UNETHICAL PRACTICES IN CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATIONS:
UNETHICAL PRACTICES IN CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATIONS:
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Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario have the exclusive mandate under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) to protect children who have been or are at risk of being abused and/or neglected by their caregiver.
IS THE USE OF THE STATISTICAL POSSIBILITY OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF A CHILD - FAIR AND IMPARTIAL OR ETHICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL? NO.
Police don't arrest people on the possibility a person might commit a crime - except in movies like Minority Report. The police investigate or arrest people when there is a reasonable possibility they might have committed a crime or there is clear evidence a person has committed a crime unlike the children's aid societies of Ontario who have been allowed to target families "at risk" of being guilty of child abuse or neglect then drag families through the courts for months or years based on nothing more than the society's concerns.
This has financially set back families that could afford their own legal representation decades while leaving families that could not - out in the cold with a legal aid lawyer that is not there to represent them, their families or the best interest of the child but seem to be there to explain what's being done and little or nothing else besides creating the appearance of fair legal representation.
The trend toward adoption of a due process model of justice in Canada was reflected in and reinforced by the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 and has been exculded from the language and completely ignored in Child and Family Services Act, by the Ontario government, the agents of the children's aid society and - by the family courts.
CHILD PROTECTION REFORM in this case refers to as the idea that the legal rights of all persons in the family court system need to be protected, in particular, the expectation that accused parents will have access to a full file disclosure in a timely fashion, competent legal representation and a fair hearing no different than in any other court in Canada.
Canada’s legal system is based on a heritage that includes the rule of law, freedom under the law, democratic principles and due process. Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of legal rights a person is entitled to under the law with one exception in practice - the Ontario Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11. . Federal Law - Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-183.1.html
UNETHICAL PRACTICES IN INVESTIGATION: THE NEED FOR REINFORCEMENT OF ETHICAL CODES AND VALUES IN ONTARIO CHILD PROTECTION.
It's not about the standards, or legislation, or the bureaucracy - it's about ethics and application.
The Canadian justice system guarantees everyone due process under the law with one exception in practice - Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11.
There's only one kind of "investigation" that not only allows it's investigators to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and expect it's investigators to harass, intimidate, bully, threaten, badger, slander and then dismiss the victims as being disgruntled as if the word itself disqualifies their right to a fair and impartial hearing. If you want to understand how Ontario's child protection laws are being applied just remove your concepts of REASONABLE GROUNDS - PROBABLE CAUSE AND DUE PROCESS and add the word INQUISITION.
Inquisition - An official investigation, especially one of a political, or of religious nature or other special interest groups, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel judgements.
Fact - these investigators have no actual training, no education or qualifications accepted by the Ministry and no license to conduct a lawful investigation and as such are not required adhere to a code of conduct - even though in Ontario law is every private citizen or private agency must be licensed to have private investigators that are obligated to a investigative code of conduct like every other investigator in Ontario is.
Here's a short list of strategies and tactics the children's aid society use in their kind of "investigation" that has to be recorded and documented for legal purposes. Consent to interception: 183.1 Where a private communication is originated by more than one person or is intended by the originator thereof to be received by more than one person, a consent to the interception thereof by any one of those persons is sufficient consent for the purposes of any provision of this Part. 1993, c. 40, s. 2.
1) “Do you know why I'm here?”
(most often used by the social worker)
Social workers with the children's aid society will ask this, not because they want to have a friendly chat or help you, but because they want you to incriminate yourself. They are hoping you will “voluntarily” say something that will allow them to keep your file open. You may think you are apologizing, or explaining, or even making excuses, but from the children's aid worker's perspective, you are confessing. They are not there to serve you or help you; the worker is there fishing for an excuse to get a supervision order or coerce you into signing a service agreement or apprehend your children. In asking you the familiar question, they are essentially asking you what form of abuse or neglect your inflicting on your child and they will do this without giving you any legal warning because they are not required by law to do so.
2) “Do you have something to hide?”
(social workers and police officers will both try this)
Children's aid workers often talk as if you need a good reason for not answering whatever questions they ask, or for not consenting to a warrant-less search of your home. The ridiculous implication is that if you haven’t committed some form of abuse or neglect against your child, you should be happy to be subjected to random interrogations and searches. This turns the concept of due process on its head, as the social worker puts the burden on you to prove your innocence, while implying that your failure to “cooperate” with random harassment must be evidence of guilt.
3) “Cooperating will make things easier on you.”
(social workers and your very own legal aid lawyers will both try this one to get you sign consents and service agreement)
The logical converse of this statement implies that refusing to answer questions and refusing to consent to a search will make things more difficult for you. In other words, you will be punished if you exercise your rights. Of course, if they coerce you into giving them a reason to keep a file open or apprehend your children, they will claim that you “voluntarily” answered questions and “consented” to a search, and will pretend there was no veiled threat of what they might do to you if you did not willingly “cooperate.” In my family's experience the director of service for FCSLLG claimed the not so veiled threats were nothing more than attempt to be transparent that my wife and I failed to interpret correctly, well on video it certainly was transparent.
4) “We’ll just get a court order.”
Children's aid social workers may try to persuade you to “consent” to a search by claiming that they could easily just go get a court order if you don’t consent. This is just another ploy to intimidate people into surrendering their rights, with the implication again being that whoever inconveniences the children's aid society by requiring them to go through the process of getting a court order will receive worse treatment than one who “cooperates.” But by definition, one who is threatened or intimidated into “consenting” has not truly consented to anything and is one very good reason to record and document for legal purposes everything they say and do.
5) "I'd like to talk to you in person."
This is an excuse to randomly "observe" (and avoid leaving a paper trail) your family and your home for documentation without an valid reason and should you rather communicate by with the social worker by telephone or E-mail see #2 and #3 on the list above.