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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why the public should stop donating to their local Children's Aid Society in Ontario

In recent times there have been many articles in the media regarding Children's Aid Societies in the province of Ontario struggling financially and in a sense, the articles ask the public for more donations to allow CAS's to continue protecting children.
This is deeply concerning because these articles are misleading the public into believing that donating to the local CAS is a good thing to do for their communities.
What the public is not often told is the issues surrounding Children's Aid Societies in the province of Ontario, and why generous donations would likely be much better utilized in other places.
Contrary to popular belief, CAS's in the province of Ontario are not Government agencies at all, but rather are private corporations that receive their funding based on the number of children in their care and the number of files open on families.
In Ontario alone, Children's Aid Societies receive over 1.4 billion of our tax dollars every year, but yet have no independent oversight or accountability whatsoever.
Then, historically if a CAS runs out of money and they go into a deficit, the MCYS will simply clear their debt for them anyway.
This problematic funding model was exposed in a Toronto Star article dated March 14th 2013, that showed in a leaked memo, the Peel CAS told their staff to keep cases open unnecessarily for the sole purpose of retaining funding.
CAS's in Ontario are nothing more than unaccountable private organizations with funding models that create perverse incentives that often encourage them to use illegal and immoral tactics for nothing more than their own personal gains, with complete disregard for the best interest of children and their families.
It is statistically safer to become a member of the Canadian military and go to Afghanistan than it is to be in the "care" of your local CAS.
From 2006 to 2011, a total of 151 members of our Canadian military died in Afghanistan fighting for our children but in the same time period, According to the OPDRC, 612 innocent children died in the "care" of an Ontario CAS.
Out of these 612 deaths, not one CAS staff member has been held accountable for any of these deaths and without oversight or accountability, there is no evidence to support that these deaths will stop any time soon.
In the past two years in Prince Edward County, a total of 5 former foster parents have been charged and three convicted with sexual offences against children. One of the reasons was the fact that according to an operational review of the PECCAS, the MCYS found that as of January 2012, not one foster or group home under the supervision of the PECCAS was legally considered a place of safety for children.
This was because the MCYS could not find one PECCAS foster or group home where full criminal record checks had been completed. People are generally required to have a criminal record check to accompany your child on a school field trip or to volunteer for most services, but yet the PECCAS was apprehending venerable children from families where they often had no verified protection concerns, and placing them in the care of people that had not even had basic criminal record checks done.
What's worse was that many of the victims in the Bloomfield cases allege to have told their workers about the abuse that was taking place in these foster homes on many occasions, but yet the CAS workers would not do anything to stop the abuse, but rather would force the children to stay in the homes where the abuse continued. Instead of helping these children, they attempted to cover up the abuse and they where left to suffer at the hands of the PECCAS.
In that same report by the MCYS, it showed that the Ontario average for CAS compliance with the CFSA was only 66%. That means that on average, Ontario Children's Aid Societies where operating outside of the law a 34% of the time.
Also, in Belleville Ontario it has been proven that workers from Highland Shores CAS in January of 2012, had applied for a warrant to apprehend three children from their loving home. Due to the fact that the Society had no verified protection concerns, that warrant request was denied. Just hours later, against the order of the courts, the Society apprehended those three children anyway.
This resulted in a three month battle in court to have the children returned home to their loving family that they were unnecessarily and unlawfully removed from in the first place.
In a recent public meeting by the HSCAS, the Executive Director, Mark Kartusch had actually admitted that this was not just one occurrence where the HSCAS would go against the courts and the law to apprehend children but rather it happens on "occasion".
During these meetings, Mark Kartusch also admitted to being a Social Worker and practicing Social Work but yet is actually unregistered with the Ontario College of Social Workers which is blatantly against the law.
According to the Social Work and Social Service Work Act of 1998, "No person except a registered social worker shall represent or hold out expressly or by implication that he or she is a social worker or a registered social worker." Unfortunately almost every single CAS worker is unregistered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and therefore are going against the laws of Ontario but yet for some reason at this time, CAS's and their staff seem to be above the law.
Right now in the province of Ontario, thousands of innocent children and families are being unnecessarily destroyed by these private corporations for nothing more than their own financial and personal gains and this needs to stop for the well being of children as children are our future.
These are some of the many reasons that people should reconsider donating to your local Children's Aid Society at as there are many places where your generous donations can be put to good use for your community because at this time, the local CAS is simply not one of them.
Curtis Kingston
Ontario Child Protection Examiner
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