WOULD CHILDREN IN ONTARIO'S CARE BE SAFER IN A WAR ZONE?

WOULD CHILDREN IN ONTARIO'S CARE BE SAFER IN A WAR ZONE?
Posted on April 8, 2019 | Derek Flegg | Written on April 8, 2019
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Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Between 2008 and 2012 the PDRC choose to review the deaths of 215 children in care. In 92 of those cases the cause of death could not be determined while the majority of the remaining deaths were listed as homicides, suicide and accidental. The PRDC reported during that same time period only 15 children in care with pre-existing medical conditions had died of unpreventable natural causes.
 
ONLY 158 CANADIANS SOLDIERS DIED IN AFGHANISTAN BETWEEN 2002 AND 2011.
 
(No disrepect to those soldiers intended)
 
The 81 page pdf version at bottom.
 
 
 
Canada in Afghanistan - Fallen Canadian Armed Forces Members.
 
One hundred and fifty-eight (158) Canadian Armed Forces members lost their lives in service while participating in our country’s military efforts in Afghanistan. You can click on the names to explore their entries in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
 
 
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“There are lots of kids in group homes all over Ontario and they are not doing well — and everybody knows it,” says Kiaras Gharabaghi, a member of a government-appointed panel that examined the residential care system in 2016.
 
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“It is stunning to me how these children... are rendered invisible while they are alive and invisible in their death,” said Irwin Elman, Ontario’s advocate for children and youth. Between 90 and 120 children and youth connected to children’s aid die every year. (rendered invisible by the PDRC)
 
Between 2008/2012 natural causes was listed as the least likely way for a child in Ontario's care to die at 7% (only 15) out of the total deaths reviewed while "undetermined cause" was listed as the leading cause of death of children in Ontario's child protection system at 43% of the total deaths reviewed. The of the deaths were categorized as homicide, suicide and accidental.
 
43% equals 92 children out of just the deaths reviewed by the PDRC. 92 mystery deaths and like every other year no further action was taken to determine the cause...
 
Undetermined means those 92 had no pre-existing medical conditions and there was no reason for them to have died.
 
 
 
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Use of 'behaviour-altering' drugs widespread in foster, group homes.
 
2014.. Almost half of children and youth in foster and group home care aged 5 to 17 — 48.6 percent — are on drugs, such as Ritalin, tranquilizers and anticonvulsants, according to a yearly survey conducted for the provincial government and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). At ages 16 and 17, fully 57 per cent are on these medications.
 
In group homes, the figure is even higher — an average of 64 percent of children and youth are taking behaviour-altering drugs. For 10- to 15-year-olds, the number is a staggering 74 per cent.
 
“Why are these kids on medication? Because people are desperate to make them functional,” Baird says, and “there’s so little else to offer.
 
Yet if the parents take medication to help make them more "functional" it's a reason for to keep a file open or apprehend a child, not render assistance or relief.
 
The figures are found in “Looking After Children in Ontario,” a provincially mandated survey known as OnLAC. It collects data on the 7,000 children who have spent at least one year in care. After requests by the Star, the 2014 numbers were made public for the first time.
 
 
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What’s worse is that the number of children prescribed dangerous drugs is on the rise. Doctors seem to prescribe medication without being concerned with the side-effects.
 
Worldwide, 17 million children, some as young as five years old, are given a variety of different prescription drugs, including psychiatric drugs that are dangerous enough that regulatory agencies in Europe, Australia, and the US have issued warnings on the side effects that include suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior.
 
According to Fight For Kids, an organization that “educates parents worldwide on the facts about today’s widespread practice of labeling children mentally ill and drugging them with heavy, mind-altering, psychiatric drugs,” says over 10 million children in the US are prescribed addictive stimulants, antidepressants and other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs for alleged educational and behavioral problems.
 
In fact, according to Foundation for a Drug-Free World, every day, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) will abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time (4). Even more frightening, prescription medications like depressants, opioids and antidepressants cause more overdose deaths (45 percent) than illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and amphetamines (39 percent) combined. Worldwide, prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death.
 
 
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Painkiller: Inside the Opioid Crisis.
 
Painkiller delves into the opioid epidemic. It features interviews with families who have lost loved ones, as well as healthcare workers and policy experts who question a health system that favours corporate profits over patients.
 
 
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The Progressive Conservative government recently announced that it would continue to fund the province’s supervised-injection and overdose-prevention sites. Some were surprised by the move: Doug Ford, after all, once said that he was “dead against” such sites — so much so that he put the opening of three overdose prevention sites on hold this summer, pending a review of Ontario’s drug strategy. Thankfully, the government seems to have drawn the same conclusion as many health experts: these sites save lives. But the good news came with caveats. A lot of them.
 
The 18 sites that received funding before the review will have to reapply to receive more. And the government has not only refused to fund pop-up services, such as tents: it has prohibited them. That’s an especially troubling move, considering the government has also capped the number of sites at 21. Almost 4,000 people in Canada died from opioid overdoses last year — the number is expected to rise in 2018.
 
Why would the government limit its ability to address the crisis?
 
 
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Ontario Opioid Epidemic Plunges Children's Aid Societies Into Crisis.
 
Agencies from Sault Ste. Marie to Brantford are laying off workers as the number of kids who need care mounts.
 
Kim Streich-Poser has tried to reduce her staff with early retirement offers, but most of them are too dedicated to their work to take the bait.
 
"We've got people who are very, very committed to working with some of the most vulnerable children and families in our community," the executive director of the Children's Aid Society of Algoma told HuffPost Canada.
 
Streich-Poser, who is based in Sault Ste. Marie, says she's given layoff notices to six of her 141 employees and is negotiating other "displacements" with their union. She'll also close Algoma's office in Hornepayne, Ont. and reduce two full-service district offices in Wawa and Blind River into small satellite offices with one employee each.
 
 
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2018: Children’s Aid executive facing 20 charges in child abuse case. By Alexandra Mazur and Mike Postovit Global News
 
OPP has charged William Sweet, a resident of Picton, Ont., after allegations of wrongdoing during his work as the executive director of the Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society between 2002 and 2010.
 
After investigating cases of children placed with foster parents who themselves were convicted of child abuse, this led the OPP to look into Sweet’s involvement as executive director of the child care organization.
 
The 67-year-old Picton resident was charged with 10 counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failure to provide the necessities of life. The accused appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Picton on May 2.
 
Sgt. Carolle Dionne, provincial media relations coordinator, says that although Sweet never fostered any children of his own, he is being charged because as she said, “he ought to have known better” than to place children with the foster parents who have since been convicted in child abuse cases.
 
For a period of eight years, nine foster children were placed with six foster parents who have since been convicted of sexual abuse against those children.
 
According to Dionne, Sweet’s investigation encompassed a review of those previous abuse investigations and convictions between 2013 and 2016. Police then conducted additional interviews, executed search warrants and seized evidence to put before the court for Sweet’s charges.
 
OPP officers are not commenting on specific details of the allegations as the matter is now before the courts.
 
Children’s Aid Society moves on
 
Mark Kartusch is the current executive director of the Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society. In 2012, after the Ministry of Children and Youth Services reviewed the Prince Edward County Children Services, Sweet left his post, and his branch dissolved. What came from that was an amalgamation of several children’s aid offices, an organization which Kartusch now heads.
 
He says that Sweet’s charges are bringing up bad memories, but that he hopes people will have faith in the workers.
 
“We didn’t have a lot of people coming forward to become foster parents,” said Kartusch, although he said that things have changed in the last few years.
 
He also emphasized that events like those that happened to the children placed out of the Prince Edward County children’s aid are highly unusual.
 
“Kids are safe in foster homes,” Kartusch emphasized.
 
He finished by saying that although there are employees from the now defunct Prince Edward Country chapter working within the Highland Shores organization, they were not involved in any criminal activity.
 
“The charges are isolated with Bill,” said Kartusch about Sweet.
 
 
 
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2014: Three former County foster children have reached out-of-court settlements with the Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society for damages stemming from sexual abuse sustained while they were in the society’s care.
 
An order dismissing further action against the child welfare agency has been approved by a judge at the Prince Edward County superior court where the lawsuit was filed in April 2013. Court staff confirmed only three of the five cases have been settled to date, leaving two outstanding plaintiffs.
 
 
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Ontario group-home owner faces sex assault charges.
 
MARGARET PHILP TORONTO PUBLISHED MARCH 26, 2003
 
The owner of a group-home agency with close to 40 of Ontario's most disturbed teenagers in its care has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, the latest sign of trouble in an industry looking after thousands of the province's children.
 
Stephen Mitchell, 40, the owner and executive director of Mitchell Group Homes, was charged by the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service this week, after two episodes of unwelcome sexual contact last fall with a female group-home worker who called police. The employee no longer works for the company.
 
 
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Maple Ridge youth worker charged with sex assault, child pornography: (March 14, 2019)
 
A youth care worker with the Maple Ridge School District has been charged with production and possession of child pornography as well as sexual assault and sexual interference.
 
RCMP say the 52 year-old Daniel Jon Olson appeared in provincial court in Port Coquitlam BC for offences that are alleged to have occurred between 2008 and 2019.
 
:One count of possessing child pornography.
 
:One count of making, printing, publishing or
possessing for the purpose of publication
child pornography.
 
:Eight counts of sexual interference.
 
:Two counts of sexual assault with a weapon.
 
According to Ridge Meadows RCMP, the detachment's Serious Crime Unit is continuing to investigate Olson, who has been released from custody with conditions.
 
The school district says Olson worked in a number of elementary and secondary schools over the course of his employment..
 
Sylvia Russell, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District superintendent, sent a notice to parents in the district on Thursday. "The charges are very serious and deeply concerning, the notice reads."
 
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district says in a letter to parents that Olson is a child and youth care worker who has worked in a number of elementary and secondary schools over the years.
 
It says Olson has been on unpaid leave since the district was notified of his arrest.
 
Superintendent Sylvia Russell says in the letter that the safety and well-being of students is the district’s first priority.
 
“While we have no first-hand knowledge about the charges, we are informing all our families out of an abundance of caution so that parents/guardians can direct any information they may have about this matter directly to the Ridge Meadows RCMP,” said Russell.
 
 
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The inquest into Jeffrey Baldwin's death was supposed to shed light on the child welfare system and prevent more needless child deaths. Baldwin's inquest jury made 103 recommendations. Sep 06, 2013.
 
 
Nearly six months after the inquest into the death of Katelynn Sampson began, jurors delivered another 173 recommendations. APRIL 29, 2016.
 
 
276 OFFICIAL REASONS FOR CONCERN ABOUT THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN IN ONTARIO'S CARE - NOT INCLUDING THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE MOTHERISK REPORT OR THE 2018 CORONER'S REPORT.
 
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"Ontario’s child protection system fails children, again." By Star Editorial Board Wed., Sept. 26, 2018 .
 
Children should, at the very least, survive the attempts of Ontario’s child protection system to help them.
 
What an incredibly low bar that is, Ontario’s child advocate noted. And how shocking that, yet again, Ontario has failed to meet it.
 
A new and rightly scathing report by Ontario’s coroner is calling on the provincial government to overhaul the child protection system that keeps failing children.
 
The panel of experts appointed by Ontario’s chief coroner Dirk Huyer examined the tragic deaths of 12 youths who were placed in foster homes and group homes for their safety and well-being, and yet died while under provincial care.
 
Eight of the 12 were Indigenous, cut off from their communities in the north, and eight youth died by suicide. All 12 of these young people, who died over a three-and-a-half-year period, were known to have serious mental health challenges and yet the panel found little was done to help them.
 
“Despite complex histories and the high-risk nature of these young people’s lives, intervention was minimal and sometimes non-existent,” the report states.
 
Ministry oversight of homes is inadequate, caregivers lack proper training and vulnerable children are being warehoused and shuffled from one home to the next without getting the care they need. In fact, the child protection system can barely be called a system given its lack of co-coordinated services, Huyer said.
 
And what makes this worse is that it has all been said before.
 
To her credit, Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod didn’t seek to dodge these findings. “From the CASs to group homes to my ministry, we all bear "some" responsibility,” she said, but there is only one captain of the ship, the premier of Ontario. “As the new minister, the buck stops with me and I will take action.”
 
Let’s hope this time it’s action that actually makes a difference in kids lives.
 
That means, as this expert panel has said, getting away from a “crisis driven and reactionary” response, to prevention-focused care that works with children and their families, whose troubles are often driven or compounded by poverty.
 
Just yanking kids from their homes, especially when they are placed into a system that has repeatedly proven incapable of dealing with their complex needs, isn’t a solution. (Out of the frying pan and into the child poaching funding predator's fire...)
 
The panel was struck by how often these kids were classified as “safe with intervention.”
 
The tragedy is that they were far from safe because they didn’t get the constructive intervention they needed.
 
 
 
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Under suspicion: Concerns about child welfare.
 
In 2015, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) began a year-long consultation to learn more about the nature of racial profiling in Ontario. Our aim was to gather information to help us guide organizations, individuals and communities on how to identify, address and prevent racial profiling. We connected with people and organizations representing diverse perspectives. We conducted an online survey, analyzed cases (called applications) at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that alleged racial profiling, held a policy dialogue consultation, and reviewed academic research. We conducted focus groups with Indigenous peoples and received written submissions. Overall, almost 1,650 individuals and organizations told us about their experiences or understanding of racial profiling in Ontario.
 
Ways to address concerns about racial profiling in child welfare.
 
Preventing and addressing racial profiling is a shared responsibility. Government, child welfare organizations and other responsible organizations must take concrete action and decisive steps to prevent, identify and respond to racial profiling.
 
The OHRC has made many recommendations over several years to address racial profiling. These recommendations are included in our report, Under suspicion. Where applicable, they should be used to identify how racial profiling may be taking place in the child welfare system. They also identify specific approaches organizations should use to prevent and address racial profiling.
 
Overall, consultation participants agreed with the following broad strategies to prevent and address racial profiling:
 
Anti-bias training
Developing policies, procedures and guidelines
Effective accountability monitoring and accountability
mechanisms, including:
complaint procedures
disciplinary measures
collecting, analyzing and reporting on data
Holistic organizational change strategy
Leadership
Communication (external and internal)
Engagement with affected stakeholders.
 
The OHRC is also very concerned that the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous children in the child welfare system is a possible indicator of systemic racism. We conducted a public interest inquiry to examine this issue. We requested that CASs across the province provide us with data on race and other information. In the preliminary analysis of the data, we found that for many CASs across the province, African Canadian and Indigenous children are overrepresented in care, compared to their census populations.
 
Next steps. The OHRC will:
 
Release the results of our public interest inquiry
Develop specific policy guidance to help individuals, community groups and organizations understand how racial profiling can be identified, prevented and addressed in the child welfare sector
Continue to call for the collection of race-based data and data on other Code grounds to better understand if racial disparities exist in this sector
Continue to work with community stakeholders to enhance public education on racial profiling.
For more information
To find out more about racial profiling in the child welfare and other sectors, the full Under suspicion report is available online at www.ohrc.on.ca.
 
To file a human rights claim (called an application), contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario at:
 
Toll Free: 1-866-598-0322
TTY Toll Free: 1-866-607-1240
Website: www.hrto.ca
 
If you need legal help, contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre at:
Toll Free: 1-866-625-5179
TTY Toll Free: 1-866-612-8627
 
 
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ABOUT DEATH AND SERIOUS BODILY HARM
 
Agencies and service providers funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) are legally required to inform the Ontario Child Advocate when they become aware of an incident where a child or youth who has had any involvement with a children’s aid society in the past 12 months dies or has suffered serious bodily harm. The agencies must provide this notification in writing without unreasonable delay.
 
 
Ontario’s child advocate has 27 on-going investigations into foster homes as province shuts him down. National News | November 20, 2018 by Kenneth Jackson. APTN News.
 
After first dealing with the shock of learning through the media that his office was being axed by the Ford government, Ontario’s child advocate’s focus shifted and it was not about his future.
 
Irwin Elman began thinking of the children his office is trying to help.
 
More so the 27 individual investigations currently on-going into residential care, like group homes and foster care said Elman.
 
“I have been very clear what I think about this change. I absolutely do not agree with it. Now I have been working, thinking and turning my mind to how we can we preserve all the things we do,” said Elman, 61, Tuesday.
 
He said right now it is “unclear” what happens to those investigations if he isn’t able to complete them before new legislation is passed that will officially close his office.
 
“We’re talking to the ombudsman to ensure any investigation that isn’t wrapped up transfers over. We don’t know where the government’s mind is,” said Elman.
 
“We intend to complete them. Our office expects those investigations will go over if they are not completed. We will fight to ensure that happens.”
 
He also said more investigations are expected to start and that the province is notified each time one is opened.
 
Elman couldn’t speak specifically to any individual investigation, just that they are based on complaints his office received into group and foster care homes.
 
APTN News knows one of them appears to be Johnson Children’s Services (JCS) which operated three foster homes in Thunder Bay when Tammy Keeash died in May 2017.
 
APTN reported last week that the three homes were closed after Keeash’s death but had been investigated at least seven times within a year of her dying.
 
This was all found in an on-going court battle between two Indigenous child welfare agencies fighting over jurisdiction. In documents filed as part of the litigation the advocate’s office first wrote Dilico Anishinabek Family Care of its intention to investigate JSC in August 2016. It appears, from the court documents, Dilico asked the advocate’s office to wait until the agency first investigated JSC.
 
It was then again confirmed in documents the advocate’s office was investigating JSC following Keeash’s death.
 
“We can’t allow Indigenous children to fall through the cracks of saying ‘oh you called this ombudsman’s office’ and they’ll sit in Toronto and they’ll tell you use a complaints process. Tell that to a 15-year-old First Nations child, to use a complaint process. When our process is we will go out and stand with the child and walk them through some of the options they have to ensure their voices are heard,” said Elman.
 
“The ombudsman is not used to working with children. The ombudsman doesn’t have any ability, yet, or capacity, yet, to use an Indigenous lens in its work but we have strived to develop one.”
 
Elman’s term officially ends Friday as the child advocate. Before he learned his office was being closed he was supposed to be attending a meeting with the provincial government Nov. 26 to discuss what the province is going to do about problems with residential care.
 
He’s unsure if he’ll still be invited to that meeting if he’s told between now and Friday he is no longer the advocate.
 
The meeting was scheduled after Ontario’s chief coroner released the findings of the so-called expert panel report into the deaths of 12 children living at group or foster homes in Ontario between 2014 and 2017. Eight were Indigenous and included Keeash.
 
The panel of experts picked by the coroner reviewed each child’s death and provided recommendations after finding the system failed each of them and continues to do so.
 
But it wasn’t news to those that have been listening for the last 10 years since the child advocate’s office was first opened.
 
“This is not news,” said Elman of the report. “We supported the process but we were sort of astounded that people pretended like this is the first they ever heard about it.”
 
Regardless, if it created action by the government Elman supported that.
 
But the first move the Ontario government publicly made after the report was released in September was to announce the closure of his office.
 
That means Elman will be the first and last child advocate in the province.
 
 
Tags: child advocate, Featured, ford government, foster homes, Ontario, ontario government, tammy keeash, Thunder Bay.
 
 
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2018: Vulnerable children are being warehoused and forgotten.
 
The report describes a fragmented system with no means of monitoring quality of care, where ministry oversight is inadequate, caregivers lack training, and children are poorly supervised.
 
By LAURIE MONSEBRAATEN Social Justice Reporter SANDRO CONTENTA Feature Writer. Tues., Sept. 25, 2018.
 
The expert panel convened by Ontario chief coroner Dirk Huyer found a litany of other problems, including:
 
Evidence that some of the youths were "at risk of and/or engaged in human trafficking."
 
A lack of communication between child welfare societies.
 
Poor case file management.
 
An "absence" of quality care in residential placements.
 
Eleven of the young people ranged in age from 11 to 18. The exact age of one youth when she died wasn't clear in the report.
 
Dr. Dirk Huyer said the need for change is starkly spelled out in a report commissioned by his office after 12 youth in the care of a children's aid society or Indigenous Child Wellbeing Society died over a three-and-a-half-year stretch from 2014 to mid 2017.
 
Two thirds of those children were Indigenous, most died by suicide, and all contended with mental health struggles while living away from home.
 
Of the 12 cases examined by the report, eight were Indigenous youth who came from families that showed signs of "intergenerational trauma." They also routinely dealt with the effects of poverty in their remote northern communities, including inadequate housing, contaminated drinking water, and lack of access to educational, health and recreational resources, the report said.
 
Once the child welfare system became involved, the report found many of the children bounced between numerous residential placements ranging from formal care arrangements with more distant relatives to group homes hundreds of kilometres away from family.
 
The report found the 12 children lived in an average of 12 placements each. One one young girl stayed in 20 different placements over 18 months, the report said.
 
All the children had a history of harming themselves, but most received little to no treatment for underlying mental health issues, it said.
 
Eight killed themselves, two deaths were ruled accidental, one was undetermined, and the death of one 14-year-old girl was ultimately deemed a homicide, the report said.
 
 
 
 
A CHILD IN CARE IS A CHILD AT RISK.
 
Between 2014\15 the Ontario children's aid society claim to have spent $467.9 million dollars providing protective services that doesn't seem to extent to the 90 to 120 children that die in Ontario's foster care and group homes that are overseen and funded by the CAS.
 
In a National Post feature article in June 2009, Kevin Libin portrayed an industry in which abuses are all too common. One source, a professor of social work, claims that a shocking 15%-20% of children under CAS oversight suffer injury or neglect.
 
Several CAS insiders whom Libin interviewed regard the situation as systemically hopeless.
 
A clinical psychologist with decades of experience advocating for children said, “I would love to just demolish the system and start from scratch again.”
 
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2013: Nancy Simone, a president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local representing 275 workers at the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, argued child protection workers already have levels of oversight that include unregistered unqualified workplace supervisors, family court judges, coroners’ inquests and annual case audits by the ministry and the union representing child protection workers is firmly opposed to ethical oversight from a professional college, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, which regulates and funds child protection, is so far staying out of the fight.. Nancy Simone says, “Our work is already regulated to death.”
 
How do you feel about child protection social workers taking off their lanyards and putting on their union pins to fight against professional regulation?
 
"Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 proclaimed in force."
 
Ontarians have a right to assume that, when they receive services that are provided by someone who is required to have a social work degree (or a social service work diploma) — whether those services are direct (such as those provided by a child protection worker or adoption worker) or indirect (such as those provided by a local director or supervisor) — that person is registered with, and accountable to, the OCSWSSW.
 
As a key stakeholder with respect to numerous issues covered in the CYFSA and the regulations, we were dismayed to learn just prior to the posting of the regulations that we had been left out of the consultation process. We have reached out on more than one occasion to request information about regulations to be made under the CYFSA regarding staff qualifications.
 
A commitment to public protection, especially when dealing with vulnerable populations such as the children, youth and families served by CASs, is of paramount importance. In short, it is irresponsible for government to propose regulations that would allow CAS staff to operate outside of the very system of public protection and oversight it has established through professional regulation.
 
Regulations under the CYFSA:
 
The College has worked with government to address its concerns about regulations under the new CYFSA which set out the qualifications of Children’s Aid Society (CAS) staff. Upon learning in late November that the proposed regulations would continue to allow CAS workers to avoid registration with the College, the College immediately engaged with MCYS and outlined its strong concerns in a letter to the Minister of Children and Youth Services and a submission to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services during the consultation period.
 
The new regulation was updated to require Local Directors of Children’s Aid Societies to be registered with the College.
 
We are pleased to note that, while the new regulation does not currently require CAS supervisors to be registered, we have received a "commitment" FROM THE OUTGOING WYNNE GOVERNMENT to work with the College and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies toward a goal of requiring registration of CAS supervisors beginning January 2019.
 
Key concerns:
 
The absence of a requirement for CAS child protection workers to be registered with the College: ignores the public protection mandate of the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 (SWSSWA); avoids the fact that social workers and social service workers are regulated professions in Ontario and ignores the College’s important role in protecting the Ontario public from harm caused by incompetent, unqualified or unfit practitioners; allows CAS staff to operate outside the system of public protection and oversight that the Government has established through professional regulation; and fails to provide the assurance to all Ontarians that they are receiving services from CAS staff who are registered with, and accountable to, the College.
 
Since it began operations in 2000, the OCSWSSW has worked steadily and completely unseen to silently address the issue of child protection workers.
 
Unfortunately, many CASs have been circumventing professional regulation of their staff by requiring that staff have social work education yet discouraging those same staff from registering with the OCSWSSW.
 
The new regulation was updated to only require Local Directors of Children’s Aid Societies to be registered with the College.
 
The majority of local directors, supervisors, child protection workers and adoption workers have social work or social service work education, yet fewer than 10% are registered with the OCSWSSW.
 
The existing regulations made under the CFSA predated the regulation of social work and social service work in Ontario and therefore their focus on the credential was understandable.
 
However, today a credential focus is neither reasonable nor defensible. Social work and social service work are regulated professions in Ontario.
 
Updating the regulations under the new CYFSA provides an important opportunity for the Government to protect the Ontario public from incompetent, unqualified and unfit professionals and to prevent a serious risk of harm to children and youth, as well as their families.
 
As Minister Coteau said in second reading debate of Bill 89, "protecting and supporting children and youth is not just an obligation, it is our moral imperative, our duty and our privilege—each and every one of us in this Legislature, our privilege—in shaping the future of this province."
 
A "social worker" or a "social service worker" is by law someone who is registered with the OCSWSSW. Furthermore, as noted previously, the Ontario public has a right to assume that when they receive services that are provided by someone who is required to have a social work degree (or a social service work diploma), that person is registered with the OCSWSSW.
 
The OCSWSSW also has processes for equivalency, permitting those with a combination of academic qualifications and experience performing the role of a social worker or social service worker to register with the College.
 
These processes address, among other things, the risk posed by "fake degrees" and other misrepresentations of qualifications, ensuring Ontarians know that a registered social worker or social service worker has the education and/or experience to do their job.
 
The review of academic credentials and knowledge regarding academic programs is an area of expertise of a professional regulatory body. An individual employer will not have the depth of experience with assessing the validity of academic credentials nor the knowledge of academic institutions to be able to uncover false credentials or misrepresentations of qualifications on a reliable basis.
 
Setting, maintaining and holding members accountable to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. These minimum standards apply to all OCSWSSW members, regardless of the areas or context in which they practise. Especially relevant in the child welfare context are principles that address confidentiality and privacy, competence and integrity, record-keeping, and sexual misconduct.
 
Maintaining fair and rigorous complaints and discipline processes. These processes differ from government oversight systems and process-oriented mechanisms within child welfare, as well as those put in place by individual employers like a CAS. They focus on the conduct of individual professionals.
 
Furthermore, transparency regarding referrals of allegations of misconduct and discipline findings and sanctions ensures that a person cannot move from employer to employer when there is an allegation referred to a hearing or a finding after a discipline hearing that their practice does not meet minimum standards.
 
Submission-re-Proposed-Regulations-under-the-CYFSA-January-25-2018. OCSWSSW May 1, 2018
 
 
If you have any practice questions or concerns related to the new CYFSA, please contact the Professional Practice Department at 416-972-9882 or 1-877-828-9380 or email practice@ocswssw.org.
 
"Passing the buck..."
 
CAS funded research indicates that many professionals overreport families based on stereotypes around racial identities. Both Indigenous and Africa-Canadian children and youth are overrepresented in child welfare due to systemic racism but for some reason a document called “Yes, You Can. Dispelling the Myths About Sharing Information with Children’s Aid Societies” was jointly released by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Advocate.
 
The document, targeted the same professionals who work with children that CAS research indicated already over-reported families, and was a critical reminder that a call to Children’s Aid is not a privacy violation when a professional claims it concerns the safety of a child.
 
 
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Maybe if the government ever told the truth we'd had a reason to trust them...
 
DZSURDZSA: Ottawa sets up “Ministry of Truth” to monitor online news, but not mainstream media.
 
In another blatant attack on Canada’s freedom of the press, the federal government plans on spending $7 million to create a department that will monitor online news for falsehoods.
 
The move comes just months ahead of the 2019 election and is based on the fear of foreign interference in Canada’s electoral process. The definitely-not-Orwellian-sounding “Critical Election Incident Public Protocol” was announced by the Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould, alongside Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.
 
While the government assures us that the “fact-checkers” have no political motivation, it’s hard to believe that a group getting their paycheques from the Liberal government won’t have a skewed viewpoint.
 
If you ask who the Liberal government is appointing to monitor what you’re allowed to read, you’ll be hard pressed to get any answers.
 
 
Well how very Orwell of them..
 
Not the mainstream media now but what about later?
 
Stage one.. Get us used to the idea.
 
Stage two.. Give us lots of bullshit reasons to trust them.
 
Stage three.. Overt take over of all media.
 
 
Statement by the Prime Minister on World Press Freedom Day.
 
Ottawa, Ontario - May 3, 2018
 
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Press Freedom Day:
 
“Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we celebrate the important work journalists do around the world to promote and protect democracy. We also take a hard look at the current state of press freedom, and remember those who have lost their lives in defence of facts, uncovering truth and shining light on stories that would otherwise not be told.
 
“This year’s theme ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice, and the Rule of Law,’ highlights the importance of having an open and transparent environment – safeguarded by an independent judiciary – that protects freedom of the press. It also underlines the role that media play as champions of accountability and the rule of law.
 
“While in Canada we recognize freedom of the press as a fundamental freedom, many journalists working in other areas around the world face threats and dangers in their mission to inform the public. The arrest of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, in Myanmar last December is a vivid reminder of the ongoing need to advocate for a strong and free press as the cornerstone of any healthy democracy.
 
“Canada will always defend journalistic freedom and stand against any violence, intimidation, censorship, and false arrests used to silence journalists. From international broadcasters that bring the world into our homes, to local newspapers that empower us to shape the communities we live in – we know that a free press helps build stronger and healthier societies.
 
“On behalf of Canadians, I thank all the journalists in this country and around the world who seek out truth, unravel fact from fiction, bring clarity and fairness to public debate, and encourage us to open ourselves to new perspectives.”
 
 
Thousands of bystanders caught in Toronto police sweep of cellphone data. By Kate Allen Science and Technology Reporter. Sun., March 24, 2019.
 
Toronto police and RCMP officers deploying controversial “Stingray” surveillance technology over a two-month period swept up identifying cellphone data on more than 20,000 bystanders at malls, public parks and even a children’s toy store.
 
As police sought cellphone data for 11 suspects in a 2014 investigation, they deployed a Stingray — also known as an IMSI catcher — at three dozen locations, including the middle of Yorkville, at the Dufferin Mall, at Vaughan Mills Mall, near Trinity Bellwoods Park, near Kensington Market, and at a Toys ‘R’ Us store in Richmond Hill.
 
 
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One year ago, the Guardian published its first bombshell story based on leaked top-secret documents showing that the National Security Agency was spying on American citizens.
 
At the time, journalist Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian never mentioned that they had a treasure trove of other NSA documents, nor that they came from one person. Then three days later, the source surprisingly unmasked himself: His name was Edward Snowden.
 
 
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Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database.
 
The database includes detailed, but “de-identified,” information about people’s lives culled from conversations between police, social services, health workers, and more.
 
Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent.
 
Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a “negative neighborhood.”
 
Read a lot more here:
 
 
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‘Project Wide Awake’: How the RCMP Watches You on Social Media.
 
Exclusive: How police are using new software to expand surveillance of citizens’ activities.
 
By Bryan Carney 25 Mar 2019 | TheTyee.ca
Bryan Carney is director of web production at The Tyee. You can follow his very occasional tweets at @bpcarney.
 
The RCMP has been quietly running an operation monitoring individuals’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media activity for at least two years, The Tyee has learned.
 
The existence of Project Wide Awake has never been reported.
 
And The Tyee investigation revealed that the RCMP has moved from a “reactive” approach — analyzing specific social media accounts as part of a criminal investigation — to a “proactive approach,” which the RCMP said aims to “help detect and prevent a crime before it occurs.”
 
That involves ongoing wide-scale monitoring of individuals’ social media use and could pose a threat to Canadians’ privacy and charter rights, say experts.
 
In February 2018 the RCMP began using software provided by Carahsoft, which supplies governments, including intelligence and defence agencies. The contractor is located just west of Washington, D.C. in an area described by the Washington Post as “Top Secret America.”
 
The developer of the software, Salesforce, boasts of the power of its Social Studio monitoring application on its website.
 
“Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall in the homes of consumers? That’s kind of what social media monitoring is,” the company claims.
 
The Tyee learned of the monitoring after obtaining a non-public June 2017 letter from Gilles Michaud, RCMP deputy commissioner of federal policing, to the federal privacy commissioner.
 
Michaud assured the commissioner then that RCMP monitoring didn’t use “mass surveillance techniques or technologies” or “broad-based internet monitoring” nor “scenario-based targeting.”
 
The program was strictly “reactive,” as opposed to “proactive or predictive,” Michaud wrote in 2017, suggesting that social media history was then queried only in response to specific investigations.
 
But that’s no longer true, based on recent RCMP written responses to Tyee questions.
 
RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Tania Vaughan said since the 2017 letter the force has expanded its program and made a “shift towards a proactive and reactive approach” to “fully embrace the value of open source social media content.”
 
“The RCMP had used limited social media analysis in ongoing investigations,” Vaughan wrote. “Today, analysis of open source social media content can help proactively identify threats to public safety.”
 
“Police are learning that social media analysis can help proactively identify crimes in progress (the movements of rioters, for example) or planned criminality. Project Wide Awake has demonstrated to the RCMP the utility of social media analysis to investigate and prevent crime.”
 
Given a specific example by The Tyee — a demonstration — the RCMP elaborated on the distinction between proactive and reactive approaches.
 
“A reactive approach would be analyzing social media to solve a crime that occurred at the protest,” it said. “A proactive approach would be to analyze social media to see if there are any indications that predict a crime may occur at the protest and take steps to prevent it from happening, such as increasing police presence.”
 
The software lets police identify and monitor activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms by entering keywords, Vaughan told The Tyee.
 
READ MORE HERE:
 
 
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COPS ARE PEOPLE TO AREN'T THEY?
 
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Niagara cop charged with attempted murder in shooting of officer.
 
Postmedia News Service Published: 12 hours ago.
 
 
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Ontario cop charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting suspect
 
 
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Ontario Police Watchdog Charges Waterloo Officer With Attempted Murder
It's a first for the SIU. By Samantha Beattie 11/29/2018.
 
 
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You got to wonder how often guns are involved when cops go bad.
 
What are the chances if a cop goes bad the officer will use a gun?
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Toronto police officer to be charged in connection to Bruce McArthur investigation VICTORIA GIBSON PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1, 2019.
 
 
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Court of Appeal upholds conviction for Toronto cop who shot Sammy Yatim
By Wendy Gillis Crime Reporter. Mon., April 30, 2018.
 
 
Enhanced audio/video - Shooting of Sammy Yatim by Toronto Police Const. Forcillo on July 27, 2013.
 
 
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Smiths Falls police officer charged with spousal assault and domestic mischief
NEWS Jun 11, 2018 by Evelyn Harford Smiths Falls Record News
 
 
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Off-duty OPP officer in Smiths Falls accused of pointing a firearm in a domestic incident.
 
The suspended officer has been a member of the OPP for 24 years, and is a member of the OPP's Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.
Nov 2, 2018 4:23 PM by: Ottawa Matters Staff.
 
The Ontario Provincial Police's Professional Standards Bureau has arrested and charged an off duty OPP officer in relation to a domestic incident in Smiths Falls.
 
Officers were called to a home on October 26 to investigate the alleged incident.
 
The man has been charged with pointing a firearm, under section 87 (1) of the Criminal Code.
 
The accused was released from custody following a court appearance. He is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brockville at a later date, and has been suspended with pay, in accordance with the Police Services Act of Ontario.
 
The investigation by the OPP PSB is ongoing.
 
The identity of the accused is not being released in order to protect the identity of the victim.
 
 
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Police officer charged with refusing blood sample after off-duty crash
MEGAN GILLIS Updated: August 14, 2018
 
 
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List of excessive police force incidents in Canada
 
 
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NIAGARA BLUES: NRP has history of corruption, brutality.
December 3, 2018
 
 
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Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police
An unprecedented report says ‘systemic racism’ exists within the force, and that there was ‘neglect of duty’ among investigators. Is it beyond fixing? by Kyle Edwards Dec 12, 2018.
 
 
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Corrupt Hamilton police officer sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. MOLLY HAYES. MAY 29, 2018.
 
 
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5 Stories That Prove Police Are Just as Terrifying in Canada.
 
 
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LATEST MONTREAL POLICE CORRUPTION NEWS
CANADA January 26, 2018 6:20 pm
 
 
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Police corruption scandal: Montreal appears light-years behind on oversight measures.
 
 
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Toronto police officer among 4 arrested in ongoing corruption investigation CBC/Radio-Canada 2018-10-17.
 
 
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17 B.C. police officers under investigation for 'serious' misconduct allegations
 
 
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OPP officer now charged in widening corruption probe: police.
 
York, Toronto officers already charged in investigation
NEWS Oct 19, 2018 by Lisa Queen Newmarket Era.
 
 
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Do unto other as you would have them do unto you...

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Advocates for family preservation against unwarranted intervention by government funded non profit agencies and is a growing union for families and other advocates speaking out against the children's aid society's... More