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October 31, 2009 permalink
A Connecticut mother has been charged with a felony after her three-year-old son wandered away from home.
Warning! Parents who secure their children with locks on the doors will have their children removed for keeping them locked up.
Manchester Child Found Wandering On Street
Parent Says Child Has History Of Leaving Home
POSTED: 3:06 pm EDT October 29, 2009, UPDATED: 3:53 pm EDT October 29, 2009
MANCHESTER, Conn. -- Police in Manchester said that a 3-year-old child was found wandering on Parker Street on Thursday morning.
Police responded to reports of a small child wearing an adult sweatshirt and wet pajama bottoms at the Big Y supermarket on Tolland Turnpike.
Police arrested 26-year-old Kristen Purrott and charged her with risk of injury after her child wandered away from home.
Police made the decision to arrest Purrott based on the amount of time the child was unaccounted for, and the fact that the child crossed a busy street alone and was found by an unknown person to the family.
Purrott was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and was scheduled to be in court on Friday.
Purrott said that the child had a history of leaving the house and had purchased new locks for the doors to prevent him from leaving. She said that she had the intention of installing the new locks on Thursday.
Source: WFSB Hartford
October 31, 2009 permalink
There will be an opportunity for families to discuss their cases tomorrow using Skype.
Andrew Skinner Fighting4Families will have an open Skype line for citizens to call into this Sunday, 01 November 2009, between 12pm-4pm EST.
To call into Fighting 4 Families free of charge, you only need to download Skype.
After installation, simply add fighting4families@h.........otmail.com to your contacts and call in.
You will need a headset or microphone and the call is absolutely free. There is no need to identify yourself and the use of pseudonyms (fake names) is acceptable.
October 30, 2009
October 31, 2009 permalink
Another Haldimand-Norfolk family known only as Wayne and Carolyn reports abuse at the hands of CAS. Police found marijuana growing at the home and investigated. Wayne showed them that he used marijuana legally to treat a medical condition. The police were satisfied, but on September 18, 2008 CAS show up to investigate further. Shortly after they seized the family's then four-year-old son and sent him to a foster home.
Since there was nothing really wrong with this family, CAS made things up, and, as is their custom, most of the allegations were things found after removing the child:
Eventually Carolyn's mother became the boy's caretaker. The case was dismissed by the court on October 7, 2009. The full story is in a letter to premier McGuinty (pdf) posted by Canada Court Watch. Haldimand-Norfolk is getting a disproportionate number of horror stories, making a new CAS hot-spot.
October 30, 2009 permalink
A New Zealand mayor, Michael Laws, has the final solution to child abuse. Sterilize the underclass.
Sterilise underclass to stop child abuse - Michael Laws
By SIMON WOOD - The Dominion Post, Last updated 05:00 30/10/2009
Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws says giving the "underclass" money to be sterilised will address our child abuse problem.
Critics last night labelled the suggestion "totalitarian", "draconian" and "reprehensible", and questioned his appropriateness as a city leader.
Mr Laws said the children of beneficiaries, drug addicts and criminals had little chance in life. He offered his observations after he was approached for comment on the death of two-year-old Wanganui boy Karl Perigo-Check, the son of a convicted murderer and gang member.
"If we gave $10,000 to certain people and said 'we'll voluntarily sterilise you' then all of society would be better off. There'd be less dead children and less social problems.
"Do we really expect these children to become doctors or brain surgeons?"
Child Poverty Action Group director Janfrie Wakim said she was stunned by the comments. "I just find it such a disgraceful attitude. It's hard to comprehend that an intelligent man who's leading a city is making such reprehensible suggestions."
Barnardos New Zealand chief executive Murray Edridge said the comments were part of a pattern of provocative comments from Mr Laws designed to draw attention. "I can't believe that he actually believes this."
Any Kiwi child genuinely could become a doctor or brain surgeon – as long as there was community support for them, he said.
Children's Commissioner John Angus said Mr Laws' comments were unrealistic and unhelpful. "Most of the information that I have seen suggests that it is quite hard to predict specific family situations where there might be problems."
He said many children who grew up on benefits became good citizens. Wider family members often ensured children were well cared for if their parents suffered from substance abuse or mental illness.
Mr Laws also said "liberal methods" of combating child abuse had failed. He said anti-smacking legislation had not worked because at least 19 children had been murdered by their family since it was passed in 2007.
"It was meant to be conducive to stopping child abuse in the country but no piece of legislation will stop the underclass in New Zealand from beating, battering and killing their children."
The bill's sponsor, Green MP Sue Bradford, said no-one had claimed the legislation would eradicate child abuse.
She said Mr Laws' proposed solution was draconian and totalitarian and would never be considered by Parliament. "People are trying their best to change what has been many generations of violence but a lot of that will need more resourcing."
Karl Perigo-Check was the son of Karl Check, a Mongrel Mob member who was convicted of murdering Wanganui toddler Jhia Te Tua, the daughter of a Black Power member, by organising a drive-by shooting. He is serving life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years.
A service was held to farewell the boy yesterday.
Source: The Press (New Zealand)
Client Record Experiences Needed
October 29, 2009 permalink
John Dunn is collecting personal experiences regarding CAS client access to records. Enclosed below is the notice from foster care news, followed by a personal experience to add to Mr Dunn's archive.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Council Seeking Access To CAS Records Experiences
The Foster Care Council of Canada is currently engaged in a research project regarding CAS client access to records. We are asking anyone who has ever attempted to ask for copies of their CAS records to share their experiences with us for inclusion in our final report which will be released by March 2010 for review by MPP's in Ontario, the general public, and by the Minister of Children and Youth Services in preparation for the 2010 review of the Child and Family Services Act.
We will log our progress as we go and report on the cooperation of the Societies in providing us with information pertaining to their access to records policies and practices.
So far, we have received a Policy from the Kenora-Patricia Child and Family Services and would like to hear from anyone who may have received services from this agency to share your experiences in relation to access to your records with us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Your contribution will be valuable to assisting us in our attempts to increase transparency and accountability of Children's Aid Societies in Ontario.
Posted by afterfostercare at 8:06 AM
Source: Foster Care News, October 29, 2009
In the spring of 2001 our four-year-old son attended a nursery school near Orangeville Ontario. On May 23, the staff asked the children to relate negative experiences in their home. Our son indicated in some way (we never found out the exact statement) unhappiness with his dad sending him to his room. The school tipped off children's aid to a case of possible abuse. Two days later, still before we knew anything about it, a CAS worker and a plainclothes policewoman interviewed our son at the nursery school for fifteen minutes on videotape. Later the same day Trish Grabbe of Dufferin CAS called my wife on the phone to report their decision to take no action on the matter. Within minutes we pulled our son out of that nursery school, never to return.
I addressed a letter to Dufferin CAS requesting a copy of the video tape. You can read their response below, or see the photocopy.
Child and Family Services
(Incorporated as The Children's Aid Society of the County of Dufferin)
June 18, 2001
Mr. Robert McQuaid R. R. #5
Orangeville, Ontario L9W 2Z2
Dear Mr. McQuaid:
I am writing in response to your letter dated June 3, 2001. You have requested a copy of the videotaped interview conducted on May 25, 2001 by Trish Grabb with your son, Kenneth McQuaid. Please be advised that Dufferin Child and Family Services does not release copies of any documents that are part of a child protection file.
I would also like to advise you that the Society has completed the investigation and that your file will be closed. It would appear that the concerns raised were historical in nature and that Kenneth has not been locked in his room since the Society's last involvement.
If you have any questions with regard to the above information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kimberley Evans, B.S.W., R.S.W.
Child Protection - Intake
cc: Gary Putman
New York ACS Fraud Investigation Chases Tail
October 29, 2009 permalink
A New York City investigation into fraud has chased its own tail after the trail led to fraud by Nigel Osarenkhoe, a supervisor and member of the Quality Assurance Unit responsible for controlling fraud in his department.
North Country Gazette
ACS Adoptions Supervisor Gets 33 Month Term
Posted on Thursday, 29 of October , 2009 at 2:51 pm
NEW YORK—The former supervisor of adoptions for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services has been sentenced to 33 months in state prison for conspiring to defraud the entity out of over $500,000 in ACS funds that were intended to subsidize New York City families who had adopted needy children.
ACS is the New York City agency responsible for providing services to needy children and their families. Among other things, ACS administers subsidies provided under New York State law to parents who adopt needy children. These subsidies amount to approximately $32 million per month.
Nigel Osarenkhoe was the supervisor of adoptions within ACS’s Payment Services Department from 1998 through mid-2008 and was responsible, among other things, for internal reporting of adoption subsidy payments.
Osarenkhoe was also a member of ACS’s Quality Assurance Unit. As a result, he access to the ACS computer systems involved in processing adoption subsidy payments.
Prosecutors say from 2002 through July 2008, Osarenkhoe abused his position at ACS by authorizing more than $500,000 in adoption subsidy payments, including approximately $265,930 via checks payable in the name of his wife and approximately $145,845 via checks payable to a co-conspirator, Stay Thompson, aka “Stay Daniels.” Thompson kicked back a portion of these funds with Osarenkhoe, prosecutors say.
On Jan. 20, Osarenkhoe, 49, pleaded guilty to a mail fraud. In addition to his sentence, Osarenkhoe was ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture each in the amount of $563,782.34.
Thompson was found guilty of mail fraud after an eight day jury trial on Aug. 13. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 1.
On July 31, 2008, Lethem Duncan, another defendant in this case, pleaded guilty to related charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 5. On July 21, Philbert Gorrick pleaded guilty to related charges and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Three other defendants, Oletha Rhodes, Brenda Towee and Tammy Moore, have also pleaded guilty on related charges in a case pending. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. Rhodes, Towe and Moore each face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years as a result of their convictions. 10-29-09
Source: North Country Gazette
Council bans parents from play areas
October 29, 2009 permalink
Score one for Britain in its contest with the United States to create the stupidest fear-based society. The Watford Borough Council took the lead by banning parents from supervising their own kids in public playgrounds, "because they have not undergone criminal record checks."
The only adults allowed to monitor the kids are idiocracy-vetted "play rangers." The children's parents must "watch from outside a perimeter fence."
[ Comments taken from boingboing.net ]
Council bans parents from play areas
Parents have been banned from supervising their children in public playgrounds, because they have not undergone criminal record checks.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor, Published: 1:04PM GMT 28 Oct 2009
Only council-vetted "play rangers" are now allowed to monitor youngsters in two adventure areas in Watford while parents must watch from outside a perimeter fence.
The Watford Borough Council policy has been attacked as insulting and a disgrace by furious relatives who say they are being labelled as potential paedophiles.
It will further fuel concerns over a growing nanny state amid the deepening row over the Government's new national anti-paedophile database.
That will see at least 11 million adults have to be vetted to work with children or vulnerable adults, including parents who give officials lifts to and from social or sports clubs.
Councillors in Watford claim they are only following Government guidelines and cannot allow adults to walk around playgrounds "unchecked".
But Osfted dismissed the ban while parents branded it "a joke".
The rules have been imposed at Harwoods and Harebreaks adventure recreation grounds.
Activities on the half acre sites include a skateboard half-pipe, a zip line, rope swings, den building, arts and crafts, plus a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports activities.
Play rangers currently patrol both parks – which are specifically for children aged five to 15 – and are fully qualified and have been cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau.
Parents already have to 'register' their child on arrival at the free playgrounds so staff have their contact details in the event of an accident.
But now only those who have been CRB vetted by the council can enter the sites, which are surrounded by six foot high steel and wooden fences.
Mother-of-five Marcella Bergin, 35, has been visiting with her three eldest children, Christy, 15, Seamus, 12, and Chloe, 11, for many years without any problems.
She said: "It's like they are branding all parents potential paedophiles which is disgraceful – 99 per cent of people are great parents and certainly not child abusers.
"The whole thing is just a joke and I will certainly not be adhering to the new rules which frankly are crazy."
Mo Mills, 62, a retired youth worker who has six grandchildren, added: "This is typical of the nanny state and I am furious – the council should hang their head in shame at this political correctness gone mad."
Mum-of-eight Jenny Abbasi, 41, said: "I find it insulting that the council are essentially branding everyone paedophiles and telling us we cannot be trusted with our own kids – it's a disgrace."
Claude Knights, the founder of children's charity Kidscape, said the council were "using a sledgehammer to crack nuts".
"They are encouraging a climate where parents and children are rendered suspicious without any proof of wrong doing or guilt," she said.
"Caring parents should not be viewed as a threat and if you are a bona fide parent or carer you are in a better position to look after your children than council staff."
A council notice to parents explains that: "Safeguarding the children and young people who use the site is one of our top priorities.
"Due to Ofsted regulations we have a responsibility to ensure that every authorised adult who enters our site is properly vetted and given a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check by Watford Borough Council."
Council Mayor Dorothy Thornhill argued they are merely enforcing government policy at the play areas, in Vicarage Road and Leggatts Way.
She said: "Sadly, in today's climate, you can't have adults walking around unchecked in a children's playground and the adventure playground is not a meeting place for adults.
"We have reviewed our procedures, so although previously some parents have stayed with their children at the discretion of our play workers, this is not something we can continue to do.
"There are other places in the town for parents with small children to go."
But a spokeswoman for Ofsted said: "Ofsted would never seek to prevent parents and carers having access to their own children.
"We would not insist that each parent must have a member of staff with them all times.
"Many settings operate very well with parents and carers present, and indeed this can be an important part of young children settling somewhere new."
The Daily Telegraph disclosed on Tuesday how employers will come under pressure to register staff with the Government's anti-paedophile database even if they have little contact with children
Sir Roger Singleton, the chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, said the scope of the planned database could increase significantly because companies would fear losing business if they did not have their employees vetted.
Last month, he was asked by the Government to look again at the complex definitions of "frequent" and "intensive" contact following concerns that the scheme would lead to state supervision of all relationships between adults and children.
Source: Daily Telegraph
Every Child Matters
October 29, 2009 permalink
In an effort to draw attention to the problem of child deaths, a group called Every Child Matters (ECM) has produced a document We Can Do Better (our local copy pdf) highlighting 51 cases of child death from abuse and neglect. The cover pictures 48 of the children.
In the US, even with the family destruction apparatus, a majority of children still live with two parents. Around one per cent live in foster or adoptive homes, the rest with a single parent or a parent and a new partner. If all these arrangements were equally safe ECM could be expected to find zero or one case of a death in foster/adoptive care, over 25 cases in two parent care, and the rest with single or re-partnered parents. That is nothing like what they really found.
Fixcas summarizes the cases in a table. There are 51 cases, one for each state and the District of Columbia, one case (Louisiana) is of twins. Five of them are not abuse deaths at all, but shaken baby allegations. The social services system contributed to the deaths of fifteen of the children: twelve were wards of child protectors or adopters, in two cases (Nevada and Michigan) parents failed to get medical help out of fear of CPS and in one case (Massachusetts) the parents followed orders to give their child a lethal dose of a drug. Three of the dead children were cared for by one parent only and 26 were cared for by a parent and a new partner. Only five of the children lived with their mother and father.
ECM advocates reducing the death rate by increased funding for programs to intervene in families. Their own cases show that foster care is incomparably more dangerous than parental care. The best way to reduce child deaths is to preserve the bonds between natural parents and their children, and to cut foster care to a minimum, the exact opposite of what ECM is advocating. In the corrected words of the report: children at grave risk of being killed require the protection of their government mother and father.
ECM quotes government statistics, but regrettably many official statistics are fantasies.
Here is one issue on which ECM gets it (almost) right:
Restrictive Confidentiality Laws Shield the Press, Elected Officials and the Public from Shortcomings in the Child Protection System.
Originally intended to protect living child victims from publicity, confidentiality laws have become a hindrance to a better public understanding of child abuse and neglect fatalities. Sometimes used to shield the public from the details of a child’s death, confidentiality laws also interfere with journalists gathering and reporting facts about the incident. Even lawmakers are sometimes denied access to information surrounding an individual case, information that is critical to strengthening the child protection system. The withholding of such information benefits no one.
In spite of the observation, ECM does not go on to advocate for abolition of secrecy in child death cases.
Addendum: Without analysis, here is a local copy of the 2010 edition (pdf).
More Mixed Message
October 29, 2009 permalink
Here is more of the NDP mixed message on CAS. Howard Hampton slams the government for cutting funding. He ends by asking how CAS can comply with court orders to place two children in treatment homes at $450 and $350 per day. There are no details of the cases in his statement, so we can only speculate. What about mom and dad? Do the children really need the treatment, or did CAS make up the facts? Here is a bill for $8260.56, $590.04 per day, for a boy who was never abused and never needed special care.
Hampton Speaks out on CAS Cuts
Written by NNL Staff, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 11:22
QUEEN'S PARK – Kenora–Rainy River NDP MPP Howard Hampton yesterday delivered the following statement:
"The McGuinty Liberals are engaged in a bizarre exercise in media spin. As children's aid societies across Ontario are required by law to extend health and protection to children at risk, the McGuinty Liberals are cutting the CAS budgets.
The Minister of Children and Youth denies that budgets have been cut, but an examination of the government's own documents shows that Ontario children's aid societies are receiving $23 million dollars less than what they actually received last budget year.
As a result of the budget cuts, the children's aid societies have been placed in an impossible situation. For example, the children's aid society for the district of Rainy River has had its budget cut by over $400,000 this year. But, at the same time, the youth justice act and a judge making a decision under that act has ordered a child in the wardship of the CAS into a special residential treatment home at a cost of $450 a day. Another child has had to be placed in another specialized residential treatment home at a cost of $350 a day. Total cost for a year: over $200,000. Meanwhile, the McGuinty government is cutting the CAS's budget by $400,000. What is the CAS supposed to do? Abandon these children?"
QUEEN'S PARK – Kenora–Rainy River NDP MPP Howard Hampton yesterday delivered the following statement:
"The McGuinty Liberals are engaged in a bizarre exercise in media spin. As children's aid societies across Ontario are required by law to extend health and protection to children at risk, the McGuinty Liberals are cutting the CAS budgets.
The Minister of Children and Youth denies that budgets have been cut, but an examination of the government's own documents shows that Ontario children's aid societies are receiving $23 million dollars less than what they actually received last budget year.
As a result of the budget cuts, the children's aid societies have been placed in an impossible situation. For example, the children's aid society for the district of Rainy River has had its budget cut by over $400,000 this year. But, at the same time, the youth justice act and a judge making a decision under that act has ordered a child in the wardship of the CAS into a special residential treatment home at a cost of $450 a day. Another child has had to be placed in another specialized residential treatment home at a cost of $350 a day. Total cost for a year: over $200,000. Meanwhile, the McGuinty government is cutting the CAS's budget by $400,000. What is the CAS supposed to do? Abandon these children?"
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 11:22
Source: Thunder Bay News Ledger
October 28, 2009 permalink
In the future, a computer may decide to take your child to a foster home, if the dreams of Dr Ben Reis of Children's Hospital Boston come to fruition.
Artificial Intelligence Diagnoses Abuse
Eric Bland, Discovery News
Oct. 26, 2009 -- A broken bone one day, a particular infection a few months later and depression the following year may appear to be separate, medical issues.
However, to a new artificial intelligence program developed by Boston doctors, these are all symptoms of domestic abuse.
The new software can identify abuse victims up to six years before these cases would otherwise be found and could eventually be used to diagnose just about any disease or injury.
"It's very difficult to detect domestic abuse because it often happens in the privacy of the home," said Ben Reis, a doctor at Children's Hospital Boston (CHB) who helped develop the program.
"Doctors are often on the front lines of detecting abuse, but so often the doctor is focused on treating the injury, they don't see the context behind it."
Dozens of studies over the last 40 years have correlated various illnesses, injuries and other conditions with abuse. Bruising to the middle of the forearm or the core of the body instead of the elbow or knee can signal abuse. Depression or alcoholism may also be symptoms of this condition.
The new program takes all of these studies and puts them in one place. Before a doctor even consults with a patient, the software will alert the doctor about the likelihood of abuse in a particular case using a color-coded system.
It would then be up to the doctor whether to treat the patient as a victim of abuse.
To create the artificial intelligence program, the CHB doctors used six years of data from more than 560,000 patients ages 18 years and older.
While many studies have correlated certain injuries with abuse, Reis, along with his colleagues Isaac Kohane and Kenneth Mandi, tasked the program with finding its own connections between an abuse diagnosis and records of injuries leading up to that diagnosis.
The program picked up domestic abuse an average of two years before it was diagnosed. In one case, the program detected abuse more than six years before it was diagnosed by a physician.
Robert Sege, a doctor at the Boston Medical Center not involved with the study, is very impressed with the research.
"By the time someone is identified as abused, the abuse has generally gone on for a long time," said Sege. "This is really powerful. If I had this with particular patients, I would be aware of the possibility and ask them more detailed questions or tell them about the kinds of services we provide."
Electronic health records are the lynchpin of the artificial intelligence system, according to both Reis and Sege.
Abuse victims often seek medical treatment at different locations for each injury to avoid detection. Each hospital or doctor keeps separate patient records but often fail to share those records.
Keeping one, consolidated electronic record of a patient activity would enable the software to detect abuse.
The record doesn't even have to be particularly detailed, says Reis. The CHB doctors used only the most basic patient data, "the lowest common denominator," as Reis calls it, to diagnose abuse in patients. Using better data should only increase the program's success at abuse detection.
Better data could also allow the program to diagnose a variety of diseases more accurately as well. Ultimately, Reis and his colleagues want to expand their software to consider every human disease, a project he likens to the Human Genome Project, a multinational, $3 billion effort to sequence the entire human genome.
To support their research Reis was recently granted a four-year, $1.3 million grant to expand their research.
Source: Discovery Channel
October 28, 2009 permalink
In the Jim Crow era, an occasional black man could expect to be picked up by a mob and hung from a tree. Before tolerance of gays, homosexual men could expect random beatings in public. Now, after decades of feminist propaganda against husbands and fathers, Vancouver British Columbia has a woman who attacks men at random on the street smashing their testicles. Police know of five cases so far.
Police seek groin-kicker after series of B.C. attacks
October 28, 2009
LANGLEY, B.C. — Police in Langley are investigating after a woman kicked a man in the groin so hard he lost a testicle — the latest in a series of similar assaults.
"I just want to know what her problem is," victim Anthony Clark, 22, said this week. "People like her shouldn't be on the streets."
Clark was walking in the Brookswood area of Langley in early September when he passed his assailant on the sidewalk.
"I was looking down and then I took a passing glance and saw her walk up to me," he said.
That's when the young woman inexplicably kicked him in the groin hard enough to send one of his testicles into his abdomen.
Clark said he wasn't aware of the severity of his injury until later that night when he "noticed something was missing."
He consulted his doctor and a specialist, both of whom believed his testicle could be brought down again with surgery.
It wasn't until he woke up afterwards that he discovered the doctors were wrong — the force of the assault had caused his testicle to rupture. It had to be removed and will be replaced by a prosthetic before Christmas.
"My doctors say I will still be able to have children," Clark said. "But at 22 that's not something I want a stranger, this woman, to decide."
Embarrassed by the situation, Clark didn't go to the police until nearly four weeks after the attack.
Constables have told him there have been three or four similar assaults on other men, Clark said.
Langley RCMP said they would like to speak to other victims, although there have been no official reported incidents, spokeswoman Const. Holly Marks said.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian woman, in her late teens or early 20s. She was between five-foot-five and five-foot-seven and 130 pounds with a slim build and brown hair.
Source: Vancouver Sun
Addendum: The Wall Street Journal in a page "Best of the Web Today" mocked this artlcle with a two line link:
Woman Loses Testicle After Kick by Man--Now That Would Be News
"Langley Man Loses Testicle After Random, Vicious Kick by Woman" --headline, Calgary Herald, Oct. 28
Long Arm of CAS
October 27, 2009 permalink
A reliable and anonymous reporter tells of a case originating in Haldimand-Norfolk, so from the initials H-N we will use the pseudonym Hannah for the 20-year-old mother. CAS has reached into a Caribbean country to seize a baby.
Hannah left Canada for a Caribbean country in July with her baby. While she was gone the CAS applied to the court for a supervision order and got it.
A couple of days ago, a warrant was issued for her one-year-old son and Hannah and child were picked up and taken to the Embassy in that country. The child isn't in danger of any kind and is taken care of by Hannah. I'm assuming this has to do with the supervision order.
She will be back in Canada tonight (October 26) sometime. One can only assume an apprehension will follow as the CAS has spoken to Hannah's mom saying things like "won't be placing child with family because of flight risk" and of course the warrant.
However, Hannah didn't leave the country to escape the supervision order or any kind of pending apprehension.. the order was put in place after she left.
[I have] been speaking to Hannah's mom and she's been telling me it's all so strange. The travel arrangements are being made between the CAS and the Embassy. It's pretty obvious what's about to happen tonight once the girl gets off the airplane.
The CAS is stating they don't want the child with family because of "flight risk". The grandma wants the child and can care for the child yet has no passport. She doesn't have a whole lot financially so travel is pretty much out of the question and she already has custody of Hannah's oldest child.
The child was apprehended at the airport. and the mother and grandmother have given permission for the story to appear on fixcas.com
The police in the other country took the girl and her child based on a warrant from Canada for the child
The supervision order was made while Hannah was in the other country and the paperwork she received tonight was an affidavit and a court order that states that the society has interim care and custody of the child.
The embassy assured Hannah that all her belongings and the child's belongings would be picked up from the residence and it would be sent on the plane. That's not true and all the belongings were left behind in the other country.
Initial involvement: When they were in Canada Hannah missed a meeting or two with the worker. She was seeing them on a periodic basis voluntarily (because of behaviour issues when she was a young teen, they got involved when she had children) after that I guess they sought the supervision order when she wasn't in Canada. The order was pretty minimal, more about keeping appointments than anything.
Source: anonymous reporter
October 27, 2009 permalink
Mary Janiga reports on a successful Grape Expectations rally.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Grape Expectations 2009 Success
Grape Expectations it was a great success for the 5th year in a row!
Our signs were made and we waited for our van to arrive. A friend drove us so we had a van load with Mary, Ed, Ron, Rudolf and Richard. We arrived at Carmen’s Banquet Center at 6pm and there were already two car loads of people there. A mother and her three children that have attended our protests in the past was already out front talking and hanging out waiting for us. We handed out signs and we all knew each other from communicating online and in person. We started waving at the cars that were going in and we even got heckled by a few of the party goers going inside to eat the cheese and drink the wine.
The Security of Carmen’s Banquet Center brought two police officers to the side drive where we were rallying and protesting and to ensure the safety of the patrons of the Gala Event. We weren’t blocking traffic and a lot of people were honking their horns in support of us.
Around 6:30pm we were surprised when someone drove by in a witches costume and stopped her vehicle. Wanting to remain anonymous she brought coffee and her sign, a broomstick and her costume and joined us in the protest. In light of the fact that it is near Halloween it seemed fitting that she was dressed up. I was thankful and so were the others that she brought coffees for us and to keep us warm. Thank you for your support!!
The kids were having fun and we were all bundled up and it was getting cold. We were outside for about an hour or so as most of the patrons/guests had already arrived and were inside. We decided to leave.
There was a good crowd of about 12 people there. I took lots of pictures and a few videos so I figured I would post a sign or two here and then rest on my Face book page of the event tonight as well.
Thank you for your support in assisting us in our endeavors to make Children’s Aid Society accountable once again.
Stay tuned for next years 6th year Grape Expectations!!
We are here to protect children and families from the Children's Aid Society.
Thank you for your support!!
Posted by Advocate at 6:48 PM
Source: Mary Janiga blog October 26, 2009
October 26, 2009 permalink
Today, October 26, is the day of the Grape Expectations Rally. Mary Janiga has some final thoughts addressed to participants who dine in opulence amidst family poverty.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS THOUGHTS THROUGH MY EYES
As you raise your glasses and eat fancy cheese
You purchase items that are inconceivable to families living in poverty
These are clients of the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society,
You have to think twice when you read this.
A fundraiser event has been established for the Children’s Fund for Hamilton CAS.
Yes 7 years and growing, and yet there are more children in foster care every year.
Children are dying in foster care and people still drink wine and eat cheese.
Families are torn apart and children are dying,
Yet there is not a thought of this during this gala event.
Could you imagine living on $1.25 a day?
1 billion people in this world live on just that amount.
Could you imagine living on $1000 a month?
That is what a mother with one child gets on welfare.
Could you imagine how far one hundred dollars could go?
Could you imagine how far fifty million dollars could go?
With a budget like that for the Hamilton Children’s Aid,
This fundraiser just adds to the parody.
I am thinking about that single mother with her children.
I am thinking about that father without his children.
I am thinking about those parents that are still fighting to get their child back.
As you raise your glass and eat fancy cheese
You have to really reflect on what I just stated.
Just a thought through my eyes, I am just one voice in a thousand people.
As you drink the wine and eat the cheese and arrive in your black tie affair.
A child is being taken away, a mother is crying, and another family is torn apart.
Posted by Advocate at 10:46 PM
Source: Mary Janiga blog October 25, 2009
More on Bayne
October 26, 2009 permalink
Ron Unruh is the pastor who married Paul and Zabeth Bayne in 2001. He has recently become aware of the seizure of their three children by British Columbia MCFD. A nine-part series on the case is on his blog GPS starting with the entry for October 15, 2009. The Bayne case has previously appeared here on February 7, April 3, June 24, August 2 and August 28. The Baynes also have a video report posted to YouTube on September 17, local copy (flv).
Unsuccessful Escape from Canada
October 25, 2009 permalink
Two children, six-year-old Timothy Yuen and his five-year-old sister Jasmine have been condemned to a childhood in foster care following an unsuccessful escape attempt. According to another article parents Hung-Kwan Yuen and Ana Cheong planned to fly them to Hong Kong, which would have been a refuge safe from the children's aid society.
Parents to be charged after abducted children found in B.C.
October 25, 2009, Madeleine White
Two Toronto parents will be charged with child abduction after they were found with their children in B.C. early Sunday.
Timothy Yuen, 6, and his 5-year-old sister Jasmine went missing Saturday afternoon after they left their foster parents' home in Scarborough for a two-hour visit with their biological parents, Hung-Kwan Yuen and Ana Cheong.
"Children Services was looking into taking full custody from the parents," said Toronto police Det. Jim Giczi. "The parents up until now had visitations on certain days of the week, which were both supervised and an unsupervised visit on the Saturday, and that was apparently about to end."
RCMP officers found the couple, with the abducted children, in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond.
The children were unhurt and will be returned to their foster parents Monday.
Source: Toronto Star
October 25, 2009 permalink
There is another rally scheduled for next Wednesday in Townsend (Haldimand-Norfolk) Ontario. The last one got press coverage
To members of Stop The Children's Aid Society From Taking Children Away From Good Parents
Jacqueline Dratwa October 25 at 4:18am
Thanks to some great exposure and Haldimand-Norfolk CAS Director Ms. Robinson trying to do some damage control.. there will be a bigger, louder Rally held in Haldimand-Norfolk!!
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28TH 2009
Haldimand-Norfolk Children's Aid Society TOWNSEND, ONTARIO
10am - 7pm
70 Town Centre Drive
Townsend, Ontario N0A 1S0
Go any time of the day or go all day.. stand up and speak out!!!
October 24, 2009 permalink
Pittsburgh mother Lynette Brown left her baby Myonna Mollett (named in other stories) in a stroller while she went into a convenience store. The stroller was not properly secured and rolled out into a street, stopping traffic. In times past, passers-by would have grabbed the stroller and returned it to the mother. Maybe one would have chewed her out for her negligence. Not now. Lynette Brown has been arrested. She has lost custody of her baby and and faces charges of disorderly conduct.
Russell Crowe Movie Scene Stalled By Runaway Stroller
Pittsburgh Officer Notices Baby Buggy While Closing Down Street
POSTED: 2:15 pm EDT October 23, 2009, UPDATED: 6:52 pm EDT October 23, 2009
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh police officer who arrested a North Side woman after a stroller with her baby in it rolled into Chestnut Street said he was in the area because of a movie shoot.
Earlier this month, 27-year-old Lynnette Brown was arrested in Spring Garden after she went into a store, allegedly leaving her child in a stroller outside.
In the criminal complaint, Officer Anthony Scarpine said he saw the stroller rolling across the street after hearing a vehicle screeching nearby. He said cars in both directions on Chestnut had to stop for the stroller as it crossed from one side of the road to the other.
After the officer began to investigate, Brown exited a nearby store and approached the stroller.
The officer reported that Brown said to him, "That's my baby. What are you doing with my baby?"
Scarpine reported that he explained what he was doing, and he said that Brown told him she wasn't in the store very long, at which point she was placed under arrest.
The police officer was in the area because he had to shut down traffic for a chase scene in Russell Crowe's new movie, and they had to hold up the start of a scene while Brown was arrested, according to the complaint.
At Brown's preliminary hearing Friday, charges of endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment were dropped. She will only face a summary citation for disorderly conduct.
The judge also said Brown must go to parenting classes and come back to court in December.
Brown's daughter is in the custody of relatives and will have her first birthday in five days.
"She's pretty resilient, she's had no prior criminal record, and she wants to get this behind her, so that's what we want to do," said Brown's lawyer, Edward Hunkele.
Source: WTAE Pittsburgh
Funds to Help Devon
October 24, 2009 permalink
Mary Janiga reports on the success of the fundraiser for Devon Sweeney in two enclosed postings. She also issued a reminder of the Grape Expectations rally on September 26.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Devon fundraiser success!!
ALL Benefit for Devon 8pm to 11pm October 22, 2009
The weather turned and it started to rain. We left (Mary and Ed) home around 8pm and met up with some friends down town to head to the benefit at the Casbah Lounge at 306 King St West. We were going to support Graham and his family to support Devon and the chelation/alternative therapy.
The bands were still arriving and we came in and listened to some very interesting music and hung out and talked and laughed. Graham was taking care of the door entry so we stopped and talked to him for a little while before we sat down to listen to music.
I was happy when Linda from www.protectingcanadianchildren.ca showed up to show her support for Devon and Graham. We talked with her for about a ½ hour and then she had to leave. She met our friends and we shared Children’s Aid Society experiences and future plans for events and rallies for both Child Assist Services and Protecting Canadian Children.
We waited for the bands and then the music got a little loud. We laughed at the music ( I missed my country and Western and blues tunes), and I think the genre of music was hard core punk rock electric guitar picking music.
We stuck it out for about an hour or so then we headed for Tim Horton’s for coffee then home. I took a few pictures but I have to finesse my skills at night vision picture taking. It was a good evening of fun and fellowship. There was a full house with a lot of regulars in the house and I would say the turn out when we were there was around 20-40 people.
I will let you know how successful the fundraiser event went after the event is over as Graham was still there when we left this evening at 10:15pm.
I am glad we were there to support Devon and there are more events planned for the future. Stay tuned for future fundraisers for his therapy. Thanks for the invite and I’m glad to have been a part of the evening.
Posted by Advocate at 8:23 PM
Friday, October 23, 2009
update on events
funds raised to date:
$400 for August 1, 2009 Garage sale
$400 for October 22, 2009 Benefit at the Casbah
$800 raised so far
$5 000 is needed for first round of alternative therapy
Just to let you know that the total fundraiser for Devon raised almost $400 for his alternative therapy. Only four thousand dollars to go!!
Thank you for your support!!
Posted by Advocate at 1:37 PM
Source: Mary Janiga blog October 22-23, 2009
More Push for Ombudsman Oversight
October 22, 2009 permalink
A group called Families Supporting Families asked MPP Toby Barrett to support bill 93, providing for Ombudsman oversight over Ontario's children's aid societies. Two press reports are enclosed.
Norfolk County : Locals Push For Passage Of CAS Oversight Bill
Posted by Adam Liefl, Norfolk County
A group of people protesting in front of MPP Toby Barrett's office today say the Children's Aid Society is doing more harm than help. Spokesperson for "Families Supporting Families", Brian Caldwell, says they are trying to get Bill 93 passed so that there is someone above Children's Aid, to police CAS. If passed, Ontario's Bill 93 will allow the Ombudsman's Office to investigate the Children's Aid Societies. Caldwell believes the CAS is trying to intimidate parents and families into not exercising their rights. This is their third protest in three weeks looking to get the bill pushed through. CAS's Executive Director, Janice Robinson who says Caldwell's claims are incorrect. Hear more from Robinson tomorrow morning in the news with Renee Berube.
on 2009/10/21 16:26:52 (321 reads)
CAS in the crosshairs
Placard-carrying protesters marched in front of the Simcoe courthouse and MPP Toby Barrett's office yesterday, calling for the Ontario ombudsman to be given the power to investigate Children's Aid societies.
A handful of protesters asked people passing by to sign a petition in favour of Bill 93, which would give the ombudsman the expanded powers.
They also claimed the local CAS is "one of the worst" in the province for parents to deal with.
"This is one of the worst counties in Ontario to work with," said Christine Sorko-Houle of Tillsonburg, who said she belongs to an advocacy group called Voices for Innocent Families in Ontario.
"They need to be held accountable for not investigating before taking a child away," said Brian Caldwell of Courtland, who held a placard.
Sorko-Houle said every government agency in the province is "accountable to somebody, except for CAS."
In an interview with the Reformer, Janice Robinson, executive director with Children's Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk, said "there's lots of oversight provincially and locally" for CAS agencies.
All child apprehensions must go in front of a family court judge within five days, while parents upset with a CAS decision can appeal directly to Ontario's child and family services review board, she noted.
The ombudsman meanwhile has oversight over that review board, Robinson added.
"Our approach is to join with families and work with the strengths they have," she said. "We don't have a disproportionate number of children in care."
Robinson said her agency is not "heavy-handed and critical."
MPP Toby Barrett, who was at Queen's Park yesterday, said he favours the bill -- a private members bill put forward by NDP leader Andrea Horwath -- and will "try to convince my colleagues to give the ombudsman additional power and oversight."'
The ombudsman, he said, has come up with "excellent reports" in the past on other government bodies.
CAS societies, noted Barrett, are also suffering from a lack of funding -- "another reason the ombudsman can look at this agency as well."
If the ombudsman is given the power to probe CAS interventions, families who really need their help would be unafraid to call them, Krystal Ludwig of Tillsonburg said as she asked people passing by to sign the petition.
"I'm here supporting families," said Ludwig.
Sorko-Houle said her group is part of a provincewide effort to get Bill 93 passed. They intend to picket the local CAS office in Townsend later this fall, she added.
Source: Simcoe Reformer
Chinese Baby Girls
October 22, 2009 permalink
Canada is checking into reports that baby girls adopted from China may have been stolen from their parents. This problem could not exist if adoptions came with full disclosure to both natural and adoptive families.
Canada probes claims of baby abductions
Richard Foot, Published: Monday, October 19, 2009
The Canadian government has expressed formal concerns to China about claims that Chinese babies are being kidnapped and sold to orphanages for adoption in Canada and other Western countries.
Canwest News Service has learned Canadian Embassy staff in Beijing have asked the chief of the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) -- the state agency that oversees China's international adoption program -- to investigate.
"Chinese authorities are looking into this question," said Janet Nearing, director of adoption services for the government of Nova Scotia, who says federal officials in Ottawa informed her that embassy staff have held meetings on the subject with Chinese officials.
"[CCAA's] director-general has assured the embassy staff that the agency is looking into this matter," Ms. Nearing said. "He added that no children adopted by Canadians were [illegally obtained]. I don't know what his source of information would be, but that's the information we were given."
Newspapers in China reported in July that dozens of baby girls in the Chinese province of Guizhou had been abducted from their families and sold for US$3,000 per child to local orphanages, which in turn adopted the babies out -- for similar fees -- to couples from North America and Europe. Last month, the Los Angeles Times also published an article quoting parents in the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan, who said their babies had been stolen, sold and adopted overseas.
The parents said government officials from local family planning offices -- tasked with ensuring China's one-child policy is upheld -- threatened to impose fines of up six times their annual income if they did not give up their girls for adoption.
The Times investigation found the town of Zhenyuan in Guizhou province received $180,000 from foreign adoptive parents between 2003 and 2007 -- money local officials claimed went to improve conditions in the city's Social Welfare Insititute. No visible improvements to the building could be seen.
"It raises serious concerns, no doubt about it," Ms. Nearing said. Although China levies fines against citizens that have multiple children, it is illegal to seize a child without the parents' consent, or to buy and sell babies. Reports of corruption in China's international adoption program first surfaced in 2005, but China said it was an isolated incident. New allegations this year prompted one Canadian parent -- a mother in Nova Scotia who adopted a Chinese baby in 2006 -- to go public this fall with fears that her daughter may not have been a legitimate orphan.
Although Cathy Wagner's child came from the province of Chongqing -- where claims of abduction and baby-trafficking have not arisen -- Ms. Wagner says she was required to pay a US$3,000 adoption fee, supplied to her daughter's orphanage.
Although adoption is a provincial responsibility, Ms. Nearing says provinces have no means of investigating alleged corruption in other countries, or of dealing with foreign governments. Those matters are handled by the Inter-Country Adoption Services, a branch of the federal Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. Officials from the department did not respond to requests for details about what embassy staff asked of the Chinese, but Ms. Nearing says officials in Ottawa acted quickly this fall to seek information from China.
In the past, China has not responded kindly to questions about alleged corruption within its state-run adoption system. When the Dutch government raised similar concerns in 2008, China warned the Dutch that ongoing questions would result in trade retaliation against Holland, according to government documents obtained by the Dutch adoption agency World Children.
Canada's own queries of the Chinese government come at an awkward time for Stephen Harper, who is seeking an invitation from China for an official visit to Beijing, possibly during a trip to Asia next month.
Ms. Nearing says Ottawa and other governments are virtually powerless to verify what Chinese authorities might tell them, calling the foreign-adoption program a matter of "trust" between countries.
Canwest News Service,
with files from National Post
Source: National Post
Greyeyes Helps Manitoba Families
October 20, 2009 permalink
Jules Greyeyes, who came to our attention through Winnipeg newspaper articles, is organizing familes to check abuses by Manitoba child and family services. His website is at Northend Action Group (NAG) Inc,, and his welcoming letter is below..
October 19, 2009
We (Northend Action Group (NAG) Inc.) are the first non-profit organization available to our community 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. We try to help prevent children and families from being torn apart by CFS through diligent case contact! This problem is not unique in aboriginal agencies, but all the Authorities have their proportionate amount of complaints, none of which have been resolved. The systemic abuse is also widespread across the country. Child deaths, neglect, and mental/emotional abuse of children sometimes resulting in suicide by parents.
In one case CFS was forcing one of my community members to get a restraining order against a cousin who had been helping her and they were coming to talk to her about in the morning. The day before CFS proceeded to come into the home when the grandparents had already intervened, as there had been an isolated drinking incident and apprehended the children, saying the grandparent's place was too small? Oh come on I thought! This should've been short term intervention, not long term plans (as CFS tends to resort to, so the money keeps rolling in), because the short term it was not a child protection concern.
I met the cousin and CFS showed up at her house as they said they would, much to their surprise I was there. Nothing was mentioned about the requesting a restraining order. The worker pretty well fancy footed around every question I had. Prior meetings when I wasn't present, CFS resorted to bullying, intimidating and disrespecting my community member. CFS was very nice this time!
Money from Child Tax Benefits and UCB of children in care apparently go to the Authorities? Where does that money go? That money should be helping to pay for the "differential response", as opposed to paying for more workers! The stats are disturbing. Let's say you have 7,000 kids in care all of whom received a CTB before coming into care. 7,000 X $250=$1,750,000 X 12 months + $21,000,000 per year!!! This is not inlcuding UCB!!
In rating the Authorities in appropriate handling of concerns on a 1-10 scale General a 7, Northern a 5, Metis and the Southern a 1. The General Authority and Northern Authority seems to be more willing to meet and work with our group in keeping families together. Metis meets with us but the only thing they do is ask us who we are instead of dealing with the issues. The Southern is the absolute worst! The people are like a legalized band of savages tearing apart of what society deems to be paramount! The family!
I have a case load of 24 right now with 5 more waiting to be responded to. We will be opening our storefront with a media partner who has agreed to be our outlet in November or December. We have our board of community members but are looking for professionals to join, as there are 5 more spots open. Natasha has been appointed our interim Vice Chair, and we have a long term plan to have her as the future speaker of child welfare reform. This is empowerment at it's finest, and I promise things will change!
As the mental/emotional abuse of families and children continue the government just sits there and "fails to act"! The Authority has zero control of their workers and after 5 years you would think a complaints process should've been implemeted by now. Instead acts of neglect, abuse of children in care are minimized and swept under the carpet!
In closing, we would like to see transparency in the form of how money is spent. I would assume they spend a lot of time and effort in builiding cases for family court as opposed to building families! Changes need to be fast and sweeping! Authorities need to be dismantled by getting rid of the Act, and have government take 3rd party control until these changes are made and workers are reprimanded.
Please let the people know we are up and running and you can call Jules at 282-6486 or email at [ nag at mail.org ]. Thank you!
Jules Greyeyes - Chairman of the Board
Northend Action Group (NAG) Inc.
689 Magnus Avenue
Source: email from Jules Greyeyes
October 20, 2009 permalink
Forty years ago reformers encouraged fathers to attend the birth of their children, to increase involvement in the family. Now, when social services is trying to get parents out of the lives of their children, a French doctor suggests banning men from the delivery room.
Men should 'stay away from childbirth' to help women, says expert
Men should stay away from the delivery room because their presence makes childbirth more difficult for women, according to a leading obstetrician, Dr Michel Odent.
By Alastair Jamieson, Published: 7:00AM BST 19 Oct 2009
Pregnant women become more anxious and less able to cope with a natural birth when they sense the nerves of their partners, he said.
Dr Odent said the birth process had become “masculinised” in recent years and that babies’ arrival in the world would be more straightforward if women were left with only a midwife to help them, as used to be the case.
He said the tensions caused by the presence of men at birth could lead to more adrenalin, slowing the production of the hormone oxytocin, which assists effective contractions, making labour longer and more painful and increasing the chance of a caesarean section.
Dr Odent, a French obstetrician working in Britain and who introduced the concept of birthing pools to maternity services in the 1970s, said birth was both easier and faster when male figures were not present.
He will take his controversial message to a student conference organised by the Royal College of Midwives next month.
The National Childbirth Trust expressed some sympathy with his view, saying it was up to prospective parents to choose whether it was appropriate for the father to be present.
More than four in five births in Britain are attended by a male partner, compared to only a handful four decades ago.
Dr Odent, who has also written books on maternity, said: “The ideal birth environment involves no men in general. Having been involved for more than 50 years in childbirths in homes and hospitals in France, England and Africa, the best environment I know for an easy birth is where there is nobody around the woman in labour apart from a silent, low-profile and experienced midwife – and no doctor and no husband, nobody else.”
The damage caused by a male partner’s presence in the labour suite was sometime long-term, he said.
When men witnessed childbirth, it could ruin the sexual attraction between couples, resulting in relationship break-ups. Some men ended up with a male equivalent of postnatal depression, he said.
Duncan Fisher, chief executive of the parenting website Dad Info, criticised the opinion. “Not all men are nervous, and a lot of women would be even more nervous without their partner there,” he said.
Anna Davidson, spokeswoman for the Birth Trauma Association, said: "This seems to be anecdotal rather than based any evidence and, given that there is a shortage of midwives, it doesn't seem a good idea to be putting women in a situation where they could be left on their own."
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said: “Thirty or forty years ago we were campaigning for fathers to be allowed to attend the birth and not more than 80 per cent of births are attended by a male partner, with most of the remainder being attended by a mother or sister instead.
“It is really a matter for men and woman to discuss it and decide what they will be comfortable with and what will be safest.
“In particular, some women prefer their partner to be standing next to them at eye level and giving support there rather than putting pressure on them by peering at the business end which is not always the nicest place to be.
“A supportive friend or relative can be just as useful,” she added.
Jeanne Tarrant, a team manager for the Royal College of Midwives said: "We support a mother's right to choose her birth partner during labour. There is no evidence base or research to suggest that a father's presence impedes and interferes with the mother's birth. We will welcome a healthy discussion of these issues at the conference."
Source: Daily Telegraph
October 20, 2009 permalink
Oklahoma foster girls Ashley Jewel and Kelsey Beams wanted to get out of foster care so much they tried to kill their foster parents, Robert and Barbara Parker.
Police: Foster Children Plotted to Kill Foster Parents
Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009 11:34 PM EST, By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9
WOODWARD, Oklahoma -- Two foster parents were attacked by their foster children, and the father said he’s lucky to be alive.
Investigators say the girls, 16-year-old Ashley Jewel and 15-year-old Kelsey Beams, plotted to kill their foster parents.
Robert and Barbara Parker have been foster parents for DHS for four years. The two teens are among the many children they’ve taken into their care. Ashley has been the Parker’s foster child for two years while Kelsey was in their care for two months.
Robert Parker is a pastor. His family was in the process of resigning from his church in Henrietta and moving back to Woodward. He planned to start a street ministry in the area.
The Parkers had come to Woodward to work on house that they own. While staying the night, Robert woke up around 1 a.m. saying he heard a bang and saw a flash. It took a few seconds before Robert and Barbara Parker realized he’d been shot.
Police say the two girls wanted to kill the couple because they wanted to be free from DHS custody.
Police think Kelsey was mastermind and manipulated Ashley into shooting Robert Parker. According to the police report, Ashley fired a shot at Robert Parker. The gun jammed when she tried to shoot her foster mother Barbara.
Police said Kelsey had a second gun, but it had the wrong bullets in it so it never would have worked.
The bullet hit Robert in the rib. It’s still lodged in his chest and doctor’s say it shouldn’t cause any issues.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the incident and where the bullet hit, Robert and Barbara Parker believe it’s a miracle he’s alive.
The girls will be charged as youthful offenders, among their charges is shooting with intent to kill.
Source: KWTV Oklahoma City
Legal Guardian Mute
October 19, 2009 permalink
A seventeen-year-old Peel foster child has engaged in an email exchange with child-care worker Angela Rafique. Reporter John Dunn introduces the exchange:
Monday, October 19, 2009
Peel CAS Appears to be Ignoring Foster Youth's Cries for Help
In a letter received today by the Foster Care Council of Canada, a youth in foster care under the Peel Children's Aid Society is applying stronger tactics to get his/her worker and his/her worker's supervisors to listen to his/her cries for help.
The three emails are below, in chronological order, and with █████ indicating redactions. The quality of the teenager's writing suggests a bright future, as long an enough nourishment is provided to ward off hunger. Angela is, or is acting for, the legal parent of the teen, yet writes with the warmth of a computer salesman or bank manager. When a child reports hunger to a real mother, she provides food. When a child reports hunger to Angela Rafique, she calls a meeting.
- █████ █████
- Thu, October 8, 2009 11:32:57 AM
- Re: █████ █████
Firstly, I need to address your last email to me and let you know that the tone and the language that you used was very disrespectful towards me and completely unwarranted. Yes, I do want to be a support to you and be of assistance where possible, but to be ordered around as you seem to feel is your right to do, is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
With regards to driving lessons, you need to understand that the agency has no obligation to you to pay for the cost of your driver education. This is a privilege, not a right. If my supervisor told you a year ago that you only needed to contribute $100 towards the cost of such lessons, I would suggest that you speak to him directly about this and provide him with a courteous and respectful reminder about the discussion that took place with him. I believe that if you are able to do so and provide him with the statement/application from the driving school with the charges outlined in it, he will honour this. To note, the money for the driving lessons would be given to (█████ █████) and (█████ █████) or the driving school directly, along with a returnable receipt.
With regards to volunteer drives being provided to you in order to go to visits with your mother, this is something that I would be happy to help you with, while you are in care. As you know, this is something that was provided to you in the past prior to your mother moving. I will not be signing your written contract though in order to secure your mother's address. If you and your mother wish to have drives set up, I would ask you to simply provide your mother's address, if she permits, in order to help facilitate these drives. As you are aware, once you move on to Independent living, we will not be able to access the volunteer drive program through the Society, as it is expected that as an independent person you will make your own arrangements with regards to getting to and from such things as visits.
With regards to your plan to move out in a months time, I feel that it is important that we talk more in person about your specific plans and what steps you have taken with regards to this. That way, I can better plan with you around such a move. As I mentioned to you when we last met, I think that it would be a good idea to have a Family Group Conference to bring together your family and support network to talk about planning for you beyond Care. I think it is important to involve your support system in this process and see how they can best support you. This is especially important as you have frequently expressed to me your desire to end your involvement with the Society and we are going to be approaching your 18th birthday in the next █████ months.
With regards to the Independence referral, this has been completed and I am currently awaiting notification from the supervisor responsible for this program portfolio to contact me and advise as to whether or not this referral has been accepted and when an Independence Worker can be assigned. I will up-date you regarding this matter as soon as I know anything further.
With regards to your concerns about the foster home, I would again ask that we talk more in person about your specific concerns and issues, as well as the details of these, so that I can have a better understanding about what is going on for you, as things seem to be a bit vague at present. This way we can clarify things and hopefully work towards effectively addressing any matters.
As you are aware, I will be coming to your residence on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 3:45pm and would suggest that we talk more about the above at that time. I would encourage you to be open to this meeting and set any negativity that you have aside so as to move forward in our talks with one another. If you have any questions please feel free to give me at call at 905-363-6131 ext. 3074.
- ----- Forwarded Message ----
- █████ █████
- email@example.com; FKennedy@peelcas.org; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- Tue, October 13, 2009 9:03:12 AM
- Re: █████ █████
I would like to ask you where in the previous email I had sent to you does it show that the tone and language I used was disrespectful towards you. Also, I am not "ordering" you around, I am simply standing up for myself and my rights as a child in care. Every time I approach you with an issue or something that I wish to have done, you never follow up on it and help me, so I have to be persistent with you. So I feel it is in my best interests to be persistent with you in order to have my needs and issues met.
I will contact your supervisor immediately in regards to the meeting him and I had on September 24th of 2008 at the Peel Children's Aid office where we discussed that the society would contribute to the drivers education program of my choice if I contributed $100.00 towards the program. This is something that you should be helping me out with, but once again, I guess I will be taking matters into my own hands.
You have just confirmed to me that you will set up the volunteer rides in exchange for my mother's address. I will provide the address in hopes that you will co-operate and set my drives up immediately as you confirmed in your previous email, seeing as how it is getting really cold outside. I am aware that once I go onto independent living, I will no longer be able to receive the volunteer rides. The address is as follows; █████ █████
In regards to your response of me moving out of █████ █████ onto independence in a months time; I feel it is important that you should be supportive and if the place I choose to move into is legitimate and safe (big enough windows and smoke detectors) then you will approve and I will be on my way with my independence worker. You also stated that when we previously met on September 17th, 2009, that you mentioned a Family Group Conference that involves bringing my family together to talk about the plan for me beyond living in the CAS. You never mentioned a meeting, or a group conference so I am unaware of such a thing. Since now you have mentioned the group meeting, I am not interested in sitting down with the society and my family because my family is already very supportive of me and aware of where I want to go, and what I want to persue in. The Peel Children's Aid has not provided my family and I support since we first have been involved with the agency, so I do not expect verbal support now. However, I do expect support regarding the agency to pay for part of my University tuition for when I begin at post-secondary.
In regards to the independence worker, thank you, I will be expecting to hear back from you as soon as possible once you receive the approval.
I have addressed to you Angela, many of times about the issues and concerns I have at my foster placement. I mentioned them to you after we had the transfer meeting, so in █████ before my birthday of 2009. I had addressed to you at that meeting about how she would kick me out of the house to run errands in the evenings, and how it was affecting my school. At the present time, you did not seem to care about how it was affecting my school and decided that since I would be going on independence, I should find something productive to do with that time I was kicked out until she returned. When I go onto independence, I won't have that issue because I won't be getting kicked out, so I'll be able to focus in school, another reason as to why I want to be on independence as soon as possible. My school and education is very important to me, but it seems that it doesn't concern you how I failed two of my classes and resulted in passing most of my courses last year with 50%. I also mentioned to you about the lack of food that is provided, and how I attend school everyday on an empty stomach. I am not able to focus in school all day when I have no food in my stomach, and the little portions she provides us at dinner, does not give me enough energy for the next day. This was all mentioned to you at that meeting. On September 17th, 2009, I had asked you once again, if you have looked into, or have done anything in regarding to those issues I had informed you of. You told me to "refresh" your memory as you have forgotten. I feel that you should have written it down and did what was in my best interests, seeing as in your previous email you stated "I do want to be a support to you and be of assistance where possible". Please correct me if I have mistaken what you wrote.
I am reminding you, that I will not be contacting you through phone if I have any questions or concerns and that everything will be through email. When you attend my place of residence on Wednesday October 14th of 2009 at 3:45pm, there will be no discussion of my issues, plans, concerns and updates, unless you will be willing to be video/audio taped during this meeting, then I do not have a problem discussing these things at the meeting. I will provide a written statement for you to sign giving confirmation that we agreed to have the meeting under audio/video supervision.
John Dunn, Foster Care Council of Canada
Angela Rafique, Case Worker, Peel CAS
Frank Kennedy, Supervisor, Peel CAS
█████ █████, Mother
Irwin Elman, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate
Andre Martin, Ontario Ombudsman
Good afternoon Angela,
A week ago, I sent you an email on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:03:12 AM (below) responding to your email that you sent back to me on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 11:32:57 AM (below) about the concerns and issues of my current placement as well as other things.
I have yet to hear from you since then. If I do not hear from you or your supervisor, Frank Kennedy by 4:00pm on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, then I will be contacting the local media, as well as the Foster Care Council of Canada to inform them that I had contacted my worker and notified her of all the abuse and neglect, but she still did not take the time to respond to this crisis (ignoring my cries of help). Your co-operation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Posted by afterfostercare at 4:25 PM
Source: John Dunn blog October 19, 2009
October 19, 2009 permalink
John Dunn is asking for information from child welfare insiders, to be published through the internet while protecting the identity of the informant. Dufferin VOCA also publishes as much information as possible about child protection, and likewise can protect confidentiality when necessary.
Mr Dunn discloses that high child welfare officers are suggesting he is mentally unstable. Having followed the work of Mr Dunn for years, both in person and through the internet, this appears to be the most unjustified charge ever. Dufferin VOCA gets no aspersions of mental instability, just lawsuits.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Council Seeks Child Welfare Insiders
The Foster Care Council of Canada is seeking input from people who work or volunteer in the child welfare sector to provide us with information they feel is important for people to know.
We will be sure to keep the source of the information private, and will take any information we can that they feel we should be aware of.
Maybe there are documents, or reports within the Ministry of Children and Youth Services or its Regional Offices, or within the CAS offices, or the OACAS that you are aware have already been submitted to the Ministry or to any government official or body that we can FIPPA (Freedom of Information Request) to get copies etc. Just let us know at 613-220-1039 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and please spread the word.
Higher Management Attempts to Discredit Advocacy Efforts
It has been been brought to the attention of the Foster Care Council of Canada that those in higher positions within the child welfare systems have been attempting to tell their staff and associates that John Dunn, Executive Director of the Foster Care Council of Canada is mentally unstable, however without a professional diagnosis of any kind, and without any evidence of such, you are asked to think for yourself and to reconsider this rumor and treat it as if it were being said about yourself.
What questions would you ask of those alleging you are mentally unstable, and ask those same questions about Mr. Dunn.
Thank-you for your attention to this important matter.
Foster Care Council of Canada
Posted by afterfostercare at 11:16 AM
Source: John Dunn blog October 19, 2009
October 19, 2009 permalink
The harm from child abuse is so deep that even decades later it is impossible for victims to forgive their tormentors. Two examples are in an Ottawa Citizen article and a letter to the editor in reply from former crown ward Gary Curtis. After reading them, consider two questions: Which causes more harm, fondling an altar boy, or years of separation from mom and dad? Which gets monetary compensation?
Monsignor regrets lack of 'reconciliation'
Vicar general said it was 'sad' sex-abuse victim refused to shake hands
By Gary Dimmock, The Ottawa Citizen October 12, 2009
Msgr. Kevin Beach, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, which last week gave refuge to a disgraced former bishop facing child pornography charges, issued a press release on Thanksgiving weekend declaring that it was "sad" that an altar boy who was sexually abused at age 14 refused to shake his hand at a mediation session.
The altar boy, whose name is protected by law, is now 40 and recently settled a lawsuit against the archdiocese for an undisclosed amount of money.
Beach issued the press release in response to a Citizen story on Saturday, which revealed that Alex, the victim, had settled out of court for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Rev. Dale Crampton dating back to 1982, when the priest presided over St. Maurice Church on Percy Street. Crampton was convicted four years later for sexually abusing seven altar boys. The judge sentenced the priest to eight months in jail.
The vicar general issued the rare news release to respond to the victim, who denounced the church's apology as "feeble."
The apology was part of the settlement.
The vicar general wanted the public to know that the archdiocese has long favoured a mediated process to its sexual abuse claims rather than litigation.
"Unfortunately, this (Citizen) story confirms that litigation is rarely a satisfactory approach when dealing with the anger and pain of abuse victims. It is why our diocese has had a protocol in place for many years favouring a mediated process which, in addition to independent legal counsel for the victim, provides an opportunity for victims to express their anger, pain and desire for healing. Once the litigation process is launched, we are obliged to follow the court process," Beach said in a statement to the Citizen.
The Roman Catholic Church said on the weekend the settlement with Alex was settled "mutually on a very quick basis, in the hope that the healing of Alex would commence more quickly."
But the victim does not view the situation the same way.
The case drew a lot of attention this past summer when Beach suggested that Alex only launched the lawsuit at his lawyer's instigation.
"I would think that it was at his lawyer's urging that this gentleman decided to launch a lawsuit, rather than communicate with us directly," Beach said at the time.
The accusation still rattles Alex. He recalled a mediation session at which Beach was present:
"I walked into this meeting and this same man was standing there offering to shake hands like he's my friend."
In a rare public reply, Beach counters:
"On a personal note, I find it sad that Alex was not able to accept my handshake, not one of friendship, but as a gesture of reconciliation -- a gesture which has been accepted in other cases. I hope and pray that he and his family find the peace and healing they deserve."
On Friday afternoon, the archdiocese issued a brief statement from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast apologizing for the sexual abuse Alex endured from Crampton.
"I am grateful that we have come to an early and mediated settlement of the claim for, sexual abuse, of A.V.B. (Alex) against Dale Crampton and the Archdiocese," Prendergast says in the statement. "This occasion gives me the opportunity to apologize to A.V.B. and to the other victims of Dale Crampton.
"Even though this particular incident dates from the early 1980s, we have all been made aware of the pain that these cases, involving sexual abuse and abuse of trust, have caused to the victims and to their families throughout the years. I state again the commitment of our diocese, and my personal commitment, to create a safe environment in the church for young people and for other vulnerable persons."
[ paragraphs relating to Raymond Lahey omitted. ]
Source: Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Citizen October 19, 2009
Re: Monsignor regrets lack of 'reconciliation,' Oct. 12.
Why is Msgr. Kevin Beach, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, so shocked that this man, who was sexually abused at age 14 as an altar boy, was not willing to shake his hand at a meeting of "reconciliation?" The answer is: Why should he? For years and years, many priests and nuns abused the children who were entrusted into their care and many of those children have grown up to have very unstable lives.
Msgr. Beach also mentioned that the Catholic Church prefers a mediated process to these sexual abuse claims. Of course they do. That way, if there is a settlement reached out of court, then everything is hushed up, With a court case, then it becomes public knowledge.
For too long the church has ignored these abuses, just like the Children's Aid Society has tried to ignore the abuses that were committed against us former Crown wards.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Too Much CAS Litigation
October 18, 2009 permalink
The Hamilton Spectator published an article Budget crunch slams CAS on the recent funding cuts, prompting a reply published two days later.
CAS spends too much on litigation
October 16, 2009, Michael P. Clarke, The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, (Oct 16, 2009)
Re: 'Budget crunch slams CAS' (Oct. 14)
I have practised family law in Hamilton for more than 20 years. I have participated in dozens of court hearings on behalf of parents subject to "child protection" proceedings. I am always struck by the zeal with which the lawyers for our local Children's Aid Society and Catholic Children's Aid Society fight for what they perceive are the child's "best interests."
Compromise is difficult and inflexibility is the norm. The cases drag on in even the simplest matters. Many colleagues have expressed frustration at how aggressive the local societies have become in prosecuting these cases. There is huge cost to the families (including the children), financially and emotionally.
Their funding issues could be easily met, in my view, if the societies redirected their efforts from prosecution and toward providing real, concrete assistance. Too often, society social workers spend their time drafting affidavits, sitting in court and preparing for litigation instead of in the field, helping families and children in crisis.
Litigating is the most expensive option. It is too often chosen by the societies as the first resort. When I started practising in Hamilton in 1988, there was one lawyer handling all the child protection cases for both societies. Occasionally, a local lawyer was hired to take a trial. Now, there are close to 20 lawyers working for both societies. This shows the emphasis of the societies has been on litigation, not remediation. These lawyers are very good and very expensive.
I suggest that instead of trying to scare the public and policy-makers with threats of "having difficulty responding to high-risk child abuse allegations (unless we get more money)," they should try to manage their budgets more effectively.
Fewer lawyers and more empathetic and caring social workers are the answer.
Source: Hamilton Spectator
Addendum: Hamilton CAS executive director Dominic Verticchio replies. Remember that when he mentions "support" for families, that means surrounding the home with police to take the children. Unless they can take the shortcut of picking them up in school.
Criticism of CAS not merited
Children's Aid Society of Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator
(Oct 20, 2009)
Re: 'CAS spends too much on litigation' (Letters, Oct. 16)
The writer's criticism of the legal aspects of the work of our community's two child-welfare agencies, implying we have an aggressive and inflexible approach resulting in significant, perhaps unnecessary, litigation, is unmerited.
Ontario's child-welfare system has had major changes since 2006. Many people have limited understanding of the CAS's role in preventing circumstances requiring the protection of children. This is a statutory function, and is crucial to help keep families together.
The new model aims to provide safe, stable, family-centred options by keeping children safe with biological and kin families, finding adoptive families when necessary. Staff members spend more time with families and partners to develop plans. The model also requires use of alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation, family group conferences and all-party meetings, before court processes. Where a family's counsel supports these approaches, positive progress can be made and court proceedings are often avoided.
Locally, our society has advocated with the ministry to support families receiving assistance through legal aid to provide access to mediation. And we have directed funding to the development of family group conferencing at Catholic Family Services.
Children's Aid Societies are now beginning to experience the anticipated outcomes of the government's reform agenda, but funding cutbacks threaten to destabilize the improvements.
At Hamilton CAS, we remain committed to managing the use of our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible. That said, we will continue to work with our provincial association to lobby for the resources needed to carry out mandated services for children and families in our community.
Source: Hamilton Spectator
Dad Harbors Runaway Daughter
October 17, 2009 permalink
An unnamed Scottish man allowed social services to care for his teenaged daughter when he feared a criminal charge would prevent him from caring for her himself. He got no jail time from the court, but could not get his daughter back. She has run away several times to return to her father. The father has little choice but to defy court orders and harbor his his daughter. Turning her away could lead to her death.
Dad court battle over fears daughter will kill herself in care home trauma
By Paul Thornton
A DAD who fears his suicidal daughter could try and kill herself has been dragged to court three times for taking in his distraught child after she fled the residential care home looking after her.
The 38-year-old man, who raised his 15-year-old daughter alone, was arrested for a third time by Lothian and Borders Police after he let his daughter sleep on his sofa when she turned up at the door.
The man said that his daughter would turn-up at his home in the early hours of the morning crying and begging him to let her stay.
He said that he had previously turned her away from his house but the decision “broke his heart” and caused her to attempt suicide.
The youngster told him she “hated” the West Lothian care home where she was being kept and said that if he did not allow her to stay with him she would run away herself.
But – after social workers realised the girl was missing again – police went to her dad’s home where they found her.
Her dad – who cannot be named for fear of identifying his daughter – was arrested for “harbouring” the runaway child at an address in Whitburn.
At Livingston Sheriff Court on Thursday he admitted harbouring a child who had absconded from a care home.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching a court order that he had no contact with his daughter which had been imposed after she had been caught at his home on a previous occasion.
Fiscal depute Julia McLaren had earlier told the court: “The accused daughter is currently in care, on the 13th of October this year at about 4.20am police officers attended his home address.
“The accused allowed police officers to conduct a search of the premises and his daughter was found there.
“The accused was arrested.”
Following the hearing the man – who is also a full-time carer for his elderly mother – said he regretted allowing social workers to take the girl into care.
And he insists that he was put in “an impossible” situation by social workers who refused to return his daughter to him.
He said: “It was only meant to be a support network because I was worried I was going to be remanded but after I was not held in custody the social services kept her with foster parents.
“She was never in any trouble at all and it wasn’t a children’s hearing that referred her to care – it was just me and her and we were worried there was no one else to take care of her.
“But she has got in with troubled people in the unit and they are not the best people for her to be with. She hates it there.
“She keeps coming back to me, I have turned her away before but it breaks my heart to do that and she thinks it means I am letting her down.
“One time after I turned her away I spent three days at her bedside in hospital because she tried to take an overdose.
“The worry and upset of being in there has started her self-harming now too – I am worried sick about her.
“The social work have just got a grip of this and seem to be running with it – even their reports say that my daughter and I have a good relationship.”
The dad said he has had full custody of his daughter since 1994 and her mother has never been involved in her life.
He said he hopes to be reunited with his daughter as soon as possible but believes she may be kept in care until she turns 16 next year.
He added: “If I had known it would have been like this I would never have signed that form – it is one of the biggest regrets of my life.”
She was originally placed in foster care after her dad faced a possible jail sentence for a breach of the peace in 2008 and it was feared there would be no-one to look after her.
Although he was eventually hit with community service, his daughter was never returned to him – despite there being no suggestion that he is an unfit parent.
The ban on seeing his daughter was actually lifted after his latest court appearance and – according to his lawyer – prosecutors are ready to drop the two earlier charges of harbouring her.
Defending, Andrew Aitken said: “Both the matters for which he is on bail are analogous in nature.
“The Crown have indicated that they are not proceeding further in those cases.
“She kept turning up at his house late at night refusing to go back to the home where she was staying. His liability is allowing her to come in and sleep on his sofa.”
Mr Aitken added that social workers were now looking to move the girl to a home in Perthshire to discourage further absconding.
He added: “A father is put in a very difficult position when his 15-year-old daughter appears at his door upset and crying in the hours of darkness and his choice is to turn her away or alert the authorities.”
Source: Deadline Scotland
Grinch Steals Christmas
October 16, 2009 permalink
Three men have been arrested for selling toys donated to needy children. Now what kind of miser would think of a thing like that? Oh, we almost forgot. The childrens's aid society, of course.
Three toronto men charged in stolen toys investigation
Frances Lee, Global News: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Three Toronto men have been arrested in connection with the theft of a truckload of toys meant for needy children. 31-year old Jason Carrine and 27-year old Wayne Kenny are scheduled to make their first appearance in a Toronto court thursday and are facing a number of charges, including possession of property obtained by crime. Police say there are two suspects still outstanding.
The truck went missing on Saturday September 26th and it was found Friday October 9th in the area of Brimley Road and Eglinton Avenue East with half of its cargo missing.
Working on a tip, police discovered the toys were being sold out of an apartment near Weston Road and highway 401. They executed a search warrant on Wednesday and found the two suspects along with a quantity of toys.
The toys had originally been collected for the Toys for Tots program run by both Peel Police and the Salvation Army. At this time, there are still a number of toys missing and police are asking for anyone with information to come forward so the toys can be returned to the Toys for Tots program.
You can contact police at 416-808-2300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).
Source: Global TV
October 15, 2009 permalink
A Lanark mother who lost her daughter is organizing for reform of children's aid.
Woman pushes for CAS reform
Organization needs to be more accountable and provide supports and counselling, says Lanark Highlands woman
The children’s aid society should be a resource to help keep families together, not tear them apart, says a Lanark Highlands Township mother whose child was removed from her home.
Sarah, who asked to keep her last name private due to domestic violence issues with a former partner, is starting an advocacy group called Families Apart in Lanark, which she says will promote fairness and accountability of the Children’s Aid Society of the County of Lanark and the Town of Smiths Falls, an organization she called “authoritative and impulsive.”
Sarah said she feels the CAS has too much power and little accountability, since the Ontario Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction to oversee children’s aid societies.
“They take your children away on allegations,” she said. “In my mind, it is a clear violation of Charter rights. “It has a disastrous effect on the family unit,” she said.
Families Apart in Lanark could be the groundwork for a forum where people can access a support network outside of the CAS, Sarah said. A mentorship program is another dream; Sarah envisions
partnerships where young mothers could pair up with experienced parents to share skills.
“That is empowerment,” she said.
She plans to launch a website soon, and is considering charging a small fee for membership that would be used to establish a legal fund to help families pay for lawyers to represent them in child protection court.
Suzanne Geoffrion, the executive director of the Lanark children’s aid society, said, “I couldn’t agree with her more that the most harmful thing is separating a family,” adding that the safety of each child is the CAS’s top priority.
Sarah said CAS workers removed her eight-year-old daughter from her home in June due to what CAS workers deemed an unsafe environment created by Sarah’s ex-partner. The daughter is now living with Sarah’s parents. Sarah said the CAS removed her child without any attempt to offer counseling or resources to help her keep her family together and encourage strong parenting skills.
Margo Bell, the community outreach co-ordinator for the Lanark children’s aid society, said the organization offers a lot of supportive programs for families and works to connect parents with other organizations and service agencies that can help families, such as the Ontario Early Years Centre, Tri- County Addiction Services and the health unit. Bell said she “would find it surprising” that a client wasn’t directed toward resources that would help her keep her child.
Geoffrion said the CAS operates under strict conditions, including a Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrum that is very clear in how child protection workers determine how serious a situation is. Information gathered in a child welfare case needs to stand up to the scrutiny of child protection court. If a worker feels a child is unsafe in his or her home, a team including a manager and a supervisor meet to discuss the case before the child can be removed from the home.
Sarah’s daughter’s case is just one occurrence in a long history of mishandled child welfare cases she has been involved with, Sarah said. She was the sole care provider for her ex-partner’s children when he was unable to care for them, even though the CAS deemed her unfit to supervise her own children, she said. She said the CAS provided documents containing her address to her ex partner, whom she had a restraining order against. Sarah said she has initiated most of her contact with the CAS, because she has approached the organization for help several times while dealing with a stepson who abused her daughter. She has 16 incidences on her case file, and while she said nine or 10 of them are times she requested assistance from the CAS, the number of incidences – not the reason behind each call – is being held against her in her current situation with her daughter.
“I contacted them for advocacy and they backstabbed me,” she said. “I have been ignored by the CAS ... why did they let me slip through the cracks?”
The local CAS served 450 families in 2006/07, with 140 children in care. It received 706 calls that required no investigation and 520 cases were closed because no further protection was needed. Forty full-time child protection workers work an average of 20 open files at a time, Geoffrion said, which is close to the provincial average.
Oversight for children’ aid societies lies with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, which is responsible for conducting Crown ward reviews, service and financial reviews, licensing foster care and residential programs and reviewing fatality and serious incidence reports. In all other provinces but Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, the ombudsman can review child welfare agencies, a point of contention that was highlighted in a June report delivered by Ontario Ombudsman, Andre Marin. In reference to the MUSH sector (municipalities, universities, school boards, hospitals and long-term care homes, children’s aid societies, and police), he stated: “Ontario continues to lag far behind other provinces in allowing Ombudsman oversight of these areas, which consume the bulk of government spending.”
In June of 2008, Queen’s Park heard the first reading of a private member’s bill (Bill 93) tabled by Hamilton East MPP Andrea Horwath. The bill aims to allow the ombudsman to investigate children’s aid societies.
CAS records are not available to the public, since they are private corporations, and most information is kept strictly confidential to protect children’s safety and privacy, Geoffrion said.
"Unfortunately it hides our work,” she said. “It mystifies it a bit.”
Sarah sees it another way. She says the tight privacy controls are a way for the CAS to hide its operations from public scrutiny.
“Why are they hiding?” she asked. “They are putting it under the guise of the rights of the child ... abusers use fear and secrets, and it’s the same thing the CAS uses.”
The Child and Family Services Act, which governs children’s aid societies, requires that each children’s aid society has a complaint procedure to allow clients to express concerns.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about Families Apart in Lanark, contact Sarah through Rev. Shirley Abrahamse Bradley at 613-267- 4652, or by calling 613-257-1215.
Source: Smiths Falls This Week
No Evidence Yet
October 15, 2009 permalink
Immigrant parents Ashiqur Rahman and Jane Elizabeth Gomes have been in a Nova Scotia jail since August 24, three days before their infant daughter Aurora Breakthrough died. Prosecutors are delaying the case, hoping to get evidence from a still unfinished autopsy.
More delays in case of Halifax couple charged in baby girl's death
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter
A Halifax couple accused of assaulting their infant daughter, who died later in hospital, have had their case adjourned again.
Ashiqur Rahman and Jane Elizabeth Gomes, both 23, made a brief appearance today in Halifax provincial court. Both are charged with aggravated assault.
Legal aid lawyer Peter Mancini, who is representing Ms. Gomes, asked that the couple's election and plea be adjourned until Nov. 16.
Mr. Rahman and Ms. Gomes were arrested July 24 and charged with aggravated assault after staff at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax reported a serious case of child abuse.
Paramedics had gone to the couple's Gottingen Street apartment the night before in response to a call about a seven-week-old baby.
The infant, Aurora Breakthrough, died July 27.
The charges against the couple - former Acadia University computer science students originally from Bangladesh - could be upgraded, but the Crown is still waiting for the autopsy report.
They remain in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth.
Mr. Mancini said his client is holding up as well as can be expected.
“It's a frustrating process because it takes so long,” the lawyer said outside court. “But she's coping well.”
The Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission has arranged to have Dartmouth lawyer Don Murray represent Mr. Rahman.
Source: Halifax Herald
Addendum: Still no evidence in November. While the mother may get bail next month, the father's student visa has expired and he cannot be released, even if granted bail.
Last updated at 10:53 PM on 16/11/09
N.S. mother charged with assault of baby, who later died, to seek bail print this article
THE CANADIAN PRESS
HALIFAX — A young mother charged with the aggravated assault of her now-dead infant wants to apply for bail.
Jane Elizabeth Gomes and her partner Ashiqur Rahman, both 23, were arrested on July 24, a day after paramedics rushed to the couple’s apartment in response to a call about their seven-month-old daughter.
Rahman is also charged with aggravated assault of the baby, who died on July 27.
Both Gomes and Rahman were in Halifax provincial court on Monday, but their case was adjourned to Dec. 14 because the Crown and defence are still awaiting an autopsy report.
Gomes’ lawyer, Peter Mancini, requested that time be scheduled on Dec. 14 for Gomes to have a bail hearing.
Charges against the couple, former Acadia University computer science students originally from Bangladesh, could be changed, depending on the results from the autopsy report expected later this month.
Outside of court, Rahman’s lawyer, Don Murray, explained that there is little point of trying to get his client out of jail. Rahman was in the country on a now-expired student visa.
Even if a court could be persuaded to release Rahman, Canada Border Services would just pick him up and put him back into detention, Murray said.
Source: The News (Pictou County)
Addendum: The parents have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors are still waiting for the medical examiner's report.
Couple charged in infant's death plead not guilty
MONIQUE MUISE, METRO HALIFAX, December 15, 2009 12:35 a.m.
The young Halifax couple accused of seriously injuring their newborn baby pleaded not guilty to charges in a Halifax provincial courtroom yesterday.
After an endless string of legal delays, Ashiqur Rahman and Jane Gomes, both 23, entered their pleas and were ordered to return to court on Dec. 22 to set a date for trial. Gomes had also been scheduled for a bail hearing, but it was put off until her next appearance.
The couple, originally from Bangladesh and staying in Canada on student visas, sat nearly motionless on the defendant’s bench and displayed little outward emotion during their brief, joint appearance.
Both were arrested and charged with aggravated assault after their seven-week-old baby girl, Aurora Breakthough, died on July 27. The child had been admitted to the IWK Health Centre four days earlier after her parents called 9-1-1 from their apartment on Gottingen St. to report that she had been seriously injured.
According to Crown prosecutor Denise Smith, a medical examiner’s report on the cause of death is expected soon, and it is likely the charges against Rahman and Gomes could be upgraded depending on the results. Smith said if the charges do change, the couple will be tried separately.
Since the case first came before the courts, defence lawyers have repeatedly asked for more time to look over the evidence – resulting in six separate court dates since July.
For now, both Rahman and Gomes will remain in custody at the Burnside jail, where they are forbidden from having any contact with each other.
Source: Metro News
Addendum: More delays.
Baby assault case pushed back again
MONIQUE MUISE, METRO HALIFAX, January 21, 2010 12:00 a.m.
The court case of a young Halifax couple accused of seriously injuring their infant daughter has been delayed yet again.
Jane Gomes and Ashiqur Rahman were originally scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court yesterday morning for a pre-trial conference, but their defence attorneys asked that it be postponed until Jan. 27.
Gomes and Rahman, both originally from Bangladesh, were arrested in Halifax July 23 after their seven-week-old daughter, Aurora Breakthrough, was sent to the IWK Health Centre with serious injuries. She died four days later.
Her parents are each facing one count of aggravated assault.
The case has been postponed several times. A medical examiner’s report was scheduled to be completed earlier this month, and Crown prosecutor Denise Smith has maintained throughout the proceedings that the charges against the couple could change based on the examiner’s findings.
If the charges are upgraded, the couple will most likely be tried separately.
Source: Metro News
Addendum: Finally, at least a charge.
Couple appears in court in baby death
A Halifax couple charged with manslaughter in the death of their seven-week-old daughter will face preliminary inquiries in April.
Jane Gomes, 23, and Ashiqur Rahman, 24, appeared in Halifax provincial court on Wednesday, where their lawyers said the parents have elected to be tried in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Rahman will appear in court on April 19 and Gomes will appear on April 26. The preliminary inquiries on those dates will be used to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial in Supreme Court.
Outside court, Rahman's lawyer Don Murray said his client will "vigorously contest" the charges.
They were charged in July with aggravated assault in the death of their daughter, Aurora Breakthrough. They have both pleaded not guilty to those charges.
On Tuesday, Halifax Regional Police laid additional charges of manslaughter.
Gomes is charged with two counts of manslaughter in the infant's death, one for failing to provide the necessities of life and the other for criminal negligence resulting in the death of the baby.
Rahman is charged with one count of manslaughter.
The couple was arrested July 24 after staff at the IWK Health Centre — where the baby was transported with serious injuries — reported a suspected case of child abuse. The infant died on July 27.
With files from The Canadian Press
Addendum: Mother Jane Elizabeth Gomes has been released from jail so she can testify against her husband.
Mom pleads guilty to lesser charge in baby death
Gomes admits failing to provide necessities of life, will testify against former partner
A Bangladeshi woman originally charged with two counts of manslaughter in her infant daughter's death has worked out a plea bargain with the Crown.
Jane Elizabeth Gomes, 23, pleaded guilty this afternoon in Halifax provincial court to a less serious charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for her daughter, Aurora Breakthrough.
In exchange, she will testify against her former partner, Ashiqur Rahman, if he goes to trial on a charge of manslaughter.
Aurora died at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax last July 27, four days after paramedics took her to the hospital in critical condition. She was seven weeks old.
Gomes had elected to be tried by a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge and jury on the two manslaughter charges. The Crown was alleging that she committed manslaughter in one of two ways – either by failing to provide the necessities of life or by being criminally negligent.
Her preliminary inquiry on the manslaughter counts was supposed to begin today in front of Judge Jamie Campbell, but she instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
Prosecutor Denise Smith withdrew the manslaughter charges and said she wouldn't be offering any evidence on a count of aggravated assault, which was then dismissed by the judge.
The Crown consented to Gomes's release on a $2,000 recognizance, with a retired Baptist minister acting as her surety.
Gomes, who was in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth for nine months, must live at an address on Summer Street in Wolfville.
The judge also ordered her to have no contact with Rahman, remain in Nova Scotia and deposit her passport with Halifax Regional Police.
Gomes, who is being represented by Peter Mancini of Nova Scotia Legal Aid, will be sentenced May 26. The maximum penalty for the offence is five years in prison.
Lawyers for the Crown and defence will have a joint sentencing recommendation to put before the judge but wouldn't reveal it outside court today.
Rahman, 24, also from Bangladesh, is charged with manslaughter for allegedly causing his daughter's death.
He has elected trial by a Supreme Court judge alone. His preliminary inquiry got underway in provincial court last week. Judge Anne Derrick heard from eight witnesses before adjourning the hearing until May 31 for final arguments.
Evidence from Rahman's inquiry is banned from publication. He remains in custody at the Dartmouth jail.
Gomes and Rahman studied computer science at Acadia University in Wolfville before moving to Halifax.
Paramedics rushed to the couple’s apartment on Gottingen Street last July 23 in response to a call about an infant in distress. The parents were arrested July 24 and charged with aggravated assault.
Police laid the manslaughter charges last month after receiving the final autopsy report from the Medical Examiner's Office.
Source: Halifax Herald
A vicious killer? Not this woman. She has a support group in Halifax.
Dead baby’s mother may face deportation
Woman’s lawyer says she would be at risk if sent back to Bangladesh
A Bangladeshi woman who faced charges in the death of her infant daughter could be deported after the baby’s father goes to trial for manslaughter in February.
Jane Elizabeth Gomes received a conditional discharge last May for failing to provide the necessities of life for seven-week-old Aurora Breakthrough. Gomes pleaded guilty to the charge, which was downgraded from manslaughter.
The Crown has asked her to testify at the manslaughter trial for her former partner, Ashiqur Rahman.
"So on the one hand we have the Department of Justice compelling her to remain in Canada (to testify)," immigration lawyer Lee Cohen said Monday. "And then today, Jane was issued with an exclusion order by the Canadian Border Services Agency. . . . So once that trial occurs, the exclusion order kicks in and she will then be obliged to leave Canada."
Cohen says Gomes fears she could be harmed in Bangladesh for having a child out of wedlock, for her role in her child’s death and for her estrangement from her former partner.
"All of these things are just culturally unacceptable in her home country," Cohen said. "There’s every reason to believe if she were able to return . . . this would create serious social problems for her."
Cohen said his client has told him her life could be in danger in the rural areas of Bangladesh, where she said some still practise honour killings to remove a perceived stain on the family’s reputation.
Gomes’s lawyer plans to look at whether he could file a claim for residency on humanitarian grounds or ask for refugee status.
A temporary publication ban on the facts of Gomes’s case will stay in place until the end of Rahman’s trial.
The pair were arrested July 24, 2009 after staff at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax reported a case of child abuse. The couple’s baby daughter had been rushed to hospital in critical condition the day before. She died July 27.
Judith Tod said she could not talk about the case’s specifics but she hoped that others would reserve judgement on the Bangladeshi woman Tod has taken into her home.
Tod and about 60 others in the Wolfville area rallied to support Gomes as the Canada Border Services Agency served her with the exclusion letter Monday at the local RCMP detachment.
Gomes met Tod soon after she was taken to jail in Dartmouth before her trial. The chaplain there listened to Gomes’s grief about her daughter’s death and told her she knew someone who might empathize with her, said Tod, who has an adult daughter and lost another child.
"So I know how hard that is," she said. "My daughter travelled a lot in her job and I thought, ‘What would happen if she was halfway around the world and got in trouble? Who would step up for her?’ So I just started praying for (Jane)."
Tod visited her frequently. When the young woman had nowhere to go after her release in May, Tod took her in. Slowly, the Wolfville woman introduced her to people in the community.
Gomes had been studying computer science at Acadia University before her arrest. Tod and more than a dozen others were able to raise enough money to cover the woman’s fall and winter tuition, because she is not allowed to work. The university also helped with a bursary, Tod said.
"She didn’t want to sit around doing nothing . . . so when people needed their computers fixed, Jane would volunteer. When they needed some help in the garden, she went," Tod said.
"So people that are standing on the sidelines throwing stones really ought to think twice about their lives and any mistakes they might have made in life, and whether they needed people throwing stones at them or whether they needed a hand up."
Source: Halifax Herald
Addendum: After three years, father Ashiqur Rahman is found guilty.
It took the police eight months to come up with a charge, they held both parents in jail until the mother agreed to change her story and testify against he father. At the trial you can be sure she knew she would go back to jail unless she gave the testimony prosecutors wanted. The defense lawyer relied on the absurd theory that a heart problem caused the broken bones. A more alert defense would have pointed to congenital conditions that make a baby prone to multiple fractures. There are solid grounds for skepticism in this case.
Rahman found guilty in baby daughter's death
A judge has found Ashiqur Rahman guilty of manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of his infant daughter in Halifax three years ago.
“I do not believe Mr. Rahman, nor does his evidence raise a reasonable doubt,” Justice Felix Cacchione said Friday afternoon.
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge accepted the Crown’s arguments that Rahman, a native of Bangladesh, shook, struck or slapped little Aurora Breakthrough on four separate occasions, causing significant injuries and eventually her death.
In a decision that took almost three hours to read, Cacchione said the offence was “particularly distasteful and cruel in nature.”
Rahman, 26, has been remanded in custody pending his sentencing Aug. 7.
Aurora’s mother, Jane Gomes, also from Bangladesh, testified at trial that Rahman was continually frustrated with Aurora’s crying and more interested in myriad Internet money-making ideas than in his daughter. His frustration with the child’s tears led to the assaults, she said.
Rahman denied that scenario in his testimony, saying he wasn’t really involved in the care of the girl at all and didn’t have the opportunity to harm her. His defence was that an undiagnosed medical condition in the baby could have led to cardiac arrest and her death.
Aurora was seven weeks old when her parents called 911 from their Gottingen Street rooming house in Halifax on July 23, 2009, because she was having trouble breathing. She died in hospital four days later after being declared brain-dead.
According to medical evidence at trial, the girl had 30 rib fractures in various stages of healing and had suffered broken bones in three of her four limbs. Her brain showed signs of new and old injuries, and the back of her brain had dead tissue that had liquefied. Her brain injuries were described at trial by a doctor as “devastating.”
Cacchione said Gomes’s evidence at trial was balanced, although she initially told police that Rahman hadn’t hurt the baby. The judge accepted that Gomes decided to tell the truth in a second statement to police after she found out about the autopsy results, and that she had lied before that because she loved Rahman and was worried he would be in trouble.
Cacchione said Rahman manipulated that love to persuade Gomes to leave Acadia University in Wolfville and come to Halifax with him. The couple had met at Acadia.
Gomes was getting money from her family for her education, and Rahman needed it to fund his series of failed Internet business ideas, the judge said.
Cacchione called Gomes “a naive young woman, living on her own for the first time in a foreign country. She was isolated, and Mr. Rahman further isolated her by preying on her love for him.”
The judge said Rahman was trying to manipulate the evidence when he testified and was argumentative during cross-examination.
“He argued, answered questions with his own questions, and appeared to be tailoring his evidence to conform with the evidence that was presented at trial,” Cacchione said.
The judge said he accepted that Rahman was more concerned with his business than with the child, and that he was frustrated with a number of things — his lack of business success, the financial predicament he and Gomes found themselves in, a bill from the hospital, the baby’s crying, and the fact that caring for Aurora took up much of Gomes’s time and she was no longer able to help him with his business ideas.
“The evidence satisfies me that Mr. Rahman had no bond with his child,” the judge said. “His focus was on his business, himself, and nothing else.”
While Rahman wore a suit or shirt and tie for most of his court appearances, on Friday he sported a T-shirt that said on both the front and back: Ashiqur Industries, Storm TV, Free Online.
Storm was the name in the window of an office space at the Cornwallis Inn in Kentville, where other tenants said Rahman seemed to be sleeping at night and made them uncomfortable when he looked at them.
He was out on bail at the time and was supposed to be staying at a home in Aldershot, just outside Kentville. Crown attorney Denise Smith said in court that he had not been doing so. She said Kentville police were asked to investigate the alleged breach, but that Rahman had been reporting to the RCMP regularly with a different address.
About a dozen supporters were in court with Gomes, who kept her eyes downcast throughout the afternoon and left without comment.
Defence lawyer Don Murray said his client is disappointed in the verdict.
“He still feels very strongly about the truth of what he had to say about his involvement about his daughter’s injury and death,” he said.
Murray said he didn’t think it was a mistake for Rahman to testify in his own defence.
“It’s unfortunate that the judge chose not to accept what he had to say,” the lawyer said.
Smith said the Crown “is very pleased with the verdict that was rendered today. We feel it was a just verdict, and we’re gratified to see reflection in the reasons for judgment of some of the evidence that we led.”
Source: Halifax Chronicle Herald
Unprotection from Spanking
October 15, 2009 permalink
Child protectors can remove a child from his parents on grounds of spanking. Then where does he go? In Illinois he can go to a hybrid case worker/foster parent who spanks the child. Really. The worker is Linda C Jones. Since she is protected by a union contract, it is hard to get rid of her.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Caseworker who neglected her children investigates child neglect for state
By Patrick Yeagle
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services continues to employ at least one caseworker found to have neglected her own foster children. Administrative rules calling for a review of the employee’s license to handle cases have apparently not been enforced.
In September 2008, Linda C. Jones of Springfield, an 11-year DCFS child welfare specialist and state-licensed foster care provider, was found by DCFS to have neglected three of the foster children in her care. As a caseworker, Jones investigates and evaluates accusations of child abuse and neglect against others.
The department’s investigation of Jones revealed that she regularly used corporal punishment as discipline with each of her children. Defined in court documents as “any type of physical punishment, discipline, or retaliation inflicted on any part of the body of the child,” corporal punishment is forbidden as a means of discipline for foster parents under DCFS rules.
Although the investigation found that none of the children in Jones’ care were seriously harmed and no criminal charges were filed against Jones, the investigation found Jones put the children “in an environment injurious to their health and welfare.”
The department decided to remove one of the children from Jones’ home, though the other two foster children remain under her care, according to court documents.
The Illinois comptroller’s office, which handles payment of state workers, confirmed that Jones continues to work at DCFS, more than a year after the department found her to have neglected the children.
The Illinois Administrative Code requires caseworkers to be licensed by the Direct Service Child Welfare Employee Licensing Board. Anyone with a finding of abuse or neglect against them – such as Jones – is ineligible to receive a license. Once an individual is licensed, however, the board is supposed to review such cases and decide whether to revoke the license.
DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said he could not reveal whether DCFS or the licensing board have taken any action in the Jones case because of privacy rules. Disciplinary measures taken by DCFS and the actions of the licensing board are confidential, Marlowe pointed out.
But a DCFS employee who asked not to be identified said the licensing board has yet to review Jones’ case. DCFS has reassigned Jones to a desk job where she no longer deals directly with children, the employee said.
“The ball was dropped in this case,” the employee said. “But it has been picked up, and things are on the right track now.”
The case also raises questions about a DCFS policy allowing caseworkers accused of neglect to stay on the job during their investigation.
When a caseworker is accused of abuse, they are normally put on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into their case, according to DCFS spokesman Jimmy Whitelow. However, caseworkers accused of neglect are usually allowed to continue handling cases during their investigation.
In other words, caseworkers accused of neglect can continue investigating accusations of neglect against others.
Dina Coates Koebler, executive director of The Parent Place in Springfield, declined to comment on the DCFS policy, but said she sees no difference between abuse and neglect when it comes to staffing her DCFS-funded agency.
“In my mind, abuse and neglect are the same thing,” she said. “Either you’re clean or you’re not, and either you can work for us or you can’t.”
Joe Goulet, executive director at the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center, said a volunteer found to have committed child abuse or neglect while working with his agency would be removed.
“We do not hire or accept as volunteers anyone with a finding of abuse or neglect,” Goulet said. But Marlowe said DCFS must observe union contract rules that govern discipline procedures, making the decision of whether to fire a worker more complex.
“The collective bargaining agreement governs employee discipline and provides for a process of grievances and appeals,” Marlowe said. “The revocation of a license can be grounds for discharge.”
Contact Patrick Yeagle at email@example.com.
Source: Illinois Times
October 14, 2009 permalink
A Middletown New York family packed five kids and a family friend into their truck to visit another friend. Along the way they were attacked by a carjacker who slashed at the children with a knife. Father Michael Dayton grabbed the carjacker to save his children while mother Barbara Nieves drove to the police station for help. Police thought Dayton was the criminal and pistol-whipped him, aggravating an earlier injury and freeing the carjacker to stab the youngest girl in the head. Local child protectors took all five children. Even a year later, father Dayton is forbidden to see his children except with his sister supervising. The family is now suing the police and child protectors. The lawyer for Middletown calls their story "extremely fanciful".
This is far from the first case of child protection harpies feeding on a family in distress. The mother had to plead guilty to something to get her children back. We predict no compensation for the family from its lawsuit.
Couple's suit makes slew of claims
Middletown asked to pay millions in damages
By Heather Yakin, Times Herald-Record, October 14, 2009 2:00 AM
MIDDLETOWN — The ordeal began with a carjacking, a fast, violent episode that started the night of Nov. 19, 2008, on Middletown's Linden Avenue.
Since then, the victims — Michael Dayton, Barbara Nieves and their five children — have been caught up in the web of Family Court and Child Protective Services.
"We weren't victimized just once," Nieves said. "We were victimized over and over again over the last year."
The couple has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, city police and the Department of Social Services, seeking millions in damages for negligence, false arrest, abuse of process and other claims.
Their lawyers, Stuart Shaw and Jennielena Rubino of New York City, said two of the kids were injured; the whole family was traumatized; and rough handling by cops worsened serious injuries Dayton suffered in a 2007 car accident that left him with a rod in one leg.
Middletown police filed a CPS report against Dayton, and Family Court brought a neglect complaint against Nieves.
Nieves has regained custody of the kids, but Dayton can't live with them, or see them unless his sister supervises.
"They gave these people a very tough time and kept them separate from their kids, which is horrendous," Shaw said.
The attack happened a few minutes before 10:45 p.m. on Linden Avenue. Dayton and Nieves say they were going to help a girl they knew; a male friend was riding in their truck. Nieves drove. They say Robert Pearson waved them over on the street. They knew him slightly; Nieves thought the girl had sent him, so she stopped.
But Pearson forced his way into the truck at knife-point. The male friend fled. Pearson slashed at the kids in the back seat — their three daughters, ages 2, 7 and 10, and two sons, ages 6 and 8 at the time. Dayton grappled with Pearson, trying to protect his kids.
Nieves, panicked, drove to the Middletown police station a few blocks away and screamed for help. Police ordered Dayton to let go of Pearson; Dayton told them to grab Pearson's arms. Dayton said a cop "pistol-whipped" him. Dazed, he let go, and Pearson stabbed the youngest girl in the head.
Dayton says police dragged him from the car, threw him to the ground and cuffed him. When police realized he was a victim and let Dayton up, he was bloody. The 10-year-old was stabbed under an arm, the 2-year-old in the head and leg.
"It was just like the Keystone Kops," Shaw said.
Pearson is doing eight years in prison for attempted robbery.
Middletown Corporation Counsel Alex Smith called the couple's and the suit's story "extremely fanciful."
"As soon as the police realized he was a victim, he was uncuffed," Smith said.
Police filed a CPS report as a matter of policy, because they felt the children were endangered — their parents were driving them late at night in a bad neighborhood, and stopped for a questionable character. Family Court found the complaint justified, Smith said; "the police didn't do anything wrong."
Orange County Attorney David Darwin declined to comment on the lawsuit except to say the county is preparing its response.
Nieves said she was forced to plead guilty to neglect in Family Court. "Any mother would plead guilty to anything as long as their kids were back home."
The kids have nightmares, Nieves said: about their father being beaten, about people breaking into the house.
Dayton is being treated for post-traumatic stress, and may need surgery for injuries to his neck and lower back.
Dayton said this isn't about money.
"I just wanted to let the public know what happened," he said. "I want my family back."
Source: Middletown Times Herald-Record
October 14, 2009 permalink
Dufferin children's aid executive director Trish Keachie has added her voice to the chorus of complaints over budget cuts    . It would be trivial for CAS to reduce its expenses by getting out of cases of unnecessary intervention. But that would require some serious management expertise, such as laying off staff and selling that monstrous palace used for offices for wasteful staff.
After participating in the process used to select the candidates before they get on the ballot, we can say that politicians depend on a loyal following of voters who have received monetary favors from them. People on the public payroll can be counted on to come out to nomination meetings. People who have had their children taken by CAS cannot. Dufferin MPP Sylvia Jones is giving her full support to increasing funding for children's aid.
Tuesday October 13 2009, By Adam Martin-Robbins
Unexpected provincial funding cuts have Dufferin Child and Family Services facing a $1.1 million budget shortfall — and that’s putting a strain on the local agency, says executive director Trish Keachie.
“It’s very serious for us and it’s very serious right across the province for many agencies,” said Keachie, noting 35 other Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) are also looking at deficits for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
“This is happening at a time when times are tough and caseloads are increasing.”
Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) provides a wide range of services including assisting abused and neglected children, facilitating foster care, as well as offering mental health and developmental support for kids and families.
One major factor driving the deficit is the years the Ministry of Children and Youth Services chose to use in calculating the current budget, said Keachie.
“We had a balanced budget last year ... we were anticipating no increase this year and figured we could live with that,” she said. “They use the volume and activity from a few years ago; the two years they’re using for budgeting were a little bit lower.”
That budgeting approach combined with an unanticipated 10 per cent cap on infrastructure spending — which includes maintenance, administration and human resources costs — has made it unlikely Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) can balance the books, she said.
“That 10 per cent cap has really affected our budget position,” she said. “It’s not an issue of mismanagement, we’re being impacted by changes we had no control over.”
The problem is exacerbated, she said, by reforms to the child welfare system made by the province about four years ago. The changes have helped reduce the number of children admitted into the care of Children’s Aid Societies and increased the number of adoptions, she said, but they’ve also been expensive to implement.
“We’re a pretty lean organization, there’s not a lot of room to manoeuvre,” said Keachie. “The bottom line is, for this agency, we cannot cut that funding in this fiscal year or we would not be able to meet our child protection obligations,” she said.
DCAFS, along with 35 other agencies including Halton, Peel, Simcoe and Wellington, has applied for a Section 14 Review, to see if their budget allocations will be reconsidered.
In the past, Queen’s Park has “mitigated” deficits at the end of the year, said Keachie, but all indications are that’s not going to happen.
“The government is saying, repeatedly, there’s no more funding to come this year,” said Keachie. “We’re looking at a line of credit, which is a very serious decision for a board to make.”
Ministry officials did not respond to a request for comment by press time Friday morning.
Dufferin-Caledon Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones has taken up the agency’s cause.
Last week, she called on the Liberal government to address the concerns being raised by agencies across the province.
“There has never before been so many Children’s Aid Societies who are in crisis,” she said in a news release.
“They have legislated responsibility to provide front-line care for the most vulnerable children in this province. Cutting their budgets will inevitably mean a reduction in services for at-risk children.”
Keachie says DCAFS will do everything in its power to try to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“We want to be very clear. Our commitment is first and foremost to the children we serve — we have no intention of reducing services.”
Source: Orangeville Banner
Addendum: Add Jeanette Lewis to the crybaby list.
Ontario's most vulnerable children to be affected by government cut-backs
Children's Aid Societies receive less funding to provide services to children
TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - Ontario's most vulnerable children and families, served by their local Children's Aid Societies (CASs), will experience the impact of funding cuts this fiscal year, unless the government honours its commitment to fund mandated services.
Under the Child and Family Services Act, Ontario's Children's Aid Societies have a unique mandate to protect children; investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect; provide guidance, care, prevention and adoption services.
Forty-nine CASs face overall funding shortfalls of $67 million, greatly affecting their capacity to deliver the services required by legislation. In addition to historic shortfalls not fully covered by the Province, child protection services are receiving $23 million less than last year but are expected to deliver the same level of mandated service. CASs have a statutory obligation to protect children and cannot waitlist or ration services when the government does not fulfill its statutory obligations.
CASs face shortfalls of up to 30% of costs. The agencies most severely affected include:
- York Region Children's Aid Society $7.3 million (16.2%)
- Children's Aid Society of Simcoe County $5.2 million (13%)
- London-Middlesex Children's Aid Society $3.9 million (6%)
- Durham Children's Aid Society $3.9 million (5.2%)
- Tikinagan Children & Family Services $3.9 million (9.2%)
- Payukotayno James & Hudson Bay Family Services $3.7 million (30.4%)
- Niagara Family and Children's Services $2.9 million (7.3%)
- Dilico Anishinabek Family Care $2.7 million (10%)
- Algoma Children's Aid Society $2.6 million (11.5%)
- Family & Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington County $2.1 million (10%)
- Native Child and Family Services of Toronto $1.5 million (9.5%)
Agencies in northern Ontario have received some of the largest cutbacks and are facing a collective shortfall of $16.9 million. Three agencies serving First Nations and Aboriginal communities in the north (Tikinagan, Dilico and Payukotano) face shortfalls of 9 to 30% of their budget. These agencies work with the most high-risk, challenged communities in Ontario and are being forced to limit services due to funding cut-backs.
In all areas of the province, agencies are contemplating cuts to core services including abuse prevention programs; programs to strengthen families; counselling services for families in crisis; court-ordered visits to children in foster and residential care; and collaborative programs with community partners to help families before they are in crisis.
Without sufficient funding, government is forcing CASs to break the rules for child abuse investigation and protection. For example, CASs will have difficulty responding to high-risk child abuse allegations within the mandated timelines; CASs will not be able to meet minimum mandatory standards of seeing children every month; case workers will be assessing the safety and well-being of children less frequently; children will not be able to visit their biological families as often since CASs will not be able to afford costs of court-ordered access visits.
"The government has said there is no more money for child welfare but services to protect children from abuse are not optional or subject to arbitrary reductions," said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS). "According to the Child and Family Services Act, CASs must deliver child protection services, on behalf of the Government of Ontario, to vulnerable children and their families. Many agencies have gone into debt to pay for investigations, residential care, support and counseling for children. Boards should not have to use credit to deliver the government's services."
This year, many child welfare agencies have experienced increased child protection caseloads as families struggle with the current economic crisis, high levels of unemployment and increased reliance on Ontario Works. Child welfare agencies are required to provide services to children in need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Some agencies report that by November they will not have the funds necessary to provide services to investigate abuse and neglect to children. . Other agencies will run out of money in January 2010.
"The government has made a choice to put vulnerable children at risk during a recession. People are losing jobs, and this means families are losing their homes and parents in high stress situations are unable to provide for their children, yet child protection services are cut," said Lewis.
The issue here is two-fold; there is insufficient funding for child protection services, and the complex funding model, used by the government to fund CASs, does not work equally across all parts of the province.
"The funding cut-backs threaten to destabilize the improvements we have made to child protection services and better outcomes for children and families we have achieved over the last few years," said Lewis. "Boards of Directors and management are put in the position of having to compromise service to meet budget requirements. As the voice of child welfare, OACAS takes the position that the safety of children is not negotiable."
For more information, visit www.oacas.org.
For further information: Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Director of Communications, (416) 987-9648, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oacas.org; OR Contact your local CAS, Listing: www.oacas.org/childwelfare/locate.htm
ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETIES
Source: Canada News Wire
Chris Klicka R.I.P.
October 13, 2009 permalink
Chris Klicka, legal counsel for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (US) passed away yesterday. For tributes, follow the source link after expanding the obituary below.
A longtime champion of homeschooling rights around the globe, Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel and Director of State and International Relations Christopher J. Klicka was called home by his Lord on October 12, 2009, at age 48, following a 15-year battle with multiple sclerosis. An attorney, spokesman, lobbyist, and homeschooling husband and father, Chris is survived by his wife, Tracy, their seven children (ages 11–21), and his parents, Ardath and George Klicka.
“Chris was both a people person and a goal person. He cared deeply about people, but was also driven to always do more!” says HSLDA President J. Michael Smith. “He was the most determined person I ever met in my life. Even with all the things he accomplished every day at HSLDA, he continually wanted to tackle new challenges and serve homeschoolers in more and better ways. He was so focused on the homeschooling world, but he was also very much focused on his family and dedicated to raising his children.”
An integral part of Home School Legal Defense Association’s staff for 24 years, Chris was HSLDA’s first full-time employee, first executive director, and first full-time attorney. He believed passionately that homeschooling was the best educational method for children and demonstrated that passion in every area of his life.
Chris and Tracy homeschooled all seven of their children. He traveled across the United States (and around the world) defending families’ right to homeschool and advocating homeschooling. He participated in countless radio interviews on homeschooling issues. He wrote five books on homeschooling, penned numerous articles, and had two more books in progress when he passed away. He lobbied state legislators, U.S. senators, and foreign diplomats to support homeschooling. He sought greater freedom for homeschooling parents and students in every area—from local school districts to sports associations, college admissions departments, and military recruitment requirements. He sought to educate the educators, truant officers, policemen, judges, and even social workers about the benefits and legality of homeschooling.
Even deeper than his passion for homeschooling was his deep love for his Lord. We may never know how many people Chris inspired to homeschool or continue homeschooling, or how many people he inspired to draw near to his Lord.
“Chris’s accomplishments as a lawyer for homeschooling are clear and of value that cannot be overstated. He was one of the most important pioneers of our movement,” says HSLDA Chairman Mike Farris. “He believed that this truly is God’s way to teach children to love God. He believed it deeply. His conviction was infectious. He was a man of single-hearted devotion that I have never, ever seen equaled. The passion that Chris felt for the mission to which God called him never, ever, ever, ever dimmed, even slightly.”
HSLDA deeply appreciates and honors Chris’s life and his dedicated contribution to our organization and to homeschooling. Our staff will miss him more than we can express, and we are praying with and for his family. The homeschooling movement has lost one of its greatest advocates and friends, but Chris leaves an incredible legacy of freedom and awareness of homeschooling to the thousands of homeschooled students whose parents have made The Right Choice.
”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.“ II Timothy 4:7-8
”Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.“ Revelation 2:10
Source: Home School Legal Defense Association
October 12, 2009 permalink
After a Moores Mills New Brunswick couple lost one child to foster care, mother Sarah Marie Russell gave birth to a baby boy in January 2009. The boy was killed and the body was concealed. The boy's father Rodney Stuart Miller has pleaded guilty to stabbing the boy to death, and the mother is facing manslaughter charges. The loss of the earlier child is conveniently omitted in the press, but easily found on the web.
The ghouls who feed off of dead children for money and power are hard at work in this case. They are proposing a new pregnancy police to intervene in the lives of women.
N.B. studies newborn rights
Published Saturday October 10th, 2009
Province to wade into legal issue of protecting unborn babies from at-risk mothers
FREDERICTON - The provincial government says it will study how far it can legally go if there are fears a pregnant woman might harm her newborn baby after birth.
Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock said he'll consider a recommendation made by Bernard Richard, New Brunswick's Child and Youth Advocate, calling for legislation to give superior courts any "necessary jurisdiction" they need to protect unborn children from serious harm or death "in appropriate circumstances."
Lamrock responded yesterday to separate sets of recommendations issued by the Child Death Review Committee and the office of the Child and Youth Advocate.
The sole recommendation from the Child Death Review Committee -- to develop an intervention policy when it's believed a pregnant woman might harm a newborn baby -- came after the death of a child in the province within the last year whose parents were known to authorities.
The province is refusing to confirm details of the death.
Richard and his staff drafted their own set of recommendations to correspond, and also get government reaction.
All the recommendations come in the wake of newborn babies who were either abandoned or murdered in New Brunswick -- four known cases since 2007.
Lamrock said the recommendation of drafting legislation to protect unborn children from pregnant mothers who risk doing harm was sensitive, as it includes legal and human rights issues.
"This will not be easy work," he said yesterday. "I haven't agreed to anything yet.
"This is a tough ethical issue. If there's somebody who's claiming to have it all figured out, it isn't me."
Lamrock said the province's attorney general has been asked to assist in going forward and addressing the recommendation.
Just last week, a 27-year-old man from the St. Stephen area, Rodney Miller, plead guilty to the first-degree murder of his newborn son last January. Miller admitted that he stabbed his son in the heart. The baby's 19-year-old mother, Sarah Russell, is facing trial for manslaughter in November.
Lamrock made reference to the testimony of a social worker in that case, saying it was "understandably insufficient" for people to be in a situation where they feel strongly that something negative might happen to newborn and be powerless to do anything.
During Miller's case, a social worker testified that Russell was "getting bigger and bigger," late last summer, but the mother continuously denied she was pregnant.
The social worker notified local hospitals to be on alert for the couple and even sought legal advice on whether the mother could be forced into taking a pregnancy test, as well as being taken into supervised care. The legal advice came back saying that a forced pregnancy test and forced supervised care weren't allowed.
Richard said the social worker's testimony in the trial demonstrated why his office made the recommendation.
"She really felt she was limited in what she could do," he said. "To me, that's not acceptable. If there's a bona fide, clear danger to a baby being born or close to being born at term, then there should be another tool available.
"That's why we've recommended legislation."
The New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women said they have concerns with the recommendation legislation.
"It's problematic, we'd say clearly," said Wendy Johnston, policy and liaison officer for the advisory council. "It could mean that we would be allowing social workers and health-care professionals to become, if you will, a kind of police of pregnancy."
Johnston said the advisory council supported initiatives fostering awareness and education on family planning and contraception, to avoid such tragedies from happening.
Other recommendations made by Richard include working with the Department of Education to set up firm curriculum dealing with family planning issues, contraception, the dangers of a lack of prenatal care and baby abandonment as well as the identification and treatment of pregnancy denial.
Richard said drafting legislation to protect unborn children from pregnant woman who may do harm would be the last step taken to protect a newborn.
There is legal precedent in Canada regarding how much control the state has over a pregnant woman whose actions might pose a risk to a newborn baby.
In 1997, a landmark Supreme Court decision ruled that pregnant women who were addicts couldn't be forced to participate in treatment, regardless of whether their addictions threatened the well-being of a newborn.
The ruling was based on the case of a glue-sniffing pregnant Winnipeg woman who was ordered to undergo treatment by social services. The Supreme Court ruled that no state organization could force pregnant women to undergo treatment because it infringed on their rights.
Richard said the Supreme Court decision left the door open for provinces to create their own legislation if they wanted something "more robust."
"It's a tough issue but it's one that deserves some leadership and I'm hoping that will lead the way."
Lamrock extended an offer to the Progressive Conservatives to also be part of the discussion.
Jack Carr, Tory critic for the Office of the Ombudsman, said he expected to meet with Lamrock before the end of the month to talk about the recommendations. He said he favoured giving more power to social workers in such cases, but said the specifics of how to go about that needed to be considered carefully.
Carr said the Tories' safe-haven legislation would be the first concrete step in addressing the province's recent history of newborn murders and abandonment.
The law would allow desperate parents to take their newborn infant to a hospital ER, or any other designated area, up to 72 hours after a baby is born, without having any fear of prosecution so long as there was no sign of abuse or neglect.
"We expect the government to support us on that at the law amendments committee and we can bring that forward to the legislature when it sits in the upcoming session," he said.
Source: Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial Support for Children's Aid
October 12, 2009 permalink
Children's aid societies are the greatest danger to the welfare of Ontario's children. Of the parents who have reported their cases to Dufferin VOCA, only about one in 50 have a case where the child benefited from CAS intervention. It is a biased sample, but CAS secrecy ensures that no unbiased data is available from official sources. Unofficial sources show that less than half of children graduating from long-term foster care become well-functioning adults (see also McVicar), and the death rate of children in care of CAS is seventeen times that of children in parental care (or only ten times if you accept the OACAS correction of the numbers). High levels of abuse in foster care are an inevitable consequence of the Cinderella effect.
The recent economic crisis has compelled the government to trim funding for Ontario's children's aid societies. This is the first measure in a decade to improve the condition of children. So what is the political reaction? Leaders of both opposition parties have criticized the reductions, for example Andrea Horwath and Howard Hampton (NDP) or Sylvia Jones (PC). Yesterday the voice of political correctness, the Toronto Star, published an editorial criticizing the cuts, taking the view that more money for children's aid will improve the condition of the province's children. The rank and file readers are not fooled. Scanning the comments shows that most are not fans of children's aid.
A funding crisis at children's aid
October 11, 2009
Children's Aid Societies watch over and care for our most vulnerable children. So when they are warning us that they don't have enough money to do that job, we should all pay attention.
This year, 36 of 51 agencies have asked the province to review their government-allocated budgets. The provincial funding rules now include caps on administration costs and no option for end-of-year top-ups. This "threatens to undermine their capacity to protect children and to meet even the minimum standards," the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies warned Premier Dalton McGuinty in a letter last month.
But newly appointed Children's Minister Laurel Broten says no additional money is coming and agencies must "work within the budget they have."
CAS funding has nearly tripled over the last decade and now stands at $1.4 billion, so it is understandable why the government feels it has already done enough.
Are there efficiencies to be found? Perhaps. But costs have risen in large part due to major reforms mandated by the government, under both Progressive Conservative and Liberal rule. Both have demanded more of agencies and changed the way they operate.
Even opposition critic MPP Sylvia Jones, whose PC party generally accuses the government of overspending and failing to find efficiencies, thinks there is a problem here. Says Jones: "Change their mandate or give them more money."
Tragically, despite all the money that has been spent, we're still largely failing these vulnerable children. Crown wards are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to rely on social assistance as adults than children raised in stable families.
It is welcome, then, that the latest reforms appear to be helping to reduce the number of children coming into state care by giving better support to troubled families and by accelerating the movement of kids out of state care through adoptions. Ultimately, these initiatives should both improve the outcomes for children and reduce costs.
But it will be years before these results show up on the budget bottom line, and the CAS agencies are warning that the government belt-tightening now threatens to undermine this progress.
Accordingly, the challenge for government and the agencies is not just to take a hard look at what's driving up costs – regulations, the demands of the job or inefficiencies. They must also ensure that funding is clearly focused in ways that improve the lives of children.
This will happen, the government says, through a commission to "promote sustainability" in children's aid societies.
But the commission members have not even been chosen yet, let alone started their work. Already the government seems to have prejudged the outcome by forcing societies to do their job with less than they expected.
On a near daily basis, cabinet ministers talk about "tough decisions" they face due to the economic downturn. But CAS agencies have a statutory obligation to protect children. They can't just stop when their budget runs out. So what should they do?
The government has yet to provide a satisfying answer.
Source: Toronto Star
David Fights Goliath
October 11, 2009 permalink
When Carla Legates was pregnant, social workers told her to leave her husband or lose her child. She left her husband, but Oklahoma DHS took her baby anyway. With her new partner Ray Woodson she gave birth to two more babies, both taken shortly after birth. Both parents spent several months in jail on various charges. The new father fought back regaining custody of his two children in a jury trial. The couple is suing the state and the hospital for compensation. Lesson: If you live in a place that allows for jury trial in custody cases, you have some chance of slaying the child protection Goliath, even after they throw the proverbial book at you.
Published October 10, 2009 10:06 pm - Embattled father suing DHS, hospital over children's removal.
Father sues DHS, hospital following custody fight
Krystal J. Carman, Claremore Daily Progress, Oct. 11, 2009 —
A father who has been fighting for custody of his two children has won that right, and is now suing the county’s Department of Human Services and a local hospital.
Ray Woodson and his children’s mother Carla Legates have been battling DHS for nearly two years and now both mother and father have filed federal lawsuits against the state agency.
Their first child was removed in October 2007 at 2 months old. His sister was taken in August 2008 when she was only six hours old and still in the nursery at Claremore Regional Hospital.
Legates had been previously involved with DHS and the court system concerning custody of her first child who was only a few months old when he entered a foster home in 2005.
In May, Woodson won custody of the children after a 14-day jury trial, according to the filing. Now Woodson is claiming the state violated the HIPPA law and his civil rights.
The couple’s first child was born in Wichita, Kan., and was taken into custody Oct. 2, 2007, by Rogers County DHS after Legates returned for a court appearance concerning her first child and was asked where her newborn baby was located. She was arrested and placed in the county jail for not revealing the baby’s whereabouts and later charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice to which she pleaded guilty.
Authorities were able to learn where the baby and Woodson were located through recorded jail telephone conversations and subsequently seized the baby and took Woodson into custody for violating a child custody order. During court hearings throughout Woodson’s criminal case following his arrest, testimony revealed the child custody order was signed less than an hour before he was arrested. However, Woodson eventually pleaded guilty to the charge and spent several months in county jail.
During their battle for custody of their first child, Woodson and Legates gave birth to a second child in August 2008. But that child was taken into DHS custody straight from the hospital just six hours after birth. The state claimed the child was deprived, even though Woodson and Legates had not been given a chance to be parents to either of their children. In his filing, Woodson claims Claremore Regional Hospital violated the HIPPA law by providing medical information concerning his child to DHS.
The filing — which names Claremore Regional Hospital, DHS, Kila Bergdorff, Jessica Pruitt, Barbara Priest, Janie Vecsey, Kelly Gassaway-Oxford as defendants — states that even though there was a two-day adjudicatory hearing in December 2008 concerning the second child and “the child was found not deprived by the father,” DHS kept the child in custody for eight more months.
Woodson is seeking actual damages in excess of $10,000, punitive damages in excess of $10,000 and a reasonable amount of attorney fees.
In Legates’ federal suit, she is claiming her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were violated when her children were taken into state custody. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to provide substantial due process such as parental and marriage rights, which includes holding hearings before a person’s property interests can be taken away.
The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to provide substantial due process such as parental and marriage rights, which includes holding hearings before a person’s property interests can be taken away.
The lawsuit also states that the reason for taking the children were based on the case of Legates’ first son, who was taken in 2005. At that time, according to Legates, she was married to the child’s father and was allegedly being abused. Her recollection of that case involves authorities telling her to divorce her then husband, as she was pregnant with her first child at the time, or “they would take my son. And then they took him anyway.”
In her suit, Legates is suing Rogers County DHS, former director Maggie Box and child welfare workers Bergdorf, Pruitt and Priest.
A settlement conference has been scheduled for Oct. 27, and according to a motion to strike the settlement conference filed by the defendants, Legates’ attorney filed a written settlement offer of $6.5 million. In their motion, the defendants stated the settlement demand, “involves no compromise and requires complete capitulation by the Defendants,” and that it is “a clear indication that the Plaintiff is not likely to participate in good faith in settlement discussions.”
Source: Claremore Daily Progress
October 10, 2009 permalink
Children's aid has admitted financial responsibility for three girls abused by Edith Sanders. Unfortunately, it does little to help the children. Compensation was delayed until the victims were in old age homes.
Suit settled in horrific case of child abuse
On eve of negligence trial, Children's Aid, police in London, Ont., agree to pay elderly plaintiffs substantial amount for what they endured decades ago
Kirk Makin Justice Reporter
Published on Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 8:39PM EDT Last updated on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 4:16AM EDT
“Evil Edith” Sanders and her house of horrors are dead and gone, but the police and social workers who ignored allegations of child abuse in her home have finally paid a price for their neglect.
On the eve of a trial into horrendous abuse suffered by children at Ms. Sanders's London, Ont., home over a period of four decades, the agencies targeted in a negligence lawsuit have agreed to pay a substantial settlement.
In return, the three plaintiffs – elderly women who were part of an endless line of children that Ms. Sanders systematically abused, tortured and pimped out – have ended their lawsuit against the London Police Service and the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex.
“The amount will allow them each to live very comfortably for the rest of their lives,” said Toronto lawyer Ronald Manes, who represented plaintiffs Beatrice Feick, Kim Campbell and Yvonne Overton – Ms. Sanders's daughter. “We have been able to prove wrong the old adage that justice delayed is justice denied.”
In an interview Friday, Ms. Campbell said, “We have been fighting many years to be heard – and London just wouldn't hear us. The bottom line is, abuse is abuse is abuse – I don't care if it's a hundred years old.”
Ms. Campbell said that Ms. Sanders was “a disgusting individual. She was purely evil. This woman did not know what the word love meant. She was completely aware of the evil she was doing. I pray all the time for all the [children] who lived in that house. This woman is dead, but I'm sure that she is still haunting them.”
The settlement closes the book on a stomach-churning case that saw Ms. Sanders convicted of child abuse in 2002. At 81, she became the oldest female inmate in the penitentiary system. Soon after serving a four-year sentence, Ms. Sanders died. Her victims, however, launched a lawsuit against her estate, the police and the Children's Aid Society.
The victims described almost-inconceivable suffering – even in an era where institutional violence was common and children were typically disbelieved.
Ms. Sanders was able to obtain an inexhaustible supply of victims by opening her home to a procession of foster children, runaway youths and children of unwed mothers. “Once she got her hands on somebody, they weren't going anywhere,” said Mr. Manes.
He said that Ms. Sanders's estate has effectively admitted that she permitted adult boarders to rape children – including her daughter, Yvonne – and that Ms. Sanders habitually tortured children who had refused to assault their young confreres.
Ms. Sanders also attacked children with her fists, belts, lumber, cattle prods and hockey sticks; shaved the heads of girls; held a hot metal knife on one child's tongue; and tied another to a car, forcing the girl to run along behind it.
“The mistreatment they suffered was enough to make your stomach turn,” Mr. Manes said. “But the fact that the system denied them access to justice was more than we could abide.”
Mr. Manes had planned on showing the jury a sheaf of Children's Aid reports that he and co-counsel Jillian Evans assembled.
“These records are replete with a staggering number of entries that Edith Sanders was mentally ill – unpredictable, impulsive and unstable – a pathological liar, a criminal who even tried to deceive [Children's Aid] and kidnap a children from them,” said a prepared text for Mr. Manes's jury address.
“Why did these defendants do nothing? The cries of these poor children ignored? On the face of it, doing nothing shows stunning indifference.”
Children's Aid records showed that the agency was aware by the late 1940s that Ms. Sanders was unreliable, erratic and neglectful of the children in her care. They also showed that she had impersonated a Children's Aid worker in order to try and obtain a child; hated Yvonne and wanted to get rid of her; and was involved in prostitution and black marketeering.
Still, the agency continued to let Ms. Sanders care for foster children and paid little heed to warnings from her neighbours about the way the children were being mistreated.
Meanwhile, the police knew that Ms. Sanders – an occasional police informant – was a bootlegger, a child abuser, a fraudster and a drug trafficker. Yet, instead of investigating and charging her, officers frequented her home.
Why didn't the children flee this house of horrors?
Mr. Manes said that there is documentary proof that Children's Aid, police and schoolteachers were informed many times. “Our sense is that these kids didn't think that complaining would do any good,” he said. “When they complained to [Children's Aid], they would get an awful beating. They were completely frightened of Edith.”
All three women now live in the London area. Ms. Campbell and Ms. Overton are married with children. Ms. Feick, 71, lives alone in a nursing home.
Mr. Manes said that he asked Ms. Feick recently what she would like to do if she won her lawsuit. “She wanted more than anything to go to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry,” Mr. Manes said. “Now, she's going to be able to go as many times as she likes.”
Source: Globe and Mail
October 9, 2009 permalink
An unnamed Texas girl is in critical condition following an injury incurred while running away from a child protection worker.
Police: Teen running from CPS worker struck by car
By T.J. Aulds, The Daily News, Published October 8, 2009
TEXAS CITY — A 16-year-old girl who police said was trying to run away from a Child Protective Services worker was struck by a car on the Interstate 45 feeder road in Texas City on Wednesday night.
The teen was taken by helicopter to the University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital.
Sgt. Joe Stanton said the teen was being driven to an unknown location when she told the protective worker she was feeling sick and needed to throw up.
The CPS employee pulled the car over and let the girl get out to vomit, but a few seconds later the teen took off across a median and into a field near Holland Road, police said.
The protective services employee called 911 asking for police assistance in finding the runaway. Before police could get to the scene, the teen reportedly came running back toward the freeway but was struck by a car on the northbound feeder road.
The girl was taken to John Sealy and was reported to be in critical condition, Stanton said. Police had not confirmed where the girl was from or where she was being taken by the protective services staffer.
The feeder road at Holland Road was shut down most the night as investigators mapped out the accident scene.
KHOU-TV contributed to this report through a content partnership with The Daily News.
Source: Galveston County Daily News
October 8, 2009 permalink
Two more children's aid societies are complaining about funding cuts. One is in Simcoe County (Barrie), the other is Waterloo region, headed by Peter Ringrose, who declares his willingness to defy the law to keep spending in deficit.
October 08, 2009, By Frances Barrick, Record staff
KITCHENER — The man in charge of looking after Waterloo Region’s neediest children says he is willing to break the law and run a deficit to ensure they are protected.
Peter Ringrose, executive director of Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region, said his agency is mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services to care for vulnerable children.
But the same ministry has cut his budget — and the budgets of 50 other agencies — by a total of $23 million.
Locally, the cut amounts to $171,000.
At the same time, Ringrose said his operating costs have risen by two per cent. The result is a projected deficit of $1.5 million for this year.
“We are being told this year we are not allowed to have a deficit and we must deliver the required services within the budget that the ministry is giving us,” Ringrose said Wednesday. “It is impossible to do that.”
Ringrose said cuts to programs directly affecting children are not an option.
“We are not prepared to go that far. We have a legal mandate to protect children and that is our first and foremost duty,” he said.
The agency has been busier than ever.
“In the last three months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of children coming into our care,” Ringrose said, pointing to family stress caused by the recession as the main culprit.
Currently, the agency has 550 children in care. It receives about 5,000 complaints a year about children being neglected or abused.
Last year, facing a similar funding shortfall, the agency cut two programs and laid off 17 employees.
This year, 13 vacancies at the agency were not filled, and two community-based parenting-skills programs will not be offered this fall to save money.
Ringrose said 36 of the 51 children’s-aid societies in the province are facing deficits. Some are running out of money.
This week, the financial plight of the agencies was raised at Queen’s Park, and Ringrose said the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies has lobbied hard for more money — to no avail.
“The message that we are receiving (from the ministry) is there will be no more money and the agencies will just have to manage,” Ringrose said. “We are in a no-win situation. We are being told to do the impossible.
“The bottom line is we are not going to leave children at risk.”
Source: The Record (Kitchener/Waterloo)
Children’s Aid Society faces $5-million deficit
Author: Frank Matys, Date: Oct 07, 2009
The Children’s Aid Society of Simcoe County will be forced to make “drastic” cuts without an infusion of provincial cash to offset a looming $5-million deficit, says the region’s MPP.
“They are desperate,” said Garfield Dunlop. “The situation is not pretty.”
Dunlop raised the issue with Minister of Children and Youth Services Deborah Matthews in the legislature Tuesday, saying the local operation and others like it are severely underfunded and struggling to cope.
“In Simcoe County, they are doing everything humanly possible to carry out the mandatory programs that your ministry oversees,” he told Matthews.
Thirty-six of Ontario’s 51 Children’s Aid Societies are seeking reviews of their budgets, “an unprecedented number of applications,” according to Dunlop.
Executive director Mary Ballantyne said the area agency has trimmed spending considerably and left some positions vacant when staff members have left.
“We have certainly pulled back our expenses quite significantly, but we have not yet cut right into the direct services with children,” she said. “We are hopeful we can work things out with the government so we can prevent having to do that.”
According to Matthews, the province is spending $1 billion more than it was a decade ago on Children’s Aid Societies.
“That is unsustainable growth,” she said, adding a commission will work to address the funding issue with the aim of ensuring those agencies are sustainable.
“We have hard work ahead of us, and we’ll work in partnership with the CASs to get to where we need to go to have the right services in place for the kids.”
However, Matthews stressed the government would “not be able to support them in the year-end funding that they have become used to receiving over the past many years.”
And that has proved particularly worrisome to Ballantyne.
“In other years, there has been an opportunity, if we have had a deficit, to talk about ways to mitigate that at the end of the year,” she said. “We are finding that to be a challenge this year.”
The Children’s Aid Society and other social agencies are likely to face rising demand as families struggle to cope in a difficult economy, Dunlop predicted.
“Social-service organizations are probably going to have to be propped up now more than ever,” he said.
Added Ballantyne: “So far, we have not had to cut staff or make any cuts that would directly affect children, but certainly much of the agency’s time and energy is (spent) looking at the financial issue.”
The Children’s Aid Society of Simcoe County serves about 12,000 children a year, Ballantyne said.
Source: Midland Mirror
Etobicoke-Lakeshore Organizer Needed
October 8, 2009 permalink
Andrew Skinner is asking for an organizer to help in the Ontario riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
Primary Contact Needed
Andrew Skinner October 8 at 1:54am
Good Day All,
Currently we are looking to make contact and assist a few dedicated people in establishing an advocate group in the provincial riding of Etobicoke – Lakeshore. This is a key riding in the push for oversight and accountability of Ontario's 53 private Children's Aid Societies. This is also the riding of the NEW Minister of Children and Youth Services, Ms. Laurel Broten.
If any groups members are located in or near this provincial riding and are interested in being the primary contacts and organizers, please contact us through facebook or by sending an email to: [ fighting4families at hotmail.com ]
It appears in order to protect Ms. Deb Matthews from the crimes she has knowingly allowed to happen to Ontario children, this swap was neccessary.
I would also advise all group members to write an email to the new Minister in charge of abusing and covering up crimes against children to let her know how you feel. email@example.com
Don't be shy, several emails have already been sent.
Thank you in advance,
October 8, 2009 permalink
This year children's aid is sponsoring the seventh annual grape expectations gala, and for the fifth time clients will show their opinion outside. The rally will take place the evening of October 26 in Hamilton. Past events have drawn a determined crowd.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Oct 26, 2009 Grape Expectations Rally
Don't forget to mark this date on your calendars this year!!
Child Assist Services will be holding their 5th Anniversary Grape Expectations Rally in protest against the Hamilton Children's Aid Society's Grape Expectations GALA event.
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS RALLY
5TH ANNIVERSARY IN PROTEST AGAINST THE HAMILTON Children’s Aid Society
October 26, 2009 from 6pm to 9pm at Carmen’s Banquet Center 1520 Stonechurch Road
Child Assist Services will be out front to protest against the abuses of our children in foster care and for the families affected by the Children’s Aid Society
THE CHILDRENS AID SOCIETY DOES NOT HELP CHILDREN THEY DESTROY FAMILIES!!
COME OUT AND HOLD A SIGN AND SUPPORT THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES!!
CHILDREN ARE DYING IN FOSTER CARE WHILE UNDER THEIR WATCHFUL EYE!!
For more information contact: Mary or Ed
CHILD ASSIST SERVICES
268 Wellington St. N.
Phone: 905 527 6260
We are here to protect children and families from the Children's Aid Society.
Thank you for your support.
We will start distributing flyers downtown next week so stay tuned for more details.
Posted by Advocate at 5:00 PM
Source: Mary Janiga blog October 7, 2009
Matthews Out, Broten In
October 7, 2009 permalink
In a cabinet reshuffle, Laurel Broten has replaced Deb Matthews as Minister of Children and Youth Services.
Matthews, Broten take on new provincial roles
By Communications Staff, Wednesday, October 7, 2009
University of Western Ontario grads Deb Matthews and Laurel Broten have new responsibilities in the McGuinty government.
Following the recent report of the Auditor General on problems at eHealth and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Matthews (London North Centre MPP) as the new Minister of Health, following the resignation of David Caplan.
Matthews, who recently completed her PhD in social demography at Western, was previously Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services.
The goal in her new role will be to strive to achieve lower wait times in emergency rooms, improve care for diabetics and get more Ontario families access to a doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner.
Matthews also ensures that procurement rules in the ministry and its agencies are followed, and that taxpayer dollars are protected.
Broten, a Law graduate, replaces Matthews as Minister of Children and Youth Services. Her portfolio focuses on improving the lives of children and youth by reducing child poverty and getting all children off to the best start in life.
Broten (MPP Etobicoke – Lakeshore) also becomes Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.
Source: Western News (University of Western Ontario)
Every Teen a Sex Offender
October 7, 2009 permalink
Developing an interest in sex is part of the normal development of any teenager. While in past generations most communication between teens took place in private, or over private media such as the mail or the phone, much communication today is through electronic gadgets. The records left by these devices make just about every teen a child pornographer. The enclosed article is limited to Chambersburg Pennsylvania, but could apply nearly everywhere. If child pornography laws are not relaxed, every teenager will be tagged as a sex-offender, a label that turns victims into permanent pariahs, ineligible for most forms of employment or housing as well as making them targets for vigilante killing.
Chambersburg Area School District's student sexters may wear 'sex offender' label through adulthood
By KEITH PARADISE Staff writer
CHAMBERSBURG -- Law enforcement and Chambersburg Area School District officials are still trying to determine how many students were involved a recent rash of "sexting" images that were forwarded to students in the first weeks of school in what by law can be defined as child pornography.
And they're also trying to determine if the students should be charged with a crime.
Officials from the Chambersburg Police Department, the Franklin County district attorney's office and the school district conducted a news conference Tuesday morning to discuss the incidents. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit photos and content in text messages and through e-mail.
Bret Beynon, Franklin County assistant district attorney who specializes in juvenile prosecution, said the only charges that would be applicable could be felony possession of child pornography, which could come with the classification of sex offender if found guilty. She said if the students involved were juveniles, the sentences would not have a minimum or maximum sentence if charges were filed and the students were found guilty.
However, they would remain on their public record for life and they would have to submit DNA to the Pennsylvania State Police database. "It would affect them for the rest of their lives," Beynon said.
Anyone older than 18 who was charged with the felony would have to register with the state's Megan's Law Web site for 10 years under current laws. Megan's Law alerts the public to the living and working arrangements of registered sex offenders.
Since the possible charge would be possession of child pornography, everyone involved could face the same charge whether they took the photograph, received it, or forwarded it. Beynon said a student who received a picture, immediately deleted it and notified authorities would not face charges. However, someone who received a photo and either saved or forwarded it to others could.
"Everybody could be on the hook for a felony," Beynon said.
Beynon said they are dealing with each photo on a case by case basis. Beynon also asked parents to be more proactive and monitor the cellular phone and Internet usage of their children.
"We are being very deliberate and everything has to be very well thought out," Beynon said.
Chambersburg Police Chief David Arnold said officers were called on Sept. 23 by CASD director of security T. Brett Hill about photos involving nudity circulated via digital technology. Since then, the police department, district attorney's office and school district are cooperating in an investigation.
"As we all know, cell phone use among teens has increased greatly in the last decade. While this technology can be useful in everyday life, it has the ability to be used for this purpose," Arnold said.
Arnold said he has asked the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Legislative Committee to look at the current laws and propose new legislation if it's warranted. Beynon said the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association is in favor of legislation that would diminish penalties for minors sending sexually explicit images. Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny County, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last month that he plans to introduce a bill this fall that would grade the crimes as misdemeanors or summary offenses so that anyone charged would be kept out of Megan's Law requirements.
Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said that currently there are 28 students believed to be involved in the incident. However, the number could change as the investigation continues.
Beynon and Arnold also would not specify how many images have been distributed to this point or when the investigation would conclude.
According to a 2008 survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20 percent of more than 1,200 teens surveyed had posted online or electronically transmitted sexually explicit photos of themselves.
Michael said school district officials are certain that none of the photographs were taken on school property, and school equipment was not used. Some of the photos could have been sent from student's phones while they were in school buildings, although the district prohibits students from using phones in school buildings during the class day.
Michael said that although cell phone use is banned, it's a difficult policy to police. "It used to be that students were going to the bathroom to smoke. Now they're going to the bathroom to text," he said.
Keith Paradise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-4811.
Source: Chambersburg Public Opinion
Addendum: Here is an opinion piece on these offenses: There is a fury and and sadness inside that I cannot express.
October 7, 2009 permalink
A South Carolina DSS worker knows how to get rid of people who get in the way: point a gun at them.
DSS worker arrested, suspended after allegedly pulling gun on Coastal Carolina students
Kurt Knapek - email@example.com
A S.C. Dept. of Social Services worker who works with special needs children in Horry County was arrested and suspended from his job after three Coastal Carolina students told police Monday that he pointed a gun and threatened them, officials said.
The victims told police that Scott Grainger, 38, of Conway pulled up next to their vehicle on U.S. 501, rolled down his window and pointed a gun at them at 2 p.m. Monday.
Grainger is charged with pointing and presenting a firearm and was jailed overnight at J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Conway. He posted $5,000 bond Tuesday and was released.
Grainger has worked for the intensive foster care and clinical services division of DSS since September 2007, said Virginia Williamson, general counsel. Grainger is a case manager who works with special needs children, but does not have children in his custody, Williamson said.
``He is on administrative suspension while his supervisor and investigators sort out what happened and what led to the arrest,'' Williamson said. ``We'll continue to work with law enforcement on the case.''
Grainger will not be paid during his suspension, Williamson said.
Grainger was on duty at the time of the arrest but was not in a state vehicle and did not have any children with him, Williamson said. She said there is no reason for Grainger to have a firearm while working.
Grainger has no criminal history in South Carolina, according to a State Law Enforcement Division background check.
A call to Grainger's home was not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Tiffany Boyd said the driver of the vehicle she was in used his turn signal and pulled in front of Grainger's vehicle as they were approaching a traffic light.
``He started honking the horn and flipping us off,'' Boyd said. ``We didn't do anything that would provoke someone to pull a gun on us.''
After Grainger pointed the gun at the victims, they told police they followed his car to the end of University Blvd. at S.C. 544, the report shows.
Grainger got out of car at a traffic light and started to beat on the driver's side door telling the driver ``Don't mess with me, I will [expletive] kill you,'' the report shows. Grainger reportedly tried to open the driver's door, which was locked, and also attempted to lure the driver out of the vehicle.
When the traffic light turned green, Grainger tried to leave the scene and the victims told officers they made a U-turn to avoid the suspect. Grainger then turned and began to follow the victims' vehicle.
The victims told officers they drove northbound on U.S. 501 to get away from the suspect and turned into the Conway National Bank to try and avoid Grainger.
The victims later returned to Coastal Carolina and alerted police.
``That was the scariest moment of my life,'' Boyd said.
Source: Myrtle Beach Sun-News
October 7, 2009 permalink
While provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath advocates for CAS oversight through bill 93, former leader Howard Hampton is complaining about the recent budget cuts to children's aid societies.
Hampton - "What happens to the kids..."
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 07:02
QUEEN'S PARK - Kenora MPP Howard Hampton was up in the Ontario Legislature on Monday. Hampton was taking aim at the issue of funding for the Rainy River Children's Aid Society.
Here is the text of Mr. Hampton's statement:
"The McGuinty government has begun to place severe cuts on the budgets of children's aid societies across this province and it's having a devastating effect.
"I'll give you one example: the Rainy River children's aid society, in my constituency. Their blended funding rate is $39 per child in care. That compares to a provincial average of $79 per child in care, but the minister has just cut their budget by $600,000. On a total budget of $3 million a year, a cut of $600,000 means they either have to close their office in Fort Frances or close their office in Atikokan. What happens to the kids in those communities when those services aren't available in the community?
"To give another example, Tikinagan is a native child and family service provider in the far north. Tikinagan is struggling with what's happening in the community of Pikangikum, where over 400 of the 800 children are not in school, children as young as six and seven years old are sniffing gasoline, and there are over 160 children in the community who have been placed in protection. Tikinagan is stressed beyond belief. What does the McGuinty government do to Tikinagan? They cut their budget by $2.1 million as they struggle to provide protection to these children who desperately need help and desperately need protection.
"The McGuinty government has got to recognize that-".
Source: Thunder Bay News Ledger
Addendum: Here is a message on the same topic from leader Andrea Horwath:
First Nations children “abandoned by government”
Ontario’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the McGuinty government’s $4.2-million in funding cuts to First Nations child welfare agencies must be reversed.
Today at the Ontario Legislature, Horwath called on Premier Dalton McGuinty to place a moratorium on any further cuts. Ontario’s native leaders have expressed alarm say the cuts are creating a crisis in the ability of agencies to serve the influx of children in their care.
“While squandering a billion health dollars, the McGuinty government has cut $4.2-million in funding from First Nations child welfare agencies. There is a real crisis facing Ontario’s Native children and youth, but this government is shamefully reducing the resources that serve these vulnerable and disadvantaged young people,” Horwath told the Premier during Question Period.
Horwath listed the cuts the McGuinty government has made to agencies like Tikinagan Child and Family Services ($2.1-million), Paayukotayno James & Hudson Bay Family Services suffered ($1-million) and Weechiittewin Family Services ($941,522). She also slammed the government’s failure to support a key umbrella group for aboriginal children’s services, the Association of Child and Family Service Associations of Ontario (ANCFSAO), which is on the brink of closing this week.
“New Democrats are not prepared to stand by while vulnerable First Nations communities and children are abandoned by this government,” Horwath said.
“Adequately funding First Nations child welfare services is an obligation that must transcend jurisdictional squabbles between the provincial Liberals and federal Conservatives.”
Horwath said social problems such as substance abuse, family violence, sexual abuse and youth suicide are much more prevalent among First Nations, and as such more resources, not fewer, need to be devoted to child welfare.
For example, the youth suicide rate in northwestern Ontario is 398 young people out of every 100,000, while the national average is 12.9, according to a 2006 report from the Kenora Crown Attorney’s Office.
“It is reprehensible that the Premier refuses to address the child welfare funding shortfall to ensure resources serving some of Ontario’s most vulnerable children are fully restored. We will continue to advocate on their behalf,” said Horwath.
date: Wed, 2009/10/07 - 2:00pm
Source: Andrea Horwath blog October 7, 2009
Addendum: A reader comments:
Sent to the NDP party today via their web site.
October 12, 2009
I saw on the news that your party is complaining about the cut backs to the Children’s Aid offices in some areas. It is my belief that the Children’s Aid office should not only lose funding but should be shut down all together.
Don’t kid yourself people know at this time the acts being done by this private criminal office and the truth will be out soon. Don’t put the NDP party at risk by supporting this organization!!!!
Stand up for the families in Ontario and speak the truth about the CAS we know you are very aware of the acts being done every day the CAS open their offices up. I hope soon all the secret files held by this organization are opened up for a full review soon.
Out of control spending, fraud, and huge corruption are just a few of the daily acts by Children’s Aid offices on a daily basis’s.
Oshawa Security Systems
Source: email from Kevin Ausman
Queens Park Rally
October 6, 2009 permalink
The rally at Queens Park started at 10 am on October 5 with just ten people, but the group expanded in less than an hour to thirty, and by noon was over fifty people. Several people spoke, including Sheila White from the office of provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Mr Hillier also spoke individually to many members of the audience.
A crown ward, seventeen-year-old Tasha Gallant, defied the Child and Family Services act by mentioning her name in public. She has been a crown ward since age thirteen. She spoke of the contrast between the nourishment given by her real family, and the weight-loss diet in her foster home. Sixteen-year-old Mike Follis spoke of his years in foster care from 2000 to 2007.
Canada Court Watch recorded the whole proceeding, and we hope to post more in the near future. Enclosed below is a report by Mary Janiga, who also participated as a speaker. Following her notes on the rally are recollections of her personal encounter with CAS.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Queens park rally success October 5th 2009
We were the first ones to arrive at Queens Park in Toronto at 9:00am after taking a non-stop train from Hamilton to Toronto we took the subway down to University Ave and waited for people to arrive. I had a prepared text and speech to give and I was a little nervous and yet felt proud to be amongst so many fighters against the Children's Aid Society. I finally got to meet John Dunn an advocate of http://www.afterfostercare.ca/ after reading and seeing what he has done for ex foster children and children still in fostercare.
A lot of comrades arm in arm to fight against such a tyrant called the Children's Aid Society. We all talked and laughed, shed a few tears and listened to many speakers from all ages and walks of life.
Andrea Horwath unfortunately did not attend or speak at the rally. IT was most unfortunate as this was her private members Bill that was first introduced at Queens Park. I hope she puts some more concerted effort into raising the awareness of this most important BILL for Accountability of the Children's Aid Society in the future. 2 years in a row does not seem right for her not to attend such an event that is on behalf of children in Ontario and families everywhere.
It was alot of hard work and I am thankful to have attended this event for the second year in a row. Thank you to the organizers and the weather that held out until we hit Hamilton at 5pm. It started pouring rain but we were home.
I spoke with a broken heart and memories that are still painful after so many days and years without our children. I figured I would post my speech on my blog today as alot of people heard it but you have to read it to understand it.
When a life event happens such as a marriage, a death, a newborn baby that comes into the world you remember that day forever. When the Children’s Aid Society comes into your life and changes your world you never forget that day either. That is what happened to our comfortable family of four on the corner of Wellington and Barton Street Hamilton on March 24, 2005.
There were no domestic disputes or family strife we were advocates and protecting our own children from Society. Anonymous phone calls and innuendos from the community abounded against us for many years. We protected these two children; they were our granddaughter and our son. An 11 year old child within the school system could not read or write while in grade 4. No help was given to him within the school system. Just let him stare at the walls and give him detention. It was decided that homeschooling him was the answer. He was progressing and learning well, without the help of the educational system that had completely failed him.
The police tactical units with their battering rams in arms stormed unannounced and broke down two doors. The Children’s Aid Society workers were hiding on the sidelines waiting to strike. They had prepared their statements and served their paperwork. Remove the children and take them away. There were false allegations and affidavits and medical reports that didn’t seem real. We had family visitation of our two children aged 11 and 7 that consisted of 1 ½ hours per week under the watchful eye of the Society. 27 visits later the children were removed from Hamilton and went on to Windsor 350 miles away from their family. The judge’s final words to as he made his decree were “don’t be mad at them be mad at me.” We had done nothing wrong. At that moment our family world had ended.
3 years of fighting in the family court system we thought to ourselves we just had to continue on to fight against the injustices that were happening in Ontario regarding the Children’s Aid Society.
It wasn’t just happening to us. We found that in fact it is not just happening in Ontario. It is happening in Canada, the USA Australia, England, Africa, European countries and beyond. Every community has an agency, with a budget of astronomical proportions. They remove children unjustly.
Children are dying in foster care, abused in kinship care homes, and abused by the very protectors that are supposed to help children.
After extensive research and networking with others within the community we started a community activist group called Child Assist Services in 2005.
The acronym is C.A.S. We met mothers that had lost children at birth; we met families that had been broken up. We saw their pain as we lived it during and after the court process.
We started public support campaigns and blogging websites and we continued on our fight against injustice. We have lobbied for Ombudsman oversight first named Bill 88 then Bill 93 to have an Accountability Act for the Children’s Aid Societies of this Province of Ontario.
We protested injustices against families that had their children stolen from their loving arms.
We stood arm in arm together for the past 4 years to bring to light the fact that the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton has a budget of $50 million dollars with 700 children in foster care and the fact that the Director is receiving over $150 000 per year in child abduction pay.
We have never forgotten our story or our pain as we have shared it with all the families we have advocated for and helped along the years. We must be united and stand together and fight against the Children’s Aid Society and the corruption that exists within this system..
Dismantle the whole process and this starts with helping families and children. Child Assist Service’s motto is very basic “WE ARE HERE TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FROM CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY.”
I have been working with a client that has been having financial problems with ODSP and OW for the past 6 months. Fighting a bureaucracy of rumors, allegations and innuendos has made this clients life a living hell daily. No income for five months whatsoever. This is an immigrant to this country who cannot speak English that has been abused by the Children’s Aid Society when they removed his children from his wife and then threw him in jail through false allegations and innuendos. He was exonerated but not after the removal of his 5 children, the two youngest children went up for Crown Wardship and adoption without access and his 3 oldest children he gets to see 1 hour per month supervised by the Children’s Aid Society.
This is not the Canada I want to live in that treats its immigrants so inhumanely. Throw you in jail, take away your children, and take away your income, now you are on the street. This is a parody and a travesty. I am ashamed to be a Canadian.
I am upset with Consulates that turn their back on clients, people that give lip service and don’t give a damn except to worry about their own paycheck and problems and forget about the little guy getting screwed.
Posted by Advocate at 6:42 PM
Source: Mary Janiga blog for October 5, 2009
Addendum: A satellite rally in Woodstock made the press.
Protesters fight for power to probe CAS
Posted By Hugo Rodrigues, SENTINEL-REVIEW Updated October 6, 2009
Approximately a dozen people added their voices to a provincewide call to grant Ontario's ombudsman the power to investigate child-protection agencies.
They rallied Monday outside the Woodstock head office of the Oxford Children's Aid Society (CAS) on Light Street, politely asking passersby to sign a petition in support of Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath's Bill 93: An act to amend the Ombudsman Act with respect to children's aid societies.
The bill, which received first reading on June 11, 2008, has not progressed any further through the legislative process. It would allow the ombudsman to investigate and report on any society as defined in the Child and Family Services Act, such as the Oxford CAS.
The Woodstock rallyers were a mix of families involved with child-protection agencies in the area and those who support the cause of greater accountability for the decisions these agencies make.
"I want to stand up for children and families. If I sit here and say nothing, it allows them to continue with what they're doing," Shawna Parry said, holding a placard that spelled out her concerns.
If Bill 93 became law, Parry and others who feel they're in similar situations could appeal to the ombudsman's office for an investigation into their concerns.
"Bill 93 would give the ombudsman the authority to investigate placements, access decisions and custody decisions that Ontario families are not allowed to appeal," Christine Sorko-Houle said. "There is a Child and Family Services Review Board, but it's family and children's services people that sit on that board."
Sorko-Houle said she hopes allowing the ombudsman oversight powers over children's protection agencies would lead to the creation of a more independent review process for families who feel they've been unjustly targeted or prosecuted and had their children taken away.
Sorko-Houle said an Oxford Community Police Service officer had dropped by the peaceful rally earlier that morning, returning to drop off purple ribbons for the rallyers in support of child abuse prevention month. She mentioned a similar rally would be taking place in St. Thomas Tuesday.
Source: Woodstock Sentinel-Review
Addendum: Andrew Skinner provided us with a copy of a supportive letter from Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones (pdf) read to the audience at the rally. She is MPP for Dufferin-Caledon and PC Critic for Children and Youth Services. She gives the opposite message in an article published in the Orangeville Citizen.
October 8, 2009
Jones questions minister on aid societies
Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, has called on the Liberal government to answer the call from children's aid societies who have had their budgets cut mid-way through their fiscal years.
Children's aid societies are mandated to perform certain tasks under legislation, and required to have a balanced budget approved by the Minister of Children and Youth Services at the beginning of each year. This year, a record 36 of the 51 societies — including Dufferin Child and Family Services — have filed reviews, which means they are unable to balance their mandate with their budget.
"There has never before been so many Children's Aid Societies who are in crisis," she said. "They have a legislated responsibility to provide front-line care for the most vulnerable children in this province. Cutting their budgets will inevitably mean a reduction in services for at-risk children."
She said many of the societies fear the budget cuts will mean a reduction in front-line staff that provide child protection services.
"Ontario families have a right to be concerned," said Ms. Jones. "Provincial legislation says that children's aid societies need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children."
Source: Orangeville Citizen
Addendum: We found a blog post by Maryna (link only) and enclose below a report by Jacqueline Dratwa:
Jacqueline wrote October 6, 2009
What a great day! The day started with our Registered Speakers. First we had Randy Hillier MPP of Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington followed by Sheila White from NDP Leader and MPP of Hamilon Centre Andrea Horwath's Office. Andrea was scheduled to speak but because of a bit of delay couldn't make it. Then we had John Dunn from the Foster Care Council of Canada, Andrew Skinner from Fighting 4 Familes, Kris Titis of Fathers 4 Justice, Mary Janiga of Child Assist Services, Robert McQuaid from Dufferin VOCA, Steve Rudd of The Church of Christ and Special Guest Archbishop Dorian Baxter.
There was a short break after the registered speakers and then the mic was open to the public to have their say. We heard from Several Speakers including a young woman with direct experience of CAS "care" and a powerful informative speech by Chris Carter. We heard from a father who fought to help his step son and we also heard from his step son himself. We heard about court battles, parents going for help and losing their children instead of getting that help. We heard of the abuse in care and how the children of this province are being used as commodities.
All in all it was a fantastic day full of wonderful speeches and people who desperately want change and won't stop until there is change. Next year we hope to be even bigger and even louder... so start planning for October 4 2010!!
Thank you to all those who attended and to those who held Satellite Rallies in their communities. Stay tuned for pictures and videos of the event which should be online in the days to come!
Here are photos of the rally and nine of the speakers, audio only, all in mp3 format in order of presentation. Randy Hillier, Andrew Skinner, Kris Titus, Mary Janiga, Steven Rudd, Dorian Baxter, Robert McQuaid, Tasha Gallant, Mike Follis, Neil Haskett.
After the rally, some people visited the Ministry of Children and Youth Services office nearby. Chris Carter had many questions, the ministry had few answers. Part one YouTube ( with local copy, flv 62 megabytes), part two YouTube ( with local copy, flv 50 megabytes),
October 6, 2009 permalink
Remember that junk room where you store the torn mattress, the cracked plates and the broken chair? It will be photographed and presented to the court as evidence of the way you live. And that arthritic dog that you could not allow the vet to put down? His health will be an example of the way you treat your children. That spoiled food at the back of your fridge will be an example of your kid's diet. These are new policies in Britain reacting to the death of Peter Connelly (Baby P).
Social workers to check pets and fridges during suspected child abuse cases
Owen Bowcott, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 4 October 2009 18.28 BST
Social workers are to be instructed to check the contents of families' fridges, take pictures inside the home and ensure pets are healthy when investigating suspected child abuse cases.
Harrow council in north-west London is introducing a contract to make explicit the responsibilities of families and the duties of officials involved.
The paperwork, to be read out to the parents and signed by them, is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.
It has been prepared in the wake of the Baby P case where multiple failures by various agencies failed to spot telltale signs of the threats to the toddler's life who died in Haringey, north London.
It also serves as a ticklist reminder for social workers to ensure they carry out a comprehensive survey of homes where children are suspected of being at risk.
Harrow's staff are instructed, for example, to check any recent changes to the make-up of the household, particularly if someone is occasionally present.
One of the problems in the Baby P case was the mother's boyfriend, later found guilty of causing or allowing the child's death, was not known to the police.
The letter states that social workers will check on "your parenting skills" and "your wider family and environment".
It also adds that during visits social workers will check "all rooms in your home to ensure there is nothing which may directly or indirectly place [children] at risk [and] inspect the sleeping arrangements and check there is adequate food in the kitchen cupboards and fridge".
It also specifies they will "check on the care and provision made for family pets and take photographs, if necessary".
The health of pets, the council believes, is an indicator of a family's ability to care.
October 6, 2009 permalink
The "orphan" boy, sought for adoption by Elton John and his partner David Furnish, has two living parents who both want to keep their child.
Sir Elton can have Lev . . . if I can come too
From OLIVER HARVEY, Chief Feature Writer, in Makeyevka, Ukraine, Published: October 6 2009
THE grasping killer dad of the boy Sir Elton John hoped to adopt told the star last night: "Take my lad AND me."
Ukrainian former drug addict Sergey, 31, brazenly suggested Sir Elton might pay for him and 15-month-old Lev to live in Britain.
He told The Sun: "I'm not against the idea of Elton becoming a guardian.
"I would be willing to meet Elton and talk about it.
"I don't mind my boy going to Britain to be with Elton - as long as I can go too, so I can take care of him."
We revealed yesterday that Sergey and Lev's mother Marina live separately in squalid flats in a grim Ukrainian industrial town.
Both are HIV positive. Marina, 25, is an alcoholic who had both her sons taken from her - and Sergey served eight years for strangling a 14-year-old girl.
Even if the singer could legally adopt Lev, his parents insist they would never allow it.
Skint and jobless shoemaker Sergey said: "No matter how much money he offers, I wouldn't agree to an adoption. I'm Lev's father."
Then, seeing the chance to cash in, he went on: "I know Elton is a rich man. Maybe he could help Marina and me and the boys get a flat so we could be a family again.
"That would be ideal. And if Elton could buy me a shoe shop, that would be great."
Sir Elton and partner David Furnish met Lev at the Ukrainian orphanage where he lives with his brother Artyom, three.
Ukrainian officials told Sir Elton, 62, he cannot adopt Lev because he is too old and they do not recognise gay couples as married. But they have not ruled out him becoming guardian to both boys if he strikes a deal with their parents.
Sergey spoke as he and his mother Yulia, 55, made an emotional reunion trip from their home in Mariupol to the Makeyevka orphanage, where Lev and Artyom are in care.
As the boys ran into her arms, Yulia could not hold back her tears. She said: "Lev hugged me tight. It was heartbreaking. I wanted to scoop the boys up and take them home.
"I brought Lev a toy keyboard because he is so musical. I want to teach him some of Elton's songs."
She went on: "When we arrived, Artyom said, 'Hello, Granny' and kissed me. I took Lev in my arms and the tears welled in my eyes. These boys are like my own children."
Yulia handed out presents and sweets to her grandsons, adding: "It was terrible when we waved goodbye.
"Lev didn't know what was happening but Artyom was screaming and holding my dress, saying, 'Granny, please take me home, please'. The staff took them away and I heard them crying."
Yulia also made it clear the impoverished family are willing to do a deal.
She added: "I don't want Elton to adopt the children. But it would be OK if he was the boys' guardian. Lev is so sweet, he took Elton's heart away. He could give them a good life. But he must look after the boys' parents too and keep them together as a family. Elton could be godfather."
Tattooed Sergey, like Marina, is confident their sons will be returned to them.
He insisted: "I don't think my criminal record is an obstacle." And Yulia does not seem to see her son as a murderer. She said: "Sergey was just 19. He went for a walk with a pretty girl. She accidentally stood on his foot and he grabbed her by the neck and threw her in a lake. He ran away and she died."
The home where Lev and Artyom live specialises in children from families affected by HIV. Director Viktor Goncharov, 55, said: "It's best for the boys if they go to their family.
"But Sergey needs to get a job and sort himself out. Then a court will decide."
Source: The Sun (UK)
Mother and Daughter Reunited
October 6, 2009 permalink
East Germany has been described as the most perfect example of the police state. A third of all citizens were informants for the police, the Stasi. Surveillance files were filled not with reports on efforts to overthrow the government, but with details of family life.
In 1971 the East German Stasi separated Petra Hoffman from her newborn daughter. They were recently reunited after 38 years of separation. The story shows remarkable parallels with life today in Canada, and many other countries, where secret agencies gather data on family life. Mrs Hoffman was targeted for child removal because the police disliked the actions of her husband. She spent time in jail for her efforts to find her children. Once one child was taken, her later child was seized at birth. One noticeable difference with Canada was that in this case, and one other East German case we have found, the child was sent to a single family for care. In Canada the typical number of new homes is over a half dozen. Also note that in a report on East Germany the press describes the baby theft as an atrocity. In reports on today's cases, they use the language of beneficence.
Mother reunited with daughter 38 years after she was stolen by the Stasi in former East Germany
By Allan Hall, Last updated at 5:03 PM on 02nd October 2009
A mother whose children were taken away by the Stasi secret police of former East Germany has been reunited with one of them nearly 40 years after she was born.
Petra Hoffman, 55, hugged her daughter Mandy Reinhardt, 38, for the first time this week since agents of the hard line Communist regime took her away shortly after she was born.
Ms Reinhardt was born in 1971 when her mother was just 16 and worked in a government cafeteria.
But the father was a man the state disapproved of after he had served prison time for speaking out against the imperfections of life in totalitarian East Germany.
'The Youth Welfare people came to my door one day, said I was not a fit person to be a mother,' said Mrs Hoffman.
'They put me and her into a home. Days later, against my will, Mandy was given up for adoption.'
This was a common practice invoked by the Stasi against its enemies. Rather than resorting to crude torture or beatings, it tried to crush the will of those who displease it with the cruellest psychological pressures.
Mrs Hoffman said: 'I tried to fight them. But I was young.
'And all that happened was that they put me in jail as an enemy of the state.'
When she was released from jail, she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son called Ronny in 1974. He was just days old when he was taken.
'They came to the door at night, pushed me aside, and stole him from his bed,' she said.
Mrs Hoffman spent six years in jail as a dissident because of the fuss she kicked up in trying to find both her children.
During her final court appearance before she was sentenced to Bautzen - the most feared of jails in the German Democratic Republic - the judge told her: 'You are a rat gnawing away at the magnificent pillars of socialism.'
When the Berlin Wall came down and she was released to her hometown of Bad Schlema, in Saxony, Mrs Hoffman began the search for her children.
She badgered authorities, placed notices in newspapers and appealed to old friends but the Stasi had destroyed most of the paperwork and her search came to nothing.
Then, six weeks ago, as Germany prepares massive celebrations for next month marking 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, a letter came from Berlin which read: 'You don't know me at all, but I believe you are my mother.'
Mrs Reinhardt, a mother-of-two herself, had searched since 1992 for her mother after her foster parents told her she was adopted.
She said: 'I searched and searched on the internet and wrote to the authorities but it was only a few weeks ago I saw my mother's plea on a website.
'We met up and held each other and cried and cried and cried. We worked out together that I was her daughter because of certain facts my foster parents told me.
'They both worked for the party and so were favoured to get a child.
'They also knew about Ronny. That is our goal now - to find Ronny and become a family again.
'My foster parents were lovely people but she is my real mother and I have waited so long for this day.'
Mrs Hoffman added: 'What mother should have to endure such things as this?
'Those b******* robbed me of everything precious to a mother – seeing her grow up, do well at school, get married. But they didn’t win in the end, did they?'
It comes in the same week a film was screened in Germany called 'Beyond The Wall', chronicling a married couple who failed to cross the Berlin Wall and had their daughter taken from them as a result.
The Stasi formed in 1950, modelled on the Soviet MGB.
Within years, the secret police had turned one in three people in the old East Germany into a spy for the state.
They filtered into apartment buildings, universities and offices in one of the most extensive police infiltrations of a society in history - more than the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet KGB.
By the 1950s, were carrying out secret executions of dissidents against the German Democratic Republic, the official name of Communist East Germany.
By the 1970s they were acting as a proxy for the Soviet KGB in other Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland.
But by the late 1980s, as Communism was falling apart across Europe, the Stasi faced the threat of losing its choke hold on East Germany society.
The tide turned in 1989, when citizens overran their headquarters in the Peaceful Revolution. Although the Stasi managed to destroy some documents, many survived - and when they were publicised many East Germans learned that their neighbours, friends or family had been informants.
Even now the Stasi's shadow is still cast across reunited Germany as some of the former secret policemen continue to hold jobs - amid much controversy - in major government departments, the police and in industry.
Source: Daily Mail
Queens Park Rally Reminder
October 4, 2009 permalink
The rally at Queens Park in Toronto will take place next Monday, October 5 from 10 am to 4 pm. Attending this rally is your best chance to tell the political system what you think of child protection in Ontario. Confirmed speakers are:
Addendum: For those who cannot make it to Toronto, Satellite rallies, at the same time Monday, are planned for the following locations:
- Children's Aid Society Office in Woodstock, Ontario. 92 Light Street, Woodstock, Ontario. N4S 6H1
- Family, Youth and Child Services of Muskoka (Bracebridge Office) 49 Pine Street, Bracebridge, Ontario. P1L 1K8
- Family and Children's Services of St. Thomas and Elgin 410 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, Ontario. N5R 3C7
Watch That Womb!
October 4, 2009 permalink
A mother has been separated from her baby because she caused him serious injury. So far, it sounds good. But is there another side to the story? Was the incident an accident? We will never know. The names of the mother and child are secret. There is an unusual order for surveillance of the mother's womb: she must report any pregnancy to CAS. The children's aid involved, Owen Sound, has had more than its proportionate share of complaints.
Shaken baby still suffers years later
‘Momentary, isolated incident,’ lawyer says
Posted By Scott Dunn Posted October 3, 2009
A young mom was ordered this week not to be the primary caregiver of her young son after she shook and critically injured him two years ago.
The baby is unable to walk and requires a feeding tube to this day.
Justice W. W. Bradley on Wednesday gave the woman, who was 19 when charged, a conditional sentence lasting two years less a day — the maximum such sentence allowed — followed by two years probation.
An initial charge of aggravated assault between Dec. 17 and 18, 2007 in Owen Sound was later amended to “unlawfully causing bodily harm.”
She pleaded guilty in June to the little-used charge, which defence lawyer Clayton Conlan said in an interview reflected a “reduced level of criminal intent.”
The mother cannot be identified because doing so would also identify her child, contrary to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Conlan said the judge found that the child’s mother shook him briefly in a car seat while in their home.
Bradley found as fact that there was “no pattern of abuse,” Conlan said. “This was one, momentary, isolated incident where the root of it was frustration.”
Bradley also found “there was a real lack of assistance for the mother at the time and that she herself has her own serious limitations.”
Police got involved after Owen Sound hospital staff became suspicious about injuries to her two-and-a-half-week-old baby boy in the emergency department.
The child was later taken to hospital in London in critical condition.
The boy, now approaching his second birthday, is in the care of foster parents.
His foster father reported in a victim impact statement that as of September the child still can’t eat adequate food through his mouth and must be tube-fed daily.
He suffers one to five seizures per week, has limited use of his right arm, is unable to stand and struggles to hold up his head. He can’t crawl or push himself up, has problems manipulating toys and has a limited vocabulary.
The prognosis for improvement is guarded.
“I don’t think it would be fair to say that the doctors feel that the child will make some sort or miraculous or full recovery,” Conlan said.
The conditional sentence requires the mother not to associate with her son unless authorized by the Children’s Aid Society or by court order. She must also not be the primary caregiver of anyone younger than 14. She must also immediately report any new pregnancy to the CAS.
She can’t drink alcohol or use drugs unless prescribed for her and isn’t to associate with anyone named by her supervisor. She also has to accept any counselling recommended.
During the first year of her sentence she will be under house arrest, with permission to leave her residence for things such as medical appointments and counselling.
She’ll also wear an electronic monitoring bracelet for the first six months of the conditional sentence.
Her probation order contains most of the same terms, but no house arrest.
She was released from custody on Christmas Eve 2007 on $12,000 bail and a number of conditions, including that she have no contact with the injured child except under Children’s Aid Society supervision.
Source: Owen Sound Sun Times
October 4, 2009 permalink
Four days after giving birth to Yair Antonio Carrillo, Tennessee mother Maria Gurrola was attacked by an impostor posing as an immigration agent. Gurrola was stabbed eight times before her attacker fled with the baby to Alabama. Police found the kidnapper, Tammy Renee Silas with the baby four days later. Did mother get her baby back? No way. Tennessee children's services kept the baby, and took the mother's three other children as well. They will not give any reason for their actions.
October 4, 2009
Kidnapped baby, mother reunited for a moment
State places infant and his three siblings in foster care
By Chris Echegaray, THE TENNESSEAN
Maria Gurrola held her baby Saturday for the first time since he was kidnapped last week, but the week-old child was taken from her arms again.
Little Yair Antonio Carrillo and his three siblings — ages 11, 9, and 3 — are in the custody of the state Department of Children's Services. They were removed from Gurrola's home Saturday.
"It's for the children's safety," DCS spokesman Rob Johnson said. "I can't tell you how long. It will all be reviewed by a judge."
No specific reasons were given for taking the children. Police will say only that the investigation into the kidnapping is continuing.
Joel Siskovic, an FBI agent in the Memphis division, said he could not say why the children were put into state custody.
"As of now, there's no indication that there's an ongoing threat to the family," he told The Associated Press.
Gurrola held the baby and spent some time with him at an undisclosed location, Johnson said. After the children were removed, the family could not be reached for comment.
Several key questions remain unanswered. Why were the children removed from the home? Why did the kidnapper target this mother and child? Was anyone else involved? If the kidnapper has been caught, what's left to investigate?
And for Yair Carrillo's family, when will the infant come home?
Earlier, family members had been overjoyed that the baby was found unharmed.
While the infant, 9 days old today, remains in foster care, police aren't saying what led a woman they identified as Tammy Renee Silas to target the family.
After a four-day search, the baby was found about 85 miles from Nashville near Ardmore, Ala., in a house shared by Silas and her boyfriend, according to police.
Yair was 4 days old when a woman pretending to be an immigration agent abducted him from his South Nashville home on Tuesday. Gurrola's immigration status is unknown.
Before the abduction, Silas, 39, who has lived in the state line town of Ardmore for about two years, apparently was pretending to be adopting a baby, telling her boyfriend the legal process was under way, according to police.
But the make-believe plot became very real, and very violent. After she tricked her way into Gurrola's house, Silas stabbed the mother eight times, causing deep wounds and a collapsed lung, police said.
"The job is done," Silas said in Spanish into a cell phone as Gurrola lay bleeding, the mother told police.
Investigators have not disclosed whom the woman was talking to. They also have not said if there are other suspects or if anyone else is likely to be charged.
The hunt for a heavyset woman and a Kia Spectra she was thought to be driving ensued, with an Amber alert and the baby's picture all over the media.
A team of Metro police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents and FBI investigators discovered the car had been rented at Nashville International Airport, and traced a cell phone number left as a contact on the rental agreement to Silas.
They arrested Silas on Friday night. She has been charged with kidnapping, a federal offense. State charges in the attack on Gurrola had not been filed Saturday. The case could go directly to a grand jury.
Silas was being held in Alabama pending an extradition hearing.
Outside their East Ridge Drive home on Saturday morning, the baby's father waited as a carpet cleaning crew removed traces of the bloody attack. Jose Antonio Carrillo said he was relieved that his son is safe, and he was anxious to see his boy.
"It was eating me inside but I had to hold it together for my wife because she was in bad shape," said Carrillo, holding an energy drink to get him through the lack of sleep.
"I had to hold strong. I never thought this could ever happen to us."
One photo taken
Carrillo had taken the only picture of his newborn son. That photo was circulated all over the Southeast by investigators and missing children organizations.
"We cannot wait to see him," he said. "I am so glad I took that picture. It went everywhere on the Internet right away."
Carrillo said he moved to Nashville from Zacatecas, Mexico, about seven years ago. He and his family lived with relatives until he was able to get on his feet. Carrillo said the family has never had problems until now.
"I would never think this would happen to us here or anywhere," he said.
For now, the family is staying with relatives, said Carrillo's cousin, Norma Rodriguez. Gurrola has been skittish about going back home since the attack, Rodriguez said.
The federal arrest warrant shows Silas was tracking Gurrola's movements and struck when she was alone. On Tuesday, Silas followed Gurrola to a Women, Infants and Children office and later to a Walmart on Nolensville Pike, according to the warrant. Gurrola, with her baby and a cousin, went back to her East Ridge Drive home.
After Gurrola's cousin left, the mother and infant took a nap. Then, there was a knock on the door.
After the knife attack, the abductor grabbed the baby, a cell phone and a debit card from a diaper bag.
When the child was rescued, authorities conducted a DNA test to make sure they had the right child. The family removed the hospital identification bracelet before he was abducted, Carrillo said.
To confirm it was her son, investigators also showed Gurrola a picture of the baby taken after the rescue on Friday night. It was.
"We are so happy," Rodriguez said early Saturday. "Our supplications were answered."
Addendum: On October 6, all of the children were returned to their parents.
October 4, 2009 permalink
According to Kingston CAS executive director Raymond Muldoon, 36 of 53 CAS agencies across Ontario have appealed their budget allocations to Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews. His budget reduction is small, just two percent. The most revealing quote from today's article is: "the more efficient an agency is, the less money the government figures it needs". We have been pointing out for years that the methods of bureaucratic funding reward the most anti-social activity by agencies. That is why they need, as an interim solution, oversight, and as a permanent solution, abolition of the use of appropriated funds for the upkeep of children.
Status quo — for now, Children's Aid Society director says
Posted By MIKE NORRIS, Posted October 3, 2009
A 2% reduction in its operating budget for this year won't have any impact on services provided by the Frontenac Children's Aid Society.
The same can't be said if the agency continues to receive insufficient funding in future budgets, said executive director Ray Muldoon.
"Right now, the kids are not impacted," he said yesterday. "We won't reduce services, but I can't promise you it won't happen in the future.
"Long term, services to kids will be compromised.
"It's too early to speculate (on the impact), but we'll discuss that with the ministry."
Staff will not be affected, he said.
"So far, no. We can't reduce staffing and meet our mandate."
Although the agency faces a $1.5-million deficit by March 2010, Muldoon says the local Children's Aid Society has a mandate to meet.
"We don't have a choice between accepting and refusing child referral cases," he said.
"If a child is in trouble, we have to respond. We can't turn away children to save money. That would be irresponsible."
Provincial funding has been a sore point with many children's aid societies across Ontario in recent years.
The local agency requested a budget of $20.9 million for 2009-10, a 1% increase over the previous year; it was allocated a little more than $20 million, a 2% cut.
"The funding formula the ministry employs is a cookie-cutter approach," said Muldoon. "It doesn't look at local agencies [as separate entities]."
It appears that the more efficient an agency is, the less money the government figures it needs.
"We've saved this office and the taxpayers a lot of money," said Muldoon. "We've driven costs down and become more efficient in terms of delivering services.
"But when you do it, you get less base funding. The better you do, the less funding you get."
The agency has cut expenses in travel and accommodation, internal operations and infrastructure.
Muldoon said that among six other CAS agencies in cities comparable to Kingston in population and number of cases, Kingston was the most cost efficient.
"We're also one of the lowest-funded (CAS) agencies per capita in the province," he said.
The almost $900,000 shortfall comes on top of a $600,000 deficit. The province, however, doesn't take a hard line on CAS agencies like it does on hospitals or school boards that operate in the red.
"To their credit, the government has recognized annually these deficits but continues to fund CAS agencies to provide services despite the deficit," said Muldoon.
Muldoon said 36 of 53 CAS agencies across Ontario have appealed their budget allocations to Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews. The FCAS is among those filing an appeal.
An appeal panel will meet with each agency's board of directors, after which the panel can make changes to the funding.
Muldoon said the Ontario auditor general made it clear in 2007 that CAS funding needed to be examined and "nothing has substantially changed."
"The ministry needs to examine its funding formula and needs to realize it's not adequate," said Muldoon. "It needs to re-commit."
The funding issue will not affect the construction of the agency's new home at Division and Kirkpatrick streets because those costs come out of a capital budget. The new building is scheduled to open by June 2011.
There are several commenta posted by social workers. Here is one from a parent:
Post #2 By joejoe
Funding isn't the issue. Management is the biggest problem at the CAS. They treat their clients and ward children as a business. They are human beings with very sensitive issues, so stop treating them like $hit, fire the management that constantly violates parents rights. Stop lying to parents who comply with supervised access visits when you damn well know that they will NEVER get their kids back. The CAS in Kingston is one of the most corrupt government agencies and deserve nothing more than for Minister Deb Matthews to clean house starting with Ray Muldoon. Once you get rid of the garbage then start funding — otherwise the money is for nothing.
Source: Kingston Whig-Standard
Benefit for Devon
October 4, 2009 permalink
There will be a benefit for Devon Sweeney on Thursday, October 22 at the Casbah Lounge, 306 King Street West in Hamilton Ontario.
Entertainment & Arts - Nightlife
The Casbah is a premium live music venue in the heart of Hamilton's music scene. Live music nightly...DJs in the — lounge, specialty cocktails, micro draft beer. Casbah is available for private functions, birthdays and other social engagements. Contact us for details.
$3 Shooter List 7 Nights A Week!!!
ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE AT:
- Casbah Lounge :: Office Hrs Mon-Wed, Noon-4pm, and also during shows
- Dr.Disc Hamilton :: 905-523-1010
- online at www.casbahlounge.ca via Paypal
phone# - 905.521.4441
THU OCT 22
A.L.L. BENEFIT (Acute lymphoblastic leukemia)
~~ Promoter: Graham "Lumpy" Sweeney
~~ featuring live sets from Break Our Band, Subliminal Hate Machine, Unnamed Punk Band, Slander (80/82 Line-up with Stevo)
~~ Door prizes: Concert Photos by Johnny Angel, $25 Virgin Mobile Phone Cards, Felix Potvin signed card, Hand-crafted jewellery, 50/50 Draw
@ Casbah — 8PM — LIC/AA :: $7
Source: Facebook (open page)
London Organizers Needed
October 1, 2009 permalink
Organizers in the effort to provide oversight and accountability for children's aid are needed for the area of London Ontario.
Andrew Skinner October 1 at 12:37pm
Good morning all,
Currently we are looking to make contact and assist a few dedicated people in establishing an advocate group in the provincial riding of London North Center. This is a key riding in the push for oversight and accountability in Ontario's 53 private Children's Aid Societies. This is also the riding of the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Ms. Deb Matthews.
If any groups members are located in or near this provincial riding and are interested in being the primary contacts and organizers, please contact us through facebook or by sending an email to: [ fighting4families at hotmail.com ].
Thank you in advance,
Malone Case Reopened
September 29, 2009 permalink
John Dunn is starting a new investigation into the suicide bombing death of Jim Malone (look back to October 26 for all three items). He asks for anyone with facts, no matter how small, to call him.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Council Opening Investigation into suicide death of Windsor Group Home Operator Jim Malone
Some of you may remember the tragic story of Jim Malone, a group home operator who worked with the Windsor Essex Children's Aid Society, who drove his flaming truck into the Society's building, killing himself and causing over $1,000,000 in damages.
The story appears to have been quickly swept under the rug, therefore the Foster Care Council of Canada would like to open an investigation into the matter. We are asking anyone who has any information about Jim Malone and his death, especially the events which led up to his death, to please contact us at 613-220-1039 with any information you can provide. Anonymous tips are accepted, however we will take tips from anyone who is willing to speak publicly about this as well.
Nothing is too small or unimportant. Any conflicts Malone may have had with the agency and / or its staff, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, or conversations he may have had with friends and family are welcome.
You can read more about the tragic incident at the following link: CBC - October 29, 2004
Posted by afterfostercare at 9:27 AM
Source: foster care news
Mandatory Vaccine Risk
September 29, 2009 permalink
An English girl has died shortly after vaccination against HPV. What do the people with the most knowledge of the risks think of vaccination? In the second enclosed article New York State health care workers are threatening to go on strike over mandatory vaccination.
What about families without a history of sexual promiscuity? Can they decide not to vaccinate their daughters against the sexually-transmitted HPV? Nope. That would be "medical neglect". Unvaccinated girls can be seized and inoculated. If they are still alive at the first court hearing, parents can plead for their return.
First picture of girl, 14, who died after being injected with cervical cancer jab from 'rogue batch'
By Daniel Martin, Last updated at 6:29 AM on 29th September 2009
A girl of 14 died yesterday hours after being given the cervical cancer vaccine at her school.
Natalie Morton, who attended the Blue Coat Church of England School in Coventry, died in hospital after receiving the Cervarix jab.
The tragedy is the first reported death in Britain since the national vaccination programme began last September, with more than 1.5million doses given to girls.
Last night an investigation began to establish the exact cause of the death.
It is not yet known whether Natalie had an extreme - and very rare - reaction to a standard vaccine, or whether the particular dose she was given was from a rogue contaminated batch. A number of her classmates have reported alleged side-effects from the jab.
The head of Blue Coat School, Dr Julie Roberts, sent a letter home to parents. She told them 'an unfortunate incident occurred and one of the girls suffered a rare, but extreme reaction to the vaccine'.
She urged them to be 'extra vigilant regarding any signs or symptoms'.
A post-mortem examination will take place to determine the exact cause of Natalie's death. The vaccine batch used at the school has been quarantined to test whether it is faulty or was contaminated during production or distribution.
Natalie's mother Elaine, who lives with the teenager's elder sister Abigail, 17, in Coventry was too distraught to comment. Natalie's father Joe has remarried and has a baby son.
Although other girls at the school, a mixed specialist music college with 1,400 pupils, suffered from dizziness and nausea after the jab it is understood that none has needed hospital treatment.
Last night, a fellow pupil gave a dramatic account of how Natalie collapsed.
The 15-year-old girl said: 'We all had the jab today from Year Nine to the sixth form.
'About an hour after having the jab Natalie went really pale and wasn't breathing. I think it was around lunchtime.
'She fainted in the corridor. I saw ambulance men pumping her chest then the teachers told us to go outside.
'A lot of people were crying afterwards and we were all very worried.
'We have to have three of the jabs in all and a lot of us don't want to take the rest, but they're telling us we have to because there will be sideeffects if we don't have them all.'
Her mother said: 'It's all very, very worrying. We feel like our children are being treated like guinea pigs.
'I wasn't keen on my daughter having it in the first place but the school seemed insistent.'
Writing on Natalie's Facebook page, schoolfriend Suzie Grace Gee said: 'What a lovely girl. Always had a smile on her face! It's such a shock to everyone, and it's going to be odd not seeing her every Sunday at church. She will forever be missed.'
Critics say the tragedy highlights the risks of mass vaccination because no testing regime can detect the rarest and potentially most lethal side effects.
Last night, there were calls for the entire cervical cancer vaccination programme to be suspended.
But the Department of Health refused to say whether it would go ahead for the tens of thousands of girls due to receive the jab in the months ahead.
The Cervarix vaccine is being given to all girls aged 12 and 13 in a nationwide programme. All under the age of 18 will have received it by 2011.
The injection is not compulsory but parents who do not wish their girls to have it must opt out of the programme.
The vaccine guards against infection by the sexually transmitted disease HPV, which causes 70 per cent of all cases of cervical cancer.
Although the disease does not usually strike until middle age, the jab must be given to girls before they become sexually active to have the best effect.
Some critics argue it will encourage promiscuity. They say women are as well protected by regular smear tests.
The school vaccination programme followed clinical trials in 2005 on more than 18,000 women under 26.
More than 2,000 girls have suffered side- effects ranging from rashes to paralysis in the year since the vaccine was introduced in schools, according to the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency.
Around the world, Cervarix and another version, Gardasil, have been linked to 30 deaths as well as cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome - a littleunderstood immune disorder.
Dr Caron Grainger, joint director for public health for NHS Coventry and Coventry council, said: 'No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known.'
Source: Daily Mail
Mandatory flu vaccination splits workers
September 27, 2009 by DELTHIA RICKS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite a planned rally in Albany Tuesday to protest a state regulation requiring health care workers be vaccinated against influenza — both seasonal and swine flu — New York’s top public health official predicts dissenters will ultimately extinguish their anger and roll up their sleeves.
The regulation, which was approved in August, comes with a stinging addendum: Get vaccinated or get fired.
But some nurses and many other health care providers say the regulation violates their personal freedom and leaves them vulnerable to vaccine injury. And they cite deaths associated with the last federal government swine-flu vaccination program in 1976.
Refusing to be immunized against H1N1 because of the vaccine debacle in 1976 “is like saying a plane crashed 33 years ago so I’ll never fly again,” said Dr. Richard Daines, New York State health commissioner.
New York is the only state in the nation to require that health care workers be vaccinated, though other states are considering such measures. Health workers, including doctors, must be immunized by Nov. 30. Opponents say it’s simply unnecessary.
Several registered nurses said they will neither contract nor transmit the flu because they’re constantly washing their hands.
While dozens of demonstrators are expected at the rally from throughout the state, many are from Stony Brook University Medical Center. A meeting was held last week for hospital staff on the importance of vaccination for health care workers; a special session was held for employees in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, because many nurses there had expressed concern about the vaccination plan.
“We cannot force employees to be vaccinated; however we do not have an infinite number of non-patient care positions available to reassign those who simply refuse the vaccine,” said hospital spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow.
Darcy Wells, spokeswoman for the Public Employees Federation, which represents 9,000 health care workers statewide, including 3,000 at Stony Brook, said the union disapproves of mandatory vaccination, but is urging members to comply with the regulation.
The opponents also say it’s wrong that all five swine flu vaccine makers contracting with the federal government have been indemnified against lawsuits if someone gets sick or dies.
Daines said the vaccination directive stemmed from particular concern about institutional outbreaks — in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice centers. In a typical year, only 40 percent to 50 percent of health care workers take advantage of voluntary flu vaccination programs, and the state has about 150 institutional outbreaks of influenza. But with seasonal and H1N1 in circulation in the fall, institutional outbreaks could worsen.
“Anyone who is concerned about the safety of the vaccine should read about the death of a previously healthy nurse in California who died of H1N1,” Daines said.
He referred to a 51-year-old nurse in Carmichael, Calif., who died in July after she was exposed to swine flu on the job.
Reed and Kristi Tramposch, both registered nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit at Stony Brook University Medical Center, say as parents of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, they oppose vaccination because of possible links to the neurodevelopmental condition.
“There are a lot of toxic substances that go into vaccines,” Kristi Tramposch said. “I would like to see a lot of people get it [the swine flu vaccine] before I consider it.”
Daines expressed dismay that neonatal intensive care nurses would consider shunning flu shots for personal or philosophical reasons. More than simply protecting themselves from infection, he added, health care providers are also protecting patients from the flu.
Like other protesters, the Tramposches said the newly approved H1N1 vaccine is no different from the swine flu immunization of 1976, which was linked to the nerve-damaging disorder Guillain Barre syndrome, and even death.
But Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, said while he questions the state’s move to make flu shots mandatory now, he said no relationship exists between the vaccine of 33 years ago and the current vaccine.
“I took the swine flu vaccine in 1976,” said Farber, “and I plan to take the H1N1 flu vaccine now.”
September 29, 2009 permalink
Canada Court Watch has found a case in which children's aid got a girl to bear false witness against her mother by sharing some of their bounty with the girl herself. Remember that a typical allowance for a teenager in CAS care is ten dollars a week, and sometimes part of that is embezzled by the foster parents.
Ontario's office of the Children's Lawyer knowingly submits false affidavit to court claims teen client
(Sept 26, 2009) A teenager has contacted Court Watch and reported that her Toronto based lawyer working for Ontario's Office of the Children's Lawyer knowingly submitted a false statement of agreed facts to the court in which the lawyer was representing the teen. According to the teen and her family she had been offered a generous monthly cash allowance of close to $500 a month plus a free place to live by the Toronto CAS if she agreed to live under their care when she turned 16 years of age. The condition of course being that she must be willing to sign an agreed statement of facts prepared by the CAS stating that her mother was abusing her. Even though the teen told her children's lawyer that what was in the document about her mother was a lie, the lawyer advised her that if she wanted to get the money and benefits that the CAS was offering her she must sign the document containing the false information which would be then given to the court. Lured by money and promises of having her own place to live free from adult control, she signed the documents knowing that it was wrong. The teen just could not turn down the lure of money and freedom that the Toronto CAS was offering to her. Court Watch has an electronically recorded interview with the teen to validate the claims. Court Watch will follow up with a complaint letter to the Premiere of Ontario requesting that an end be put on the practice of CAS luring teens into its care.
It would appear that CAS agencies are on a campaign to lure teenagers to remain in their care using money and freedom as the bait. Of course the CAS will get a considerable amount of money on top of that being paid to the teens to cover its overhead of managing the file. The cost to taxpayers is likely double to triple that if the teen was to apply for welfare. Seems that CAS agencies have found a nice little loophole to fill their pockets with cash from the taxpayers of Ontario.
Source: Canada Court Watch
September 27, 2009 permalink
In Married to the State Professor Stephen Baskerville departs from a narrow focus on the damage to families and proposes that family destruction is on the front line in the struggle for personal freedom. The first objective of the state is getting the father out of the picture, most often through divorce. Raising children without fathers blocks the character development on which democracy depends.
For the ladies who think they are unaffected, the next step after driving out dad is taking the children. More than half of the cases reported to Dufferin VOCA are interventions to take children from single mothers.
Married to the State
How government colonizes the family
By Stephen Baskerville
In 1947, with the baby boom in its infancy and few disposed to hearing of family crisis, Harvard sociologist Carle Zimmerman saw the long-term reality: the family had been deteriorating since the Renaissance and was nearing the point of no return. Whenever the family shows signs of dysfunction, Zimmerman observed, “the state helps to break it up.” During the 19th century, “law piled on law, and government agency upon government agency” until by 1900 “the state had become master of the family.” The result, he wrote in Family and Civilization, was that “the family is now truly the agent, the slave, the handmaiden of the state.”
Today we might regard 1947 as a golden age for the family. Without perceiving it, each generation has become acculturated to family deterioration and added to it. We now accept as normal what would have shocked our grandparents: cohabitation, illegitimacy, divorce, same-sex marriage, daycare, fast-food dinners. Indeed, shocking the previous generation is part of the thrill of filial rebellion.
What should shock even the liberal and the young—but today does not much disturb even the conservative and the old—are destruction of constitutional protections and invasions of personal freedom and privacy by the government’s family machinery. Some four decades ago, the Western world embarked on the boldest social experiment in its history. With no public discussion, laws were enacted in virtually every jurisdiction that ended marriage as an enforceable contract. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family.
Few stopped to consider the implications of laws that shifted the breakup of private households from a voluntary to an involuntary process. Unilateral divorce involves government agents forcibly removing legally innocent people from their homes and seizing their property. It inherently abrogates not only the inviolability of marriage but the very concept of private life.
The most serious consequences involve children. Through involuntary divorce, a legally unimpeachable parent can be arrested for seeing his own children without government authorization. He can be charged with domestic violence or child abuse, without evidence that he has committed either crime. He can be hauled before a judge for not paying child support without proof that he actually owes it. He can even be arrested for not paying an attorney or psychotherapist whom he has not hired. No formal charge, no jury, no trial required.
To justify this repression, the divorce machinery has generated hysterias against fathers so inflammatory that few dare question them: child abuse, wife-beating, nonpayment of child support. The accused parent simply loses his family and finds himself abandoned, with everyone terrified to be associated with an accused “pedophile,” “batterer,” or “deadbeat dad.”
Our passivity before repression this serious is stunning and the starkest example yet of the erosion of that civic virtue that has been integral to American political thought since before the founding of the Republic.
Conservatives have labored this idea into a cliché. We preach that people must be more virtuous, less selfish, and more devoted to the public good. But these exhortations earn us nothing but contempt when we remain silent in the face of real tyranny, which, as usual, has appeared where we least expected it and are least equipped to resist it. Instead of resisting, we lament a decline in “culture” and declare there is very little we can do.
But as Linda McClain writes, families are “seedbeds of civic virtue” and “have a place in the project of forming persons into capable, responsible, self-governing citizens.” The family is where parents and children learn to love sacrificially, to put others’ needs before their own desires, to sacrifice for the welfare and protection of the whole. If this does not begin with one’s own home and loved ones it, does not begin at all. People unwilling to sacrifice for their own flesh and blood will not do so for the strangers who comprise their country. In the family, children learn to obey authorities other than the state—God, parents, clergy, teachers, coaches, neighbors. By accepting these, some of whom they love, children learn that government is not the only authority and is one that can and must be limited.
Conservatives have recently been eager to declare marriage and the family to be “public” institutions, largely in response to homosexual insistence that families are purely private and therefore may be defined according to the whims of individuals. But it is more precise to say that the family mediates between the public and the private, ensuring each its proper sphere. In the family children learn to distinguish and defend private life from encroachment by public power. Involvement in public affairs, which is important, begins as an extension of private responsibilities as parents, homeowners, neighbors, and parishioners. Citizens participate in public life as amateurs with a stake in their families, homes, and communities, not as professionals with a stake in a government program or ideology.
Children raised without intact families do not as readily absorb concepts such as family privacy, sacrificial love, parental authority, limited government, or civic virtue. For their rules and values come not from parents but from government officials, who have ultimate sovereignty over their lives: courts, lawyers, social workers, forensic therapists, public-school bureaucrats, and police. These are the figures they must obey rather than their parents. Thus children whose authority figures are government officials cannot distinguish the private from the public and come to see the public sphere as a realm not of civic duty and community leadership but of abstract ideology, government funding, professional employment, career advancement, and state power, in whose growth they acquire a vested interest.
It is no accident that the traditional family is described as patriarchal and that civic virtue traditionally suggested masculinity. It is also no coincidence that fathers are the ones marginalized by family decline.
Enormous attention has been devoted to the crisis of 24 million fatherless children, a phenomenon directly linked to every major social pathology from violent crime to substance abuse and truancy. Because these ills justify almost all domestic government spending, fatherlessness has resulted in a huge expansion of state power. The Obama administration aims to promote virtue with programs preaching “responsible fatherhood” and nagging men to practice “good fathering.” The Bush administration used similar schemes to argue for the importance of marriage. The result is the same: bewailing other people’s moral failings at taxpayer expense.
There is certainly truth in the connection between fatherhood and civil society. “Fathers play a key role in developing and sustaining the kind of personal character on which democracy depends,” writes Don Eberly of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Government therapy, on the other hand, cannot create virtue because it requires no sacrifice. Federal funding only gives officials incentives to perpetuate problems, so it is hardly surprising that not only have these programs done nothing to improve either fatherhood or marriage, they have exacerbated the breakdown of both.
Eberly’s point connecting fathers and freedom contains a larger truth. While families require sacrifice from all members, it is fathers whose sacrifice may extend to their very lives. Children deprived of their fathers by state officials therefore lose more than a parent. They lose the parent who connects them with the civic order. When the father protects and provides for his family, he will resist the state’s efforts to assume those roles. Under his leadership, the family is a force for limiting state power.
The single mother does not resist the state’s encroachment. On the contrary, she is our society’s principal claimant on a vast array of state services, without which she cannot manage her children. When the state usurps the roles of protector and provider and disciplinarian, the state becomes the father.
This is the story of modern politics: increasingly centralized police, plus the regulatory and welfare states that also promise various forms of protection. These paternal—and increasingly maternal—substitutes brought massive bureaucracies, fulfilling Tocqueville’s prophecy that democracy would lead to increasingly bureaucratic intrusion into private life. These agencies expanded by creating problems to solve. As police functionaries, they had to create criminals and newfangled, nonviolent crimes that most people (such as juries) could not understand and required “experts” to adjudicate—crimes that were safe for female police, crimes that could be committed only by men.
Fathers whose children are taken away by state officials do not heroically rescue them or organize opposition to the divorce machinery because the enervating power of the bureaucratic behemoth makes resistance pointless. Men are thus politically neutered and, as a result, often despised by their own children and the rest of us.
That most people do not regard these practices as tyrannical may be the most alarming aspect of all. Government agents seize control of children and property of vast numbers of law-abiding citizens through literally “no fault” of their own, and we accept it because of jargon that makes it all appear banal: “custody battle” and “division of property.” Fidelity to one’s word—let alone one’s spouse—is disdained. Basic civilities become irrelevant because family members can be made to obey through court orders. Family wealth—traditionally used to leverage both obedience from children and limits on government—is useless for both purposes. In divorce it is simply confiscated.
So vast numbers of children now grow up believing from the earliest age that it is normal for government officials to assume control over their family life, to order their parents about as if they were naughty children. This is causing more than social chaos. It is destroying our freedom and our will to defend it.
Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family. A longer version of this essay will appear in The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy.
Source: The American Conservative
undated article posted September 2009
Smitherman to Adopt
September 27, 2009 permalink
Ontario's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman and his same-sex partner Christopher Peloso have been approved by the children's aid society to become adoptive parents. They are still waiting for their child. This is yet another case where high-level politicians, and gays, get the children that CAS has successfully wrested from parents. The disclosure appears in an article on the decision of Toronto mayor David Miller to not seek reelection.
Contenders to be the next mayor of Toronto
DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR
Mayor David Miller's decision has swung the door to his office wide open. Will councillors eyeing the threshold have the heft to challenge the heavyweights already touted for the job?
Sep 26, 2009 04:30 AM, Donovan Vincent, Rob Ferguson, John Spears, Staff Reporters
With David Miller out, the next question is inevitable.
While an array of centre and right-wing candidates are already gauging their chances to fill the mayoral seat in 2010, Miller's decision to step out of contention has opened a yawning gap on the left side of the political spectrum.
In his speech yesterday, the mayor issued a rallying cry to those with "progressive values'' to coalesce around a candidate. "If you work hard and fight hard, you can elect that champion,'' he said.
But while the left seeks its next best hope, John Tory, a fiscal conservative and the former provincial Conservative leader, and Deputy Premier George Smitherman, a Liberal widely viewed as centre-left, are already gathering support.
It's unclear to what extent traditional Millerites – New Democratic Party members, labour and so forth – would rally behind Smitherman.
While Smitherman was off visiting his mother in Collingwood yesterday, taking no calls, Tory held a news conference outside CFRB, where he has a radio show.
Tory wouldn't let himself be rushed into anything by Miller's September surprise. "I don't have any deadline,'' he said.
But he set a tone for his undeclared candidacy, saying the next mayor should be prepared to run the city in a "business-like'' manner.
"If we don't get the city's finances in order and get people better value for their money and start getting under control the taxing and spending, there (won't be) resources available to build more transit or to provide some hope for people in the neighbourhoods that need to have more hope."
Smitherman's advisers said Miller's decision doesn't alter the deputy premier's position to wait until the new year before formally deciding. "This announcement today has definitely thrown a new light, but it hasn't created a power vacuum that has to be filled,'' said one source.
Smitherman confidantes deny that a campaign organization is in place, but there is clearly a network of advisers positioning their man to run against Tory, a wealthy former chief executive of Rogers Cable.
Smitherman, a member of his inner circle pointed out, is "the son of a truck driver."
"Will he connect with the small guy? Yes. Does he know the small guy? Yes. Has he lived with the small guy? Yes. Has he been a small guy? Yes."
And while Miller hopes to spend more time with his children, Smitherman hopes to become a father. A close source said he and spouse Christopher Peloso were approved as adoptive parents by the Toronto Children's Aid Society last spring. "They're still on the waiting list," said the source.
But either contender would face a historic challenge: No one in recent memory who wasn't a sitting councillor has gone on to become mayor.
Right-of-centre councillors who have expressed interest include Karen Stintz, Denzil Minnan-Wong and Michael Thompson. Centre-left and left-wingers whose names have been bandied about are budget chief Shelley Carroll, TTC chair Adam Giambrone and Adam Vaughan.
Vaughan, who said categorically he "will not be running'' for mayor, said Miller's replacement must come from outside council.
"The mayor's job nowadays is so much like a governor's job, so much like a president's job, an executive position as much as legislative. ... If there's going to be a change it should come from (outside) council.''
Giambrone, 32, chuckled when asked if he's considering a run. Despite his high-profile post on the TTC, some view him as a bit green for the mayor's chain of office.
Nevertheless, he wasn't saying no to the idea. "It's a natural question that people are going to ask," he said.
Carroll, like Giambrone a Miller loyalist, wasn't saying no, either, and disagreed with Vaughan's assertion the next mayor should be from outside. "Certainly people at city hall know the inner workings of the city, but it's going to have to come down to vision (and a) real commitment to seeing that vision through,'' she said.
But with Miller polling so low, candidates with close ties will have to weigh whether they'd spend the campaign defending his policies and being a punching bag for Miller foes.
As Miller did in 2003 and 2006, the candidate on the left will probably target labour for support, though that fan base eroded during the civic workers' strike – notably when Miller publicly released details of the city's contract offer.
Mark Ferguson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416, said the city's labour council will meet to consider ways to find "candidates that hold transit, the environment, public service and working people high on the agenda."
Ferguson said "there is definitely a push from the right and corporate elite to gain control at city hall."
Environmental lobbyist Joe Cressy exuded an aura of gloom as he pondered a political landscape without Miller. After wedging into the cramped news conference, Cressy – a big part of last year's fight to curtail bottled water use on civic properties – said he sees no credible candidates on the left who can challenge Smitherman or Tory.
"Who do you want to put up to lose?" Cressy asked.
Minnan-Wong, a Miller critic who acknowledged he's considering a run, said a new path needs to be charted: "I've said publicly and through my work at the city that I think we do need new leadership and new direction."
Councillor Karen Stintz, another Miller opponent, shied away from discussing her intentions yesterday.
"Today is really Mayor Miller's day. Today we thank him for the work he did," Stintz said. Pressed, she said: "2010 will be an exciting election and I'm looking forward to it.''
Source: Toronto Star
Family Destruction Started
September 26, 2009 permalink
Justin Wood has been placed on the route to family destruction. It has started with an improbable accusation — he threw his own child into a fire. The evidence against him is under embargo, meaning usually there isn't any. It is unlikely he is the one dad in a million who wants to incinerate his own child. He has been arrested and released on bail subject to conditions keeping him away from his family. The social services apparatus will soon be kicking in to "protect" the children during his absence. In dozens of other cases reported to Dufferin VOCA, when the charges came to trial a year or two later the crown moved to dismiss for lack of evidence, but by then the family was history, and could not be reassembled. We hope Mr Wood can find competent legal advice quickly to avoid the usual bad outcome. After the expanded article, we enclose a comment by the reader who pointed out the item.
It's alleged he threw his three-year-old onto a smouldering firepit at Valens
September 26, 2009, Dana Brown, The Hamilton Spectator, (Sep 26, 2009)
A 38-year-old Beamsville man accused of throwing his three-year-old son into a campfire has been released on $3,500 bail.
Justin Wood appeared in a Hamilton court yesterday, facing charges of aggravated assault and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
"The overall allegation is, that a male person dropped a child in a smoldering firepit," said Hamilton police Superintendent John Petz.
It's alleged that on Sept. 12, Wood threw his child in a campfire, which caused his son to be burned. There was no word yesterday on how badly the child was injured.
According to someone camping with Wood at the time, the incident took place at Valens Conservation Area. The person did not want to discuss the matter further.
An arrest warrant was issued for Wood on Wednesday and he was in bail court yesterday.
During his hearing, Wood was neatly dressed in the prisoner's box, with a dark sweater and collared shirt underneath.
There is a publication ban on evidence presented at the bail hearing.
Wood has several conditions attached to his release, including living away from his home, taking all prescribed medication and continuing all medical and psychiatric treatment until being discharged or until the court matter is dealt with.
Wood's access to his kids has also been restricted. His wife declined to speak to The Spectator yesterday.
Source: Hamilton Spectator
We will name the author of this comment only if he asks to be identified
As a parent, and avid camper it would seem to me that this is a normal accident that normal active parents in Ontario are all at risk of.
How many of us have had family camp outs? How many of us have gathered for songs of merriment, renditions of scary stories, fables, while allowing the children to poke at the flames with sticks loaded with sticky gooey marshmallows?
When the lights go out in Ontario parks, they really go out for the night. The kiddies have a blast playing with flashlights and often lose them in the dark. So when an active child is laid to rest for the night, and the exhausted parent is faced with the dreaded: "Daddy I gotta pee". Invariably there is the scramble to find shoes, flash lights (that often are never found in the dark), zippers to be free of sleeping bags and tents, then there is the scramble through darkened campsites, littered with coolers, camp chairs, guidelines from tents and every ten feet or so there is also a metal tire rim 1/2 way implanted in the ground. The dreaded fire pit. Imagine trying to dodge all these obstacles in the dark with a very tired toddler in your arms wondering if you can just get to that light at the end of the road. The bathroom!
The man is released on a $3500.00 bail. There is a publication ban on evidence presented at the bail hearing. Wood has several conditions attached to his release, including living away from his home, taking all prescribed medication and continuing all medical and psychiatric treatment until being discharged or until the court matter is dealt with.
Wood's access to his kids has also been restricted. His wife declined to speak to The Spectator yesterday.
Ontario Parks have an 11 o'clock lights out policy. If the accident occurred after 11, why was there a smoldering firepit in a park policed by Ontario park rangers? If this man did not have medical/psychiatric issues prior to this accident why is he being forced to undergo treatment and examinations prior a finding of guilt? Anyone who has ever dealt with the systemic biases that are applied while families are under investigation, knows what the term tort outrage means. Call in the Damage Control — CAS is on its way!!
I can only imagine what this father is going to look like two years from now at trial, after being kicked out of his home, marginalized out his children's lives, poked, prodded and medicated by the medical and psychiatric community. Needled and incensed by repeated appearances in family and criminal court. How long will it take for him to scream: Yes I did it!! According to the Goudge inquest most families disintegrated within months of the "allegations". Welcome to the Merry Go Round!
Quite a price to pay for dropping a child in a provincial conservation area.
September 26, 2009 permalink
A meeting has been called for next Tuesday in Perth Ontario by a group called Families Apart Lanark County.
FAILSAFE SEPT 29 7 PM 40 NORTH ST PERTH ONTARIO Brenda wrote September 25, 2009
CAS Prejudice in Lanark County
”Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely“
This would be a suitable expression to describe the conduct of CAS in Lanark county ( and surrounding areas ) We are both appalled and disturbed by the lack of accountability and invasive measures employed by this agency towards so many families in our community.
Its no surprise that “Foster parents” are being recruited through local newspaper advertising!! The removal of children from their families seems to have reached epidemic proportions!!
Through simple observation; We have concluded that the majority of victims of CAS interference are already marginalized by a form of social or economic stigma. This is suggestive of “ profiling “ by this agency,…These same families are judged by a system that is “beyond reproach” and “above judgement” for the actions and conduct of “so called” Child Protection Workers,…Personal bias and reliance on unsubstantiated allegations is an abuse of authority. Workers lack the credentials, training and insight to determine the existence of legitimate concerns!! Programs, Independent support groups or assessments by qualified professionals are neither suggested nor provided by CAS. In addition-their mandate seems to be invested in secrets and fear which on a basic level is the purest definition of abuse !!
Legal Representation in Child Protection matters is a non-entity as it is a foregone conclusion that these cases cannot be “won”. Little time is invested by Legal Aid Lawyers who invariably advise their clients to “co-operate” with CAS,.. This loosely translates to being advised to give up the Legal and Constitutional Rights afforded by any other court of Law (or agency) in this country!! It is time for solidarity. It is time for an audit of CAS protocol and practice. It is time for change in Lanark County! I propose to form a coalition within our community beginning with the establishment of a Support Group to provide a safe forum for the exchange of ideas and concerns.
FAILSAFE-Webster dictionary defines this as “being or relating to a safeguard that prevents continuing on a bombing-mission according to a preconceived plan” for us..
FAMILIES APART LANARK COUNTY
SUPPORTING ADVOCACY FAIRNESS & EQUALITY
Join us for our first “THINKTANK” on September 29th 2009, 7o’clock PM 40 North St. Perth Ontario
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
September 25, 2009 permalink
Tamara Malcolm spoke yesterday on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Link to her on YouTube or our local copy (flv). The expand block has a picture and notes from cameraman, Paul Dewar, MP for Ottawa Centre, who spoke to Tamara on the video.
September 24, 2009
On September 24, 2009, Tamara Malcolm spoke on Parliament Hill. I was moved by her words and wanted to share them with others. Tamara is a mother of three who walked from Winnipeg to Ottawa to raise awareness about the state of Aboriginal mothers and children affected by child welfare system. The purpose of her walk is to begin the healing process for Aboriginal families, honour and acknowledge all mothers who never saw their children again because of the "60's scoop" and give them a voice. I hope you watch this video and check out the website www.fnwitness.ca for more information.
Paul Dewar, MP
PS. My apologies to you and Tamara for the quality of my cell phone video!
September 24, 2009 permalink
The OACAS is asking for proposals for a conference titled Critical Connections (pdf, local copy), subtitled Where Woman Abuse And Child Safety Intersect. The conference is to take place in Toronto next March 9 and 10. In certified bureaucratic language the agenda is:
- To highlight the effects of woman abuse on child safety and well being. Preference will be given to submissions highlighting effective and collaborative relationships.
- To promote increased awareness and understanding of woman abuse and the impact on the safety and well being of children and families.
- To build cross sector relationships and networks for those who work with abused women, children and their families to increase collaborative program responses.
- To identify trends, new programs and research related to women and children living with family violence.
- To provide an opportunity for Children’s Aid Societies and their Community Partners to showcase their collaborative programs.
Topics are limited to support for existing policies, and contrary material will not be heard. Not on the agenda:
- How removing fathers harms mothers and children.
- Elevated levels of child abuse in foster homes.
- Why less than half of long-term foster children become well-functioning adults.
Addendum: Here is another example we found on the OACAS website:
The following image from the OACAS website invites readers to speak up for Ontario's children. Finally! An opportunity to tell CAS what needs to be done to stop the abuse of children in foster care. So what comes up when you click on the link? A webpage asking for your email address so they can keep you informed. For children's aid, listening means only you listen to them, never they listen to you.
Fake Social Worker Does Phone Sex
September 21, 2009 permalink
Florida sex-offender Donald James Smith impersonated a child protection worker so that he could speak to a nine-year-old girl. We have two past examples of a similar scam, one from Wyoming in 2007 and one from Nova Scotia in 2004.
Aside: Notice in the photograph what Florida police do to people they arrest.
Registered Sex Offender Arrested for Impersonating Officer, Calling Child
Jennifer Lindgren, Dave Wax, Created: 9/17/2009 4:38:54 PM, Updated: 9/18/2009 12:12:17 AM
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Police say 53-year-old Donald James Smith impersonated a DCF officer when he made an obscene telephone call to a young girl.
Smith, a registered sex offender who served prison time for attempted kidnapping and for committing lewd and lascivious assaults on a minor, was arrested by police Tuesday night after a lengthy investigation.
On June 30, police say Smith obtained phone numbers for the son of Westside resident Stephanie Boggs.
Police say Smith called the boy, identified himself as an investigator with the Department of Children and Families, and asked for the boy's little sister by name.
When the boy told Smith he would have to call his mother, police say Smith told Stephanie Boggs the same story.
"I asked him why he wanted to speak to my daughter, and he said he couldn't talk to me because there are 'allegations' against my daughter," Boggs said.
Boggs said the impersonation was very convincing. She says she told Smith her daughter was at a grandmother's house in Nassau County and gave him the phone number.
Police say when Smith called the grandmother, she only agreed to put her granddaughter on the phone after Smith said it would be a three-way conversation with Boggs included.
Boggs says she was never included in the conversation, and her daughter ended up on the phone alone with Smith for 20 minutes.
"He asked her where she was. He asked her where she lived. He asked her if she was wearing a bra," Boggs said.
Police say the conversation became explicit, and Bogeys daughter ended up in tears.
"He told her if she told anyone what was said, he would arrest her mom and her dad and put them in jail. She was hysterical," Boggs said.
Police say the girl did not tell her grandmother what was said, but handed her the phone. That's when investigators say Smith threatened the grandmother that if she did not drive the girl to a 'neutral' location to meet with him, someone would go to jail.
The meeting never happened.
After Boggs learned what the man on the phone said to her daughter, she found his number on caller ID and called it from a neighbor's house.
Police say the man told Boggs his name was Donald Smith, but he denied making the phone call.
Boggs had her daughter and her mother-in-law listen in on the phone conversation to confirm it was the same person they'd spoken with.
At the same time, Boggs pulled up Smith's sex offender registration online.
Boggs' history of sex crime convictions dates back to 1977.
"I was hysterical. Afraid for my daughter, not knowing if he knew where I lived. If he was going to take her," Boggs said.
A quick call to DCF confirmed there were no investigators looking for her family.
Boggs reported the incident to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police say Smith admitted to being a crack addict and told investigators of his previous arrests for sexually related crimes, but said he did not make the call to Boggs' daughter.
According to police reports, Smith says he rented his phone to an unknown person on June 30. However, police say cell tower records show Smith was in possession of the phone at the time the calls were made.
With no idea how Smith obtained her son's number and her daughter's name, Boggs is concerned.
"You see this on the news all the time and you think, it will never happen to you. But it can happen to anyone," Boggs said.
Smith is self-employed as a handyman. He's in jail tonight on more than $250,000 bond.
A Department of Children and Families spokesperson says only a couple times in the past 30 years have there been reports of someone impersonating an investigator, and never to this extent.
A DCF spokesperson says:
-DCF investigators never conduct interviews over the phone
-Investigators always show identification when making house calls, and leave parents with a bill of rights
-Anyone with doubts about an investigator's credibility is encouraged to call 911
Source: First Coast News
Wheelchair-bound Father Tasered
September 21, 2009 permalink
After California police arrived at the home of Gregory Williams, a double leg amputee, they called social workers to take away his two-year-old daughter. Police zapped him with a taser, injured his shoulder, handcuffed him, displayed him in public with his pants down and left him in jail for a week. Police will stop at nothing to save a child.
Police may have used Taser on unarmed man in wheelchair
By Victor A. Patton - McClatchy Newspapers, Published: Mon, Sep. 21, 2009 06:00AM, Modified Mon, Sep. 21, 2009 06:11AM
MERCED, Calif. -- The Merced Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating whether an officer twice used a Taser on an unarmed, wheelchair-bound man with no legs.
The man who was Tasered, Gregory Williams, 40, a double-leg amputee, spent six days in jail on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, but the Merced County District Attorney's office hasn't filed any charges.
Williams is black, and the two main arresting officers are white, but it's unknown whether race played any role in the incident.
Williams, who was released from jail on Friday, said he was manhandled and Tasered by police, even though he said he was never physically aggressive toward the officers and didn't resist arrest.
Williams said he was humiliated after his pants fell down during the incident. The officers allegedly left him outdoors in broad daylight, handcuffed on the pavement, nude below the waist. Williams said the Sept. 11 arrest also left him with an injured shoulder, limiting his mobility in his wheelchair.
A handful of residents in Williams' apartment complex said they witnessed the incident and supported Williams' charges. A short video clip, shot by a neighbor and obtained by the Sun-Star, shows Williams sitting on the pavement with his pants down, his hands cuffed behind his back.
A Merced police report, written by the responding officers, says that police tried to reason with Williams before the arrest, to no avail. The officers wrote that Williams was uncooperative and refused to turn his 2-year-old daughter over to Merced County Child Protective Services, among other allegations.
In the report, police also say a hostile crowd gathered as the officers tried to perform their duties.
The Merced Police Department spokesman declined to comment on the matter, saying he can't discuss it because the investigation is internal. Both the officers remain on duty.
Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sept. 11, Williams said, he and his wife, 28-year-old Demetrice Shaunte Phifer, were arguing when a marked Merced Police Department patrol car arrived at the couple's studio apartment.
While one officer spoke with his wife, Williams said, another officer arrived and ordered him, "Go back to your house!"
Williams, who had his 2-year-old daughter Ginni in his lap, said he rolled his wheelchair back to his apartment.
The officer, who is identified in the police report as John Pinnegar, approached him in the doorway of his apartment. Pinnegar said that his wife had accused him of striking her, which Williams denied.
Shortly afterward, police Sgt. Rodney Court and a worker with Merced County Child Protective Services entered the room, Williams said. "I'm trying to tell him nothing happened. We were just having an argument," he said.
Pinnegar grabbed William's 2-year-old daughter from his lap, handing her to the CPS worker. "I said, 'What are you doing? I haven't done anything!' " Williams said.
Williams said Pinnegar unholstered his Taser, jammed it into his rib cage and shocked him twice. Williams said he fell from his chair onto his stomach on the ground outside his doorway.
While he was down, Williams said, Court put his knee on his neck, and one of the officers then cuffed both of his wrists. At some point after he fell out of his chair, Williams said, his shorts slid down his legs.
With his hands cuffed behind his back, Williams said, he was unable to pull his pants up. He said police left him for five to 10 minutes in that position on the pavement, with his private parts showing as neighbors and onlookers watched.
Williams, a lifelong Merced resident who's married with three children, said that both his legs were amputated in 2004 after he was diagnosed with deep-vein thrombosis that led to gangrene in both legs.
Doctors amputated both his legs below the knees when he was 34. Now only withered stumps of skin hang where his lower legs once were. He lost his job as a truck driver and now supports himself and his family from a Social Security disability allotment of $1,004 a month.
(Patton reports for the Merced Sun-Star.)
Source: Raleigh News & Observer
Tamara Reaches Ottawa
September 20, 2009 permalink
Tamara Malcolm has reached Ottawa, completing the trip from Mattawa in only two days. She is planning a gathering on Parliament Hill next Saturday, September 26.
Tamara Malcolm September 19 at 4:34pm
This is my contact while I'm in Ottawa and also my email to send your stories of being through child welfare. The number is 1-705-261-0814 my email is email@example.com . Thank you and please inform the people with this message!!!!!
Tamara Malcolm September 20 at 1:44am
HELLO EVERYONE I AM NOW IN OTTAWA, I PLAN TO GO TO PARLIMENT HILL ON Saturday, September 26th. I CAME THIS FAR, NOW ITS YOUR TURN TO JOIN ME IF YOU CAN. I WOULD APPRICIATE IT IF YOU WOULD STAND AT YOUR LEGESLATIVE BUILDINGS ACROSS CANADA, IF YOU CANNOT MAKE IT TO PARLIMENT HILL. WHO EVER CAN MAKE IT TO PARLIMENT HILL, I SINCERLEY ASK ALL FOR SUPPORT IN JOINING ME ON THIS DAY OF ACTION FOR THE CHILDREN IN CARE. IM ASKING FOR ALL PEOPLE TO SHOW AND FEEL FREE TO BRING YOUR DRUMS AND PLEASE CONTACT PEOPLE YOU KNOW TO COME TO PARLIMENT FOR THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN CARE. MIIGWETCH TAMARA MALCOLM
To members of WALKING FOR THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN
Tamara Malcolm September 22 at 5:51pm
SORRY EVERYONE I WILL NOT BE GOING TO THE PARLIMENT HILL.THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME. THIS IS NOT OVER FOR OUR CHILDREN. I WILL NOT GIVE UP MY FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN IN CARE. I WILL BE BACK TO ARRANGE FOR SOMETHING TO TAKE PLACE AT THE LEGESLATIVE IN WINNIPEG THERE WILL BE ANOTHER WALK IN WINNIPEG FROM THE NORTH ND TO THE DOWNTOWN LEGESLATIVE. PARLIMENT HILL WOULD NOT LET ME HAVE MY DAY OF ACTION.
Tamara has confirmed by phone that the gathering will take place on parliament hill on Thursday, September 24, noon to 3pm instead of the original date of Saturday.
September 19, 2009 permalink
The document Best Start Magazine (local copy, pdf) contains helpful instructions for parents on the birth and care of their children. So what's wrong with this picture? The chair of the Best Start Network is Margaret J Barr, the warm lady to the right. She is also one of the higher-ups at Brant children's aid — she represents them on the Sparrow Lake Alliance. It's hard to trust advice from someone with such a strong conflict of interest.
Source: Thanks to Rob Ferguson for finding this item.
Revenge of the Crown Wards
September 18, 2009 permalink
Four CAS wards smashed fifteen plate glass windows of the children's aid society building in Windsor Ontario. Previous attacks on this facility include the suicide bombing by Jim Malone    and the leaning tower of Windsor incident.
15 windows smashed at CAS, teens arrested
By Star Staff, The Windsor Star, September 18, 2009
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Four young people were arrested Thursday night after rocks were hurled through the windows at the Children's Aid Society building on Riverside Drive, causing about $15,000 in damage.
Fifteen plate glass windows each measuring 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres were smashed. Windsor police Const. Tracy Swynstun said the building’s security guard witnessed the act at around 9 p.m. and chased the youths on foot until police arrived.
All four youths, aged 16-19, are wards of the CAS and live at a group home.
Source: Windsor Star
Don't Ask for Directions
September 18, 2009 permalink
A man operating a driveway sealing service asked several Orangeville passers-by for directions. One of them was an eleven-year-old girl. This put the city on alert for a pedophile. The Orangeville Citizen treats this as occasion to warn the public, even though the incident was innocent.
September 17, 2009
Parents asked to remind kids of stranger danger
On Monday, September 14 at approximately 3:30 p.m. an 11 year old girl reported that she was approached by a man in a vehicle in front of Des Quatre-Rivieres School on Century Drive in Orangeville. The girl believed that the lone male driver was asking her to get into the vehicle with him. The girl ignored the man and ran home. The parents of the girl attended the Orangeville Police Service to report the incident.
Police continued their investigation and on Tuesday local schools were notified of the incident and the area was canvassed by police.
Through information received from area residents, police were able to identify the man in question as being in the area operating a driveway sealing service. Police have confirmed that the incident was a misunderstanding in communication when the man was asking several persons for directions to a local street.
The Orangeville Police Service wishes to thank the residents that provided information to help identify the man and resolve this incident.
Parents are asked to remind children not to talk to strangers and not to get into vehicles with strangers. In addition, adults are reminded to not approach kids for information such as directions. Asking another adult or attending area businesses to make inquiries is the more appropriate way to obtain information.
As well, parents are encouraged to report these types of incidents to police for further investigation.
Source: Orangeville Citizen
Family Judge Fired
September 18, 2009 permalink
When you are unhappy with the judge in your case, would you like to have him fired? In Oregon DHS did just that. Following unfavorable rulings from judge Deanne Darling, Oregon's attorney general has taken her off child welfare cases.
AG pulls judge from child-welfare cases
Story Published: Sep 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM PDT, Story Updated: Sep 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM PDT, By Anna Song KATU News and KATU.com Staff
A Clackamas County judge was pulled off child-welfare cases Wednesday in what is likely an unprecedented move by Oregon’s attorney general.
A spokesman for Oregon Attorney General John Kroger said Judge Deanne Darling will no longer hear cases that involve the Department of Human Services arguing for the welfare of children, because he said the state wasn’t being treated fairly in her courtroom.
“The only thing that was taken into consideration was the safety of children and the feeling that we could not get a fair and impartial hearing in front of Judge Darling,” said Tony Green, spokesman for the attorney general.
In a recent case, Darling ordered the DHS to bail accused rapist Russell Hamblen out of jail with $50,000 in public money. She argued that he needed to take care of his 13-year-old son.
Police said Hamblen worked with his 18-year-old son to lure teenage girls to their Wilsonville home to sexually assault them.
The Oregon Court of Appeals, however, overturned the ruling in January.
Darling is also the same judge who allowed the teenage daughter of convicted killer Ward Weaver to visit him in jail as he awaited trial for murdering Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.
Clackamas County’s presiding judge, Steven Maurer, met with Kroger last week and agreed to take Darling off any new child welfare cases.
“As a court we’re very proud of the work Judge Darling has done in the community in support of families and children,” he said. “We are disappointed that the attorney general has taken this course and feels it’s appropriate. But by the same token, we also respect the fact that he’s indicated that this is something that he has decided in good faith needs to be done.”
The law dictates that Darling continue to oversee the cases already assigned to her.
An attorney familiar with juvenile court said he is saddened that this has happened and said Darling is one of the hardest working judges he knows.
Darling did not return phone calls Thursday for comment.
Source: KATU-TV Portland
CAS Asked to Leave
September 18, 2009 permalink
“Clan mothers” order CAS out of Six Nations?
The Brant Children's Aid Society (CAS) has been asked to leave the reserve by the end of the month, according to the manager of the Native Services branch on Six Nations. Karen Hill said the demand came via a letter signed by Carol Jacobs and Janice Henry on behalf of Six Nations clan mothers who want child welfare taken over by their group, the newly created Haudenosaunee Child and Family Serivces. None of the clan mothers or anyone representing Haudenosaunee Child Services would comment. Janice Henry directed Turtle Island News to Gwen Styres as a spokesperson for the group. On Friday Styres promised to send a press release outlining the clan mothers' position. It was not received Tuesday. "As far as I can understand it, a letter [dated September 1] has been issued from Haudenosaunee Child and Family Services to (Eleced Chief) Bill Montour saying that we have 30 days to vacate the territory," said Hill.
Source: Turtle Island News, undated article retrieved September 18, 2009.
Thanks to a loyal, and anonymous, reader for finding this story.
Addendum: Here is a conflicting story from another paper. Maybe the two sides are fighting it out with press-releases.
Band council backs CAS office
Posted September 23, 2009
-Despite an ongoing dispute where some Six Nations clan mothers want to see the Children's Aid Society moved off the reserve, the elected band council has affirmed the office's role.
Council voted Tuesday to allow the native branch of the CAS to continue in its role in child welfare and protection by including a trained band representative in the process of any CAS investigation. There are currently 254 Six Nations children in the care of the CAS. Some community residents have complained that many of those children end up in off-reserve homes.
The CAS has said there aren't enough eligible family members on Six Nations to take all of the agency's clients.
Source: Brantford Expositor
Ban (Private) Cameras!
September 17, 2009 permalink
Britain, which has a police surveillance camera on every block, is moving to restrict civilian photography. A report Policing the Public Gaze: The Assault on Citizen Photography (pdf) covers the many pretexts for restriction, foremost is child pornography. This does not mean children engaging in sex acts or seductive poses, but any photograph centering on a single child. Parents are advised to photograph their children from the waist up. The expand block has quotes from the report:
Mandy Smith and her partner were taking photographs of their 11-month daughter in Alexandra Park in Oldham, when a park warden marched over to the play area and ordered them to stop taking photographs. The couple pointed out that they were 11-monthold Rebecca’s parents and that no one else was using the playground but he informed them it was ‘illegal’ to take pictures of children there.
Cheryl Hudson, Abingdon: ‘My husband and I took our young son to a local swimming pool at a time when it was very quiet so as not to distress him since it was his first time swimming. The pool was empty and I wanted to take a snap to record his first entry into the water but the lifeguard stopped me and told me that it was against the regulations. There were no other children in the water but I was still prevented from taking a photograph of my own son having his first swim.’
Andrew Norris said a swimming pool lifeguard stopped him photographing his four-month-old son at an indoor pool run by Haven in Chichester, West Sussex. The lifeguard told him that the ban was due to ‘privacy laws’. A Haven spokeswoman later said that the ban was to guard against the risk of paedophiles. ‘We need to provide a safe and secure environment for our guests,’ she said, adding that the park cannot guarantee where the pictures will end up.
The youth officer for the Peterborough Diocese says that children’s nativity photos could end up on a child pornography website, with the head pasted on to a naked child’s body: ‘You can take one child’s head and add it to another. We know that it is possible. We can clearly extrapolate to find out what could be done.’
A council has apologised to two women pensioners after a worker reprimanded them for photographing a deserted paddling pool over fears about paedophiles. Mike Harris, head of leisure and culture at Southampton City Council, said in a statement: ‘A lot of people are more concerned about the safety of their children these days so it is appropriate that our staff are aware of who is taking photos.’
Indeed, looking becomes itself identified with predation. The National Association of Clubs for Young People recently advised their membership to remove pictures of children receiving trophies or playing sports from club websites, in a bid to protect them from the gaze of paedophiles. Edinburgh council famously issued policy guidelines in 2002, preventing parents from filming their children in school nativity plays.
Head-shots only: Defining ‘appropriate’ photography
The Child Protection in Sport Unit: ‘[photos should] focus on the overall activity, not on a particular child, and should avoid full face and body shots … photographs of children in a pool would be appropriate if shot poolside from waist or shoulder up.’
Teacher: ‘We let [parents] know that we can’t let them take photos in the general manner, but that they may take photos of their own child against a wall/ fence/hedge where they are sure that no other child is in the photo.’
Child protection adviser, the Diocese of Guilford: ‘Parents can photograph, but it is suggested that parents do not focus on any particular child.’
Parent: ‘I took a DV camcorder to the school nativity play and was told by the Head Teacher that it was ok as long as I only filmed my own child.’
Teacher: ‘There is now a list of those children whose photograph must not appear on the website, so when you go on a trip and take a group photo, you take one with those children in and then ask them to step out so you can take a website-friendly one.’
Church child protection adviser says photography is permitted at particular points in the nativity play: ‘Sometimes churches have a tableau at the end of a performance, where parents can come up and take photos.’
Sidebar on ignorance
At a meeting attended by your editor in the 1970's, a member of an archaeological dig in Iran presented a slide-show about his trip. One day the group came to a small village and many members took pictures. The local police saw foreigners taking pictures, including pictures of a police station, and had only one thought: espionage. The entire party was thrown in jail. Espionage is a serious crime, and the matter was referred to the Shah's secret police. The secret police was staffed by men educated in Europe and North America. When they saw ignorant local police arresting tourists with cameras, they had a big laugh and turned everyone loose.
In the intervening years, has western education spread to Iran? On the contrary, Iranian ignorance seems to have spread to the west.
Tamara Malcolm Reaches North Bay
September 16, 2009 permalink
Tamara Malcolm has reached North Bay on her walk to Ottawa in support of aboriginal children.
Woman walking to help aboriginal children
Posted By DAVE DALE, THE NUGGET, Updated September 16, 2009
Tamara Malcolm remembers the day she was taken from her family and shuffled between a hotel and foster homes.
She was five years old.
Even at such a tender age, Malcolm said she thought it was wrong and shouldn't happen to children, dreaming one day she would do something about it.
I was taken away from the only thing I knew, my family," Malcolm, 26, said Tuesday at the Inn on the Bay.
She's continuing her journey from Winnipeg to Ottawa today and expects to stop in Mattawa Thursday.
Malcolm left Winnipeg in late July and has already worn out five pairs of shoes to raise awareness about what happens to native children after they're taken into care by the government through Children and Family Services.
Her sweatshirt has a logo she designed that says Walking for the Past, Present and Future Generations of Aboriginal Children in Care.
Malcolm said she wants to begin the healing process for people who lost children or were victims of agency apprehensions," as well as raise awareness of the suicides committed by children in care.
It should be Anishnabie families (taking care of their children) and they should not be taken out of the community," she said, referring to the tradition of relatives taking in children when young parents struggle.
Malcolm said her travels have been educational. She said First Nation communities in Ontario are making strides by creating their own agencies to protect children in their own way, and many communities have protocols with agencies to give relatives first chance at fostering.
But it's a struggle, she said, referring to media reports about how governments pay nonnative agencies more to do the same work. Other reports have said native foster candidates get frustrated by strict eligibility rules and reduced funding assistance.
The CBC reported Tuesday that a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is conducting a hearing about discriminatory funding policies.
The Assembly of First Nations told the tribunal Monday that welfare agencies serving First Nations communities receive about 22% less than provincial agencies.
Our children deserve the same care afforded to other children in Canada," said AFN Grand Chief Shawn Atleo.
While it's taken two years for the tribunal to hear the complaint, jointly filed by the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, the federal government has asked the courts to rule whether the tribunal has a right to hear the case.
A judicial review began Friday, the CBC reported.
Malcolm has a Facebook page she dedicates to the parents and children separated by government agencies.
She said many people have supported her along the way, adding there are more native children being apprehended across Canada than the number of children separated by the residential school system.
The CBC reported one in 10 native children is in foster care, compared to one in 200 nonnative children.
There are three young women in different places telling me I inspire them to not give up hope for their own lives," she said.
The Union of Ontario Indians has a plan to improve the situation for its communities called Anishinabek Nation Child Welfare Law Development.
Its goal is to address issues to ensure children in need of protection are given culturally appropriate care, preferably with relatives, and dealing with the underlying problems such as poverty and substance abuse.
The other priority is keeping children with parents while dealing with issues.
Source: North Bay Nugget
Children's Aid Secret Society
September 16, 2009 permalink
John Dunn tried to find out the time and place of the Sudbury children's aid society board meeting. Instead of informing him of the details, the society hired lawyer Réjean Parisé to deny his request. Remember this next time a CAS executive denies being a secret society.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sudbury CAS Uses Tax Payers Money to Hire Lawyer to Hide Board Meetings
The Sudbury Children's Aid Society, after ignoring 22 calls (see call log at end) asking for a schedule of the Board meetings, has retained the services of an external law firm using Ministry Allocated Transfer Payments funds to assist them in withholding from the public the schedule of their Board of Directors meetings and that of their Annual General Meetings.
They did however answer a Federal MP when they asked for this information in an attempt to appear co-operative to an official.
The letter from their law firm is shown below:
Parisé Law Office LAWYERS • AVOCATS
Réjean Parisé, B.A., LL.B. Liisa Parisé, B.A.(Hons.), LL.B.
58 Lisgar Street, Suite 200, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3E 3L7
PHONE 705/674-4042 FAX 705/674-4242 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
September 16, 2009
Mr. John Dunn
Foster Care Council of Canada
12-1160 Meadowlands Drive East
Dear Sir: Re: Children’s Aid of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin
I am the lawyer acting on behalf of the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin relative to your request. The request, as I understand it, is to be advised of the dates of meetings of the Directors of the local Society.
The Society is an entity incorporated pursuant to the Corporations Act. The Act provides that persons entitled to dates of when the Board of Director meetings are to occur is information the Directors are entitled to receive and if there is a Society Annual General meeting, the persons entitled to notice are the members.
It is not my information that you are a member.
Yours very truly,
PARISÉ LAW OFFICE
c.c. Attention: Colette Prevost
END OF LETTER
Source: foster care news for September 16, 2009
Payments for Children Diverted
September 15, 2009 permalink
John Dunn has discovered that two million dollars a year paid by the province for the care and protection of children instead go to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS), a trade association that cares for no children. The OACAS refuses to disclose how the collections are apportioned among Ontario's children's aid societies.
Friday, August 07, 2009
OACAS Refuses to Disclose Sources of Over 2 Million Dollars in Membership Fees
The Foster Care Council of Canada discovered the fact that the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies's (OACAS) latest Annual Report reveals that the OACAS received over $2 Million dollars ($2,521,485) in "Membership Fees" from Ontario's Children's Aid Societies.
The Council is concerned that over 2 Million dollars in membership fees to the OACAS -- an organization which provides advocacy and research services to it's member Societies -- which already gets Millions of dollars from the Government for research and other work they are engaged in comes out of the monies the Ministry believes are going to child welfare services. Money the Societies, their unionized and non-unionized staff continuously lament they never have enough of.
The annual report also shows that the OACAS paid over 3 Million in salaries and benefits to their own Staff and Executive Director.
Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director of the OACAS, when asked how much each Society pays in membership fees refused to disclose the amounts other than to say that the fees are calculated on a sliding scale according to the size of the agency.
The province's Auditor has since been informed of this unnecessary expenditure of Ministry allocated transfer payments and it is hoped this will appear in the next Auditors review of the Societies.
More recently the Foster Care Council of Canada wrote a letter to the Executive Director seeking further clarification on the membership fees, which is included below.
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
This message is also being sent to the entire Child Welfare Anti-Oppression Round Table Members, Child Welfare Critics in the Legislature, and Media
On August 07, 2009 I sent an e-mail to you asking if you could confirm whether Ontario's Children's Aid Societies pay approximately $45,000 per year in membership fees totaling over $2 Million to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS).
According to your e-mail response of the same date, you informed me of the fact that the OACAS does not disclose specific fees paid to the OACAS by Ontario's Children's Aid Societies for membership with the OACAS.
You also indicated that the membership fees of the OACAS are calculated on a sliding scale based on the size of the member agency.
Would you be able to provide the public through the Foster Care Council of Canada, with the formula the OACAS uses to calculate OACAS membership fees for member Children's Aid Societies which has lead to the expenditure of over $2 Million dollars in Ministry Allocated Transfer Payment Funds which are thought by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to be used for Child Protection services as defined in the Child and Family Services Act.
I would also like to ask you if you could please filter your response through the lens of the Discussion Paper on Anti-Oppressive Child Welfare and it's principals of anti-oppression.
Note: Original request enclosed below:
And the following Child Welfare Anti-Oppression Round Table members as published in the Discussion Paper have also received this e-mail request
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 05:04:56 -0400
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS)
According to the OACAS's latest Annual Report the OACAS received over $2 Million dollars ($2,521,485) in "Membership Fees".
Since Children's Aid Societies are the only "members" of the OACAS I would like to ask how much the OACAS membership fees cost for the various Societies in Ontario which are paid for from Ministry allocated transfer payments to the Societies.
Since there are approximately 53 Societies in Ontario, I calculate an approximate membership fee for each of the 53 Societies with the OACAS to be approximately $47, 575 each.
Could you please verify or clarify this matter for me.
Source: afterfostercare blog
September 15, 2009 permalink
Bill Bowen has directed a documentary film Innocence Destroyed, about child protection. It focuses on children killed while under care of child protectors but as well touches on court bias, nepotism between courts and child protectors, falsification of court records, incompetence of court-appointed lawyers, retaliation by social workers and use of the platitude in the best interest of the children. You can view it on YouTube in three parts:    or our local copies:    (all flv). We thank Suncana Alvarado for pointing out this video promptly.
Donations Sold for Cash
September 14, 2009 permalink
Have you been suckered into donating something to children's aid for the benefit of a foster child? A foster girl has revealed what really happens with these donations. Instead of giving them to a needy foster child, they sell them to foster kids. To keep this girl Oliver Twist out of trouble, the edited story does not identify her or the CAS.
I don't know for sure, but beyond reasonable doubt; I think that suffices. There is a possibility that CAS is generating money from "re-selling" donated items. They have these fundraising "parking lot" sales, once a month. I only know tidbits of what my daughter tells me, but it's raised some issues.
They have "white elephant" sales for the older foster children. They come to the society, things are laid out: clothing, shoes, maybe used backpacks, and the kids then "purchase" the items with their allowance money (savings). I asked (my daughter) how CAS gets the stuff for these "garage sales" she says, "oh, it's donated". Her grandmother (my mom) was outraged. She blared, "they take donations of clothing and items that people think are being GIVEN to the foster children and make them PAY FOR IT"! Sure sounds like it, doesn't it. I told my mom, they wouldn't do this to younger children, but they do it to the older ones. That opens a whole different "field of vision". Older kids in care are treated like orphans. They have to beg, borrow, steal and scrounge for whatever they have or may be given (I use the word "given" lightly; seems older foster children don't get entitlement to SHIT).
Source: email from mother of foster teen
September 14, 2009 permalink
When Lisa and Anthony Demaree turned in photos of their children for processing, Wal-Mart staff in Arizona construed pictures of tots playing in the bath as kiddie porn. The children were placed in foster care and subjected to genital examination. The parents have been cleared and are suing three government agencies and Wal-Mart.
Parents sue Wal-Mart & Arizona after CPS takes children because of bathtub photos
September 14, 8:00 AM, Albany CPS and Family Court Examiner, Daniel Weaver
Lisa and Anthony Demaree of Maricopa County, Arizona have filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona, the Arizona Attorney General and the City of Peoria, after their children were taken away by Child Protective Services because of photos the parents took of their children while on vacation in San Diego.
The photos were of their young children at play and in the bathtub. An employee of the Wal-Mart store where the Demarees took the photos to be processed notified authorities of the photos.
The photos, however, were not child porn, but simply the type of photos that most Americans have taken of their children when they were babies or toddlers. The Demarees not only had their children taken, but the children were examined for sexual abuse.
Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, "On September 3, 2008, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hunter, acting within the scope of her employment, published defamatory remarks to more than thirty-five family members and friends of plaintiffs, falsely stating that plaintiffs Lisa and A.J. Demaree "sexually abused" their children." The Demarees' eomplaint also alleges that "Peoria Police Detective Krause made false and defamatory statements to agents and employees of the Defendants." Among the statements made by Krause was one "that said parents were engaged in illegal actions by taking bath and play time photos of their children."
No evidence of sexual abuse was found, and the parents were cleared of all charges. However the Demarees, along with Mrs. Demaree's parents who have joined them in the lawsuit, state that the "Defendants intentionally inflicted severe emotional distress on Plaintiffs." The Demarees state that they have also suffered from headaches, nightmares, a general feeling of malaise, shock to their nervous systems, grief and depression.
The Demarees are leaving the amount of damages to a jury. They have also filed a separate lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
Source: National Examiner
Addendum: Newspapers are understandably reluctant to publish photos deemed to be child pornography. Here is one, published by the brave San Francisco Chronicle.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Presentation by Colman, Murphy and Emo
September 14, 2009 permalink
We only got two days notice of this meeting, but it is worth attending if you can make it. Family lawyer Gene Colman, nurse Molly Murphy and Sarvy Emo will give a presentation on parental alienation Tuesday at 6 pm in London Ontario (expand for details).
Not All Dads Are Deadbeats presents a "Parental Alienation Symposium"
Tuesday September 15, 2009 - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Wolf Performance Hall, located inside the Central Library
Join renowned Toronto Family Lawyer Gene Colman, author and nurse Molly Murphy, and founder and past president of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization Sarvy Emo, for a presentation on the issue of Parental Alienation.
Parental Alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or an unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the alienating parent, as well as by the child's inability to benefit from the empathy and warmth that the alienated parent would otherwise be able to share with him/her.
Cost: $10/ticket (special rates available if required). Additional tickets may be purchased at the door, subject to availability (seating capacity: 369).
Not Alll Dads Are Deadbeats is an independent and non-profit children's rights organization based in London, Ontario, Canada. We believe that, at separation or divorce, maximum contact with both parents is in the best interests of the children, except in proven cases of abuse or neglect.
Source: email from Brad Charlton
CPS Defies Disclosure Law
September 14, 2009 permalink
One policy that could facilitate reform in child protection is full disclosure in cases of child death, especially in an active protection case. California, Arkansas and Arizona have such laws, but foot-dragging makes them ineffective. The enclosed article about the late Schala Vera and several other dead children shows the futility of Arizona's disclosure law.
Who is CPS protecting: Children or themselves?
by Laurie Roberts - Sept. 9, 2009 12:00 AM, The Arizona Republic
On May 26, Schala Vera was taken to Chandler Regional Medical Center. Apparently, her mother feared the young child had been molested while living with relatives in another state. A social worker at the hospital had called Child Protective Services, reporting that the girl seemed uncomfortable around the mother's boyfriend.
I can't tell you what, if anything, CPS did. Despite having won two lawsuits that opened records, despite having watched the Legislature enact a law that's supposed to open CPS records, it seems more difficult than ever to get meaningful information about how well CPS is protecting kids.
But I can tell you this: Last week, Schala was beaten to death. Every inch of the 3-year-old's body was covered in cuts and bruises, some of them the shape of a belt buckle.
Both the mother and the inevitable live-in boyfriend have been arrested. Chandler police say the boyfriend, Dauntorian Sanders, admitted that both he and the mother had been hitting the child with a belt since June but that this time he lost control. (Documents obtained by The Republic indicate that he put tape on the belt's buckle to protect his hands during the beating).
Even after hearing the gruesome details of how her daughter died, the documents say Susan Witbracht - who, by the way, reported that Sanders would also hold Schala over the balcony by her feet as discipline - hugged her boyfriend and told him just how much she adores him.
This is why CPS is so critical to the children of this state. You can always replace a kid, I suppose, but a boyfriend, well, that's another thing altogether.
Sixteen Arizona children have died of abuse or neglect so far this year. I would love to tell you how many of those children died while CPS was supposed to be watching. But I can't.
The law says CPS must "promptly" provide summary information when a child dies or nearly dies of maltreatment and then "promptly" provide further details to anyone who asks, after consulting with prosecutors.
To its credit, CPS maintains a Web site to report those summary details. Just don't expect the report to be "prompt," and when it is eventually filed, don't look for any actual details.
Like the child's last name. Or the date the child died. Or how the child died. Or whether the child died while CPS should have been watching.
In the case of Schala Vera, CPS says it had no prior reports involving Witbracht or Sanders. That, however, doesn't mean that CPS wasn't involved with the child.
CPS spokesman Steve Meissner says the agency is following the law.
"All this is being done at the advice of our attorneys; that's the only thing I can tell you," he said. "I'm told this is what the law requires."
If so, then the law needs to be changed - again.
Consider the case of Natalia Santillan, a 3-year-old who died on April 7, beaten and burned, Peoria police say, by her uncle's live-in girlfriend, Ayrin Vick. As of Tuesday, CPS still hadn't posted summary information on Natalia's death. (An oversight, I was told). The case file - which took me more than a month to get - has so much information blacked out that it's hard to tell what CPS did - or didn't do.
A friend of the family has told me she made two calls to CPS.
"They never responded to me," she said. "I told them if they decided to take the baby, I would be more than happy to take her."
CPS says it had no prior reports that Vick was abusing Natalia. There were other reports that the child was being harmed. What CPS did about it, however, we will never know.
Consider the case of Rachel Green. CPS reported on Aug. 26 that a 1-year-old named Rachel died of neglect in Tucson and that Elisa and Shaun Green of Tempe were the "alleged perpetrators."
"CPS has no prior reports alleging abuse or neglect of Rachel by Elisa or Shaun Green," CPS reports on its Web site.
Yet the Arizona Daily Star reports that court records show the Greens - who live in Tucson, not Tempe - have had extensive dealings with CPS. Their children were taken from them because of failure to thrive but were returned last year, after the couple took parenting lessons and completed a CPS case plan.
The Star reports that court records say the parents continued to neglect their kids following their return and that CPS has now filed to sever their parental rights.
Rachel died on July 8, after she was left unattended in a bathtub with two siblings, both under age 4. Police said the mother was making pancakes while the father watched a movie.
I asked Meissner how CPS could say it had "no prior reports alleging abuse or neglect of Rachel by Elisa or Shaun Green" when the agency had reported continued neglect since the children's return in 2008.
He declined to comment, citing the need to consult with the prosecutor.
"We don't want to do anything that would hinder a prosecution and that means we need to be careful," he said.
Oh, I'm all for being careful. I just wonder what they're really trying to protect - a murder case or themselves?
Reach Roberts at email@example.com or 602-444-8635. Read her blog at robertsblog.azcentral.com.
Source: Arizona Republic
September 12, 2009 permalink
Alberta workers are protesting the loss of their jobs following three homicides by their wards. On June first Alberta residents Susan Trudel and Baldur Boenke were found dead, murdered by two runaways from Bosco Homes, a residence for provincial wards. On June 12 a sixteen-year-old provincial ward murdered Curtis Todd Osterlund. Alberta has stopped placements of children with Bosco Homes, dooming its staff to unemployment. It is hard to find sympathy for the workers who cynically claim to be promoting the welfare of children — had they done their jobs properly, their wards would not have become killers. Natural parents committing the same offense might be behind bars by now.
Bosco workers rally at Alberta legislature
Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009 | 5:47 PM MT, CBC News
About 50 workers from Bosco Homes attended a rally Friday at the Alberta legislature to protest the closure of the agency, which they blamed on the provincial government.
Workers beat a drum and marched to the steps of the legislature chanting, "What about the kids."
"Where do these kids go, you might ask? To the streets," Bosco worker Blair Croft told the crowd. "There is nobody who is going to be able to meet the needs of the kids. They're being placed back into facilities or into their homes where the structure and the security may not be the same as it was at Bosco Homes."
Bosco runs eight group homes, including the Ranch, a treatment facility in Strathcona County that housed two runaways charged in a double homicide in June. This week, workers were told the non-profit was shutting down operations in 90 days.
Workers were told the agency was no longer financially viable because the province was no longer placing clients with them. The province also recently decided it would not help pay for a new security fence at the Strathcona County Ranch, Croft said.
The $320,000 fence was to be constructed to help address community concerns about runaways from the facility.
Even though she is facing a layoff, Bosco employee Iva Bariffe said the fate of the children was more important to her.
"I will go clean a house when it comes to paying my bills. But what about the children? They are defenceless. We have to fight for them," she said.
Children and Youth Services Minister Janis Tarchuk said the province would find new placements for the 80 children affected by the closures.
In Calgary on Friday, Premier Ed Stelmach suggested the children could be placed in foster homes.
"We will place them in the most appropriate, safe environment, and of course, as we await ... more spaces, whether it be with foster parents or foster homes, but this is a situation that safety of the children that are under our care is our first priority," he said.
System stretched to the limit, workers say
News the Bosco groups homes are closing has alarmed child protection workers, who say spaces with other agencies will be hard to find in a system already stretched to the limit.
"Given the shortages that we do have right now, it leaves a hole," said Sandra Azocar, child protection worker and a vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. "It stretches us to a point where we don't know what to expect."
With Bosco Homes no longer an option, she said she has many questions.
"Does it mean that more kids are going to be staying home? Does it mean that more kids are going to be out in other types of placements?" she asked. "There's always that insecurity and uncertainty as to what happens to the kids that we work with when there's a lack of placements."
The Strathcona County facility handled many children with complex needs, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Many were chronic runaways.
In early June, two runaways from the facility were charged in the slayings of Barry Boenke and Susan Trudel, who were found dead June 1. Safety concerns from the people who lived nearby prompted the facility to stop taking youths who were chronic runaways or charged with "volatile acts."
Over three months, the number of clients at the group home dropped by almost half. This created financial problems for the agency, and the board of directors decided to shut down operations in Alberta.
No other option for hard-to-place kids: Braun
Azocar's questions about how the child-welfare system will be affected by the closure were echoed by Maureen Braun, who represents child-care workers for the AUPE.
"If they're hard-to-place children that were in a treatment facility, they need something like that. To the best of my knowledge, there's no other facility at this date to put those children," Braun said.
Azocar wants the province to redirect the money that is no longer being spent at Bosco Homes.
She said she hopes the province will set up a new facility with spaces for the children and youth who need them so they don't fall through the cracks.
Black baby $16k
Mixed baby $33k
White baby $38k
September 12, 2009 permalink
We have to pretend the payments are for fees, not purchase price. But why are the "fees" higher for the more coveted white babies? Do the economics of supply and demand influence fees?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Available Adoption Situations
The following situations are listed as available as of 9/11/09
- African American Female, due 9/29/09, Agency Fees $16K
- African American Gender Unknown, due 10/13/09, Agency Fees $16K
- African American Gender Unknown, Sept due date, Utah, Agency Fees $16K + poss medicals
- African American Gender Unknowm, 9/16/09, Utah, Agency Fees $16K + poss medicals
- Caucasian Gender Unknown, Agency Fees $38K, due in March
- African American Gender Unknown, Agency Fees $18K, due in Dec
- African American Boy, Agency Fees $20K, due in Oct
- Bi-Racial Girl, Agency Fees $33K, due in Dec
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or with any questions! Have a great day!
Source: Adoption: A Path of the Heart (blog)
September 12, 2009 permalink
In child protection cases that get to litigation, often an advocate represents the interest of the child in the courtroom. Ontario appoints a lawyer through the Office of the Children's Lawyer. In the state of Washington (and many other states), there is an advocate known as CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate. A story by a CASA below shows how useless the position is. It comes from senator Pam Roach, who knows the name of the author but withheld it from publication.
September 11, 2009
CASA Volunteer Reports Bias In The System
I was a CASA several years ago. I only worked on one case, but that was enough for me to see very clearly that the CASA's job has nothing to do with protecting the child's best interests. When I disagreed with the actions being taken by CPS which were jeopardizing the children's safety I was viciously attacked. Even though I had cleared a background check and attended and passed all the training, I was talked down to and raked over the coals when I gave my testimony in court. My case involved two young children who were taken from their parents at the ER when the mother tested positive for amphetamines. It very likely was a false positive, because a couple weeks later, she was in the ER again and when she was told she tested positive she insisted she had done no drugs and asked for a second test, which came back negative. She was accused of being a "frequent flyer" at the ER obviously hooked an pain meds, but when an ER doc finally took her complaints seriously and ran some tests, she was found to have undiagnosed MS. her complaints had been very real. Nevertheless, the state took her children away and they were never returned, the state now saying she was incapable of caring for them because she had MS! It's a long and shocking story! Once I realized what my "real" function was - to support CPS's decisions, regardless of the facts, - I quit the program entirely.
Source: Pam Roach blog for September 11, 2009
Mother charged for sex with son given up for adoption
September 11, 2009 permalink
A mother finds a son given up for adoption and has a sexual affair.
Police: Michigan Mom Found Long-Lost Son Online, Raped Him
Friday, September 11, 2009
Michigan police say a 35-year-old mother used the Internet to track down the son she gave up for adoption a decade ago, seducing and raping the teenage boy when she found him after an online search.
Aimee Louise Sword of Waterford Township, near Detroit, was arraigned this week on three charges of criminal sexual conduct for the alleged rape of her biological son, whom she put up for adoption more than 10 years ago, MyFOXDetroit reported.
Prosecutors say the boy is still a minor, but won't disclose whether he knew the woman was his mother — a situation that has horrified mental health experts who are calling the case "an abomination."
"I don't think I've heard of another case like this in my career," said Dr. Gerald Shiener, chief of Consultation and Liaison Psychiatry at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit.
"Our first reaction to hearing about something like this is that this is every man's nightmare. It's an abomination," he told MyFOXDetroit.
"I'm at a loss for words because it's something that we consider to be so out of the normal, so prohibited in every culture that it unnerves every man just to think about it."
Sword surrendered to Waterford Township police on April 24, the Oakland Press reported, but was freed on bond Wednesday following her arraignment. The house at her listed home address is abandoned.
Sword's attorney Kenneth Burch told the Press that his client "maintains her presumption of innocence" and said the accusations of incest have been very difficult for her.
But Sword herself has spoken since she first was arrested, writing on her MySpace page that she was inspired by rapper and former jailbird Lil' Kim because "she rises during the worst of obstacles."
"Reminded me of myself," Sword wrote on the Web page, where she uses the name Aimee Pope.
Though Sword is apparently confident of her ability to recover from the charges, Shiener, the psychiatric doctor, worries that if the allegations are true, the damage to the boy could be long-lasting.
"This could be his first sexual experience, and his first sexual experience could be something so conflicted, so unusual, so prohibited that it will stay with him for life," Shiener said.
Source: FOX News Network
From another source, here is the police booking photo.
Friends of Aimee Sword have come to her defense, vouching for her character as a person who would never engage in abuse. The boy's adoption did not go well and he has already had several brushes with the law. When problems developed in the reunion, he made allegations against his mother. She may be blameless in the matter. Future developments may bring out the whole truth.
Waterford woman accused of sex with son she gave up for adoption pleads guilty
Aimee Louise Sword, the woman accused of tracking down and having sex with her long lost son, pleaded guilty in the case on Tuesday.
The Oakland Press reports that Sword, 36, accepted a plea deal for one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. She originally was charged with three counts of the same crime.
Police say Sword used the Internet in 2008 to find her biological son, whom she had given up for adoption more than 10 years before. The 16-year-old boy testified at a preliminary exam in January that Sword had sex with him in Grand Rapids and Waterford.
Child Protective Services notified detectives about the situation and Sword surrendered in April 2009.
Sword is expected to be sentenced on July 12, according to the Press.
Source: Michigan Live
In Sophocles' version of the story, Oedipus took the fall, but today it is Jocasta. A mother loving her son gets more severe punishment than a wife killing her husband.
Sex with teenage son gets mom prison
She used Facebook to track down teen she gave up as newborn
Pontiac -- A Waterford Township woman who used the Internet to track down the 14-year-old son she gave up for adoption when he was 2 days old was sentenced Monday to nine to 30 years in prison for having sex with the boy.
Aimee Louise Sword, 36, entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in exchange for the dismissal of two other sex offenses that involved her son. Before sentencing by Oakland Circuit Judge Daniel P. O'Brien, Sword -- who has five other children -- apologized for her actions.
"I want to apologize to the court, my children and my sister," Sword told O'Brien. "I am remorseful for everything that occurred. ... I don't understand it."
Assistant Prosecutor Nicki Weisberger said the boy was going through a tough emotional time in his life and wanted to meet his biological mother and then Sword committed a "selfish, cowardly, despicable act" with her son, now 16.
At a preliminary exam in January, the teenager testified she contacted him in May 2008 while he was living with an adoptive family in Grand Rapids. Sex acts later occurred at a motel and also at the home of one of Sword's relatives in Waterford Township.
Defense attorney Mitchell Ribitwer noted Sword entered a guilty plea to spare her son from having to testify at trial. Ribitwer said Sword used Facebook to contact the boy.
"It was an open adoption and she received updates every year, even photos of her son," Ribitwer said outside the courtroom after the sentence. "Suddenly his birthdate came around and she didn't receive any information. With a relative's help, she made contact with him over the Internet."
Sword and her son communicated several times before agreeing to meet. Ribitwer asked O'Brien for leniency in Sword's sentencing.
"This is not a matter of a pedophile or someone who will prey on children," Ribitwer said. "She is very remorseful and is not trying to make excuses."
Before sentencing Sword, O'Brien said a psychological evaluation he read found her to be "controlling and manipulative," and he had considered all factors including "protection of society."
O'Brien also ordered Sword to have no contact with her son and to comply with all requirements of the state Sexual Offender Registry.
Source: Detroit News
The women who kill to get babies
September 11, 2009 permalink
Since 1987 there has been a new crime never seen before. Pregnant women are killed to steal their fetus. Starting with the case of Heather Snively the article gives a summary of cases.
The women who kill to get babies
Briton Linda Carty is on death row for killing a mother to steal her newborn child. But the US is seeing the rise of an even more horrendous crime – the murder of pregnant women and the theft of their foetuses
Diane Taylor, The Guardian, Friday 11 September 2009
Yesterday, Trafalgar Square in London became the centre of an appeal to save the life of a British woman on death row. Linda Carty faces execution as early as next summer after being convicted in Texas of abducting and murdering a woman to steal her newborn baby. Carty, who had suffered several miscarriages, was accused of killing Joana Rodriguez – seized with her four-day-old son by three men in May 2001. Carty insists that she was framed for the crime in revenge for her work as an informant at the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Child abduction in America is rare, with just 263 cases recorded between 1983 and 2009. But Carty's case highlights an even rarer development – women accused of being willing to kill for a baby and the recent phenomenon of women accused of murdering mothers-to-be to steal their foetuses. Unheard of before 1987, there have now been 13 such cases recorded – all but one in the US. So far 12 mothers and four babies have died. There have also been several unsuccessful attempts to steal unborn babies. And the numbers are growing. Officials at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) believe the increase is due to the heightened security in maternity wards.
Cathy Nahirny of NCMEC, says, "The majority of abductions occur when a baby has been born, but in cases where an unborn baby is abducted, planning has to be involved because the abductors are going to such extremes. The general public, law enforcement officers and medical officials are dumbfounded by this crime."
Perpetrators pretend to be pregnant and are willing to go to extreme lengths to stop their secrets being exposed, Nahirny says. "She is a woman who gets through life using lies and manipulation. Her relationship with her partner may be falling apart. She thinks that if she tells him she's pregnant with his child he'll stay. Abductors of babies who have been born have the same motivation. They want to hold on to their partner, they may not be able to conceive naturally and many of them will fake a pregnancy." Unbelievably, some women manage to convince everyone they are pregnant for months. "It may be that the abductor has been faking a pregnancy for some time and has run out of options," says Nahirny.
A brutal murder
On 6 June this year, Heidi Kidd, a healthcare worker, was surprised by an early morning phone call. She expected it to be her daughter, Heather Snively, calling to tell her she had gone into early labour. Instead, a police officer informed her that Snively had been found dead with her unborn baby cut out of her womb.
Kidd says that the brutality of the crime made her loss harder to bear. "Since I received that phone call time has just stopped for me. It's such a heinous crime that I haven't been able to absorb it. I can't bear to imagine what Heather went through in her final moments. She and Chris were so looking forward to having the baby."
The 21-year-old had recently moved to Oregon from Maryland after her partner, Christopher Popp, got a new job. According to reports, Snively met Korena Roberts, 27, a mother of two, through the website Craigslist. Roberts apparently told Snively that she, too, was pregnant and wanted to exchange baby clothes. The pair struck up a friendship.
On 5 June, Roberts called the emergency services to say she had just given birth. But when they arrived they found her boyfriend trying to revive the baby, who was not breathing. A police search of the house revealed Snively's body hidden in a cupboard. Roberts faces several charges, including murder, robbery and aggravated murder. In her first court appearance, she did not enter a plea.
Kidd says that her eldest daughter would not have thought twice about befriending a woman on the internet. "She was such a bubbly person with a wonderful spirit. Everyone who met her became a friend. Heather trusted everyone, that's the kind of person she was."
Cindy Ray was one of the first recorded victims of such a crime in 1987. She was leaving an obstetrics clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when she was abducted at gunpoint by 20-year-old Darci Pierce. Pierce had a family history of schizophrenia, longed for a child, but had been unable to conceive. She had convinced her husband and family members that she was pregnant and told them she would be having labour induced on the day she abducted Ray.
Pierce took Ray to a remote area, choked her into unconsciousness and used a car key to cut open her abdomen to pull out the baby. Leaving Ray to bleed to death, she drove to a local hospital with the baby, claiming to have just given birth. But when she was examined, her claims unravelled. Pierce was found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail.
The baby who survived
Ray's daughter, Millie, survived. Her father, Sam, a former police officer who is now principal of a high school in Utah, faced having to break the news of her brutal birth and mother's death to her. Thankfully, he says, Millie has lived a normal life. And when news broke of another baby who survived abduction from his mother's womb, she said: "I am no longer the only one."
Incredibly, the father-of-four has said he feels no bitterness, just blessed to still have his daughter, who is now 21. "Other people can't believe what happened, but I can," says Ray. "It was very painful to lose my wife but that's the issue, not how or why it happened. If I obsess about it, it could destroy my life and Millie's. I'm a religious man and my faith got me through this. The best advice is to try to go on. I know that that is what Cindy would have wanted."
Phillip Resnick, professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has studied some of these womb abduction cases. He describes stealing an unborn baby as "the ultimate theft".
"I have been involved in three cases and none of the women was psychotic," he says. "They are women who want a baby very badly. I asked one of the women why she didn't kidnap a baby from a buggy instead and she replied that it had to be a newborn so that her husband would believe that the baby was biologically his."
He said that in some cases the women had even taken classes about Caesarian sections or had learned the basic mechanics of such procedures on the internet. "These women are often self-centred, narcissistic, and anti- social. They are prepared to sacrifice a human life to get what they want. The motives of a woman who takes a baby from a buggy may be similar to those who take the baby by C-section, but the second group are more willing to confront and are aggressive about taking a life."
Kidd said her daughter and her baby were cremated together, but the pain of the families who are doubly bereaved by such horrors remains unbearable. "The ashes are still here in the house with us. We have a place in the cemetery but I'm not ready to put them there yet. Heather was the oldest of four and having to tell the other children about this was the worst thing in the world. This has affected us all beyond what anyone could ever imagine."
Source: Gaurdian (UK)
September 11, 2009 permalink
Three men, including Abdulla Ahmed Ali, have been convicted of a plot to blow up airplanes that could have killed thousands of people. Mr Ali was living under the same roof as a foster baby, placed with his family by Haringey (London) Council. The story says he had plans to take his own baby aboard a plane, and other sources speculate he may have planned to substitute the foster baby.
Social workers housed baby with family of terrorist
A foster child was sent to live with the family of the ringleader of the airlines bomb plot by the same council that was at the centre of the Baby P abuse case.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent, Published: 3:31PM BST 11 Sep 2009
Haringey Council placed the child with relatives of Abdulla Ahmed Ali who was found guilty of planning to kill thousands of innocent people by blowing up trans-Atlantic airliners in coordinated suicide attacks.
The child was placed in a house in Walthamstow, East London, where Ali and his wife lived along with a number of her relatives. The couple later moved out to a council flat nearby, paid for with housing benefit.
Ali was bugged discussing taking his child on the flight with him and police found a passport application for his nine month old son, although he had told an accomplice he did not think his wife would agree with the plan.
Extremist literature by Abdulla Azzam, mentor to Osama bin Laden, was found in a cot in Ali’s flat in Prospect Hill, Walthamstow.
His wife faces charges of failing to disclose information about the attack. She denies the allegations.
Ali had been under surveillance by MI5 for more than a year because of his involvement with a “facilitation” network supplying money, equipment and recruits to al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
But the council has said it was not aware of his activities and had removed the child following his arrest in August 2006.
A spokesman for Haringey said: "The placement here was made after checks and before anyone was made aware of any terrorist activity in the extended family network.
"The child was moved immediately when the police were in touch and arrests were made in 2006. The family no longer fosters for Haringey."
Sources suggested that the baby had been placed with the family partly because of a chronic shortage of Muslims foster parents.
Haringey's social services came in for severe criticism in the wake of the murder of two-year-old Peter Connolly which followed the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000.
The council's head of children's services Sharon Shoesmith was sacked, along with a social worker and three managers and the leader and cabinet member for children and young people resigned.
Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said he was worried that the council had not learned lessons.
"It's truly frightening to think that the social services department of this council placed a child with a terrorist, and even more so to think that the child could have been used as part of the foil for the bomb plot," he said.
"Haringey council needs to make public exactly what vetting procedures it has in place to ensure that this can never happen again.
"As with the Baby Peter tragedy, there has been far too much secrecy, which raises the concern that lessons will not be learnt."
Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green said: "It beggars belief really. Haringey are just going from disaster to disaster. It's unbelievable.
"How could you put a child in the care of a family of a terrorist? What checks must they have done? The whole council needs a new administration or it will just lurch from crisis to crisis.”
Ali, 28, and two other men, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain were found guilty this week of conspiracy to murder by detonating explosives on board aircraft. They will be sentenced on Monday.
Source: Daily Telegraph
Out with CAS!
September 11, 2009 permalink
Six Nations residents are gathering signatures on a petition to oust CAS from their reserve. No one has refused to sign.
Petition seeks removal of CAS office
Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, Posted 15 hours ago
A petition on Six Nations is gathering signatures from those who want to see the native branch of the Children's Aid Society removed from the reserve.
The move is just the latest in a round of community discontentment that seems to be focused on frustration of those who complain that Six Nations children are being removed from the reserve rather than being placed with willing extended family members.
"We want the CAS office here closed and moved back to Brantford," said Betty Thomas, one of the women behind the petition.
"I feel that they're hurting the kids in the community because they separate kids and their families."
The petition calls for removal of the native office of the CAS from the territory by the end of September. It decries the "adversarial approach" of the CAS and challenges that the agency is making money on every native child taken into care. It's an issue that's been widely discussed in the community since a group of clan mothers met to talk about setting up their own child protection system, which they're calling Haudenosaunee Child Services.
Last month, the elected band council was ready to meet publicly with the CAS and the community but cancelled the meeting until it could hear from both the agency and the clan mothers.
That closed door meeting took place a week later. CAS executive director Andy Koster said Thursday that he, Karen Hill, the manager of the CAS native service branch, and three other managers also met with the traditional Confederacy chiefs Thursday morning to discuss the issue.
"It was a great honour," said Koster. "We're committed to their advice to try and meet again with the clan mothers."
Koster said the clan mothers have informed the CAS that the executive director must personally sign off on every Six Nations case rather than have it handled by the native office.
"If I was to be the only person to (do that), I would be undermining the authority of the Six Nations staff ."
He has directed the native staff again to try and meet with the clan mothers but says the eff orts have so far been rebuff ed.
Koster said the petition has been stressful for the staff at the native branch, most of whom are from Six Nations or are natives from other bands.
"We've talked to the Confederacy and we've talked to the elected band council and we'll continue to do our work," said Koster.
"It's my belief the chiefs have not requested we leave in four weeks, or at all."
Koster contradicted the petition, saying the CAS works hard not to be adversarial and is definitely not making a profit when it takes children from Six Nations into care.
Currently, the CAS has care of 68 Six Nations children, of whom many are in a "kinship care" situation where they are living in the home of a supportive relative.
"We're committed to trying to arrange a diff erent type of service, depending on a client's belief system and we support Six Nations making its own decision on the type of service they wish to have."
Meanwhile, Thomas continues to take the petition from door to door on the reserve.
"Nobody has turned me down. They're all for it."
Source: Brantford Expositor
Addendum: While millions suffer reduction in earnings or savings in the economic downturn, children's aid workers are getting more.
CAS workers agree to 3-year contract
Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, Posted 16 hours ago
Workers at the Brant Children's Aid Society have settled with their employer, ratifying a new three-year agreement on Friday.
More than 100 unionized workers, who had previously voted 100% in favour of strike action, settled with the agency after conciliation. They accepted annual wage increases of 2.5%, 2.5% and 3%. The new contract is retroactive to April 1.
The workers also got improved vacation and bereavement days and a wage increase for the after-hours workers who are paid a flat rate.
"It was a tough haul," said Andrew Hunter, the national representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
"The province was saying there's no money and the CAS was saying there's no money but in the end, there was money."
Hunter said this CAS is the first such agency to settle this year and the agreement will probably provide a benchmark salary for other agencies that are negotiating.
The biggest issue for the two sides was insurance coverage.
Workers worried that if a family sued them or a child was injured through an accident while in the worker's car, they wouldn't be covered by the CAS insurance
The province was saying there's no money and the CAS was saying there's no money but in the end, there was money."
Andrew Hunter, national representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees policies.
Union members and management sat down at an information session held with the agency's insurer and asked questions about the CAS's coverage that left them "a lot happier" said Hunter.
"We were assured they have sufficient coverage through the employer that if a worker was involved in a coroner's inquest they will have legal counsel paid for by the employer. There's up to $16 million in protection and most suits don't go over $10 million."
The agency's coverage doesn't extend to any worker who is sued criminally and pleads or is found guilty.
CAS executive director Andy Koster said he is pleased that the meeting quelled workers' insurance fears.
"I'm glad of a settlement and I'm glad the union believed we have a good insurance policy for our workers," said Koster.
"We now look forward to the next three years."
Source: Brantford Expositor
September 11, 2009 permalink
Children's aid has a new palace, this time it is 23,000 square feet for Hastings CAS in Belleville. It continues the pattern that children's aid societies with high levels of family complaints move into luxurious new quarters. Enhanced reimbursement revenues from unnecessary apprehensions help justify the new construction.
New CAS building opens its doors
Posted By Steve Pettibone, Posted September 10, 2009
After nearly a decade of planning and nearly two years of construction, the new Hastings Children’s Aid Society building on Dundas Street West has officially opened its doors.
The grand opening of the new 23,000-square-foot facility Thursday marks the completion of a vision first established in the early part of the decade by the organization’s board of directors and executive director Len Kennedy. Kennedy said several features of the new building will help the organization offer stronger services to local families in need of its assistance.
“We now work in a strength-based approach, where we’re trying to identify with families areas where we can work together with them to help them move through a host of issues,” he told The Intelligencer at Thursday’s opening. “So this [building] is, for example, with the visiting suites, a space that allows us to facilitate those family visits and help us be confident in their ability to care for their children.”
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Leona Dombrowsky praised the staff, board and volunteers at the society for their dedication to making the new facility a reality.
“We are blessed to have the commitment of the volunteers on the board and those people who are hired at the society — who are committed to serving the needs of families, and particularly children who are in situations of difficulty,” she said. “There have been people who have been committed to this work for decades now.”
In his remarks, Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte mentioned some of the complex social and economic issues facing some local families. Children’s Aid, he said, provides help to the sections of society most in need.
“In this time and age, we have to be cognizant of the people who are the most vulnerable,” he said.
Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock said the partnership between Children’s Aid, and the communities it serves continues to grow, and noted the importance of this working relationship.
“It’s become a relationship that we all can be proud of,” he said. “It may seem trite to say it takes a village to raise a child, but it actually does.”
The local CAS has about 200 employees and Kennedy said approximately 135 of them will work out of the new building. The older facility will continue to be used, giving the organization 50,000 square feet of space at its disposal. It’s part of a vision that Kennedy says continues to expand.
“We’ve been around for 102 years, and the work is never done,” he said.
The CAS spent more than $6.25 million to construct the new 21,000-square-foot building and carry out renovations at its two other buildings located on either side of the new structure. To the east, the original building continues to serve as office and resource space and a residential facility is located to the west of the new structure.
The new building had been plagued with scheduling delays, its opening having been put off several times from spring, to early summer to, finally, this week.
Source: Belleville Intelligencer
Foster Alumnus Snubbed
September 11, 2009 permalink
John Dunn paid attention to a press release from the province of Alberta, announcing another senior panel to look into the child welfare system. His attention fell on Peter Dudding, Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of Canada. The league's name makes it sound like a guardian of children, but it is really the social workers' trade association. Following the press release below we include Mr Dunn's experience with Mr Dudding, showing how child welfare professionals are insensitive to the people they claim to care most about, their wards.
Government of Alberta, News Release, July 22, 2009
Panel established to help build stronger child intervention system
Edmonton... A review panel led by child intervention specialists from across the country will study Alberta’s child intervention system, bring forward leading practices, and suggest ways the system may be strengthened to support at-risk children, youth and families.
“Continuous improvement has always been an important part of our child intervention system,” said Children and Youth Services Minister Janis Tarchuk. “While we believe that our child intervention system is strong, the children and families we serve deserve to benefit from the knowledge and experience of leaders in the child intervention field.”
The nature of child intervention supports and services has continued to transform over the years in Alberta. The rate and effects of population growth and shifting demographics in the province, combined with societal changes such as gang activity, addictions, human trafficking, and use of the Internet by predators as a tool for child sexual exploitation, make it necessary to confirm that the child intervention system in the province is keeping pace and responding effectively.
“In the last eight years, we have introduced new public policy, enacted new legislation around child intervention, and are currently implementing a new model to manage casework practice,” said Tarchuk. “Reviewing the effectiveness of these enhancements is the natural next step in the evolution of the child intervention system in Alberta.”
The review panel will be co-chaired by child intervention specialists Dr. Nico Trocmé, Philip Fisher Chair in Social Work at McGill University and Scientific Director of the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Child Welfare and Peter Dudding, Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of Canada. The co-chairs will make recommendations to the Minister on additional panel members, expected to include individuals with backgrounds in Aboriginal child and family services, child and adolescent mental health, and the youth justice system.
The panel will examine the following questions:
- Are the necessary checks, balances and processes in place to ensure accountability and transparency in the child intervention system?
- Does the system have the capacity to effectively respond to emerging societal trends, service demands, and evolving workforce and practice issues?
- Is the system organized and aligned with leading practices and evidence-based research?
Cal Dallas, MLA for Red Deer-South, will work with the panel to ensure collaboration and co-ordination with Safe Communities and other government initiatives that support and serve vulnerable and at-risk children and youth.
Opportunities for input from partners and stakeholders in the child intervention system and from the public will be provided during the review process. The review panel’s report with recommendations is expected to be submitted to the Minister in spring 2010.
“The driving force behind establishing the panel is making a strong system stronger, but recent tragedies involving children and youth in the system also make it prudent to ensure our system is rooted in a solid foundation,” said Tarchuk. “By receiving an objective assessment and acting on opportunities to strengthen our system, people in our province will gain an increased understanding of how the child intervention system works and be confident that we are doing the right things for at-risk children, youth, and families in Alberta.”
The review also follows through on a commitment made by western Canadian provincial ministers responsible for social services to share best practices in child intervention, particularly in the area of supports and services to Aboriginal children, youth, and families. Tarchuk plans to share the results of this review with her western ministerial colleagues.
Peter Dudding, MM, MSW, RSW
- Executive Director, Child Welfare League of Canada
Peter Dudding has three decades of senior management experience in the fields of child welfare, public health and international development.
Dudding’s career includes service as the associate director of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Lanark County, and social services director for the Government of Yukon. He currently serves as the co-director of the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare and co-chairs the national steering committee for the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect.
His work includes conducting applied research, establishing best practice models, policy and program development, evaluating outcomes, advocacy, knowledge building, and promoting child and youth rights.
Source: Government of Alberta
The email below went to Nico Trocmé and Peter Dudding on September 10, 2009
Subject: Knowing who you work with
I just wanted to inform the Alberta Child Welfare Review Panel members of the fact that in 2003, I, a former foster child contacted the Child Welfare League of Canada (of which Peter Dudding was / is? Executive Director) to ask if I could attend with a fee waiver, the Symposium on the Outcomes of Child Welfare services held at the Ottawa University because I could not afford to attend.
The receptionist responded to me with an approval of my request to attend free of cost as I had no income at the time. Later, upon discussion with the receptionist, the authorization for me to attend was withdrawn by Peter Dudding with no other explanation than the symposium is "not the time, nor the place for former foster children to tell their stories"
I assure you all I wanted to do was to attend since I am a foster care outcome and I had no desire to speak out, or anything at all. I just feel that anyone who will be working with Peter Dudding should be aware of his position when it comes to the voices of children and youth in and from foster care.
Please keep article 12 of the UN CRC in mind when consulting the public. Please also advertise as much as possible to the "regular citizens" on the radio, tv and where ever you can so you reach foster kids and former foster kids. Not just the "select" kids who are happy with how foster care affected them, but all kids who have been in, or who are in care.
Source: email from John Dunn
Elvis is Coming!
September 9, 2009 permalink
Elvis Priestley, alter ego of Rev Dorian Baxter, will be appearing on stage at a fundraiser for families adversely affected by children's aid societies. The show starts at 7:30 pm Saturday, September 29 at the Royal Canadian Legion, 471 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa Ontario.
See Elvis live and help families being affected by CAS agencies
(Sept 9, 2009) Readers are invited to attend an evening of entertainment at a fundraiser on Saturday September 19, 2009 in Oshawa, Ontario. Funds raised will be used to help families being adversely affected by Children's Aid Societies. See the National Chairman of Court Watch, the Archbishop Dorian A. Baxter, perform live on stage as Elvis Priestley. Archbishop Baxter has performed live on stages all around the globe and is considered as one of the world's top Elvis entertainers. The Archbishop will tell his story of how he defeated the Durham Children's Aid Society in court and how the Durham CAS was found guilty by the Ontario judge hearing his case, of malicious prosecution, perjury, incompetence and blackmail. For more information check out the link to the flyer in pdf format.
If you want further information may also email us at: email@example.com
Source: Canada Court Watch
Give Us Your Ideas
September 9, 2009 permalink
Canada Court Watch is soliciting ideas for improving the conduct of children's aid societies. To participate, use the email address in the expand block. We have our own page of Suggestions for Reform.
Public input for new guide to ensure transparency and accountability with CAS agencies
(Sept 5, 2009) Do you have some ideas which you believe would help ensure accountability, transparency, fairness and professionalism within CAS agencies? Court Watch would like input from the public in developing a new guidebook and checklist which will help the general public to determine if CAS agencies in their communities are really working in the benefit of children and families in the community. If you have some suggestions then please submit your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in being part of the working group on this project then send us a message and let us know of your interest to participate.
Source: Canada Court Watch
Boy Regresses Under CAS
September 8, 2009 permalink
A fifteen-year-old Espanola boy was removed from his family in January. In April, he got into a fight and injured another student. A judge found it necessary to jail the boy to keep the peace. Overlooked by the judge and the reporter: children's aid got the boy into more trouble in three months than the family did in fifteen years.
Judge slams student for stabbing
“Sentence must be meaningful for you and reinforce societal values."
Posted By Leslie Knibbs, Midnorth Monitor, Updated 13 hours ago
A sentencing hearing was held in Espanola Youth Court on September 2, 2009 for a youth accused of stabbing another youth at Espanola High School (EHS) on April 14, 2009. A fifteen-year-old youth was charged with possession of a weapon, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, carrying a concealed weapon, and obstructing police. As a result of this stabbing, Code Red (school lockdown) was implemented at EHS and several other local area schools causing havoc and worry for many parents of the over 1,000 students that attend the institutions when the accused fled the scene.
The accused pled guilty to assault with a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon. The other charges were dropped. The court heard the alleged facts in the case. In January 2009, the youth was put in the care of the Children's Aid Society (CAS) because of behaviourial problems at home. He was placed in a foster home in Walford.
On April 11, 2009, the accused was invited to go to a party in Webbwood by the ex-girlfriend of the victim. At the party, a fight developed between the accused and the ex-boyfriend. The accused suffered a black eye and a chipped tooth and hitchhiked home to Walford.
The Crown, Kara Vakiparta, suggested the accused brooded all week following this incident. The accused returned to EHS on April 14, 2009, the first day after Spring Break. Both the accused and the victim were seen arguing in the hallway according to witnesses. Evidence submitted indicated the accused was overheard saying, "I don't mess around," while arguing with the victim. The Crown entered photographs of the stab wounds as evidence, stating there were several stitches needed on the shoulder and back; according to evidence there were four separate stab wounds.
Evidence submitted by the Crown indicated the accused obstructed police officers by giving a false name when asked to identify himself and stated he was not from the area. Further investigation revealed the suspect had a student card from EHS identifying him as a student; he was subsequently arrested. Defence Counsel James Weppler called CAS worker, Karen Robinson, to the stand as a witness. As the child protection worker for the accused, she stated they were looking at a group home environment and a drug treatment program for the accused. Defence Counsel Weppler put up a methodical presentation of the facts leading up to the incident starting with the invitation to a party by the ex-girlfriend of the victim, how the accused was assaulted at the party and bullied by the victim and an older person at the party, sending him hitch-hiking home with a black eye and a chipped tooth.
Weppler informed the court the accused had no history of violent behaviour prior to this incident. He suggested the accused needs substance abuse and anger management counselling. He stated the principle of sentencing must be to "promote rehabilitation and reintegration into society." The defence recommended "Portage"(Institution) for custody, where schooling and counselling are available. Weppler added the accused had served 142 days in custody prior to sentencing or the equivalent of 213 days under the formula for credit given. He suggested to the court the accused had served enough time already to fulfill sentencing requirements under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Weppler advised the court, "It would be a mistake to bury him in a custodial system." Crown Vakiparta told the court the accused crime has had a profound on the victim's family, and they are fearful of sending their children to school.
"School should be a safe haven" she stated. She reminded the court of the words of the accused just before the stabbing, heard by witnesses at the scene of the crime while the victim was walking away, "Do you want your sweater all red?" The Crown asked for a period of eight months of secure custody and probation. The arguments of both crown and defense ended at that time. Judge Louise Serre turned to the accused asking him if he had anything to say.
The accused, in handcuffs, stood up in the prisoner's box saying haltingly, "Please, your Honour, give me the opportunity to better myself." A recess was called while the judge deliberated. On her return, Judge Serre spoke directly to the accused stating, "today's sentence must be meaningful for you and reinforce societal values. “The focus must remain on the young person, not be aimed at sending a message to others in the community. It must be individualized to you," she said speaking to the accused. "Your crime has had a shocking impact on the public, and the community; I concur with the Crown, schools must be a safe haven."
With that she passed sentence, eight months closed custody, four-months supervision, twelve-months probation, an order to report to the probation officer, an order to attend substance abuse counselling, an order to abstain from alcohol, no communication with the victim or his family, attend educational programs, a weapons prohibition for two years, and a DNA order. One day credit was given for each day in pre-trial custody.
Source: Sault Star
Slave Purchase Blocked
September 7, 2009 permalink
An Indian court has blocked Wisconsin couple Craig and Cynthia Coates from adopting a nine-year-old mentally challenged boy. The court thought the boy was sought as domestic help.
Rejecting US couple’s adoption bid, High Court says their ‘real intention’ is to use child as help
Krishnadas Rajagopal, Posted: Tuesday , Sep 01, 2009 at 0505 hrs New Delhi:
Why should American citizens Craig and Cynthia Coates fight a long legal battle to adopt Anil, a nine-year-old mentally-challenged orphan?
The Delhi High Court on Monday said the “real intention” of the couple was to use the boy as a “domestic help”. Justice V B Gupta said it was difficult to believe that the Coateses, both of whom are 50 years old and already have three children of their own, would want to adopt a fourth child.
The government had cleared the boy’s adoption by the Coateses. However, the Delhi District Judge rejected their adoption petition, and the couple went to the High Court in appeal.
Craig Coates suffers from cerebral palsy and works as a transaction processor with a US bank, earning $ 8.29 per hour, as per court records. Cynthia, a qualified nurse, has an annual income of $43,680. They live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“As is apparent, the appellants (the Coateses) are already blessed with three children, two males and one female child. Both of them are 50 years old, therefore, the need for them to expand their family further at this stage does not sound very convincing. Cynthia is a nurse and is already taking care of her husband, who is disabled, and is also managing her career,” Justice Gupta said.
The judge fined the Coateses Rs 20,000, saying their appeal was “nothing but an abuse of the process of law”.
“Such frivolous and a bogus appeals deserve to be dismissed with heavy costs, so that precious time of the trial court as well as the appellate courts are not wasted,” Justice Gupta observed. He agreed with the “sound legal principles” shown by the lower court in questioning why “foreign nationals” would be so keen to adopt an “Indian male child” when they have “already got a male child”.
“The real intention of the Coateses in adoping the child who is suffering from mental delays is to exploit him as a domestic help for Craig Coates, since Cynthis Coates is gainfully employed as a nurse while Craig has been suffering from cerebral palsy since birth,” the court said.
Anil was found abandoned by policemen from the Okhla police station and handed over to Welfare Home for Children, a registered society recognised by the Ministry of Social Justice, on January 20, 2006. A medical examination fixed his date of birth as October 19, 1999.
Subsequently, the boy was declared “abandoned” and was certified as legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee. The Co-ordinating Voulntary Adoption Resource Agency (CVARA) and the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) cleared the child for inter-country adoption. The government, acting through the Indian Council for Child Welfare, filed a ‘no objection’ certificate when the case came up before the Delhi District Judge.
The Coateses submitted that “the minor child has been rejected by Indian families as he suffers from mental delays and needs special care which Cynthia could provide as she is a qualified nurse and has been taking care of her husband”.
The Welfare Home, backing the couple’s adoption bid, told the court, “In case this appeal (to the High Court) is not allowed, the child will be deprived of warmth of family and forced to spend his life up to 18 years in an orphanage without proper education, upbringing and family environment.”
Source: Indian Express
Munchausen Syndrome by Orthodoxy
September 7, 2009 permalink
After thriteen-year-old Ashleigh Cave was vaccinated with Cervarix against HPV (human papillomavirus), she quickly fell ill, and a year later her legs are paralyzed. The doctor insisted the illness was unconnected to the vaccine. When mother Cheryl Cave questioned the doctor, he had an instant diagnosis: the mother suffered from Munchausen's by Proxy, meaning she intentionally abused her own child. She has been threatened with loss of custody for continuing in her belief that the vaccine is responsible.
In this and many other cases, doctors use Munchausen's to cover up injuries caused by the medical system itself. Here are two articles, one from the UK Sunday Times, the other by a student journalist.
From The Sunday Times,, September 6, 2009
Question a doctor and lose your child
Ashleigh Cave lost the use of her legs after a vaccination
PARENTS are being threatened with having their children taken into care after questioning doctors’ diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns to stop injustices in the family court, said: “Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against ‘uppity’ people who question the system.”
Cases are emerging across the UK:
The mother of a 13-year-old girl who became partly paralysed after being given a cervical cancer vaccination says social workers have told her the child may be removed if she (the mother) continues to link her condition with the vaccination.
A couple had all six of their children removed from their care after they disputed the necessity of an invasive medical test on their eldest daughter. Doctors, who suspected she might have had a blood disease, called for social services to obtain an emergency protection order, although it was subsequently confirmed that she was not suffering from the condition. The parents were still considered unstable, and all their children were taken from them.
A single mother whose teenage son is terminally ill and confined to a wheelchair has been told he is to become the subject of a care order after she complained that her local authority’s failure to provide bathroom facilities for him has left her struggling to maintain sanitary standards.
In the first of those cases, Ashleigh Cave, 13, from Liverpool, began experiencing severe headaches and dizziness half an hour after being inoculated last October with Cervarix, which guards against girls contracting the human papilloma virus.
The schoolgirl was soon collapsing repeatedly; she lost the use of her legs and was admitted to Alder Hey children’s hospital. Nearly 11 months later she is still in hospital and is unable to stand or walk unaided. Her mother, Cheryl, has now been told that doctors believe her condition must be psychosomatic.
“The hospital brought in social workers from the local authority who have told me they are considering putting Ashleigh on an at-risk register,” Cheryl Cave said. She is convinced her daughter’s paralysis was caused by the vaccination.
Cave said that a social worker from Sefton council said she suspected her of having Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy or factitious illness syndrome — controversial conditions in which mothers are said to attribute illnesses falsely to their children in order to gain attention.
Cave said: “The social worker said I should stop believing the injection has anything to do with Ashleigh’s condition because I am putting my thoughts on to her and stopping her getting well.
“Since Ashleigh was in hospital she has become incontinent and had double kidney infections and chest infections. Have I made all these up?”
In the third of these cases, Melvilina Gavin-Langley’s 16-year-old son Omar is terminally ill with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and restricted to a wheelchair.
His mother is embroiled in a legal dispute with Birmingham city council over a partly completed extension intended to provide Omar with easy access to a bathroom.
Gavin-Langley, 49, who wants the extension rebuilt because she says it was designed in a way that was dangerous and obstructed access to sewers, said: “I have had to carry Omar upstairs to bathe him but it was risking dislocating his shoulders and also I got a hernia from all the lifting.
“I told the council I could no longer lift Omar across my back.
“They then turned that around and said I had said I could no longer care for my son. They say they have to put him into care because his hair has not been washed and he’s not getting a bath. They have just threatened me with this because they don’t like me taking legal action against them.”
A spokesman for Birmingham city council confirmed the council was seeking an interim care order but said social workers wanted Omar to remain with his mother.
Sefton council did not comment on the Ashleigh Cave case.
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
An adverse reaction to Cervarix has caused a British parent to be falsely accused of child abuse .
Christina England, September 06, 2009
One British child Ashleigh Cave is now paralysed after having just one shot of the vaccine the HPV vaccine Cervarix, many others are also disabled or ill, however, for not agreeing with the doctor that the vaccine did not cause her child to become paralysed, Cheryl Cave, Ashleigh's mother, has now become another parent to be falsely accused of Munchausen's by Proxy.
Cheryl told the reporter Daniel Foggo Question a doctor and lose your child The Sunday Mail 6th September 2009
"A social worker said I should stop believing the injection has anything to do with Ashleigh's condition because I am putting my thoughts on to her and stopping her getting well."
Ashleigh became ill within a few minutes of having Cervarix, she began to suffer a severe migraine, weakness, nausea and dizziness, within 48 hours she had collapsed 5 times and within 1 week she was unable to stand or walk. Since the 24th October 2008, this once fit little girl has been in Alder Hey Hospital Liverpool, England, UK. She is unable to walk without discomfort and the use of a frame and suffers from excruciating pains in her legs, she is also incontinent.
She has suffered one infection after another since her admission into hospital, one at Christmas was so severe it nearly killed her when she developed flu like symptoms, had a high temperature, peaking at 39.6 (103 F) and a heart rate recorded to been as high as 160 beats per minute. Her breathing at times appeared laboured and she has needed to use a nebulizer. For two days she was coughing up blood.
She has also had a double kidney infection and a severe chest infection.
Cheryl asks "Did I make these up?"
A second opinion brought in by Alder Hey thinks not.
Dr. Richard Ward Newton
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Pendlebury
M27 4HA Manchester (Greater Manchester)
EUROPEAN PAEDIATRIC NEUROLOGY SOCIETY Elected to the 2006-2010 Board of the EPNS examined Ashleigh on the 13th March 2009 and his findings were as follows:-
"By far the most likely explanation of Ashleigh's illness is that initially she has an adverse event following vaccination"
He also said
"I think we can conclude that Ashleigh experienced the well documented short term adverse events of headache, myalgia and light-headedness (dizziness)"
Dr Newton even referenced studies in the Lancet referring to adverse events following HPV vaccination particularly the work of Diane Harper who worked on the trials for both HPV vaccines.
Clearly he believed that Ashleigh had suffered from adverse reactions to this vaccine and as we know there is no law of course stating just how long an adverse reaction can last.
He continued to say:-
"Rehabilitation usually brings about good results although the fix is often not quick, particularly when the illness has gone on for five months or more."
In Ashleigh's case there are huge question marks as to whether she should have ever had this vaccination in the first place.
Here we had a child with Noonan's syndrome, a blood clotting disorder, frequent infections indicating a possible lowered immune system, a mild heart problem and severe asthma, who was given a relatively new vaccine at school with hundreds of other students. We have to ask ourselves is the school the right environment for our children to have vaccines at all? How can school nurses be expected to be aware of every students full medical history and that of their family? It is an almost impossible task when schools have 2000 or more pupils in. Even if a school did have the full information for each child or was able to access full medical data, do they then check every child against the guidelines set out by the drugs companies? Do schools have all the facts of when vaccines could present a problem?
Ashleigh has a blood clotting disorder, GSK state "Tell your doctor if you have a fever, a low blood platelet count, or any blood clotting disorders." Cervarix Glaxo Smith Kline
So was Ashleigh's GP consulted before this vaccine was given?
Another important point to bear in mind is this GP advert from GSK clearly stating that "there is no data on the use of Cervarix in subjects with impaired immune responsiveness"
Therefore, inferring that GSK had not tested this vaccine on subjects with impaired immune systems, so then was it safe to give this vaccine to a child who has these type of problems?
Sadly parents being falsely accused of child abuse as a result of their children having vaccine damage has been going on for many years. The situation is getting to epidemic proportion just as predicted by Lisa Blakemore-Brown Psychologist, Expert in Autism and author in the 1990's. She first highlighted her concerns about the rise in MSBP and false accusations of child abuse in 1996, the first real statement she made making her concerns crystal clear was in a letter to the Psychologist in 1997 and then a second article in the Therapist showing an indication that she felt this may be due to adverse reactions to vaccines in 1998.
Lisa has continued to voice her concerns in public ever since. Leaving comments like this one on Times online;-
Times Online 20th June 2007 – Cot Death Suspicions are Revived – Nigel Hawkes Health Editor
"Professor Sir Roy Meadow also works in the area of vaccine research in which cot death is one of the adverse reactions.
On 6th July 1988 in Room 1611/12 Market Towers, he sat with others including Professor Elizabeth Miller, epidemiologist for the vaccine programme and Dr David Salisbury, with a similar remit at the Depart ment of Health in the Joint Sub Committee on Adverse Reactions to vaccines and immunisation.
During these meetings held over many years, deaths of babies were routinely discussed.
Leading medics have written to other medics about three and four children dying in one family within one area where the rate of cot death was much higher than in other parts of the country. At least two families reported how the deaths followed vaccines.
So why is a vaccine reaction, clearly well known to the inner medical circle, NEVER mentioned as part of the differential diagnosis?
Even now Hey and Bacon fail to even mention it.
Its time the public knew about all this"
Lisa Blakemore-Brown, London, UK
And then again in comments on the Indepedant – Official warning Measles epidemic in Britain Jeremy Laurance 21st June 2008
"There are so many profoundly serious issues connected to the vaccine programme which have yet to be written about in the British Press that its difficult to know where to start.
Here is one issue:
Professor Elizabeth Miller, Head of the Immunization Department in the UK who worked closely with Bob Chen at the CDC when the first Thimerosal studies were being "managed", sat in the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation/Adverse Reactions Sub Committee, with Dr David Salisbury and none other that Professor Roy Meadow, of MBSP fame, when the MMR was being introduced.
In the Sally Clark case, Professor Meadow accused her of killing two children who had just been vaccinated, one just 5 hours earlier. To my certain knowledge, as a Psychologist specialising in Autism since 1993, and working as a generic Psychologist since 1984, many parents whose children reacted to a vaccine have been wrongly accused of MSBP. Known side effects have been morphed into child abuse. Workers have been taught to view them this way and act accordingly. Some have had their children taken from them, some were sent to prison and Sally Clark lost her children and her life.
Gerberding in the US in the last two days has cast serious doubt on the validity and reliability of the epidemiology of which Professor Miller was a part.
What has been going on behind the dark curtain of international pharmaceutical/political commercial interests?
Why would Professor Meadow accuse people of harming their children when he knew vaccine reaction had to be part of the differential diagnosis? Why would Professor Miller allow herself to be involved in flawed epidemiology?
Why would Professor Salisbury, as a Government medical representative allow all of it to happen?"
Lisa continues to speak out today her last article just over two months ago.
Ashleigh's case will not be a huge surprise to her or the other professionals who for years have supported her work or views.
Charles Pragnell wrote two very powerful articles on this very subject Iatrogenic Child Abuse and Vaccines and Child Abuse Accusations
The many professionals on the site Shaken Baby Syndrome which include Dr Michael Innis, Dr. Archie Kalokerinos of Australia , Dr. Yazbak also support the views of Lisa Blakemore-Brown that parents are indeed being falsely accused of child abuse and murder when vaccines are the real cause of their children's death, disabilities or illness.
Other professionals from around the world like Viera Scheibner MD who wrote the brilliant article Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis on Shaky Ground have similar views.
So has Lisa been right all these years? Is Ashleigh just another case of professionals trying to cover up the very real fact that vaccines are causing our children to become ill? Are parents being falsely accused of child abuse to quieten them if they do not agree with doctors?
It is a fact that very few professionals have the courage to write down vaccine damage as a cause of death or injury despite overwhelming evidence and parents adamant that their child was absolutely fit and healthy before a vaccine.
Baby Christopher Blum was held in a mortuary for 20 years because of a dispute concerning his death. His parents always believed that the triple vaccine DTP killed their son although doctors said that Christopher died of a Cot Death. Christopher's parents refused to sign the death certificate until the vaccine was written as the cause of their sons death.
His mother had taken him to the North Middlesex Hospital to be given a triple vaccination for whooping cough, polio and tetanus. He was sick immediately afterwards.
"He was sort of lethargic. We put him to bed about seven or eight in the evening. I went to check him at about half past nine," Mr Blum told The Guardian newspaper. "His fists were clenched up to the sides of his head and his face was down on the pillow. I picked him up and as soon as I did I knew something was wrong. He wasn't floppy like a baby, he was rigid. There was blood coming out of his nose. I screamed and went running downstairs with him. My neighbour tried to give him the kiss of life and was pushing his chest. We suspected the vaccine straight away."
The full story is in the Telegraph 30th January 2009 Baby's body kept in mortuary for 20 years after parents dispute 'cot death'
As Ashleigh and her family prepare for the prospect of Ashleigh going on to the 'At risk register' and possibly even into care for alleged abuse from her dedicated mother, one has to wonder if doctors will ever listen to the parents or if not what it is that keeps so keen to cover up vaccines adverse reactions.
Dr Curran, Ashleigh's consultant said:-
"I can say with complete certainty that she is demonstrating no pathological reaction to her vaccination."
Perhaps he needs to read the papers that ICAP sent the Robert Koch Institute in Germany which clearly show how dangerous the HPV vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil are. All these papers are fully backed with evidence.
I am a UK journalist studying for an HND in journalism. I am also a member of ICAP International Coalition of Advocates for the People i.c.a.p.org
I have an interest in Human Right issues, especially the rights of the disabled and the elderly.
Currently I am exploring vaccines and the adverse reactions that they can and do cause, particularly Autism, ADHD and other neurological and physical disorders. I believe that all parents have the right to the information often hidden by the pharmaceutical industries about what vaccines contain and their often devastating side effects. It's only when a parent has the full facts that they can make a fully informed choice as to whether to have their child vaccinated or not. Parents also need to know that there are other choices open to them like single vaccines, mercury free vaccines, homeopathic vaccines and diets to boost the immune system to promote good healthy living.
Our children must not become human pin cushions or profit making machines , they are precious and they are ours..It seems odd that in this current recession the drug companies grow richer as our children become sicker.
Source: American Chronicle
Baby Stealing is Dangerous
September 6, 2009 permalink
Punishing bank robbers does not bring on the urge to kill. Harming children does. This fact means family courts require the heaviest security. John Dunn is following up on three paragraphs he found in the minutes of the Brantford Police Services Board in which legal aid and children's aid are requesting increased courthouse security.
2. f) Court Security
A letter dated March 3, 2008, was received from Douglas Reeves, Area Director of Legal Aid Ontario, in which he indicated support of the Ontario Court of Justice’s efforts to implement enhanced security measures at the Ontario Court of Justice Court House at 44 Queen Street, Brantford.
Chief McElveny advised that he had recently received a similar letter from Mr. Andrew Koster, Executive Director of the Children’s Aid Society of Brant, in which Mr. Koster urged the Police Service to provide staff for the recently-installed metal detectors at 44 Queen Street, Brantford.
Staff was asked to respond to both letters by indicating that the Board is continuing to investigate this important issue and adequate funding for court security would be discussed at an upcoming conference of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards.
Source: Minutes of the Brantford Police Services Board March 20, 2008 (pdf)
September 5, 2009 permalink
Funds appropriated by the state of Oklahoma for abused and neglected children paid for dental care, college tuition, health club memberships football tickets and vacations in Mexico. But not for foster children. The money went to the family of executive director of the Oklahoma CASA Association, and embezzler, Anna M Naukam. Unloved foster teens might have appreciated the cosmetic breast surgery, Victoria’s Secret lingerie or Playboy magazine subscriptions.
Embezzler Anna M. Naukam shows no remorse
former child advocate ordered to pay restitution and serve 15-year sentence
BY NOLAN CLAY and ANN KELLEY, Published: September 5, 2009
An embezzler pleaded guilty Friday, but she never said in court she was sorry for stealing funds meant to help abused and neglected children.
Anna M. Naukam, former executive director of the Oklahoma CASA Association, instead talked about herself when the judge pressed her to show remorse.
"It’s cost me,” she said, standing before the judge in handcuffs and orange jail clothes. "It’s been a very difficult thing to live with. I’m ready for it to be over.”
She was ordered to spend 15 years in prison, 20 years on probation and pay $549,024 in restitution. That punishment was the outcome of a plea agreement between her, her attorney and the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Joel-lyn McCormick.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Volunteers speak out for children in family courts.
"There’s a lack of morality there. ... I’ve never seen her show any remorse,” McCormick said after the sentencing.
The judge also required her to pay $7,000 in fines and $6,705 to the state Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
"You brought this on yourself,” Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson said.
The state multicounty grand jury indicted Naukam, 51, and her husband, Eugene M. Naukam III, 64, in August. They lived in Edmond.
She has been in jail since Aug. 20.
Grand jurors alleged the Naukams misused CASA credit cards to pay for their everyday expenses and such things as vacations in Mexico, cosmetic breast surgery, Texas Tech University football tickets, Victoria’s Secret lingerie, a Playboy magazine subscription, dental expenses, their son’s college tuition at the University of Oklahoma, veterinarian bills, health club memberships and home remodeling.
Anna Naukam pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count and 148 embezzlement counts from the indictment. She was the executive director of the taxpayer-supported private association for almost 10 years before being fired in October.
Eugene Naukam, who was a special projects coordinator at CASA for a time, still faces one conspiracy count and 41 embezzlement counts. He is free on bail and was not in court Friday.
The judge asked Anna Naukam if she had any money now to pay toward the restitution.
"No, your honor,” Anna Naukam said.
Prosecutors earlier said there is no money in the couple’s bank accounts.
Anna Naukam said, after her release, she wants to work teaching the directors of different organizations how to look at their financial records "so they’re not taken advantage of by somebody like me.” During the investigation of her wrongdoing, she told state auditors, "I was very good at cooking the books.”
She must pay part of any income made after her release toward her restitution and can be sent back to prison if she refuses while on probation.
She told the judge she is bipolar and also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She said if she had known of her mental condition years ago she could have gotten medication and counseling and "my life would be different right now.”
"I’m not using this as an excuse, but I think it definitely had something to do with it,” she said.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they will not file additional charges against her. State Auditor and Inspector Steve Burrage has said the audit revealed the couple actually misspent more than $650,000.
"I don’t think the punishment is harsh enough,” said Jennifer Borsch of Oklahoma City, a CASA supporter who came to the sentencing. "She stole from children and gave a black eye to an organization that does nothing but good. She should be behind bars a lot longer.”
Source: News OK
September 5, 2009 permalink
The Winnipeg Free Press prints a story on an organization of parents of children who have died while in care of the province. Two dead children are mentioned, without names, and even the picture has no identification, it shows only hands. Reporters know their stories are useless without names, it can only be the Canadian legal system that is scaring editors into censoring their own coverage. Maybe we should call it the Wimpy Free Press.
Our own research shows that two-year-old Gage Dakota Guimond died in Winnipeg on July 22, 2007 while under care of his great-aunt Shirley Guimond. Jessica Joy Owens, sixteen years old, committed suicide by hanging at Pauingassi Manitoba in March 2009. These are probably the two children mentioned in the story. A man called Greyeyes is quoted, without mentioning his connection to the group. If the group sends a press release supplying the missing facts and contact information, we will post it here. Send email to [ rtmq at fixcas.com ].
Mother of dead toddler joins lawsuit against Manitoba government
By Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free Press, September 5, 2009
The biological mother of a two-year-old boy who was killed while in the care of Manitoba's child welfare system is planning to join a class-action lawsuit accusing the provincial government of systemic abuse of children in care.
The woman is one of several parents and relatives who believe their children were far worse off after they were taken into care because of a Child and Family Services system, that they feel, has been broken for decades.
"It's going to open people's eyes," she said of the lawsuit.
Her two-year-old son was killed in July 2007. He had been moved from a stable foster home to live with relatives with addictions problems and criminal records.
The boy's great-aunt has been charged with manslaughter and is out of jail on bail awaiting trial.
The court has set Nov. 2 as the date to begin the preliminary inquiry in the case.
Meanwhile, the mother says she is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her son and said she received no assistance from CFS, including grief counselling, after his death.
"They wouldn't talk to me about it."
A Winnipeg father who also has had his children apprehended is helping organize the lawsuit. He says there are already 30 people committed to contributing $29 a month to a bank account set up to fund the lawsuit. He's hoping the group might be ready to go forward early in 2010. They are meeting with a lawyer next week to try and get things going.
On Sept. 12 the group is planning a march to raise awareness and money for the lawsuit.
He said he wants to force the system to look at families as a whole entity and not just take children without helping parents as much as possible.
"There's nothing any one person can do," he said. "I will not stop until these workers are held accountable. This is about CFS interference. Instead of working with grandparents and parents, they just take these kids."
Greyeyes said he's been approached by families from many different agencies, not all of them aboriginal.
He said two of the other relatives interested in pursuing the class action suit are the grandparents of a 15-year-old girl who killed herself earlier this year.
The Manitoba government is in the midst of implementing a new program called 'differential response,' which is supposed to refocus efforts on preventing families from breaking up through early intervention and treatment.
Negotiations for additional funding from Ottawa to help pay for the added costs of differential response have been going on for several years but no agreement has yet been reached.
A spokeswoman for the provincial government refused comment due to the potential legal action.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Addendum: CTV gets the story right.
Mother of dead boy joins lawsuit against Manitoba gov't
Updated Sat. Sep. 5 2009 8:49 PM ET, CTV.ca News Staff
The mother of a two-year-old boy killed while in the Manitoba child welfare system is joining a class-action lawsuit to sue the government for alleged abuse in its childcare programs.
Natasha Guimond is among several parents who are suing because they say their children were much worse off under the care of the Child and Family Services system.
Her son, Gage, was killed in 2007. He was moved from a foster home to live with relatives who had criminal records. His great-aunt has been charged with manslaughter.
Guimond also has a five-year-old daughter, Evening Star, in Manitoba's child welfare system and is trying to regain custody of the child.
"I'd like to know a little more about my daughter instead of them telling me that she's better off without me," Guimond told CTV Winnipeg.
Jules Greyeyes is organizing the lawsuit through the North End Advocacy Group. He says 30 people are contributing money to fund the lawsuit, which he hopes will be filed in early 2010.
"It's about accountability, it's about responsibility," he told CTV Winnipeg
He said Child and Family Services needs to do a better job of communicating with parents.
A long recovery
Guimond admits she was not fit to be taking care of her son at the time of her death because of her addiction to drugs.
But she says the horrific phone call informing her of his death forced her to break the addiction cycle.
Now in her mid-20s, she has been sober for almost two years and is taking parenting classes, while working to go back to school.
"I'm trying my hardest to help myself get better to try and raise my daughter and help her," she said. "I know she's probably going through a lot herself."
Neither the province nor the child services agency would comment on the lawsuit.
There are more than 700 children in the province's child welfare system.
September 4, 2009 permalink
Several members of the Dufferin CAS team participated in a fundraiser at Staples. Past financial statements have shown that these events raise insignificant amounts of money. The true purpose is to mislead the public that children's aid is (1) a charity and (2) a good cause.
September 3, 2009
Click on the image for a larger picture.
DUFFERIN CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES held a fund-raising event Sunday at Staples Business Depot on First Street Sunday with the help of Staples, Metro supermarkets and Johanis Karate School. On hand, left to right, were Trish Keachie (DCAFS), John and Elyse Johanis (Johanis Karate), John Sinclair (Metro), Chris Andrade (Staples), Jacqueline Moore (DCAFS), Norm McColl (Erin Radio), Rachel Moore, Jennifer Moore (DCAFS).
Source: Orangeville Citizen
September 4, 2009 permalink
Hugh Nicholson, executive director of the Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid Society, has made an unusual boast. He has improved the welfare of children in his area by decreasing the number of children in his care. Mr Nicholson deserves praise for his achievement. A sidebar shows that Kingston and Hastings are problem areas, a fact long known to readers of these columns.
Keeping children with their families
Local Children's Aid reduces the number of children in its care
Date: 2009-09-03, By Joel Wiebe
Fewer children are ending up as wards of the local Children's Aid Society (CAS) and that is a direct result of the organization's efforts over the last year, says executive director of CAS' Peterborough branch.
The local CAS has an average of one in 162 children in the community in its care, an improvement over one in 148 last year. Hugh Nicholson, executive director of the Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid Society , says that improvement is, in large part, a result of the organization making strides in two areas - helping families deal with problems and finding more homes for the children that do need to be removed from their families.
"Families are the best place to raise children," he says.
Investigations, he claims, are expensive and cause a lot of stress on families. By spending more time working with families, they can keep children in their home and improve their home life. If they feel the child is in immediate danger, they will take the child from the home.
"We both have a common interest in the safety of their children," adds Mr. Nicholson.
He says people have this idea of the CAS that its job is to go into people's homes and take their children away, an image Mr. Nicholson says they are trying to change.
Over the last five years, the organization has brought in some initiatives, like alternative dispute resolution, which helps families and case workers agree on common priorities and plans.
Taking a child from the home can mean a new town, new school, and new friends, a crisis Mr. Nicholson says they don't want to create in their lives.
In the cases where taking away children is needed, they try and get them adopted out or into foster homes so they can have the best care, rather than sending them to group homes.
Mr. Nicholson says the local agency is a leader in the province when it comes to getting children into homes by using permanent custody orders, a process similar to adoption. He figures 20 to 30 children will be adopted this year and an equal amount will find homes under the orders.
The recession has caused stress on families which Mr. Nicholson states ends up with a higher amount of child abuse. They've lowered the amount of children they have in care despite a 20 per cent increase in needs over the last couple months.
"I think we're doing a pretty good job," he adds.
Source: Metroland Media
Alberta Kafka Released
September 3, 2009 permalink
The convicted foster mother in the Alberta Kafka case has been released on (low) bail following her appeal. The release was unreported for a month.
Foster mom was convicted in death of boy, 3
By TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU, Last Updated: 3rd September 2009, 2:53am
An Edmonton foster mother who was put behind bars after being convicted of manslaughter in the death of a three-year-old boy in her care is back on city streets.
Two months and two days after being handed a three-year prison term, the 35-year-old nurse was released on bail pending several appeals in the high-profile case.
The woman, who can't be identified to protect the identity of the slain foster child, was sent to prison June 4 and let out on bail by a Court of Appeal of Alberta judge Aug. 6.
According to court documents obtained by Sun Media, the former nursing instructor was released on a $5,000 no-cash deposit recognizance with numerous conditions.
Those include that she keep the peace and be of good behaviour, attend court when required, report to her bail supervisor weekly and turn herself in for her appeal.
As well, she must live with her mother and maintain employment with her father, and she is not allowed to apply for or possess a passport or other travel documents.
She is also not allowed to be alone with children under 12, unless another adult is in the immediate presence, or have any child under her care.
She is allowed to have supervised access to her own biological children if a court determines it is in the best interest of the children.
A jury acquitted the woman of second-degree murder, but found her guilty of manslaughter on Nov. 29, 2008, after three days of deliberations following a five-week trial.
Police were called to the woman's west-end home on Jan. 26, 2007, after the boy was taken to Stollery Children's Hospital suffering from serious head trauma. He died in hospital the next day as a result of a fatal brain injury, later determined to be caused by blunt force trauma.
At her trial, the foster mother tearfully testified that the victim was "throwing himself everywhere" as she was holding him in the bathroom, that she lost balance and the boy fell, hitting his head on the toilet, causing the fatal injury.
A Crown expert testified the boy's injuries came from being struck repeatedly, shaken, or a combination of the two, and said that the injuries were not accidental.
A U.S. pathologist disputed the expert's evidence and testified fatal brain injuries can be caused by short falls.
The jury heard evidence that the young foster child was locked in a "sub-zero garage" clad in only a diaper, forced to stay on the toilet for long periods and made to exercise up and down stairs after midnight.
The foster mom has filed appeals of both her manslaughter conviction and her sentence while the Crown is appealing her acquittal on second-degree murder.
The couple of months the woman served on her penitentiary sentence were at the minimum-security Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge near Maple Creek, Sask.
Source: Edmonton Sun
Thanks to a reader for an alert
Waterloo Social Worker Investigated
September 2, 2009 permalink
Chris Carter is under order to stay away from the courthouse except when he has a case. This morning his case was postponed until later in the day, so he was legally in the waiting area. While he was speaking to other parents, one of them pointed out that a CAS worker (identified only as workerfour on account of pending litigation) was standing in one of the rooms used for discussions between counsel and clients. While keeping himself out of range of courthouse surveillance cameras, workerfour was making a video recording of Carter and the others with his Blackberry. Since this is a violation of the Courts of Justice Act, Carter reported it to the police, who intercepted workerfour as he tried to leave. Waterloo Region police are investigating. The investigating officer is Constable M Wyatt badge number #1169 and the occurrence number is C9-173503. She viewed the video recording and advised workerfour to consult a lawyer.
Source: email from Chris Carter