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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will the Premier of Ontario call a Public Inquiry into the Children's Aid Society

How many more lies, abuses, children dying, child abused while in care of the children's aid across Ontario will it take before Ontario wakes up?


Lying mom case prompts calls for children’s aid oversight


RANDY RICHMOND | QMI AGENCY
LONDON, Ontario - Ontario's opposition critics have pounced on a judge's scathing indictment of the London area's Children's Aid Society as proof the province's child-welfare system needs drastic change.
The London-Middlesex CAS was slapped with a $1.4-million court bill and harsh words from a judge this week for failing to properly investigate a mother's warped version of events in a divorce and custody battle, even when three children tried to alert authorities of the woman's violence, alcoholism and manipulation.
"It is definitely evidence why we need independent oversight over the Children's Aid Society," Monique Taylor, the NDP's child and youth services critic, said Friday.
"We definitely know that these things go on. To my knowledge, it's the first time a judge has come out with this type of language with his thoughts on what went on in this case."
The Conservatives repeated calls for a review of the system, stopping short of agreeing with the NDP that the ombudsman should be given the power to oversee the child-welfare system.
"The whole children's area needs to be reviewed and (it should be decided) what is working and isn't working and make the changes that ensure children are always the first priority," PC child and youth services critic Bill Walker said.
"It certainly didn't seem there was a lot of thorough investigation done on all sides of the issue (in the London case). They took one side and pushed that. There needs to be a check and balance in that process," Walker said.
The London-Middlesex CAS was also put under review in the fall because it couldn't balance its books.
"The $1.4 million - where's that coming from? This is a major problem," Taylor said.
Taylor has tried twice to get legislation passed giving the ombudsman power to investigate Children's Aid Societies, with the latest bill blocked by the Liberals.
"Every ombudsman since this office was established in 1975 has called for oversight of Children's Aid Societies," Linda Williamson, spokeswoman for the ombudsman's office, said Friday.
"Ontario is the only province whose ombudsman does not have some oversight of the child-protection system, and we get hundreds of complaints every year about CASs that we have to turn away."
In response to questions about the case, a spokesman for Children and Youth Services Minister Teresa Piruzza said the Liberals have introduced legislation to strengthen oversight of CASs.
"This legislation would, if passed, provide the provincial advocate for children and youth with new investigative powers, like those of the Ontario ombudsman, to investigate matters relating to children and youth involved in the child-protection system," Neil Zacharjewicz said in an e-mail.
The NDP isn't sure how oversight from the provincial advocate would work, Taylor said.
"Nobody in this province has been calling on the provincial advocate to have oversight on the Children's Aid Society. People have been calling on the ombudsman for many, many years to have this oversight."
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