In this story we have change the family surname to XXXXX. It is otherwise as written. This is the same family we wrote about on June 16, 2005. The $500,000 donation to Hamilton Children's Aid came from POSCOR Mill Services Corp.
July 25, 2005
To Whom It May Concern:
On February 7, 2005 it was announced that there was a donation the largest contribution to the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton's history, $500 000 dollars. This contribution made it possible for their name to be enshrined on a building that houses the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton.
The Children's Aid Society purchased this building for approximately 4.5 million dollars and did a further renovation of 1.5 million dollars for its grand opening on this date. Dignitaries and politicians and members of the public, along with staff, clients, their families and friends attended this grand event. If not for all the hype and festivities of this gala event they would have missed what was really happening in their beautiful City of Hamilton.
I am writing this letter to bring to your attention the injustices committed by the ones that you contributed to. They led you down the garden path of helping children, families and those in need of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton. I admit there are families that do need the assistance and I am not downplaying the efforts. I am just one of many families in this community that has faced injustice, despair and humiliation at the hands of a non-registered SOCIAL WORKER and agency members.
I am 62 years old and a single father of two children that I am raising. I was unfortunate to run into the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton and the Halton Children's Aid Society in 1998. My young daughter at the time was 13 years old. She did not like the rules of my home and decided to run away. With the assistance of the police and the Halton Children's Aid Society she returned home only to run away again. It was decided to let my daughter go into the Society's care under a temporary agreement. This was with the understanding that she would return home after three months. Well the three months went by and the Halton Children's Aid Society through manipulation and tactics unbeknownst to me lied to my daughter and told her that I had signed her into the Society's care for another 6 months. She signed the agreement then ran away from the foster home.
At this time it was decided that she would go and live with her mother in Hamilton under the care and control of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton. This was a mother with a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and the two Societies knew this. After my 13-year-old daughter was in her mother's care she was concerned about returning to foster care, as she had not heard from the Hamilton Children's Aid Society.
A communication (whose authenticity cannot be verified) from the girl who becomes the mother in the next paragraph, disputes much of the characterization of her by her step-father. She denies that she was raped, and further attributes much of the family break-up to her father, rather than to CAS.
My daughter contacted them and on her very first meeting with them she informed them that she was pregnant and 10 ½ weeks along in her pregnancy and she had been assaulted by a 19 year old and also that she had been molested by her sister's boyfriend. The Hamilton Children's Aid Society terminated their supervision order and did not further their quest and notify the proper authorities about the rape of my 13-year-old daughter. My 14-year-old daughter who had gotten pregnant at 13 delivered a baby girl on February 21, 1999 named Paige Margaret Xxxxx. Right from the time she was born she received assistance from the Hamilton Children's Aid Society. They worked with her and while she was still in the care of her mother and had a newborn baby they all agreed to sign a "Voluntary Parental Agreement." This would ensure involvement of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton and they would ensure the needs of the newborn baby were being met. As naïve and young as my daughter was I attended a meeting when my grandchild was 2 months of age. I asked the Society to explain to my daughter that if she wanted to go out late at night that she should leave the baby at home while she went out. The Society workers told me to mind my own business. Two days later they apprehended my granddaughter for the first time. This newborn baby remained in the Society's care for 6 months. This newborn baby was 9 months old when she came home after I questioned the Society if I could have custody they gave the child back to its mother with the condition she live with her mother. Four months later my daughter left her mothers home, abandoned the baby at a friend's house and the Society apprehended the baby for the second time. She was in foster care a further six months and again I inquired about the possibility of the baby coming to live with me. They went out of their way to return the child back to my ex-wife where she remained for another 6 months. History has a tendency to repeat itself, the mother of my daughter and the grandmother of the newborn ensured the needs were being met but there was a problem of drugs and alcohol abuse the child was apprehended again for the third time with the understanding that the child had been in care for so long of her life that she would be placed for ADOPTION. I immediately contacted the society and after the child plus my ex-wife's son Vincent were in care for 6 months, I was finally added to the case as a Respondent and given custody of Paige and Vincent. There was an understanding from the Society that they were welcome in MY home at anytime. Just don't come to ME with anonymous phone callers or innuendos.
There were anonymous phone calls in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Each time they were proven false. On one occasion the children were illegally apprehended by the Society on September 26, 2003 at 1:30am in the morning during a thunderstorm. The Society returned them after 3 days, as there was no bearing on why they took them in the first place. The file was closed and life went on normally for my family or so I thought. The Society had me in their sights and they knowingly harassed me for 4½ years through anonymous phone callers and innuendos. While members of the community were dancing, singing and festive over the opening of a NEW PROTECTION CENTER FOR CHLDREN, the Society was plotting their next move against me.
On February 25, 2005 after I had been home schooling the children for six months a Hamilton CAS worker arrived at my door when my babysitter was there. The education system had failed my son and I felt that if I could give him one on one attention at home through home schooling then it would be achieved. The Hamilton Children's Aid worker left her business card and then left. She came back with 2 police officers and illegally entered my premises. There was another anonymous phone call that there was no hydro, no heat and no food. This was a lie. The children were on a sleepover for the weekend and I was moving to another address. On February 26, 2005 the next day, the after hours worker (did not get her name) arrived again with two police officers and demanded that the children are produced. They were still on a sleepover. I was moving. No longer was there an issue of no heat, no hydro or no food, it was safety concerns. On March 4, 2005 I received a phone call from CAS. They asked if I would co-operate. The issue at hand at that time was the other address and I did not live there. I had moved and there was no reason for them to be involved if I was not there. On March 8, 2005 8 police officers, and two CAS workers, arrived at the old house again. I did not live there. The police kicked in the door and the CAS workers walked throughout the house. When I arrived on the scene I entered the house through the back door and I went to the front door. I spoke with the police and ensured them that I did not live there and asked to see a copy of the warrant for them to kick down the door. They did not give me a copy at that time as they only had an original. The police officer did not hand me the copy he waved it in my face. I could not see who, what, why or how this was done. I told them I want to go to court and deal with this. On March 9, 2005 I went down to the Family Court at 55 Main St. West and asked Duty Counsel how I could bring an action against Hamilton CAS and they said that I couldn't. I had to be given something in writing. Having settled into the new apartment on March 11, 2005 the two children and went away for March Break for their yearly visit to their grandmothers house. On March 24, 2005 at approximately 1pm, two CAS workers and 8 policemen showed up at our old house. We did not live there. They used the swat team to ram the door in with a long battering ram. They did extensive damage to the doorknob, the mail slot and the door panels. They finally got in and searched the whole house, with the CAS workers in tow. They went around the back of the house and then decided to look in both apartments next door. They tried to get into the lower apartment but did not knock. They just checked the doorknob and then left the area. They went into the basement saw that it was locked and proceeded upstairs to the second floor apartment. They knocked and as there was no answer they proceeded to break down the back door. I went to the back door to find out about the commotion and one police officer; a woman stated you are illiterate. You can't read or write. I don't know where that statement came from; it just came out of the blue. 6 SWAT team members and two CAS workers stood in the kitchen OF the upper apartment. They did not go past the kitchen sink. The CAS workers were not concerned about the apartment that the children and I lived in. CAS calls it an attic. It is a 3-bedroom apartment. They just wanted the children. I was sitting in the living room with the children and two swat team members asked how old they were and what there names were. They told my friend to leave the room but she did not. My friend stood in the doorway. The SWAT team member asked the children what school they go to. They replied that my friend here home schools them. The CAS said that is why they are here. The children are not getting the proper education. I stated that I was not served anything to begin with. They have again used false allegations and innuendos to disrupt my family. I have chosen to home school my children. That is my crime.
On March 24, 2005 I contacted the Hamilton Children's Aid office to ask if I could see the children. It was Easter weekend. CAS stated that I would have to take it up with the courts to see my children. They could not supervise me on the weekend.
On March 30, 2005 I spoke with my daughter She stated to me in person that she had spoken to the CAS and that she had delivered Easter baskets to them on March 24, 2005. She stated that CAS will not work with us and we have pulled the last straw with her and she will not co-operate with us. My daughter stated to us that she would be at court to support us getting the children back. On April 1, 2005 I attended court with my friend and saw my daughter at the courthouse. She would not support me in getting the children. She was putting in a plan of care to get both children. We would have to fight it out. She sat with CAS and they went into the courtroom together. She was added as a party as the youngest child's biological mother and four people were added as having visitation for the children. The biological mother my daughter and friend accompanying her and with a friend accompanying me. THIS WAS A COURT ORDER. Judge Genesee stated that she would be the head judge in these proceeding without prejudice. This meant that we could bring it before any judge before the next court date to get temporary custody of the children. On April 1, 2005 after court was over I spoke with CAS in regards to my first visit. She stated Tuesday April 5, 2005 at 4:30pm. On April 5, 2005 I called The CAS to verify the meeting at 4:30pm and they stated that I didn't call fast enough and that they gave the first visit to my daughter. We would have to wait until April 6, 2005 at 4:30pm.
On April 6, 2005 I arrived at the Children's Aid office at approximately 4:25pm. The children were not there for the visit. I waited over ½ an hour before the children arrived at 5:05pm. I saw the children and the first thing out of the youngest child's mouth was I am moving with my mommy and the boy is moving in with his brother. Throughout my hour and a half we talked with the kids and played with them. This was under the supervision of CAS and her assistant. Everything I said they wrote down. After about an hour the oldest boy stated that he had talked to his brother. I asked him how and he stated: THAT HE CAME WITH HIS SISTER ON THE VISIT LAST NIGHT. After the visit was over I asked the CAS worker how come the Children's Aid Society had disobeyed a court order. She said take it up with the courts. The court order says four people not 5 or 10.
The workers of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton will not co-operate with me. The CAS' mission statement states that they must protect the autonomy, integrity and cultural diversity of the family. The ultimate goal is to reunite this family. Not once have the workers stated that they will come to visit me and discuss the Plan of Care that I presented to the Courts. The CAS has deliberately torn apart this family and all I want from the Society is CO-OPERATION. CAS is biased in their opinions using the Police force to remove children from an address they did not live in Hamilton. The CAS worker and the Police force put the children at risk by taking them out of their new apartment and out the back door knowing there was a front entrance. They walked them through the yard, past the damage that the SWAT or tactical unit did to the door. That is psychological trauma that will remain in these children's minds forever. And to suggest that they not go home where they have been raised for the past 4 years. They may go to other family members that did not care before for the welfare of these children.
My two children have been in the custody of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton for the past 124 days.
Since they have been in the Society's custody I have written the Society with my concerns for the health and welfare of my two children. I have received correspondence from the Society, approximately 26 letters via FAX.
There have been 26 workers involved in this case since February 25, 2005. Out of these 26 workers 3 are registered with the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. I am talking to clerks and staff that are not even registered and to understand the needs of children and families. With a staff of approximately 395 child Protection workers there are 420 children in foster care in Hamilton.
If _____________________ really wants to help support children and families in the community as your company says it does, then I would suggest that your company stop funding the CAS until the CAS agrees to be more accountable for the way it operates. Better yet, fund some other causes that ensures that money more directly helps those in need. All I can say in my case is that the Society must have spent thousands of dollars intruding and destroying my family with absolutely nothing done except to harass and intimidate my children and me. I have heard of others in my community who has had similar experiences with CAS. If the money that CAS has spent on having workers intimidate and harass me would have been much better spent had the money been given directly to all the children in need directly in the form of financial assistance.
I believe that your company has been mislead by supporting the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton, which is doing more harm then good to children and families. The CAS should be made to clean up its act before receiving money from private companies like ________________
If anyone from ________________would like to speak directly to me as my children are in foster care and they cannot speak about this horrible experience that I am living daily with the CAS then please feel free to contact me at my phone number listed above. I find it troubling to learn that _____________is providing funding to an agency, which maintains a veil of secrecy over its operations and clearly is hurting many children and families in my community.
Here is a letter from the same father dated Thursday, August 18, 2005. We suppress the surname, but leave in his email address.
We went to court on Monday August 15th at 2:30 pm for a temporary care hearing to decide where the children would go as they have been in foster care for approximately 5 months. We were all in court from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. The judge was an ass and listened to CAS and all the lawyers. I couldn't speak up as I was undefended and unrepresented. When the judge finished for the day, she said she would render her decision via fax. That was the end of the day....
Tuesday went by no word or fax.
Wednesday went by no word or fax.
Thursday at high noon Ed's lawyer contacted him on his cell phone. The judge rendered her decision. Give the children to his daughter Toni and her boyfriend temporarily until the trial
That is where we stand now. We are doing up the appeal process and we should be in court for that within a month.
Almost a Year
One year has passed its been so long
Each day is a number where does it belong?
March 24th you left my world
My heart broke my mind twirled
To remember yesterday
To remember your voice
Did we even have a choice?
Does the world think we are criminals?
For both you children were taken away.
And we have to live every day.
Not knowing that you are safe.
With tears of sadness
Why is there such madness?
Doors are fixed and boxes put away.
You did not die but you did not stay.
There is no more laughter.
No more children playing in the snow
There are just tears and emptiness
Please don't leave, don't go.
We are not there to tuck you in
Where do we begin?
You are older but are you wiser?
Memories are written down
On a page of white
To dream that some day
We will reunite.
Written by Mary Lou Janiga on March 12, 2006 at 11:00pm
It's March 24th again
To everyone else it's just a Friday
But I am reminded of that day
On a snowy day one year ago
I relive that moment in my head
It was a Thursday and I did dread
That knock at the door
My heart pulled right at its core
I opened the door
And into the home did strangers wander
They made you cry
They made you hide.
They led you off away from me
And all I can do is remember.
This past year has been a struggle.
Granny died and left this world
One-eyed Jack the cat had no one left to cuddle.
Easter, Mothers Day and Canada Day
You even missed all the birthdays
Did you think of us like we did you?
Has your heart broken in two?
Should I cry?
There are so many questions
Will a piece of me die?
I am not there to tuck you in.
Memories seem to be just a dying flicker.
I don't want to forget
Please just make my memories quicker.
Don't forget me I continue to write
I still love you as I write this night.
I hope I will be all right.
Written by Mary Lou Janiga at 12:14 am on March 24, 2006