the best, but there isn't any evidence of a widespread problem in the department." A district court judge, however, decided there was enough evidence of a bigger problem to try the case when he denied the county's request for summary judgment in February. A court date has been set for March of next year, although Ravel says the parties might resolve the matter sooner. "We are absolutely willing to discuss a settlement," she said.

weekly magazine Metro, Silicon Valley

Reaction to Barrie Demonstration

August 29, 2006 permalink

Oriena Rejola Currie
Dangerous gang member
click on photo for bigger version

Canada Court Watch reports on a seventy-year-old woman excluded from the courthouse for being a dangerous gang member.

Some people can only respond to criticism by force of arms. Here is an abridged version of the latest news from Canada Court Watch.



False allegations being used to spread fear at the Barrie, Ontario court

(August 30, 2006) Court Watch was provided information coming from an inside source at the Barrie, Ontario court in which is was revealed ... that some court employees are ... saying that Justice Olah was threatened by a group of "deadbeat dads" and that because of this, steps have been taken to provide extra security for her. Extra police officers were assigned to her court on Monday and court staff were reported as telling citizens that Justice Olah also was being given 24 hour police security at her home. According to the inside source ... a police investigation is now under way.

The group who participated at the event on Friday were mothers, fathers, grandparents, children and grandchildren. There were teens and young children who participated. Most were just good citizens who were aware of the problems with the court system and agree that changes are needed to the system to benefit the future of our children. The citizens, ranging in ages from 3 years to 70, simply distributed flyers in the community and in the geographical areas surrounding the Barrie court to bring attention to the people that Justice Olah was not behaving like a competent judge. It was a fun day for all who participated. Yet, court officials appear to have transformed this peaceful event into a physical threat against Justice Olah.

Court Watch acknowledges that the public awareness campaign last Friday was intended to embarrass Justice Olah but that this was undertaken in the spirit of protecting the public's interest. This campaign was was the result of reporters from the media, including Court Watch, who on at least two occasions were threatened with arrest for simply attempting to quietly and peacefully enter her court and to do their job of monitoring the court to help protect the public's interest in the administration of Justice. Justice Olah's reaction was to kick members of the media out and to threaten them with arrest. Madame Justice Olah even had the Archbishop Dorian A. Baxter excluded from the court, even though a teenage girl had requested that he attend with her to support her at the court in which she was the principal subject. Justice Olah has also impeded parties in obtaining transcripts.

A good judge would allow a teenage girl to bring at least one support person of the teen's choice into the court. A good judge would not put up barriers to parties obtaining court transcripts. A good judge would not refuse the media the opportunity to respectfully argue in court and to allow the arguments to be placed on court record. A good judge would not ignore the reasonable wishes of the parties in the court. A good judge not ignore the age-old tradition of freedom of the press. A good judge would not threaten to arrest members of the media without fairly and honourably allowing argument. A good judge would not issue instructions (but not orders) in some back room to have members of the Ontario Provincial Police select who gets to go into a court and who is made to stay out and to then have officers padlock the courtroom doors. A good judge would not be afraid to have his/her words put on the court record and to have any orders given put into a written "court order" for the record. Justice Olah has not acted like a good judge and has brought dishonour to herself and brought dishonour to the administration of justice. Prior to this public awareness event on August 25, 2006, Court Watch wrote a letter to the Attorney General to seek assistance but the Attorney General of Ontario was unable to assist. The only recourse left open to the citizens of of Canada have was to launch a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the problem with Justice Olah and her practices in the court of public opinion.

The chairman of Court Watch, the Archbishop Dorian A. Baxter would welcome an invitation to a meeting with Justice Olah and the court administrators at the Barrie court to discuss the issues of concern which affect members of the public.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Serial Rape

August 27, 2006 permalink

Previously, Philadelphia social worker Brandon Ware was infamous for raping a client under threat of child removal. But he only did it once. Now read about Eric M Ferber.



Investigator charged in sex coercion case

Margate police arrested a Broward Sheriff's Office investigator on charges he coerced a woman into sexual acts twice after he told her he could take away her children, authorities said Friday.

Eric M. Ferber, a child protective investigator, was arrested Thursday as he returned to the 28-year-old woman's home for the third time, expecting another sex act, officials said. Ferber, 48, of Lake Worth, had coerced the woman twice before when he visited her Margate home on June 1 and July 31 to investigate the welfare of her children, said Detective Francis Kolenda.

Ferber was charged Thursday with one count of sexual battery and transported to the Broward County Jail. He is a civilian employee who responds to child welfare complaints. The Sheriff's Office suspended him without pay while the department conducts an internal affairs investigation, said spokesman Hugh Graf.

Margate police are asking anyone with information about this case or other incidents to call 954-972-7111.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Barrie Judge Targeted

August 26, 2006 permalink

On Friday, August 25, two dozen sympathizers of Canada Court Watch surrounded the Barrie Courthouse distributing leaflets to passersby. Many were dressed in distinctive white-on-black Canada Court Watch t-shirts, though the weather was more suited to sweaters.

The leaflets were, by title, Madame Justice Lydia Olah - Barrie's Judicial Tyrant and Do you know of a family being adversely affected by the Children's Aid Society.

A cameraman from Barrie's A-Channel filmed the leaflet distribution for a few minutes.

Courthouse security, at first friendly, turned hostile during the event, possibly a reaction from the powers-that-be within the courthouse. One woman in her seventies was denied access to the courthouse washroom on the grounds that her t-shirt made her a gang member. A man handing out leaflets was approached by bylaw enforcement officer N Heels. He claimed that leaflet distributors were interfering with pedestrian traffic and that putting leaflets on the windshields of parked cars was illegal, subjecting violators to a $180 fine. No citations were issued.

Shut Up and Pay

August 26, 2006 permalink

The family that established the website complied with the law by not mentioning the names of family members on the site. That is not enough for Children's Aid. The family has now received a legal motion from Children's Aid seeking to strike everything they have filed in court in their own defense, to prevent them from making any statements about the case, to the public or to participants in the litigation, and to pay costs ($26,000 in another affidavit) to CAS. They will not be permitted to speak to witnesses to prepare their defense. They will even be prevented from saying that the case is in Ontario. This is the fate of families too poor to defend themselves. The symbol █ appears where the posted original is blotted out.




  1. The Society seeks an order pursuant to rules 1(8) and 14(23) of the Family Law Rules:
    1. striking the Respondent answer and all material filed in the Continuing Record without prejudice to right under the orders of the Honourable Madam Justice Robertson and the Honourable Mr. Justice Sheffield to participate in the Court ordered parenting capacity and psychiatriatric assessments and
    2. costs payable forthwith to the Frontenac Children's Aid Society.
    as a result of not having complied with the order of the Honourable Mr. Justice Brennan of March 8, 2006, and the order of the Honourable Madam Justice Robertson of March 9, 2006.
  2. The Society seeks an order pursuant to s. 101 of the Courts of Justice Act RSO 1990 c C.43 a prohibition on the publication of all details that refer to this child protection proceeding directly or by inference in the following ways:
    1. The name or address or province of residence of the children.
    2. The name or address or province of either biological parents of the children.
    3. The name or address or province of any person that the children have resided with or may reside with as a result of the child protection proceedings.
    4. the name or address or province of group home or foster home of the children.
    5. The name or address or province of the child protection agency.
    6. The name or address of any witness in the hearings.
    7. The particulars of any earlier publication respecting the matter before this Honourable Court.
    8. the particulars of any Transcripts or Affidavits of these proceedings.
    9. Any information contained in the Society's material disclosed to Ms. ███
    10. Video or photographs related to T██ and C██ ███ and Ms ███, and other person that the children may reside with or have resided with as a result of these child protection proceedings, and the residence of either child.
  3. the Society seeks an order pursuant to rule s. 31(5) of the Family Law Rules, and/or pursuant to Rule 1(8), the society seeks an order
    1. finding the Respondent in contempt of the order of the Honourable Mr. Justice Brennan of March 8th, 2006 and the order of the Honourable Madam Justice Robertson of March 9th, 2006 and
    2. upon the Court finding in contempt, an order for the following:
      1. The Respondent shall not disseminate any information about employees of the Society, community and support services, or any individual or services mentioned in the Society's Protection Application and supporting documents.
      2. The Respondent shall not disseminate any information that has the effect of identifying members' of the children's family, Ms. ███ and the children T██ ████ and ██ ████ who are the subjects of a proceeding under the Child and Family Services Act.
      3. The Respondent shall not annoy, harass, intimidate, molest or contact, directly or indirectly any individuals or services mentioned in the Court documents filed in these proceedings.
      4. costs payable forthwith to the Frontenac Children's Aid Society.
  4. Such further order as may be deemed by the court to be in the best interest of the children.

photocopy of motion posted by the parents

Addendum: Examination of the posted source documents reveals that CAS routinely scrutinizes websites opposing their actions, including Canada Court Watch and Dufferin VOCA.

More on Murdered Toddler

August 23, 2006 permalink

In this story the significant facts follow the usual spin from the agency, reorganizing so this will never happen again. The press has caught on to the serial nature of the deaths, and has identified the high-profile lawyer, Jeffrey Fieger, hired by the family. That ensures that this case will not be forgotten. The state attorney seems to think that its murder of one child is justification for permanently taking another. Before the mother was silenced by her attorney, she said that the girl tested positive for hepatitis B. Sequestering evidence may be one reason for the state to keep the girl.

To give you an idea of who really cares about children, the picture published twice by the Detroit Free Press comes not from the foster parents, but from the website of the real parents. According to the mother, the first girl taken, a case complicated by multiple birth-defects, resulted in termination of parental rights when the foster-care clock ran out. Later terminations were based on the doctrine of once and abuser, always an abuser.



Foster care agency is shut down

2-year-old was killed in home overseen by center

Detroit Free Press, BY JACK KRESNAK, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER, August 23, 2006

Isaac Lethbridge
Isaac Lethbridge died last Wednesday. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office ruled he was beaten to death.

The state Department of Human Services on Tuesday shut down a private nonprofit foster care program that had placed a 2-year-old boy in a Detroit home where police say he was beaten to death last week.

The program was run by the Lula Belle Stewart Center in Detroit, which worked with more than 80 licensed foster homes and supervised nearly 150 abused and neglected children who are wards of the court, the center's interim director Janet Burch said last week. She did not return calls Tuesday.

State social service workers began visiting each of the Stewart Center's foster homes on Tuesday to check on foster children and to inform foster parents that their licenses were being temporarily assigned to the DHS, meaning the department will supervise those homes for now, said DHS spokeswoman Maureen Sorbet.

The DHS summarily suspended the Stewart Center's child-placing license and said it will seek to permanently revoke it.

The shutdown came less than a week after 2-year-old Isaac Lethbridge stopped breathing in the home of licensed foster parent Charlise Rogers, a single mother and retired autoworker who has been a foster parent for nine years. Isaac died during emergency treatment at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit last Wednesday.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said Isaac was beaten with a blunt object or a fist. Detroit police, who are investigating, did not return numerous calls for comment Tuesday.

Sorbet said she could not comment on the investigation into Isaac's death.

"While we can't go into the specifics of the child protective services information, any time that there's something like this going on and the safety of children in licensed foster homes is questioned, then licensing has to move immediately to investigate and take appropriate action, which they did," Sorbet said.

Court records indicate that Isaac's 4-year-old sister may have been abused in the same home. She has been moved into a foster home in Washtenaw County where her younger sister was already living.

At an emergency Wayne County Family Court hearing Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Yasmin Abdul-Karim began by offering her sympathy to Isaac's parents, Matthew and Jennifer Lethbridge, who now live in Whitmore Lake. Then she told the parents -- who lost custody of Isaac and his 4-year-old sister last September -- that the DHS would soon ask a judge to terminate their parental rights altogether for the 4-year-old.

Two Washtenaw County judges already have terminated the Lethbridge's parental rights to their six older children who later were adopted by foster parents. The oldest of their children, Ashleigh Lethbridge, died of natural causes in her adoptive home in February at age 12. Court records said Ashleigh was born blind and had mental retardation as well as muscle and nerve conditions.

The Lethbridge children began entering foster care in 1997 and the parental rights for the older six were terminated because of environmental and medical neglect and the parents' failure to fix the problems that led to the children's removal from their home, according to court records.

The youngest girl remains a temporary ward of the court in Washtenaw County.

Attorneys assigned by the court to represent the Lethbridges asked Wayne County Family Court Judge Leslie Kim Smith on Tuesday to delay the hearing so they could subpoena Isaac's foster care case worker at the Stewart Center. Smith postponed the hearing until Aug. 31 to decide whether the case should be transferred to Washtenaw County and whether to accept the DHS' petition to terminate the couple's parental rights to the 4-year-old.

The Lethbridges left the courtroom in tears.

"My child was killed and now they want to kill my family," a distraught Matthew Lethbridge said after the hearing. "How is this protecting kids?"

The Lethbridges have hired the law firm of Geoffrey Fieger to sue the agencies, social service workers and foster parents involved in Isaac's death.

Detroit Free Press

Addendum: Social workers routinely tolerate higher levels of abuse from foster parents than from real parents. In this case, that led to the death of their ward.



Workers could have saved boy

Center didn't report bruises before child died, state finds

Detroit Free Press, BY JACK KRESNAK, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER, August 29, 2006

Isaac Lethbridge
Isaac Lethbridge died Aug. 16 of a beating. Police have not named a suspect in the 2-year-old's death.

Just 12 days before 2-year-old Isaac Lethbridge died of a beating in a Detroit foster home, two social services workers let his foster mother keep the boy despite noting that he was covered with "greenish, blue and black" bruises and had two black eyes.

The foster mother, Charlise Adams-Rogers, told the workers at the Lula Belle Stewart Center that Isaac had been injured during a visit with his biological parents at a McDonald's restaurant on July 21, even though the child's case manager had supervised the visit and reported seeing no such thing.

Nevertheless, according to a state licensing report obtained Monday by the Free Press, the workers sent the child back home with Adams-Rogers on Aug. 4 and failed to report Isaac's suspected abuse to Child Protective Services as required by law.

By the time a Stewart Center licensing worker went to the Adams-Rogers' home on Aug. 9, two days after hearing about Isaac's bruises, she reported that she "did not see any marks other than a light bruise on his forehead," according to the state report prompted by Isaac's violent death nearly two weeks ago.

Wayne County medical examiners say Isaac died of blunt-force injuries to his head and body on Aug. 16. His clavicle also was broken. Detroit police have not identified a suspect in his death.

Adams-Rogers, who declined comment Monday, told the Free Press on Friday that Isaac was put down for a nap at 4 p.m. Aug. 16 and was found unresponsive 45 minutes later. She said there were nine people in the home at the time and she did not know what happened.

The report prepared by the Office of Child and Adult Licensing, a division of the Michigan Department of Human Services, lists several failures by the private, nonprofit Stewart Center to report and investigate child maltreatment in the Adams-Rogers foster home.

Janet Burch, interim chief administrator for the Stewart Center since Aug. 1, did not return several phone calls Monday.

The center's child-placing agency license was suspended by the DHS last week, based on the details in the licensing report. A hearing on the DHS request to revoke the center's license is set for Sept. 19 in Detroit.

DHS spokeswoman Maureen Sorbet said Monday she could not comment because of the ongoing investigations.

Last Friday, after a juvenile court hearing for her two adopted daughters, ages 1 1/2 and 12, who were removed from her care, Adams-Rogers denied abusing Isaac and again blamed Isaac's father, Matt Lethbridge, for dropping the boy on his head during his July 21 supervised visit.

Matt Lethbridge said Monday that Isaac fell while in the McDonald's play area but did not hurt his head.

Adams-Rogers' attorney, Marc Shreeman, said last week that his client had passed a privately arranged lie detector test and is telling the truth when she says she doesn't know what happened to Isaac on Aug. 16.

However, the licensing report provides disturbing details about the apparent lax supervision of Adams-Rogers' foster home by the Stewart Center and raises questions about why Isaac and his 4-year-old sister were placed in the home.

Though the home has only three bedrooms -- and just two are available for children -- Adams-Rogers' foster care license with the center since 2002 allowed her to operate a foster family group home with a capacity for six children, according to the licensing report.

The Stewart Center's records indicate that placing medically fragile children or children with emotional disorders in Adams-Rogers' home "would not be appropriate." Yet earlier this year, Adams-Rogers adopted two of her foster children -- biological sisters ages 18 and 12 -- each of whom has behavioral and emotional problems, Wayne County Family Court records show.

The records describe the 12-year-old as having "aggressive behavior, both physically and verbally." The girl takes three medications to control her attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, the court records said.

On Sept. 17, 2004, Stewart Center workers also placed a 13-year-old foster child, a girl with cerebral palsy who had a history of being sexually abused, in Adams-Rogers' home.

Adams-Rogers later told the agency that the 13-year-old had been diagnosed with leukemia, scoliosis and arthritis, and had been prescribed several medications and was to be treated at a hospital twice a month.

Yet, the Stewart Center could produce no documentation that any of those diagnoses or treatments ever occurred, according to the licensing report.

On April 4, 2006, the report said, the now-15-year-old girl left Adams-Rogers' home and went to the Stewart Center on West McNichols -- about 1.5 miles away -- to report abuse. She told workers that Rogers had whipped her 12-year-old adopted daughter and said she was afraid to go back, the report said.

A center worker then called Adams-Rogers by phone, the report said, and Adams-Rogers denied abusing her adopted daughter but refused to come to the agency to pick up the 15-year-old.

The report said the center's workers "instructed the 15-year-old foster child to walk back to" Adams-Rogers' home alone.

No one at the agency reported the incident to Child Protective Services as required by law, the report said.

Detroit Free Press

Adult Fears Child

August 21, 2006 permalink

This story of a teacher's aide afraid to defend herself against a six-year-old student shows that concern for child protection has become so excessive that schools cannot keep the peace.



6-year old beats up teacher's aide in Pasco County

NEW PORT RICHEY - A Pasco County teacher's aide has been hospitalized after being attacked by a very young student.

The attack happened at Schrader elementary located on Little road and State Road 54 in Pasco County.

Deputies say the 6-year old got into an argument with another student over an MP3 player, and decided to go home.

As he was walking across a playground, a teacher's aide tried to stop him and the boy went ballistic.

"He head-butted her, he kicked her. This was all in the mouth area, so she did sustain some serious injuries to the mouth. He threw some obscenities at her. I believe he also said he was threatening to kill her," says Doug Tobin of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say she was so badly hurt, she was rushed to the hospital.

Yvonne Lyons of the Classroom Teacher's Association says, "I think always in the very back of a teacher's mind is: Am I going to be accused of something if I grab this kid or push this kid, could I have child abuse charges hanging over my head.".

Deputies say they have no plans right now to charge this boy with any kind of a crime.

They say right now what he needs is counseling.

WFTS-TV, Tampa-St Petersburg Florida

Serial Killing

August 18, 2006 permalink

To the misdeeds of child protectors you can now add serial killer. Parents Matt and Jennifer Lethbridge lost a daughter Ashleigh who died in adoptive care on February 23, 2006. This week their two-year-old son Isaac died in foster care, apparently killed.

The information above comes from sources still confidential. The family has placed an embargo on information until their lawyer issues a statement. Internet discussions have suggested a high-profile lawyer may take the case, turning it into a political issue.

The parents have a four-year-old daughter still in foster care. In the days of the draft, once a mother had lost several sons in battle, her last son was excused from military service. If child protectors were as merciful as the army, the last Lethbridge child would be returned to her parents, not at the next court hearing, but forthwith.



Police awaiting autopsy results on foster child

Detroit Free Press, BY JACK KRESNAK, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER, August 18, 2006

The attorney for a Detroit foster mother under scrutiny after a 2-year-old foster child died in her care this week said Thursday that his client has no idea why or how the child died.

"She feels horrible about what happened," attorney Marc Shreeman said of Charlise Rogers. "She doesn't know what happened."

An autopsy on the toddler, Issac Lethbridge, is to be performed today to determine a cause and manner of the boy's death Wednesday evening at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, officials said.

A preliminary report from Detroit police filed Thursday in Wayne County Family Court said Issac had second-degree burns on his stomach and back and bruises on his forehead, shoulder and buttocks.

The child's unexplained death prompted the Child Protective Services division of the state Department of Human Services to remove Issac's biological sister from Rogers' foster home, as well as two of Rogers' three adopted daughters, ages 20 months and 12 years. Rogers' third daughter is 18.

Detroit police were called to Rogers' home in the 18000 block of Greenlawn about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on a report of an unconscious child. Issac was rushed to Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, the report said.

No arrest has been made as homicide detectives awaited results of the autopsy.

Rogers is to appear at a preliminary hearing in juvenile court next Friday.


Detroit Free Press

Addendum: From information posted to the web in 2003, the family had at that time six children, Ashleigh, Nicholas, Zachary, Garret, Sean and Gage. Ashleigh was born with multiple medical problems, when she needed help the family was afraid to take her to the hospital for fear of losing her to CPS. CPS eventually seized all their children anyway. Gage was born in Canada in a futile effort to hide him from child protectors. Canadian authorities seized him at birth and returned him to Michigan.

Here is their description of the Canadian experience:

Gage was born on my husband's birthday in Canada. The sight of him, the smell of him, he was so perfect. There were complications. The cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and he had to be admitted and placed on a ventilator, but everything looked good. Soon we'd be bringing our son home. On Tuesday afternoon my husband got a call from Canadian CPS. They'd seized our son without a warrant. If we tried to visit him they would call the police. They were moving for termination. They'd never even talked to us. No one had. Court in Canada was a farce. No one could do anything since his parents were foreign nationals. Eventually they transferred him back to the states (again without notifying us).

Addendum: Police are now treating the death as a homicide. According to the mother's website, her children were seized at birth from the hospital, so the remark about the filthy condition in the home is likely a slur.



Boy's death ruled homicide

He was struck with object, officials say

Isaac Lethbridge
Detroit police are investigating the death of Isaac Lethbridge, 2, who had been in a Detroit foster home.

The death of a 2-year-old foster child was ruled a homicide Friday after Wayne County medical examiners determined the boy had been struck by a blunt object.

Isaac Lethbridge died Wednesday at Children's Hospital of Michigan after he stopped breathing in a Detroit foster home.

Detroit police were investigating and no arrests had been made.

Investigators for the state Department of Human Services were reviewing case files at the Lula Belle Stewart Center in Detroit, which licensed the foster home in the 18000 block of Greenlawn where Isaac lost consciousness.

The foster mother, Charlise Rogers, has said that she does not know why Isaac stopped breathing.

Child Protective Services investigators removed Rogers' two minor children, ages 20 months and 12 years, from her home, as well as Isaac's 4-year-old sister, who was in foster care there. Rogers' home was the third foster care placement for Isaac and his sister, who were removed from their parents' Westland home last September because of the filthy condition of the home. The sister now is in her fourth foster home.

Isaac's parents, Matt and Jennifer Lethbridge, said their attorney had advised them not to comment.

Janet Burch, a retired DHS division director who became interim executive director of the Lula Belle Stewart Center on Aug. 1, said everyone at the agency feels hurt by what happened to Isaac.

"Our goal is to keep children safe," Burch said Friday. "We take it personally all the way up the line. We'd like to express our sympathy to the family and to all those people who are connected to the family."

Burch said she is investigating the incident, "but right now I don't have anything I can share."

Detroit Free Press

Conscientious Lawyer Disbarred

August 18, 2006 permalink

One reason a lawyer does not fight vigorously for you in family court is that he, in this case she, could lose her license. Here is the case of activist lawyer Barbara Johnson in Massachusetts.



Activist lawyer disbarred Barbara Johnson ran for governor in 2002

— ANDOVER - Barbara Johnson, the flamboyant Andover lawyer who fought for the rights of fathers, campaigned for governor in an antique fire engine and drove a hearse to Washington, D.C., to protest divorce laws, has been barred from practicing law in Massachusetts.

Johnson, 71, who also has been an acerbic critic of the Massachusetts court system, said yesterday she'll fight her disbarment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yesterday, she called the process under which she was disbarred a "kangaroo court," and compared the state to a Third World country, but remained nonchalant about life after losing her license.

"They'll disbar me, which is fine. I'll write my judicial murder mysteries," Johnson said. "I'm going to kill off a judge in the prologue of every one. It'll be like a Where's Waldo murder mystery, and I'll use real names for the judges."

"I'm having so much fun," she said with a grin, puffing one of her always-lit cigarettes and letting out the gravelly laugh which became familiar during her 2002 independent gubernatorial campaign.

Johnson may have had too much fun, though, bringing her contentious public persona into the courtroom and bringing confidential legal matters into public light.

Judge Francis Spina of the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled Aug. 16 in favor of the disbarment recommendation by the Board of Bar Overseers writing that "the judicial system and the public must be protected from her repeated misconduct."

Johnson was disbarred for putting sensitive confidential information from two of her cases on her Web site, for refusing to pay legal fines after being held in contempt, and for conducting herself in an "insulting, vituperative" manner in court, among other charges.

"The respondent's misconduct has been directed toward her clients, opposing parties, other counsel, judges and other adjudicators, witnesses and innocent third parties," Spina wrote. "She has made inflammatory and contemptuous statements both verbally and in writing on her website. ... Her misconduct demonstrates her outright refusal to conform her conduct to professional standards and ethical requirements."

Johnson admits to her colorful language and tenacious demeanor, but she dismissed the rest as the corrupt Massachusetts justice system's "purely political" response to its most vocal critic. She notes in particular that the charges came down just three weeks after the 2002 gubernatorial election.

In that race, Johnson spent $52,000 of her own money, petitioned herself onto the ballot, and got herself on several televised debates with the four other candidates, arguing a platform of father's rights, court reform, and the abolition of judge immunity.

She also rode an antique firetruck plastered with campaign signs more than 5,000 miles around the state "dousing the flames of corruption in the court system."

In 2003, she drove a hearse covered in slogans and children's toys to the Million Dads March in Washington, D.C., mourning the "death of fatherhood" due to the courts' handling of divorce law.

Johnson became well known in the Merrimack Valley and among fatherhood rights activists for her successful defense of Brian Meuse of Haverhill, who was accused of kidnapping his daughter from her mother, who had temporary custody and had taken the child to Florida. Meuse was found not guilty by an all-male jury in May 2002 after Johnson argued he had no choice but to take the 14-month-old girl because the mother was not getting her the medical care she needed.

Johnson claimed her activism in the gubernatorial campaign and on the Internet has put the state courts on the defensive.

"This all has to do with my Web site," she said, referring to, which offers, among several things, running "Bar Wars" commentary on her legal struggles, records of her criminal and family court cases, legal advice to parents accused of sexual abuse, and an online store - Forever Fascinating - selling T-shirts, mugs, and a "sexually explicit" screenplay.

Johnson said the Web site, which she started in 1998, registered 850,000 hits last year. "That's 2,500 per day," she said. "And, when you think, it's this short, fat, little old lady living in a very dirty house.

"They want to shut me up, but they won't be able to," said the grandmother of five, while sitting in her "cockpit" - a desk stacked high with two computers, a television, and legal paperwork far over her head.

Johnson said she may even weigh into this year's gubernatorial race with a radio ad, but she said she lacks the money to compete in the present "war of the multimillionaires." She has no regrets, though, about spending her retirement money on her last campaign.

"You can't take it with you. I never saw a hearse with a luggage rack," she said.

Source: North Andover Eagle-Tribune


August 18, 2006 permalink

Here is the latest from Georgia mother Rachel Bortz, who got child protectors in her life following the accidental death of her child.



What ELSE Do They Think They Are ENTITLED To?

Well, not even a week after the last visit (July 24), Annette showed up to do another random visit (July 31). This time, it seems, they are beginning to change their direction.

First, she began by asking the usual questions about whether Jackson was attending his speech and OT appointments, and whether I was going to homeschool him. Then she began asking questions such as whether Don was still working, how Don and I were doing relationship-wise, and then started asking questions related to my pregnancy and our upcoming addition. She asked if I was going to breastfeed, and then told me that she would need my prenatal records so she could confirm that I was getting prenatal care, "as not getting prenatal care could be considered maltreatment."

It drives me nuts that they believe they are entitled to so much personal information. Of course I am seeing my doctor regularly, but I think they are getting ridiculous in their questions. Last I checked, this was my marriage, my health, my grief process, MY CHILD! What is going on in the world that makes it ok for a perfect stranger to ask such personal questions?

I am praying that the next few weeks pass quickly, and that the Judge puts an end to this ridiculousness. Please continue with your prayers, and we would love to see you in court August 29th (I believe it is in the afternoon this time). Thank you everyone, for your continued support. I will update again very soon.

— Rachel Bortz

Bortz family website

nosey social worker cartoon

Jail for Kids

August 15, 2006 permalink

Since parents no longer have authority over their own children, it is necessary for the justice system to take their place. This article shows the first step toward a Gulag for Canadian pre-teens.



Justice minister hints at jail time for pre-teen offenders

Vic Toews
Minister of Justice, Vic Toews followed the PM at the podium and also got a warm reception from the crowd of law enforcement workers when he opened the Canadian Professional Police Association's annual legislative conference Monday morning at the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa.

CREDIT: Ottawa Citizen/Julie Oliver

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Children aged 10 and 11 who run afoul of the law should be brought before the courts, Justice Minister Vic Toews said Monday in a controversial and surprise proposal to expand the age of criminal responsibility, which currently kicks in at age 12.

''We need to find ways of ensuring that children are deterred from crime,'' Toews told the annual gathering of the Canadian Bar Association. ''We need to give courts jurisdiction to intervene in the lives of these young people.''

Speaking to reporters later, he did not rule out incarceration of children under 12, but he said the courts' primary focus should be treatment programs outside the jail system.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act, which replaced the young offenders act three years ago, purposely excluded children under 12 because the Liberal government of the day said 12 is considered to be the age at which a young person can understand their actions and consequences.

The law applies to 12- to 17-year-olds, the same age limits as the former young offenders act, which replaced the juvenile delinquents act in 1984.

Several provinces, along with the former Reform party, lobbied hard to include 10- and 11-year-olds in the criminal justice system during heated debates in the late 1990s, arguing they are old enough to be held accountable for their crimes.

Toews said on Monday it's often too late to rehabilitate troubled children who cannot be charged until age 12.

''The theory is that the child welfare system will take care of those children but that is not the case in most provinces,'' he said. ''In most provinces, in fact, the child welfare system is allowing criminal conduct to continue among those types of children. They're being used by gangs and drug couriers to do break and enters, there are other kinds of very serious crimes, so by the time they're 12, they're already criminals.''

Toews was unclear on the kinds of sanctions the courts should have the power to impose.

''We need to have a special way for the courts to intervene in a positive fashion in the lives of these children in some type of treatment program and I think that needs to be discussed,'' he said.

The prospect of including 10- and 11-year-olds in the criminal justice system sparked an angry response from Heather Perkins-McVey, a lawyer for the bar association.

''Does he want the death penalty for them too?'' she asked. ''This concerns me that we're going back to the Dark Ages. Maybe we should have work houses too.''

Perkins-McVey said the criminal justice system is not the proper place for handling wayward children, who are currently apprehended by child welfare authorities and offered treatment in group homes.

Rather than bringing these children before the courts, the federal government should increase funding to the provinces for improved child welfare services if the justice minister is worried that the authorities are not doing their jobs, Perkins-McVey said.

''The criminal justice system is not a place to obtain treatment for anyone,'' she said.

Including 10- and 11-year-olds in young offender laws is not mentioned in the Conservative party's election platform, which proposes other get-tough measures, such as making it automatic for youths charged with serious crimes to receive adult sentences, and instructing judges to consider deterrence and denunciation when sentencing youths convicted of crimes.

Criminologists and sociologists have had varying opinions on the wisdom of making children under 12 legally responsible for their actions.

Some say for some children, the window of opportunity to rehabilitation is closed by the time a child is 12, while others counter 12 is the cut-off age for being able to understand criminal behaviour and consequences.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, young people convicted of crimes do not carry criminal records into adulthood.

Toews did not say whether he plans legislation any time soon.

Source: The National Post,

Addendum: The government repudiated this idea the next day.

Voice of DCF Victims

August 9, 2006 permalink

A Florida father, Greg Pound, has assembled an hour and a half of video of parents recounting their experiences with Pinellas County (St Petersburg) DCF.

Among the reasons cited for taking children from their parents:

  • a neighbor's dog bit a child
  • prescription drugs mimicked illegal drugs on a test
  • a vindictive neighbor's complaint
  • a dad tripped on a cord, accidentally breaking his son's leg
  • spanking
  • A Christian mother kept her eighth grade daughter from last chance dance
  • a young mom left six-month-old twins with her sister, treated as abandonment
  • a dad had a heart attack, after recovery DCF wants to keep his child
  • refrigerator under repair

Some of the stories included:

  • A lawyer told his client not to go court because of a postponement. The client was criminally charged for failure to appear.
  • A parent was required to prove that he taught a six-year-old child about lesbian and gay sex.
  • A mother said all evidence against her family was lies, except the names.
  • A mother requesting how to get her children back was told by the DCF lawyer in court: "She knows she has a problem, so she should know what to do".
  • A mother in the maternity ward was told to sign adoption papers for her newborn, or her other children would be taken. The workers told her: "They both had blond hair and blue eyes, and they would go quick".
  • A six-year-old boy remembered his grandmother's phone number, now contrives to get into the hospital, the only place he can make a call.
  • A mother reported her daughter was taken into state care, got pregnant, was denied pre-natal care, the baby boy was premature, and died shortly after birth.
  • A father reported seeing his baby son in a nursery with dozens of other babies, cared for by teenagers. The boy was soaking wet from poor care. Police would not rescue the baby.
  • Therapists reported on a grandmother, before seeing her.
  • A mother spent years jumping though hoops to get her children, but they were not returned.
  • A mother reported her previous criminal history was limited to an expired dog tag. Her husband was forced out of the house, and eventually driven to suicide. (a real shotgun divorce).
  • A mother spent six months in jail, then charges were dropped.
  • A 17-year-old boy was before a juvenile court judge for a half hour, subjected to such abuse that he passed out and had to be carried away from the courthouse by ambulance.
  • Foster parents who were addicted to drugs sent the foster kids out to steal in support of their habit.
  • Several parents reported abuse of their children while in foster care. Older kids run away from the foster homes.
  • A boy was charged with felony possession of a toy gun.

Take Your Medicine, Or Else!

August 8, 2006 permalink

Canadians have inherited the common law right to remain silent when dealing with the police, but not with a doctor. We have seen several cases in which a mother questioned a doctor about treatment for her child resulting in loss of custody to CAS. This is the first case in which silence has brought on a criminal conviction. The state claims the power to conceal the identity of the person it has convicted. Lisa Priest reports with a pro-doctor, and anti-mother, slant. More facts and comments follow the article.



Mother convicted of hiding HIV status for son's birth

Globe and Mail Update

An Ontario mother has been convicted for hiding her HIV status, which denied doctors the chance to treat her baby and possibly prevent her newborn son from being infected — a case considered the first of its kind in Canada.

The mother of two pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life. On April 6, Mr. Justice Anton Zuraw sentenced her to a six-month conditional sentence, followed by three years of probation, Hamilton-based assistant Crown attorney Karen Shea has confirmed.

Until today, news of her conviction had escaped public view.

“The moment that child was born, the child did not have an opportunity to have the medication,” Detective Brien Smyth of Hamilton Police Service said in a telephone interview. “We had our fingers crossed, hoping the baby did not ever get HIV.”

As it turned out, the baby did test positive for the human immunodeficiency virus when he was 2½ months old. He turns 2 next month.

The woman's lawyer, Larissa Fedak, refused comment. Her client, who lives in Hamilton, could not be reached for comment.

She is not being named to protect the identity of her son.

The charge the woman was convicted of is typically reserved for cases of child neglect. In this case, her conviction stems not from what she did or didn't do during her pregnancy, but her behaviour after the baby was born.

“I think it's such a unique case, I hope we never see another one like it,” Det. Smyth said. “It's unfathomable.”

Unfathomable, he said, because the mother was counselled about the risks of transmitting HIV to her baby during her first pregnancy. When she came to Canada in April of 2003, she was HIV-positive and far along in her pregnancy. Hamilton doctors advised her about ways to reduce the chances of passing the virus onto her baby.

Steps included receiving antiretroviral therapy two hours prior to delivery, having a cesarean section, ensuring the newborn received antiretroviral therapy and refraining from breastfeeding, according to the synopsis of offence that was filed in Provincial Court.

Today, if a woman with HIV takes antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy, she can deliver her baby vaginally, so long as her viral load is below 1,000 copies per millilitre, which is the amount of HIV normally present in blood. If she takes the drugs and does not breastfeed, and the baby receives antiretroviral therapy within the first 72 hours of life, the chances of the infant getting the virus are just 1 per cent, said Stanley Read, director of the HIV/AIDS program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

If a woman follows none of the precautions, her chances of passing the virus on to her newborn are 25 to 30 per cent.

“We haven't had an infected baby of a mom who took medication, however badly, for three years, maybe four now — and that's across Canada,” Dr. Read said in an interview in Toronto. “The only transmission to babies has been when mom didn't get diagnosed, didn't get treated or didn't take her treatment.”

The convicted woman followed the advice of Hamilton doctors during her first pregnancy. On June 30, 2003, she gave birth to a healthy girl who never acquired the virus, according to the synopsis of offence.

But things went differently the second time.

She discontinued her antiretroviral therapy in August, 2004, even though it had reduced her viral load to undetectable levels. When her viral load climbed, it necessitated a scheduled cesarean section on Aug. 27, 2004, which she did not show up for, according to the synopsis of offence.

It is not clear why she treated the second pregnancy so differently. The only clue is that when speaking to a McMaster University Medical Centre social worker about the possible transmission of HIV to her baby, she described it as being “in God's hands,” the synopsis says.

She did assure that same social worker that although she was going to have a vaginal birth, she would allow the newborn to receive antiretroviral therapy, according to the synopsis of offence.

But when she experienced abdominal pains, she did not go to McMaster University Medical Centre — the hospital where she had received prenatal care. Instead, she went to a different hospital.

On Aug. 30 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, she told health-care workers that she had not received prenatal care but was healthy and had experienced no complications during her pregnancy. She denied being HIV-positive. Blood tests were ordered.

Days later, on Sept. 4, 2004, she went back to St. Joseph's, where she gave birth to her son. Staff was still not aware of her HIV status because results from her blood tests were not yet available.

A social worker became concerned by the lack of prenatal care and what was described as the woman's poor attitude, according to the synopsis of offence.

The social worker then contacted the Children's Aid Society, which is the point where the hospital learned the woman was HIV-positive. By that time, the baby was three days old; he was immediately given antiretroviral drugs, according to the synopsis of offence.

In connection with the same offence, the woman was also charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and aggravated assault. However, those charges were withdrawn, Ms. Shea, the assistant Crown attorney, confirmed.

Shortly after the woman's arrest in late May of 2005, both of her children were apprehended by the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton. For privacy, the society cannot divulge whether the children are in their care, said Karen Dolyniuk, manager of development and communications.

The case is highly unusual. Experts say most pregnant women who test positive for HIV do everything possible to reduce the chances of transmitting the virus to their babies, and statistics concur.

From 1984 to 2005, there were 2,206 Canadian babies exposed to the virus in the womb. Of those, 496 babies were infected, 1,612 were not infected and the remainder could not be confirmed, most because they were lost to follow up, said Jennifer Pennock, an epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa.

“What we've seen over time is that when we look at the proportion of babies confirmed to be infected, it has decreased over time,” she said in a telephone interview.

For example, in 1994, 40 per cent of infants exposed to HIV in the womb contracted the disease. But by 2005, the rate of infected babies had fallen to 4 per cent.

Although testing rates have climbed across the country over the past few years, there are still tens of thousands of pregnant women each year who are never tested for HIV. Consequently, an estimated 15 to 20 babies are born with the virus each year, according to Robert Remis, a public-health-sciences professor at the University of Toronto, who has studied HIV/AIDS extensively. Many of these infections could be prevented if the women were diagnosed and treated.

“I believe women are more concerned about not getting tested than getting tested,” Dr. Remis said in a telephone interview.

One who feels that way is Denise Becker, 47, of Kelowna, B.C. It was only when her daughter Katie died at six months of age in 1994 that Ms. Becker discovered she had HIV and had passed it on to her daughter.

“When I found out I hadn't been offered the test, I was just floored,” Ms. Becker said by telephone. “It was never brought up to me by any of my general practitioners.”

In Ontario, the rate of HIV testing in pregnant women is 89 per cent, according to Frank McGee, AIDS co-ordinator for the Ontario Health Ministry. Since the testing program began in 1999, an estimated 50 HIV transmissions have been prevented.

“It's very important that pregnant women be tested,” Mr. McGee said in a telephone interview.

Source: Globe and Mail

Note: According to a Hamilton informant familiar with the facts of the case, the parents are African Muslims and the mother does not speak English. On the birth of the first baby, she was not aware of her HIV infection. When it became known, the father threatened to kill her if she disclosed her HIV status. The mother and second baby were transferred from McMaster to St Joseph's under police protection, to save the mother from the father's threats. The Globe and Mail (and the prosecutor) put an anti-mother spin on the facts.

Mother Alienated

August 6, 2006 permalink

Parental Alienation refers to one parent getting a child to hate or fear another parent. Usually it occurs in divorce cases, but here Children's Aid did it to a mother.




Date Posted: 8/6/2006 3:48:00 PM

My kids finally decided they wanted to see me after months of nothing, so I took them to the beach. We got talking and I was utterly amazed as they spilled all this garbage at me. They spoke of incidents where I had disciplined them in our home before they were stolen away from me, but oh my gosh how the stories had changed, they had plumped the stories up with all kinds of crap that had obviously been fed to them over the past almost two years in care. Things like a simple slap on the bum was now me throwing my child against a wall, and when she was bent down on the floor cleaning up some spilled jam and I helped her up (cause she has cerebral palsy) I apparently pulled her up by her hair. One thing I will give the ministry credit for, they have wild and wonderful imaginations. Those poor babies of mine have actually been brainwashed into believing what the ministry has said, that I am a bad mother. I was so excited to hear that they wanted to see me "unsupervised" but was so devastated at what I heard come out of their mouths. We had always been very close but now it was like talking to complete strangers. I have no idea where to go with this, or what to think. My heart is broken, yet again

— Hurting Mom

Source: Canada Court Watch message board. The posting is anonymous and cannot be traced or authenticated.

Note: It could be worse. Julie Phillips had ten children taken from her in Indiana. She had to watch a teenaged daughter carry a sign in a street demonstration denouncing her mother.

Wexler on Protection

August 3, 2006 permalink

Following the beating of Xctasy Garcia by her mother's boyfriend in Schenectady New York, Richard Wexler describes three ways not to solve the problem:

  • More snitches
  • A database of rumor and innuendo
  • Blackball parents



Child abuse deserves our best solution

More than 18 years ago, when I was a reporter for the Times Union, I covered a photo opportunity featuring then-Gov. Mario Cuomo. He went to the state Child Abuse Hotline, listened to a call and touted the quick-fix-of-the-day for cracking down on child abuse.

At that time, the name that shocked the conscience of the state was Lisa Steinberg, the little girl murdered by the man who had illegally adopted her.

"With Lisa's help," said the governor, "maybe the next child can be saved."

It didn't work out that way. Instead, every few years, another case horrifies us. The same "solutions" are proposed. They fail. We repeat the cycle. The name in the news now is Xctasy Garcia. And once again, politicians are touting solutions that are simple, obvious -- and wrong. As a result, the odds of another child suffering as Xctasy did already have increased.

Consider the "solutions" mentioned so far, many of which are likely to turn up in the inevitable "Xctasy's Law":

Phony Solution 1: Force every government employee to pass on any second- or third-hand account alleging any harm to a child, no matter how vague, to the state hot line.

That will backfire. In Xctasy's case, a neighbor offered a vivid description of horrendous abuse of a terrified, screaming child. By the time the story went from the neighbor to the hotel manager to the welfare examiner who "failed" to call the hot line, the account had become a vague allegation of noisy neighbors who might be hurting a child.

The hot line might not have accepted it. And if it did accept every such case, frontline caseworkers would be so deluged investigating all the noisy neighbors who don't abuse their children that they would have no time to examine any case properly -- and they'd miss more children in real danger.

Phony Solution 2: Quickly fund the new National Database of Rumor and Innuendo. That's not what it's called, of course, but that's what the new law combining everything in 50 state central registers really is.

This is not like a database of criminal records. All that it takes to wind up in a child abuse register is one caseworker's guess that you might be a child abuser. There is no chance to defend yourself beforehand. And in half the states, including New York, the worker is supposed to put you in the register even if there is more evidence of innocence than guilt.

Some states have long, cumbersome appeals processes. Other states allow no appeal at all. If any angry or misinformed caller dials the hot line and the wrong caseworker winds up at your door, you're in. Period.

Some would argue that adults should pay that price to help children. But again, it will backfire by overloading workers with false allegations.

And some of the accused in central registers are children themselves. The Illinois register once included a 10-year-old girl as a possible sexual predator -- because she had pulled up the pants of some younger boys she had caught "playing doctor" in her family's home day care. She was driven almost to suicide before a class-action lawsuit created a real appeals procedure in Illinois. Had she lived in another state, she still would be branded for life. And the new national database will brand such children nationwide.

Phony Solution 3: Do a child abuse check whenever someone applies for other government help. This at least has the advantage of bringing the racial and class biases that permeate child welfare into the open. The only difference between poor people and the rest of us is that their poverty itself often is confused with neglect. Singling them out for checks in an unreliable database only increases the chances their families will be needlessly destroyed -- and workers will be overwhelmed with false reports, missing real abusers, like the well-to-do lawyer who killed Lisa Steinberg.

But worse than any one phony solution is the cumulative effect: a foster-care panic, as every caseworker, terrified of having the next Xctasy Garcia on her caseload, rushes to take away far more children and throw them into foster care. One recent study by Casey Family Programs and Harvard Medical School found that foster-care "alumni" have twice the level of post-traumatic stress disorder of Gulf War veterans. One-third said they had been abused in foster care itself and only 20 percent could be said to be doing well.

And that's not even the worst of it. Over and over, foster-care panics have been followed by increases in deaths of children known-to-the-system, because overwhelmed caseworkers overlooked even more children in real danger.

Sometimes even the odds of harm in foster care are worth it. When sadistic brutes injure a child, authorities should take away the child and never look back.

But we pay no tribute to the child by shoveling thousands of other children whose cases are in no way similar to that of the injured child into a system that churns out walking wounded four times out of five.

There are better solutions:

New York law says certain professionals must report maltreatment when they have "reasonable cause to suspect" it. That's good guidance for everyone.

Create a meaningful appeals process and a reasonable standard of proof before entering someone in a central register. Then a national database would make sense.

Provide concrete help to the families whose poverty has been confused with "neglect," and other assistance to families with real problems but who love their children. Getting those cases out of the system is the only way workers will have time to find the next Xctasy Garcia before it's too late.

Richard Wexler is executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Alexandria, Va.


Brantford Protest

August 2, 2006 permalink



A protest is set for Tuesday, August 8, from 9 am to 1:30 pm. The protest will happen at the corner of West and Clarence Street, close to the Family Resource Centre [14 Henry Street]. It is expected to attract people from all over Ontario. Brantford police have stated that the protest can happen but people have to respect our laws. The protest will be organized by Kalena and all comments and concerns can be addressed to her at 519-754-0927. Brantford City Hall says "This is a major intersection and if protesters block or interfere with traffic it could be a police matter". People are encouraged to bring signs.

Thank you.

Source: email from Rob Ferguson

Addendum: The organizer expressed disappointment with the small turnout for this event.

Damnation Consumated

July 31, 2006 permalink

Earlier we reported on a fetus damned to apprehension, even before birth. The source for that article has informed us that "this baby has now been apprehended and is now in foster care". Following is an analysis of the case at length by Anne Marsden.



July 9, 2006

No one said she has never been involved with CAS. The issue is when a child is apprehended the reason it is apprehended is because that baby is considered a child in need of protection. In the past cases we have reviewed CAS have had children for years without them ever being deemed children in need of protection, it has all been bluff and getting parents to consent, through manipulation. I have had parents who have fought to get their children back through the courts and unknown to them the courts have believed they consented to their children being in care. When a lawyer represents you in court you don't have an opportunity to put your position before the court the lawyer does it and believe you me we have seen some cases where the parents lawyer has put on the record that they consent to their child being in care when they have not.

The CFSA sets out the headings that a child can be considered as a child in need of protection. Unless you consent to your child going into care a judge has to declare your child is a child in need of protection for an apprehension to be valid and for the child to be kept by the CAS. Why do you think the last Brantford child was returned on the first court date and CAS who originally said the child should be adopted out closed the case as soon as we brought in a lawyer who knew what the law states and was not a Brantford lawyer.

The judge also has to determine that the child cannot be protected while in the care of the mother (there are various options open to the judge e.g. a supervision order where the CAS is charged to supervise the care given to the child etc.). Because they have been involved with the mother in the past is no reason to determine a child is a child in need of protection, each child is a separate issue. The problem is families have no idea of the child protection laws and CAS have gotten away with acting outside the law in these matters for years now with the full support of the police and the courts (Because often the judge is not involved and when he is he is not given the proper information to make a proper decision - that's the way it has been set up - which is not in line with the CFSA), Its only when someone with knowledge of the child protection laws, like myself and the lawyer we got involved last time, Ian Mang (he has published a book on child protection law issues) that CAS are unable to pull it off as they normally do. To remove a child from a parent without lawful reason is abduction which is a criminal offence, the police in Brantford do understand this after the last episode so if they allow this child to be apprehended by classing it as an emergency they are not being very wise. That is why mom and myself have kept them informed every step of the way.

Mom has not been given due process with the other issues and will be going back to the CAS on this once this is cleaned up. Her first priority right now, however, is to stop CAS walking off with her baby and adopting it out as is their plan when the child has not been deemed a child in need of protection and neither is it likely to be classified as such if mom is given due process as she is legally entitled to and has not been given thus far.

CAS have had at least seven months to let mom know what the issues are where they consider this child is a child in need of protection, they have not come up with any reasons whatsoever. Everyone is entitled to know the case against them. CAS have refused to set out the case against mom so she can present the evidence that shows they have no case. There have been no papers filed in court although this has been her request so she could present her case to the judge. No-one can say this is an emergency - they have had seven months to file papers etc.

I received a letter from the Civilian Police commission which agrees with me that the complaint the last Brantford mom we worked with filed against the Chief was not frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith. As this is the only reason the Police Services Board are able not to consider a complaint we will be going back on them. The Chief failed to properly investigate criminal offences involved with the apprehension of a 3 year old in Brantford that caused emotional trauma - if this was a mom and not the police and the CAS, the CAS would have all they need to deem the 3 year old a child in need of protection - emotional trauma is one of the reasons - check out the Child and Family Services Act. This is the issue, Brantford CAS and Brantford Police are acting outside rule of law when it comes to the apprehension of children and no-one in the media is taking a stand against the improper use of our tax dollars to bring harm to children. This mom has been told that it is on her chart that the baby is going to be apprehended by CAS and yet she has not been given any reason in writing from the CAS as to why her child is considered a child in need of protection. This was the case with the three year old and we got the child back but not without major trauma to mom and child. This baby is being breast fed and will be unable to breast feed or bond with mom as a baby should be allowed to do if you are looking out for the childs best interests which is the whole purpose of the CFSA.


CAS Claims Unchallenged

July 27, 2006 permalink

Our comments follow this editorial from OACAS.




Message from the Executive Director

Ontario’s Ombudsman has stated publicly his belief that his office should have investigative oversight of Children’s Aid Societies, as well as school boards, and hospitals and long-term care facilities. The NDP introduced private members bills in April to amend the Ombudsman’s Act with respect to investigative powers in these three areas. This has led to comments and questions about the accountability of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies, and discussion about what improvements are needed in child welfare to better serve children and families. While we have great respect for the Ombudsman’s role and share his goal of improving the system, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies has a different view of how this can be best achieved.

The existing system of regulation and accountability has been strengthened substantially in recent decades. It is true that in other Canadian jurisdictions, child welfare is operated by the government. Therefore, oversight rightly falls under the purview of an Ombudsman. However, Ontario is unique in Canada in that child welfare services in this Province are provided exclusively through children’s aid societies.

CASs are not-for-profit organizations, governed by local boards through which they are accountable to their communities. In addition to accountability to local boards, CASs are accountable to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, to Ontario’s Family Courts, and to the public they serve. In fact, Ontario’s 53 CASs are subject to more than a dozen accountability reviews by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS), which actively monitors their services and practices. MCYS conducts reviews of children in care, performs service and financial reviews, reviews child fatality reports, and serious occurrence reports. As well, all CASs in Ontario must fulfill the legislative requirement to have mechanisms in place to deal with client complaints. These reviews include provisions for a Director’s review by MCYS.

When a child is harmed or dies under questionable circumstances, and/or as a result of abuse, mistreatment or parental negligence or neglect, there are extensive reporting procedures including an external review by the Office of the Chief Coroner and its multi-disciplinary Pediatric Death Review Committee.

The family court system is a powerful mechanism to ensure that CASs have acted properly within their mandate, that individual client rights are respected, and that children are protected. Children’s Aid Societies only intervene in family life when there is evidence that a child may be in need of protection. If a child is admitted into the care of a Children’s Aid Society without parental consent, the Society must go before the court within five days to explain to a judge why the child was taken into care. The decision that the child is in need of protection is made by the judge, as is the determination of the child remaining in the care of the CAS.

However, having these accountability mechanisms does not mean that further improvements cannot be made. The field is preparing for implementation of the Child Welfare Secretariat’s Transformation Agenda, which focuses on permanency, differential response, accountability, a new funding model, research, and court processes. The passing of Bill 210 in March will allow the MCYS and the field to proceed with transformation initiatives contained in the Bill.

OACAS has advocated for changes in these five areas:

  1. Mandatory training in forensic investigations for all children’s aid workers, in collaboration with police.
  2. Enhancing the coroner’s role in reviewing and reporting on child deaths.
  3. Passing kinship care legislation.
  4. Workload relief for CAS staff.
  5. Raising public awareness on their responsibility to report child abuse and neglect.

Progress is already being made. The Ministry recently announced increased funding to the Coroner’s office for an annual report and statistical analysis from which the field can learn valuable lessons. In February 2006, The Ministry issued an “out of care” kin placement regulation to reflect the importance of background checks and assessment of kin in every instance where a Children’s Aid Society proposes or is apprised of a plan for the placement of a child with a relative or community member, and the child is not in the formal care of the Children’s Aid Society. Bill 210 identifies changes in client complaint procedures. All Societies will be required to have a standard complaints process. If the complaint is not resolved internally, the complainant may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) for an external review. The Ombudsman will have authority to review the process used by the CFSRB.

While it is always challenging to implement significant systemic changes, we know that these will translate into improved service to children and families, which is something that all Ontario CASs value.

Source: OACAS

Comments: One consequence of having no real oversight is that the OACAS can repeat its misrepresentations without official contradiction.

The assertion that CAS boards are accountable to their communities is simply false. Boards are chosen by their predecessors, without possibility of community involvement. Most of the board members are employees of the CAS they are governing, making them subordinate to the executive director. Some are members of other branches of the social services or policing systems, such as school board members or policemen. A few carefully selected community representatives serve, but they are required to sign a confidentiality contract with the agency, making them little more than stooges. When outsiders attempt to run for the board, CAS amends its rules to make the election of outsiders impossible. Recently, many Ontario CASs have changed policy, rejecting membership applications from anyone they feel does not agree with the policies of the society.

Oversight by the courts applies only to that tiny portion of CAS targets able to spend the price of a new car, or sometimes even a new house, on lawyers. Many are reduced to penury before finding a lawyer who is effective. For those required to rely on court appointed lawyers there is no representation at all, since those lawyers are under control of the court system and rarely take serious issue with CAS for fear of losing future business. CAS influence in the courts is so great that they now are attempting to jail a man for testifying to the Ontario legislature.

The responsible minister, currently Mary Anne Chambers, does have authority to correct problems with CAS, since she can replace members of the board in any of them. So far, all ministers exercising responsibility for CAS have been loyal to the bureaucracy, none have seriously tried to implement reform.

"Children’s Aid Societies only intervene in family life when there is evidence that a child may be in need of protection". If that is true, why are most cases justified with evidence gathered after the child was taken into CAS custody?

External review by the Office of the Chief Coroner and its multi-disciplinary Pediatric Death Review Committee have so far served primarily to cover up problems. Our statistical analysis shows that Ontario has 28 deaths per year in foster care. Less than one becomes known outside the bureaucracy.

No official agency in Ontario can challenge any of the statements promulgated in advocacy of Children's Aid Societies. Ontario desperately needs a body with real oversight power.

No Help Allowed

July 24, 2006 permalink

A distressed mother posted a message today on a message board. Under the laws of Ontario, she cannot be identified in a public forum such as this, so you will not be permitted to render assistance.



I have fought for four years for my children and now coming to realize I am beat, I can not prove what they want me to prove. I am mentally stable they won't even listen to me and now (name suppressed) the childmolster sperm donor of my beauitful child is going to get sole custody. My youngest, who (name suppressed) is the father of, he is going up for crown ward no access at summary judgement. I am mentally and physically drained. I had a meeting with my worker Ken Geison of Brantford CAS Friday and was told I have no hope ever of getting my children back. I asked him if I had a baby in ten years would they take it??? He said of course so now I (have) no hope my children know I LOVE THEM and I sit here and cry as I write this but there is only one way to end my pain now. People can call it the easy way out but my life has been far from easy. People can say I am going to Hell, well I am living in Hell right now. Thank you Court Watch for your support and thank you all who responded to my post. I am sorry I just can not live without my children and I refuse to do so.


Births Unregistered

July 24, 2006 permalink

Currently, a substantial number of Ontario births go unregistered, impeding baby theft under pretense of protection. Ontario is making it easier for parents to register births. The article omits one of the most compelling reasons to avoid registration — mothers give birth at home to avoid having their children stolen from the delivery room.



Ontario to eliminate fees for registering births

The Globe and Mail, POSTED ON 24/07/06, PETER CHENEY

TORONTO -- Ontario intends to eliminate fees for registering children's births after learning that record numbers of children never go on the books, creating a vast population of unknown people in Canada's largest province.

"This is a problem that we take seriously, and we're going to fix it," Paul de Zara, a spokesman for Ontario Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips, said yesterday.

The births of more than 30,000 babies have gone unreported in Ontario in the past decade, making it impossible for the province to keep an accurate count of its own population. Mr. de Zara said user fees will be cancelled in less than a year as part of a sweeping overhaul that will streamline the birth registration process.

Mr. de Zara said the current problems are due to a cumbersome bureaucracy that forces parents to deal with three levels of government (and pay three sets of fees) to register a child's birth, acquire a birth certificate and get a social insurance number: Births are registered with the local municipality, birth certificates are issued by the province and social insurance numbers are issued by the federal government. Mr. de Zara says the Ontario ministry will introduce a system known as Integrated Birth Registration by next spring.

Under the IBR system, the province will take over birth registrations and offer parents what Mr. de Zara called "one-stop shopping." When a child is born, the hospital will give parents all the documents they need to register the birth and apply for a birth certificate and social insurance number.

There will be no fee to register the birth.

Mr. de Zara says studies have shown that the fees now charged by municipalities to register births result in some parents failing to record their children -- an oversight that creates a crippling set of problems later on, since it's impossible to get a birth certificate unless a child's birth has been registered.

Parents have always been required to register births with their local government, which forwards the forms to the province. But not until 1996, after the Conservative provincial government downloaded a raft of new responsibilities to Ontario municipalities, did local governments gain the right to charge people for the service. Since then, 71 of Ontario's 445 municipalities, particularly those covering urban centres such as Ottawa, Hamilton and Windsor, have introduced fees that generally run between $10 and $30 to register births. In Toronto, where 30 per cent of Ontario babies are born, the fee jumped to $35 this summer.

The IBR system has been tested at eight hospitals around the province and has resulted in a dramatic improvement in birth reporting rates.

The current system, on the other hand, has produced the highest rate of unreported births in the country. Over the past decade, about 4 per cent of Ontario babies have gone missing from the system. In the rest of Canada, the rate of missing records is nearly nil.

Statistics Canada has found that the births of more than 5,400 babies are missing from Ontario's registry in 2003. The most glaring deficiency occurs in the case of Ontario children who die before they reach their first birthday (there are more than 200 a year) -- about 30 per cent of these children are never registered. The number runs between 0 per cent and 3 per cent in other provinces.

Experts blame a combination of factors for Ontario's chronic underreporting: the fees to register a birth, a notoriously backlogged registrar's office and an unusual lack of awareness. Experts say this statistical error skews planning for public health, education and housing, and may distort the entire country's population figures, since Ontario births of 130,000 a year account for 40 per cent of the national total.

Source: Globe and Mail

New Humiliation for Parents

July 22, 2006 permalink

Canada Court Watch reports that Canadian fathers are being subjected to the penile plethysmograph. According to Wikipedia the the developer, Kurt Freund, fled communist Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Prague Spring and settled at the Clarke Institute in Toronto. Use of the device entails attaching a sensor to the suspect's penis while he is subjected to varieties of erotic stimulation. The measured response is supposed to show his sexual inclinations.

This device is really a torture instrument, not through pain, but humiliation. A third of the subjects flat-line, showing no response at all. The promoters fail to take account that wiring the sex-organs to make a public record is in no way erotic.

For the ladies, the technology is at hand to provide comparable treatment, should the political winds shift that way.

Here is part of the Canada Court Watch story:



Are you a father who has been subjected to or is being requested to submit to a Penile Plethysmograph test?

(July 19, 2006) Court Watch has learned this week that some CAS agencies in Ontario are forcing fathers to subject themselves to the draconian Penile Plethysmograph tests in which fathers must have electrodes attached to their penis while they are shown graphic pictures of pornography including child pornography. Any arousal after seeing the pictures subjects the father to removal from his family and the labelling of him as a pedophile. Some fathers in Ontario are being sent to the CAS's own "penis doctors", who likely because of close ties to CAS agencies will come up with results which support what the CAS wants.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Women's Shelter has New Leader

July 22, 2006 permalink

Family Transition Place (FTP) has a new chief executive. In the past, we have interviewed four mothers who took shelter in Family Transition Place and lost their children to foster care as a direct result of their disclosures to the FTP staff.



Lynda Sacco FTP's new executive director

Family Transition Place in Orangeville has announced the appointment of Lynda Sacco as its new executive director.

Ms. Sacco has spent many years in the public sector, including 10 years in management, most recently as director of children's services at Peel Children's Aid Society (CAS). She brings diverse experience, strong leadership skills and significant insight into social service processes having lead the amalgamation of two key CAS agencies in Southwestern Ontario.

"Lynda has great passion for the women and children who require our services and is looking forward to establishing herself within our community," said Brenda Dee, president of FTP's board of directors.

Ms. Sacco succeeds Doreen Armstrong, who is retiring in September.

Orangeville Citizen

Postings Suspended

July 22, 2006 permalink

Postings to this list were suspended for five days by a storm with the wind-strength, but not the funnel organization, of a Fujita-1 tornado. A Children's Aid worker once boasted: "We have as much power as God". It makes you wonder.

Testify before Parliament
Go to Jail!

July 16, 2006 permalink

Waterloo Children's Aid is trying to get Aneurin Ellis committed to jail again. Last year the judge allowed Mr Ellis to avoid jail by issuing an apology, which he did. The current motion is is similar to a motion filed last year, just the last three attachments are new. The new reasons to jail Mr Ellis are that he testified before the Provincial Parliament, and that he sent an email with a link to Canada Court Watch.

For a few days, we will leave a photocopy of the case documents on the website. It is too big to leave indefinitely.




July 17, 2006

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Sent by email and Canada Post

Subject: Jail for Aneurin Ellis

Honorable Premier:

An Ontario man is under threat of jail for two acts, one being his testimony before a committee of the Ontario Legislature, including a question from Andrea Horwath.

This kind of action is a double whammy against democratic government, preventing aggrieved citizens from informing their representatives of their difficulties, and preventing conscientious public servants from learning of the problems of their constituents.

The man is Aneurin Ellis, and the agency seeking to have him jailed is the Children's Aid Society of the Region of Waterloo (CAS). While nominally private, it is in any practical sense an agency of the crown, since virtually all of its funding comes from appropriations, and legislation gives it powers resembling, or even superior to, the police. Mr Ellis was under court order not to criticize the CAS, and the motion is for violating that order. Jail is likely because his long battle with CAS leaves him unable to afford a lawyer.

If you concur that no one should be jailed for testifying before the provincial legislature, I suggest that you instruct your social service agencies to refrain from seeking to jail people on that account.

The court case number is C-1290-03 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kitchener, captioned Peter Ringrose and Duane Boles vs Aneurin Ellis, and the motion is scheduled to be heard on July 20, 2006. Mr Ringrose is the Executive Director of Waterloo Children's Aid. The testimony of Mr Ellis appears in the Hansard for December 6, 2005.

Yours truly, Robert T McQuaid 558 McMartin Road Mattawa Ontario P0H 1V0

Andrea Horwath MPP for Hamilton East Room 159 Main Legislative Building Toronto Ontario M7A 1A5

Addendum: At the hearing on July 20, Aneurin Ellis was granted a delay to prepare his case. The matter will be heard on August 31, 2006.

CAS Overrules Judge

July 16, 2006 permalink

We have some comments following this Canada Court Watch report



We can overrule a judge's decision CAS worker tells family. You must do what we say, not the judge, or else we will punish you and your child!

(July 16, 2006) A mother called Court Watch this weekend to tell us about some CAS workers who told that the CAS has the power to overrule a judge. Unregistered CAS workers had come to the conclusion that the woman's husband had mental issues and because of this had to move out of the family home. The workers told the woman that even if the judge was to find the father innocent and allow him to come home, that they still have the power to overrule the judge. The CAS workers told the mother that if the judge allows her husband to come home, that they will take her daughter out of the house and put the daughter into a foster home for teens. The mother says that she is frightened of the CAS and asks why they are so powerful and abusive to families. Her daughter is crying and just wants her daddy home! The legal proceedings have virtually bankrupted the family and taken all the money that would have paid for the child to go to university.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Dufferin VOCA has encountered this problem independently. A divorced woman was instructed by a CAS worker to refuse to send her child to his father for court-ordered visitation. When police arrived to enforce the judge's order, they took the word of the social worker before the judge, and refused to enforce visitation. Money judgments against CAS are not paid — they are appealed ad infinitum. A judge cannot remedy defiance, since the power of CAS comes from appropriated funds, and is outside of judicial control.

Children Killed Preemptively

July 16, 2006 permalink

Child protection efforts have caused the death of two children in Ohio. The story below reports the death of one, the other died later.

A woman who had both an abortion and a child given up for adoption reported that the emotional pain of giving up the live child was much greater. The mother in today's story made a choice out of the same pain, and killed her children in preference to losing them. Many of the other news stories on this incident omit the threat of child loss, reporting on a mother killing her children without apparent cause.

Because of the notoriety of the case, the newspaper reported the steps of family destruction, normally kept confidential. First the father, who admitted to improper conduct, was driven out of the home. His livelihood was imperiled, facing him with loss of his income. The then-defenseless single mother was bullied into making concessions to child protectors, leading ultimately to the total loss of her children.



Agency was within hours of removing kids from the home

Allegations of sex abuse led to the intervention of a protective agency and a ban on the dad's presence in home.

July 18, 2006, Dayton Daily News, By Lou Grieco, Rob Modic and Kelli Wynn

WEST CARROLLTON — Hours before Thursday's fire that killed a 4-month-old girl and severely injured her brother, a Montgomery County Children Services caseworker visited their home.

The purpose of visit was to tell their mother, Heather R. Silverman, that the agency was moving to take custody of the children, according to Ann Stevens, Children Services spokeswoman.

Though Children Services would appear before a Montgomery County Juvenile Court magistrate later Thursday, Keylee Silverman died before the 3 p.m. hearing. Her mother was charged Friday with murder and aggravated arson.

Firefighters were called to the Silverman's home, 642 Maple Hill Drive, at 12:47 p.m. It was fully engulfed when they arrived, West Carrollton Deputy Police Chief Doug Woodard said.

"Several valiant attempts were made to save the 4-month-old," he said.

The baby, found in the burning house, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 4-year-old brother suffered second- and third-degree burns over much of the front of his body. He remained in critical condition Friday night at Shiners Burns Hospital.

Early Friday, after an alert was issued to law enforcement officers in southwest Ohio to be on the lookout for Heather Silverman, police arrested the 24-year-old at the Cincinnati hospital, Woodard said.

An autopsy was done Friday, but the cause of death would probably be deferred pending the return of tests and additional investigation, said Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.

How the children services' case evolved

The agency had an open case with the Silverman family since June 6, Stevens said.

That day, West Carrollton police received a complaint that the children's father, Doron Silverman, had been sexually abusing the son, according to an affidavit filed with a search warrant.

The boy told two people he had been molested by his father, according to the affidavit, which also reported that when questioned by police, Doron Silverman admitted engaging in sex acts with the boy.

Silverman, who worked at Chuck E. Cheese, 30 Prestige Place in Miamisburg, also admitted having a temptation with sexual thoughts concerning the children he saw at work. He was convicted of child molestation in 1994, when he was 13, the affidavit said. The offense occurred in Marion County, Ind.

On June 14, detectives visited Silverman at the Red Roof Inn in Miamisburg, where he was staying. When they asked to search his laptop computer, he refused, according to the affidavit.

A warrant to search was issued June 21 to West Carrollton police by a Miamisburg Municipal Court judge. That day, police searched the couple's home and their vehicles. They seized computer disks, cell phones, a computer, a video recorder and a remote camera found in one of the children's bedroom.

No charges have been filed against Doron Silverman, but Woodard said the investigation will continue.

Following the June 6 complaint, children services had put a "safety plan" in place with several restrictions, including that Doron Silverman, 25, not be allowed in the house, Stevens said. Doron and Heather bought the house in 2003, according to county real estate records.

About 9:45 a.m. Thursday, a case worker went to the house and told Heather Silverman the agency was moving to take custody, and that there would be a hearing before a Juvenile Court magistrate at 3 p.m. The mother was cooperative and said she might attend with an attorney, Stevens said.

The agency moved to take the children because caseworkers thought the family was not meeting the terms of the safety plan, Stevens said, noting that she could not be more specific about those concerns.

Late Thursday, Judge Nick Kuntz of Juvenile Court placed the boy in the temporary custody of children services, Stevens said.

Doron Silverman has worked at the Chuck E. Cheese since September 2002. He was suspended June 14, Dick Huston, executive vice president for Chuck E. Cheese, said in a phone interview from his Irving, Texas, office.

"He came to his general manager and told him that he was under investigation by child protective services," Huston said. "One of the child protective services' conditions was that he not be around children."

Huston said he was told by management in Miamisburg that Silverman said he was being investigated "because his in-laws are alleging child abuse."

Silverman's job was to repair games, the sound system and computers. Huston said that doesn't mean that he wasn't around children.

When Silverman told his general manager about the investigation, he asked if he could work nights. His request was rejected after local management notified the corporate office about the investigation.

If the suspension continues another 15 days, Huston said, Silverman will be fired.

Friday, Silverman declined comment.

The charges against Heather Silverman

After meeting with West Carrollton investigators for five hours Friday, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck Jr. announced charges of felony murder and aggravated arson would be filed against Heather Silverman.

The murder charge does not require evidence of purposeful killing. It requires prosecutors to prove the infant died as a result of an aggravated arson.

Murder carries a mandatory penalty of 15 years to life in prison; aggravated arson carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Heather Silverman's mother, Deborah L. Boyd of Kokomo, Ind., said, "They love those kids. We visited their house a month and a half ago."

Doron C. Silverman and Heather R. Boyd applied for a marriage license in July 2001, according to the Indianapolis Star. Their son was born the following February, according to Star archives.

Martin Silverman, who adopted and raised Doron, said the couple married about five years ago and lived with the Silvermans for a while.

"Doron got a job in Dayton. They settled down. We had had the grandchildren every six or seven weeks."

Frank Malocu, Doron's attorney, said he became involved in Doron's case two weeks ago but neither investigators nor prosecutors have provided any information. He said Doron Silverman had moved to Columbus.

Jeffrey Rezabek, Heather Silverman's attorney in the dependency case involving the children, said she had signed a safety plan with Children Services that was to have expired Thursday night.

About a week ago, West Carrollton investigators sought to interview the 4-year-old boy again, Rezabek said.

Rezabek said he countered that the boy had been interviewed twice and questioned the necessity of a third interview. Nevertheless, Rezabek said, the boy was interviewed and afterward there were allegations the child was being coached.

Next, Rezabek said, Children Services sought custody of the children, contending it was anticipated that Heather would not sign a second safety plan. Rezabek said he was never presented a second safety plan.

Staff Writer Jim DeBrosse contributed to this report.

Source: Dayton Daily News

Cancerous Growth of CAS

July 13, 2006 permalink

Today we post a set of charts showing the growth of Ontario child protection from 1991 to the present. The data is incomplete, but there is enough to show that expenditures remained under control until 1996, then grew like a cancer.

Teen Cures CAS Fraud

July 13, 2006 permalink

We earlier reported on the case of Raymond Paquette, stolen from his parents without cause and placed for hasty adoption to forestall reunification. Here is the latest statement from Raymond, now eighteen years old.



Teen claims CAS committed fraud and returns cheque for over $12,000 to Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

(July 11, 2006) 18-year-old Raymond Paquette of Ottawa came to Toronto yesterday to return a cheque for $12,456.69 to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, a cheque which Mr. Paquette told Court Watch was issued based on false statements by CAS workers with the Lanark, Ontario Children's Aid Society.

The 18-year-old boy wrote on his cheque, " I, Raymond Paquette am returning this cheque because it was issued under false pretences and fraudulently against my name by the Lanark CAS. The young man came from Ottawa to deliver the cheque in person to the CICB in Toronto."

According to this young man and his step-father, they have copies of applications to the CICB which support what they believe is just the tip of a massive multi-million dollar creative accounting scheme involving CAS agencies and government bureaucrats. CAS applied for money for his siblings based on false statements as well said Mr. Paquette. "Money is being applied for under the name of children and the money is put into accounts controlled by the Attorney General, yet in cases such as ours, the parents and children, know nothing of this money," said the father, Mr. Jack Hepworth. A full story to follow.

Raymond said that as far as he was concerned, the CAS was a corrupt agency and that his life has been hell because of their involvement with his family. He has launched a multi-million dollar civil action against- the CAS and personally against several of the CAS workers.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Foster Death in Record Time

July 10, 2006 permalink

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has established a dubious record — they removed a "fun loving and playful child" from mom and dad on Thursday. By Saturday the boy was dead. As usual, the killers claim they are prevented from discussing the case, presumably to protect the dead boy from emotional harm.



Boy's drowning raises questions about foster care

BOISE -- The biological family of a young drowning victim spoke out for the first time Monday.

Fatal pool
Bill Krumm-KTVB

Three-year-old Trenton Lewis drowned Saturday after climbing into a pool at his Canyon County foster home.

According to Canyon County deputies, three-year-old Trenton Lewis was in the care of foster parents when he drowned in a backyard pool Saturday night.

Family attorney Scott Dowdy says deputies had just removed the boy and his siblings from their home Thursday night.

A hearing was held Monday afternoon to determine if the family's other three children could be returned to their mother and father's care.

At that hearing, the family spoke out for the first time, saying Trenton was a fun loving and playful child.

“They should never have been turned over to the state,” said Debbie Wiker, Trenton’s grandmother.

Dennis and Debbie Wiker say they are devastated over the loss of their grandson - three-year-old Trenton Lewis.

The boy drowned in a backyard pool Saturday night. According to sheriff's deputies, other children at the home found Trenton submerged and unconscious. Investigators say the boy was able to get past a gate and a ladder.

He and his sister were in foster care at that home at the time of the accident.

“They should have been placed with grandparents, aunts, uncles. Everybody wants these children, said Debbie Wiker.

The family was at the Ada County Courthouse Monday for a hearing on whether the Lewis' other three children should be returned to them. All four were removed from their biological parent's home late last week. And according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, that only happens if there is a safety concern.

“In most cases, we will place a child who has been removed with family whenever possible,” said Ross Mason, Health and Welfare spokesman.

Mason says the agency can't talk specifics about this case, and that isn't always possible. An investigation continues into the circumstances of the drowning and whether there was any negligence involved.

“The screening and the background checks for foster families are extremely rigid. So we will do an investigation that will be just about as rigid. Sometimes bad things happen. We can't assume that anything other than that happened, but certainly we will be looking into it thoroughly,” said Mason.

The custody hearing was closed to the public.

But according to family attorney Scott Dowdy, Trenton’s three siblings remain in foster care and their parents are working to get visitation with them.

Dowdy says he may pursue a negligence lawsuit against the state, but says there are still many unanswered questions about the circumstances of Trenton’s death.

Source: KTVB

Don't Criticize CAS Thief!

July 9, 2006 permalink

A man peaceably handing out flyers drawing attention to the case of the Easter grinch, Donna Lennon, was arrested Friday outside the York Region courthouse. Here is the report from Canada Court Watch, edited down to just the factual statements.



Senior citizen arrested and his rights to free speech violated for peacefully distributing flyers outside of the Newmarket, Ontario courthouse

(July 7, 2006) A Court Watch supporter was arrested by Police outside of the York Region Courthouse for distributing free flyers about the court system and about former York Region CAS worker, Donna Lennon, who was appearing in court that day on charges of theft from a child in care of the York Region CAS. Police said that they had complaints from inside the court building about the flyers and the man who was attempting to inform the pubic of the problems with CAS agencies. Witnesses outside the court at the time said the man was acting peacefully and exercising his democratic right of free speech to inform the public. The man was outside of the court near the entrance to the court. Some persons even contacted Court Watch and offered to provide witness to what they believed were unwarranted and unlawful police actions. Witnesses say that police officers threatened and degraded the elderly citizen and were just mean-spirited during the handling of the entire incident.

One lawyer who witnessed the unlawful arrest offered his business card to the man in front of the police officers and told the man that if he was charged that he would offer his legal services on a pro-bono basis to defend the man. The lawyer said that he thought it was disgusting to see police treating citizens in this manner and that Canada was supposed to be a country where the citizens had the right to free speech and peaceful protest.

It is unlikely that police officers from York Region acted without instruction from someone inside of the court building with authority.

Court Watch has received calls asking to help the next time flyers are distributed at the York Region Courthouse. It seems that many other Canadians are getting fed up with the court system and the police response as well. Any readers wishing to help distribute flyers in their own community should contact Court Watch at

Source: Canada Court Watch

Addendum: A CAS ward responded to the report above.



Teen in care of York Region CAS calls court watch to complain about abuse and violation of rights by the agency

(July 9, 2006) It seems like complaints about the York Region CAS keep pouring in. Today (Sunday) Court Watch received a call from a foster child who is in the care of the York Region CAS. This child heard about the flyer incident at the Newmarket Courthouse through friends in the community. This child wanted to complain about the York Region CAS as well. According to this child, he has been denied access to the internet to prevent viewing of information about Court Watch. The child is also being told not to speak to his parents in case they educate the child about the rights of children in care. Every phone call is listened to by foster parents who act like puppets to do the dirty work of the CAS to violate the rights of children. The child was told that his parents will be arrested and jailed if attempts are made to see them. The boy also reported that York Region CAS workers have lied many times to him and to other kids in care. The boy has been told that he cannot even call the Child Advocate's office for help which is a violation of the law.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Mom Visits Maced Daughter

July 6, 2006 permalink

Last year we reported on the story of a girl maced in Oregon and returned to the custody of the State of Michigan. Our earlier reports are at:

In this case social workers followed standard procedure telling the separated family members that the other has no interest in seeing you. Here is the mother's edited account of how she overcame the obstacles.



July 6, 2006

Emily was kidnapped from Oregon eleven months ago and has been kept incommunicado all this time. Under penalty of jail I have been forbidden to communicate with her - and yet I have. For the first four months I abided by those "rules".

Then I got over it — and guess what — I never once went to jail.

Even before sending I informed all the Court and the attorneys and anyone I could think of I was sending the packages. Each week to 10 days I send a package of all kinds of things - now they can't say I don't support her (a biggie) and keep in contact (therefore relationship and interest) - I did send it through the agency office in charge of the supervisor NOT the caseworker and put tracking numbers on it. I did send notes but they were not long only telling her about things I included to share with friends or Bible verses and just "I love you - miss you" statements.

Many of the items were sent were of an educational and practical usage and were unique to Emily. Clothing was a biggie too. I also sent note cards and postage so she could write and mail me. Of course I had no idea if anything was ever being placed in Emily's hands or if she knew it was from me or not.

And of course the reports came that Emily did not WANT to write to me. All the reports stated Emily had no interest in me, was reluctant to see me, did not want to see me. Further while Emily was crying for me (finally acknowledged in Jan) the upshot was Emily needed to miss me more. The last few months reports was Emily was too terrified of me and emotionally fragile to even know we were in the same building.


Here is the rest of the story. EMILY BLEW THEM OUT OF THE WATER YESTERDAY!!!

We had a one hour supervised visit - needed to have 5 (yes five people) supervise - for one hour at the DHS agency office. In the background a worker was heard to say "you don't have to be afraid we are right here it is just a visit". Afraid!!! Emily led the parade into the room, came into my arms and hugged me. She just beamed. Lots of hugs and kisses and "i love you".

Emily (as well as I) came PREPARED to do things with me brought her own things to share with me and was already telling me what she was bringing "next time". Her final words were "See you next week Mom - I can't wait!".

Of course that LAW says weekly visits - and the judge said weekly but the caseworker said that would be "too hard" for the agency to accomplish.

Now I wonder how they are going to report this visit - Emily had a miracle "cure"???!!!!???

Thanks to all our Oregon friends that keep in touch and have been supportive.

Source: email from Lynnae Lake

Mom Fights Back

July 4, 2006 permalink

For years child protectors have used police to snatch children from single moms — they are easy targets. Here is a story about a mom who fought back in the style of drug dealers.



Woman With Children Rams Police Car

July 2, 2006 - A Fresno woman could lose her kids and go to jail because police say she rammed one of their cars while two children were in her car. Police tried to pull over Kitty Brown at Hughes and Dakota in West Central Fresno late Saturday night, but they say she started driving on the wrong side of the road.

They gave up the chase, but investigators say Brown drove to a nearby police station and slammed into a car with two officers inside.

They chased her again, and this time they caught her at Clinton and Weber. Officers say they had to taser Brown to get her to surrender.

Child Protective Services took a 1-year-old and an 8-year-old into custody after police arrested Brown.


News Suppressed

July 1, 2006 permalink

A Florida child protection caseworker was arrested last weekend for beating a child. For reasons appearing after the article, there are unlikely to be any follow-up stories on this case.



DCF Worker Charged With Domestic, Child Abuse

Lorinda Nedelcove

CLERMONT, Fla. -- A Department of Children and Families case worker was arrested for domestic and child abuse over the weekend.

Lorinda Nedelcove, of Clermont, was taken to the Lake County jail after allegedly beating up her girlfriend and girlfriend’s child.

The victim said Nedelcove began striking her in the face with a closed fist, all because she was smoking a cigarette. When the victim’s child tried to pull Nedelcove off his mother, she started punching the boy.

Deputies suspect Nedelcove had been drinking.


The news media defer to the accused by deftly avoiding the word "Lesbian", and by publishing no follow-up stories during the ensuing week.

Dennis Hinger is a senior observer and critic of child protectors, based in northern California. He has observed a pattern in which improprieties regarding persons in the child protection system disappear rapidly from the media, while those affecting parents get full press coverage. Here is a slightly edited version of his thoughts.



What's wrong with this story?

Tonight on Sacramento CBS Channel 13 News, they carried a story about a 50-year-old teacher, grandmother, and foster-care mother who was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, after she and one of her 15-year-old students were caught by a railroad security guard going at it in the back seat of her car next to some railroad tracks. I'll tell you what is wrong with this story: This Is The Last Anything Will Be Heard About This Case.

In seven months, there have been one-time stories about kids being molested by a California Highway Patrolman, a Sacramento city cop, a Sacramento sheriff's officer, two firemen, a CPS children's receiving home employee, a CPS group home worker, and now three teachers. These stories appear on the news one time and one time only. If you miss the station they are broadcast on, you will never hear a word about the case. They are completely covered up and it is impossible to get any further information on them even though they are "allegedly" being tried in criminal court.

That amounts to ten child molestation cases by mandated reporters that have made the news only to be covered up. How many child molestations by authorities are occurring that we hear absolutely nothing about? Incidentally, this teacher is not the only one of those listed above that was also a foster parent.

And this is in Sacramento and northern San Joaquin County only. It does not include San Francisco or the bay area, Fresno, or counties north and east of Sacramento. How many of these cases are being covered up throughout California and the entire country for that matter?

On the 7 AM (July 1, 2006) news here in Sacramento they reported that a Modesto California police officer (again, with no name given) has been charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor while on duty. They also said that since his arrest a number of other families have come forward with additional charges against this officer for the same thing. That was on at 7 AM news. Since then there have been three additional news broadcasts and not one word about this incident.

During these months there have been several serious child abuse and neglect cases filed against parents and a nanny that are always in the news. One case is five months old and still making the news. In a non-CPS related case, a Sacramento police officer was involved in a hit and run accident while driving drunk and he killed a 13-year-old boy and we hear nothing about that case either.

Source: email from Dennis Hinger

Mother Charged for Saving Baby

June 29, 2006 permalink

Doctors diagnosed baby Riley with a kidney problem requiring surgery to facilitate dialysis. The doctors concede that the baby was not in immediate danger of death, but there is not enough information in newspaper articles to ascertain whether the condition was one that could be treated alternatively by changes in diet.

To force the treatment against the mother's wishes, Washington state child protectors took legal custody of Riley on June 9. In an effort to stave off her child's surgery, the mother, Tina Carlsen, snuck him out of the hospital on June 22 and the pair became the subject of an Amber alert. Police found them the next day and sent Riley back to the hospital and Tina to jail.

This case differs from most of the forced treatment stories that get into the press, because the child was not faced with immediate harm without the treatment. The press continues to ignore the fact that the commonplace use of involuntary treatment is to compel parents to give their children psychotropic drugs.

The mother's supporters have established a well-designed website Help baby Riley.



Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Riley's mother released from jail

A mother accused of sneaking her baby out of a Seattle hospital hours before his scheduled surgery was freed from jail Thursday and said she hoped she would be allowed to see her baby soon.

"I can't wait," Tina Carlsen said as she left the King County Jail this afternoon. "He needs me."

In a King County court hearing this morning, Carlsen pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and was released without bail. A judge ruled that she can't have any contact with her baby unless the state, which has legal custody, decides otherwise.

Her attorney, Jim Lobsenz, said he was trying to reach an agreement with the state that will allow Carlsen to see her 9-month-old son Riley Rogers, as soon as possible.

He said Carlsen "loves her child deeply" and that everything she's done has been motivated by that fact.

The attorney said he hoped the second-degree kidnapping charge would eventually be reduced to "custodial interference" or dismissed entirely.

Carlsen, 34, said she also didn't think a kidnapping charge was appropriate. "I think they pushed it a little too far," she said.

The baby suffers from kidney problems. He has been in state custody since June 9, after doctors said he needed surgery to insert a tube so that he can undergo dialysis and Carlsen opposed the idea, wanting explore naturopathic treatment.

The case has drawn national attention and controversy over whether parents or doctors should decide what's best for an ailing child.

Police say Carlsen took her baby from Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center hidden in a diaper bag on June 22. King County prosecutors sought an arrest warrant seeking $500,000 bail, and police found her on Saturday.

But this morning, prosecutors agreed Carlsen should be freed without bail because of "a significant change in circumstances" since then, Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Johnson said: The baby had been found and returned to the hospital.

Carlsen said little during the hearing but blew kisses to her mother and several supporters in the courtroom, smiling broadly.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler ordered Carlsen's release to live with her mother. The next step for her is "hopefully to get Riley back in her arms," said Carlsen's mother, Kathy. "It's been a long battle."

On Monday, a Pierce County judge ordered on Monday that Riley have the surgery. Carlsen's mother said she believes it has now been scheduled for next week.

She said some of her daughter's breast milk was brought to Riley last night, though she and Carlsen's other supporters said they were upset that it took five days to make that happen.

Kelly Meinig, president of an advocacy group called Citizens for Safe Birth that has gotten involved in the case, said it complicates matters that Riley will only take a bottle from his father, Todd Rogers, who is allowed very limited visitation.

Pierce County Juvenile Court Judge Judge John McCarthy, who ordered Riley's surgery, said Rogers could have supervised visits with his son for four hours each week.

The judge set another hearing for next Thursday to determine whether the baby should remain in state custody.

Carlsen's supporters have set up a website and hope to raise money for Carlsen's legal case:

Tracy Johnson can be reached at 206-467-5942 or

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Addendum: Mike Adams posted a commentary Gunpoint Medicine on this story to July 2, 2006. Here is an excerpt:



Medical school combat tactics training

If doctors are going to continue enlisting law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain patients, why not train the doctors to do the dirty work themselves? Let's take the middle man out of the loop and start arming doctors! That way, patients are already in the hospital when they get shot! (Think of the savings in ambulance fees alone...)

Law enforcement skills can be taught in medical school, right alongside classes in drug dealing. It's not like they're learning anything useful in med school anyway, so why not change the curriculum to something like this:

The new med school combat tactics curriculum

  1. Combat tactics with scalpels and other edged weapons
  2. Anesthesia and tear gas: Using chemical weapons to subdue patients
  3. Defensive Tactics (DT) for handcuffing and detaining patients
  4. Anatomy, physiology and Jiu-Jitsu joint manipulations
  5. Ambidextrous gun skills: A scalpel in your right hand and a Glock in your left
  6. Nutrition and health (class cancelled until further notice)
  7. Repeat business secrets: How to create a recurring income stream by injuring patients, then treating them
  8. How to lock and load while you stitch up surgical patients
  9. Expedient weapons: Syringes, clipboards and X-ray emitters
  10. How to use masks and other medical apparel to avoid being identified
  11. Disease prevention through nutrition (class no longer available)
  12. Hand-to-hand combat: How to use knowledge of anatomy to strike patients at vulnerable "kill" points
  13. Verbal assaults: How to intimidate patients using medical babble

As you can clearly see, not only would this curriculum result in producing doctors who are prepared to arrest patients on the spot, it would also allow doctors to earn a little money on the side serving as armed FDA agents conducting raids on vitamin shops! And if anyone gets hurt or shot during the raid, no sweat... the doctor is right here! In fact, he's the one who shot you! (There's a secret compartment containing needles and stitches in the handle of his Rambo knife...)


Man Killed Defending Family

June 28, 2006 permalink

Yesterday another man was killed by police, this time in Aromas California, while using force to defend his family against social workers.



from the website of CBS 5 San Francisco


Monterey County Sheriff's deputies fatally shot a man this afternoon after he allegedly charged them while swinging a pickax.

Sheriff's officials say they received a report at 3:03 p.m. that two San Benito County Child Protective Services employees had just been assaulted at 130 Carr Ave. in Aromas and were standing at a pay phone in the parking lot of the Old Firehouse Market off Carpentaria Road in Aromas.

Deputies met with the victims, who told them they had gone to the Carr Avenue residence - which is in the jurisdiction of neighboring San Benito County - to conduct a follow-up investigation on a child abuse case. While interviewing people inside the home, they were suddenly attacked by a family member, they told deputies.

The victims said the family member - later identified as 44-year-old Gene Velasquez -- yelled and swore at them before chasing them out of the home by swinging a large pickax and telling them he was going to kill them.

Velasquez allegedly chased the two victims to their county vehicle. The victims told deputies that as they drove away, Velasquez broke out their passenger window with his pickax, narrowly missing the victim in the passenger seat.

Sheriff's officials said that while deputies were interviewing the victims, Velasquez showed up in the market parking lot. He allegedly approached the deputies, yelling he was going to "kill them all" and swinging the pickax in a threatening manner.

According the Sheriff's Office, Velasquez ignored repeated orders to drop the pickax and continued to advance toward the deputies. One of the officers then attempted to stun Velasquez with a Taser gun, but this had no effect on him, the Sheriff's Office reported.

"Velasquez instead shook off the (Taser) and continued his approach toward the deputies, violently swinging the pickax, at which time two deputies discharged their duty weapons," the Sheriff's Office said in a written statement.

Velasquez was struck and fell to the ground. Officers began CPR. Responding paramedics later pronounced him dead at the scene.

The three deputies involved in the incident were identified as Jesus Reyes, Gustavo Hernandez and Sabrina Hawkins. They have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Source: CBS 5 San Francisco

Universal Surveillance

June 27, 2006 permalink

Here is an article about a system to keep tabs on every child in Britain. It's not too likely they will purge the database once kids reach age of majority. In Canada, such a system seems to be in existence already, but without public announcement.



The Age (Australia)

UK outrage as Big Brother keeps an eye on kids

Sarah Womack, London, June 27, 2006

BRITISH Government plans for the surveillance of all children, including information on whether they eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, have been condemned as a Big Brother system.

Experts say it is the biggest state intrusion into the role of parents in history.

Changes are being introduced after the death of a girl from abuse. They include a database tracking all 12 million children in England and Wales from birth.

The Government expects the program to be operating within two years.

But critics say the electronic files will undermine family privacy and destroy the confidentiality of medical, social work and legal records.

Doctors, schools and the police will have to alert the database to a wide range of "concerns". Two warning flags on a child's record could start an investigation.

There will also be a system of targets and performance indicators for children's development. Children's services have been told to work together to make sure targets are met.

Child-care academics, practitioners and policy experts attending a conference at the London School of Economics will express concern about how the system will work.

Dr Eileen Munro, an expert on child protection, said that if a child caused concern by failing to make progress towards state targets, detailed information would be gathered.

That would include subjective judgements such as "is the parent providing a positive role model?", as well as sensitive information such as a parent's mental health.

"They include consuming five portions of fruit and veg a day, which I am baffled how they will measure," she said. "The country is moving from the traditional 'parents are free to bring children up as they think best as long as they are not abusive or neglectful' to a more coercive 'parents must bring children up to conform to the state's views of what is best'."

The Children Act 2004 gave the Government the powers to create the database.

The potential for investigations by social services or the police into thousands of children and their families for "innocuous" reasons has alarmed many experts.

"When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, is it necessary to keep building bigger haystacks?" said Jonathan Bamford, the assistant commissioner at the Information Commissioner's office.

Keeping check on 12 million children, when the justification for the database was that 3 million or 4 million were in some way "at risk", was "not proportionate", he said.

Source: The Age

Sexual Assault Charge

June 26, 2006 permalink



police logo
17250 Yonge Street
Newmarket, Ontario
Public Affairs Bureau: (905) 830-0303,
ext. 7977
Fax: (905) 895-0036



Investigators in the York Regional Police Child Abuse Unit have charged a 62-year-old foster parent after one of the children in his care was sexually assaulted.

Child Abuse Unit detectives, in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society, began investigating after the incident was reported to police on June 19, 2006. The victim is a female under the age of 14.

The accused has been a foster parent in York Region since 2000. He also volunteers as a driver for CAS functions.


  • Alan BLACKBURN, 62 years, of Markham.


  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Interference

The accused will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket court on June 24, 2006.

Investigators are concerned there could potentially be other victims. Anyone with information or concerns regarding this accused is asked to contact the York Regional Police Child Abuse Unit at 1- 866-876-5423, ext. 7075, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at

Prepared by:
Detective Constable Kevin Byrnes 06-135263 June 23, 2006

Distribution: Original: Public Affairs Bureau
YRP383 (05/02E)

Source: York Regional Police

Unionize (Foster) Parents!

June 26, 2006 permalink

A Washington State couple wants to organize foster parents into a union. Imagine your children cared for with the gentle sensitivities of the union hall! Of course, this is a response to persistent maltreatment of fosters by the social services system. Maybe the next step is to let natural parents join the same union.



Foster parents want to unionize

Organizing could help change Washington state rules and secure better benefits, supporters say.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Daniele Baxter, who has opened her home to more than 700 abused and neglected children over the past two decades, carries a business card that lists her occupation as "professional parent."

Child with foster parents
Jim Bryant / Associated Press

Foster child Duane Fisher, 18, right, helps bake cookies with his foster parents Mike and Beth Canfield. He has lived since he was 5 with the Canfields, who are trying to establish a foster parents union. See full image

The full-time foster parent hopes to become a genuine card-carrying union member as well.

She and others are trying to organize what is believed to be the nation's first union of foster parents, and hope to win the right to bargain with state government.

They want to establish higher training and education standards and create an experienced, professional corps of foster parents. They also hope to secure better compensation, including retirement benefits and perhaps medical insurance. That, in turn, could reduce the high turnover in their ranks that results in youngsters being bounced from one foster home to another, they say.

"We really are the professionals in this field," said Baxter's husband, Steve Baxter. "When you have a really hard job to do, who do you call in? You call in the union plumber, the union carpenter -- and the union foster parent."

Washington state's Children's Administration, which oversees foster care, has refused to say what it thinks about the effort to organize the state's estimated 6,000 foster parents.

Daniele Baxter said foster parents are signing up in droves. But she would not give numbers. The foster parents would be part of the Washington Federation of State Employees, an AFL-CIO affiliate that is the largest union representing Washington state government workers.

"If we do it right here, I think it will set a pattern around the country," said Greg Devereux, director of the state workers union.

The National Foster Parent Association has not taken a position.

Source: Detroit News

Abuse in Foster Care

June 26, 2006 permalink

Canada Court Watch reports on a boy who has been abused in foster care. They may follow up with more on this child later. Here is and abridged version of their report.



Child in care of Niagara Region CAS reports being threatened and punished for reporting abuse while in foster care

(June 24, 2006) A ward of the Family and Child Services of Niagara (FACS) has reported just today that he was threatened and punished for attempting to report abuse to his Niagara CAS worker. He also claims that CAS workers with that agency often "twisted" information around and lied. This foster child reported that when he attempted to tell his CAS worker that he was being abused in care, that the CAS worker would then turn around and tell his abusers what the child was saying about them. Of course, as soon as the Niagara CAS worker left the house, punishment would be swift to follow.

Court Watch receives many calls from children reporting similar situations in which they have been forced to submit to abuse at the hands of CAS workers and group home workers because of punishment for reporting abuse while in care. Many children admit having to remain silent out of fear of telling CAS workers the truth. Children are being threatened by CAS workers themselves.

Source: Canada Court Watch

Foster Squalor

June 23, 2006 permalink

Gaetane Jarvinen was a foster mother who cared for children on behalf of the Province of British Columbia. Her landlord, Ray Headrick, was grossed out by unsanitary conditions in the home and repeatedly complained to the BC Ministry of Children and Families. When his complaints were ignored, he called CTV, which produced a report.

Child protectors routinely complain of clutter in a home, finding fault with normal living conditions — feces in the cat litter, dirty dishes piled up before loading the dishwasher, laundry in a heap, the inevitable food spoilage. The Jarvinen home was not one of those, but was genuinely unhealthy.

CTV has two sets of reports on this incident:

A social worker visited the home a day before CTV and found it acceptable. (Or maybe she signed the report without making the visit, it has happened before). The Ministry claimed that only one complaint had been received from the landlord. A week after the removal of her foster children, the foster mother continues to receive foster payments of $1600 per month. The Ministry said she had been a foster parent for three years. Later, they said five years. Still later, seven years.

Wild Protective Services

June 23, 2006 permalink

Here is a story about a child protector who forgot that his immunity only applies while on the job.



Police clock man on motorcycle at 142 mph

A child-welfare worker was clocked at 142 miles an hour on his motorcycle while leading police on a two-state chase, authorities said Thursday.

Sean Virgo's wild ride allegedly started in Orangeburg, where he was pursued by New York state police.

When he arrived in neighboring New Jersey, Palisades Interstate Parkway police picked up the chase, They arrested Virgo as he tried to make a U-turn on a grassy median.

Virgo, 34, of Ossining, an emergency children's services investigator for the New York City Administration for Children's Services, was charged this week with eluding police and first-degree reckless endangerment.

He was being held on $20,000 bail in the Bergen County jail in New Jersey.

Source: Yahoo news

Addendum: Canada Court Watch suggests the worker needed the speed to save a child in need of protection.

Rally at Queens Park

June 21, 2006 permalink

About 40 people attended a rally yesterday at Queens Park, Toronto, dealing with abuses committed by Children's Aid.

Some of the signs read:

  • Laurie O'Kane, 1959-1992
  • Survivors of Rape and Abuse in Thunder Bay
  • Children do Count
  • C.hildren
    S.exually   shhh
  • Onus on CAS NOW!
  • When did kidnapping become legal?

Four leaders including John Dunn, Rob Ferguson and Dorian Baxter addressed the media.

Diane Ogima from Thunder bay spoke. Since she did not mention anyone currently under "protection", we feel safe in mentioning her by name. She was removed from her family at age 4 and raised in foster homes from hell. At age of 11 she was returned briefly to her dad, but following years of separation he failed to treat her as a daughter, instead raping her. Shortly after she was given electric shock by doctors, enough to cause her to forget her ABC's. She was tagged as mentally deficient and placed on birth-control. She suffered more rapes in foster care at age 13. At age 14 she ran away, and lived on the street until age 17.

Another Thunder Bay speaker described the life of Laurie O'Kane. She grew up in foster care. From the age of six years, her foster father accepted payment from men to commit sex acts with her. She killed herself in 1992.

John Caswell is the creator of of website

Mr Nadir Siguencia distributed handouts similar to

Others gathering outside that can be legally named were Karol Karolak and John and Faith Stuart

Some persons cannot be legally named.

A mother from Thunder Bay had four children taken by Children's Aid. The two younger children got into good homes and are doing well, the two older children got in to terrible homes and have had bad outcomes.

A mother came from Hamilton with her sister, who addressed the crowd on her behalf. The mother has four children, two crown wards, the other two in foster care. The sister described the CAS practice of creating dissension in the family. They only began to make progress when they set aside their differences and stuck together in the struggle against Children's Aid.

Toronto does not have one of the rogue Children's Aid Societies. Though it has a quarter of Ontario's population, only two aggrieved Torontonians were in the crowd. Everyone else had to travel from the far reaches of the province.

Addendum: Here are recordings of three of the speakers, provided by John Dunn (mp3):

The Toronto Sun has a report on the rally.



Gov't urged to monitor CAS

Rev. Dorian Baxter -- better known as Elvis Priestley -- made a surprising and candid confession yesterday at a rally that demanded the government overhaul the children's aid societies.

The Newmarket pastor and Elvis impersonator said the Durham CAS took his two girls away from him based on allegations of sexual abuse that were later proven in court to be false. The allegations were made by his ex-wife and her boyfriend, a convicted rapist.

"I was so depressed I contemplated suicide," Baxter said yesterday at Queen's Park, where advocates called on the province to support a private member's bill that would give the ombudsman the power to investigate organizations.

"I couldn't even get the CAS to listen to me as a well-respected clergyman in Ontario," Baxter said.

Baxter sued the CAS but only got $70,000 after spending $387,000 in legal fees.


"I purposely wore black today as a sign of mourning for those who've been pushed into suicide ... because of children's aid," said Baxter.

Moms April and Kalena also said the system ripped their children away from them amid allegations of abuse, then their respective children's aid societies warned them to keep silent.

"In particular, neither of you can speak at the June 20, 2006 rally about the situations relating to your children, or speak about your 'story' and the children," reads a letter from the Brant CAS, addressed to Kalena.

April said she received an anonymous phone call warning her not to speak about how her five children were taken based on allegations she said were never investigated.

"People working for CAS, the majority of them, are good people, but they're not held accountable," Baxter said.

Source: Toronto Sun

Addendum: Canada Court Watch has posted a video clip of Rev Dorian Baxter addressing the rally. Because of the length, 22 megabytes, we post only a link to Rev Dorian Baxter's speech.

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