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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

CCAS in the hot seat... AGAIN

March 21, 2006
I was abused: Ex-ward
Says guardian, CCAS staffer molestersBy IAN MCDOUGALL, COURTS BUREAU
A former ward with Catholic Children's Aid Society was sexually abused first by his guardian and then by his social worker, court heard yesterday.
Paul Blackwell, 64, is facing 22 charges allegedly involving five victims over 20 years, assistant Crown attorney Cara Sweeny said as the trial began.
The first witness, now 43, was a CCAS ward in 1977 when he was placed with Blackwell and at first things seemed fine, the jury was told.
"It was one of the first times in his life he felt loved," Sweeny said.
But when the man took the stand, he described a recurring pattern of abuse that began with a trip to Florida -- he was 14 at the time -- when the pair shared a bed.
"Paul had started fondling me," said the man, whose name is protected by a publication ban. "He was touching my groin ... I was a little scared ... I probably asked him to stop. I can't remember if he stopped at that time."
The abuse continued into the man's 16th year, when he was asked by a social worker if Blackwell was abusing him. He said there was nothing going on.
The worker invited him to stay over and also sexually abused him, he said.
"There was no one I could talk to. They were both molesting me," the man said.
He said Blackwell's sexual advances, which had included oral sex and touching, gradually lessened after he turned 15.
In the fall of 2004, he recalled seeing a police story on the TV news announcing Blackwell's arrest and asking that witnesses come forward.
He had thought before about going to the police, but the fear of embarrassment always kept him from going ahead.
Still angry about the treatment he suffered from his social worker, he contacted a lawyer about Catholic Children's Aid.
"I told him I was molested as a child, and I wanted to hold CCAS responsible for it," he said, adding the lawyer said he should go to the police.
"I was a little reluctant," he said. "I just didn't want to be in a position to have to tell somebody."
Blackwell is also accused of slipping one of his victims sleeping pills in milk, Sweeny said in her opening address.


Anonymous said...

Amanda: can you please advise the news source of this item posted, thanks.

Jeffrey's Law said...

Toronto Sun, today. (March 21,2006) Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Amanda thanks for posting this story. It is all the more reason why the past is indeed relevant, why their should be a legal inquiry, and why those agencies must have the Ombudsman to review them. The poor guy involved, it must have been hell caught between two pedophiles both considered to be "safe". Good for him in coming forward to stop this man before he hurts anyone else.

Anonymous said...

This is merely the latest example of how CAS cares for society's most vulnerablr. It's hardly an isolated incident. Matthew Reid and Jeffrey Baldwin are themselves examples of children that have suffered this way. Children who have spent time in the system frequently complain of such abuse.

Agencies shrouded in secrecy that are accountable to no one are a perfect place for incidents like this to occur - particularly when one considers the power so-called "caregivers" have over children.

Anonymous said...

Agencies shrouded in secrecy that are accountable to no one are a perfect place for incidents like this to occur - particularly when one considers the power so-called "caregivers" have over children.

Thanks to the person that posted this, and very well said. The system is indeed the perfect place for such things to happen. There is an incredibly huge number of those who were fostered that were abused in care, and those adopted have as well very often been abused. Not all who have tried to help kids are abusive but the system certainly paved the way for this exact type of thing to happen. I would guess that this latest article is a mere reflection of several stories that are very much the same. A legal inquiry one day, would only bring this type of thing out more to ensure that the mistakes of the past and today are not repeated. Only in investigating the system in great detail both from the past and today will we ever prevent this from going on and on....

Anonymous said...

In Manitoba there is a huge outcry about the children dying in care,9 children this past year and over 30 during the previous 4 years.

In 2005 in Ontario 78 children died under suspicious cirumstances. No one seems to care.

The Ministry of Child and Youth Services is really a front for the Children's Aid Societies.

The CAS dictates government policy to the Minister.

Look at Bill C210, it is identical to the proposal submitted by the OACAS to the government. Is it a coincidence? No!

The OACAS booted Bountrogianni when she got to close to them.

Anonymous said...

9 children died in care in Manitoba under suspicious circumstance and 31 since 2000.

Anonymous said...

and this case itself is just the tip of the iceberg....... many more want justice and the past to be addressed in a court of law.

Anonymous said...

I hope no one minds if I take this opportunity to post one off-topic request before the comments become numerous. Specifically, I'd like to ask all readers to help spread the word by referring this blog to relatives, friends, neighbours, co-workers or professionals - anyone you deem appropriate. Raising awareness is extremely important and word of mouth can be a potent tool. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The Ministry of Child and Youth Services is really a front for the Children's Aid Societies.

The CAS dictates government policy to the Minister.

Look at Bill C210, it is identical to the proposal submitted by the OACAS to the government. Is it a coincidence? No!

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, and again well said. And the OACAS director that wrote the proposal was a seasoned lawyer as a DEFENSE lawyer for the Toronto CCAS for years. The Ministry is indeed a front for the CAS and that as well needs to change hugely. The CAS is an out of control bully, a monster with eight heads, fangs and claws, blood shot eyes and anything else one can imagine. It's prey are innocent children and normal families.

Anonymous said...

yes bill 210 was basically written by a man who was in charge of the Toronto CCAS and their legal defense including the time that this latest victim was in "care".

Anonymous said...

I hope no one minds if I take this opportunity to post one off-topic request before the comments become numerous. Specifically, I'd like to ask all readers to help spread the word by referring this blog to relatives, friends, neighbours, co-workers or professionals - anyone you deem appropriate. Raising awareness is extremely important and word of mouth can be a potent tool. Thanks!

Great suggestion to the poster above, people are reading this site in great numbers, many were in care of those agencies themselves yet some wish to silence them. If anything more and more people need to read this site.

Anonymous said...

Where are the good people of Ontario at this moment?

The people most culpable are Bruce Rivers and Nico Trocme. Jeanette Lewis and Mary McConville follow close behind. They are the ones we want at Nuremburg.

Their rabid ideology drives this process.

The families of Ontario demand JUSTICE through a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Anonymous said...

This story although it is horrible came at a very important time - the past must be addressed.

Anonymous said...

The families of Ontario demand JUSTICE through a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

HERE, HERE, and many have wanted an inquiry for years. If the victims were allowed to be heard in a Royal Commission of Inquiry the Child Abduction Society would never be allowed to get away with these crimes again.

Anonymous said...

This is how section 68 of Bill 210 got started if you want to see it cut and paste what is below into the web address and it should come up.

Anonymous said...

"The OACAS recommends that those hearing complaints against CAS social workers be required to demonstrate a level of specialized knowledge and experience that reflects an appropriate understanding of the dynamics and complexity of child welfare work. In the case of a panel adjudicating a complaint against a CAS social worker, it is imperative that at least one of those panel members possesses a detailed knowledge of child welfare work in a CAS environment."

How convenient! The OACAS wants its members to be reviewed by a discipline committee composed of only CAS people.

How does the rest of the Social Work world feel about this special dispensation? Are CAS social workers covered by a different code of ethics? Any comments out there?

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Jobin - let's not forget her death in this mess either.

"To help families care for disabled loved ones" was The Globe and Mail editorial, Tuesday, February 26, 2002, about the lessons of Stephanie's death. Click on:

Inquest set to begin into group home death.
Youth workers not properly trained for crises, activist says


An inquest beginning Monday into the death of a 13-year-old autistic girl in a group home should expose the "culture of disrespect for children's rights," said a youth activist seeking approval for young group-home residents to testify at the proceedings.

"There are lots of great group homes but the problem is the bad ones," said Matthew Geigen-Miller of the Ottawa-based youth rights group Defence for Children International.

"There's very little scrutiny and accountability."

Stephanie Jobin died at a Brampton, Ont., group home for children in 1998 after staff restrained her under a bean bag for 20 minutes. She was under the care of the Peel Children's Aid Society and had been living in a facility called Digs for Kids since 1995.

When it announced the inquest in March, Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General said it would review the events surrounding Jobin's death, the use of restraints and staff training at group homes.

The similarities between Jobin's death and that of William Edgar, 13, who died after being restrained in a Peterborough, Ont., group home in 1999, piqued Geigen-Miller's interest.

Edgar and Jobin were both restrained in an unorthodox manner by group-home workers who weren't trained in first aid or CPR and couldn't revive the residents once they realized their lives were in danger.

Geigen-Miller, 23, undertook a letter-writing campaign to every province and territory, asking if their group-home staff were trained in crisis intervention training, first aid and CPR.

"It shocked me that most provinces are missing one of those three things," Geigen-Miller said.

British Columbia, he learned, requires every group home to have a first-aid kit on hand, but staff aren't trained in how to use its contents, he said.

And in Ontario, where most government-sponsored residential care is contracted out to private companies, the government doesn't keep track of who has what kind of training.

"The letter I received from province of Ontario was the most brazen," Geigen-Miller said of the communication dated Jan. 13, 2002.

"It said first aid and CPR training, if required by front-line staff, are the responsibility of the employer. That is really, really disturbing to me."

The use of restraints — where one or more people hold a person to immobilize him — also disturbs Geigen-Miller.

In September 2001, the day after the inquest into Edgar's death ended, the Ontario government ordered residential-home staff to use restraints only when a resident is a danger to himself or others.

The inquest, which is not a judicial trial but a finding of fact, ruled that Edgar's death was a homicide.

Despite the new regulation, children are still being restrained, often in ways that aren't taught in any textbook, Geigen-Miller said.

"They're being grabbed, pulled by their hair, shoved into corners, getting rug burn for things like not wanting to eat dinner or swearing at staff," Geigen-Miller said.

"That's activity that poses a threat to a staff member's sense of power and authority, but not to their physical well-being."

Geigen-Miller said he hopes that by having young group-home residents testify, he can drive home the need to enforce the recommendations made following the Edgar inquest and those that come out of the Jobin inquest.

"Children who live in group homes and are at risk of being restrained are some of the best experts we can hear from," he said.

Expected to testify at the five-week inquest are Jobin's father Denis, the Peel Children's Aid Society, the Hastings Children's Aid Society and staff from Digs for Kids.


Physical restraint not needed for girl, father tells inquest
By JAMES MCCARTEN, Canadian Press
Tuesday, November 19, 2002 The Globe and MAil, Print Edition, Page A27

BRAMPTON -- The father of 13-year-old Stephanie Jobin took the witness box yesterday and described his autistic daughter as a beautiful child who could be managed with loving care rather than physical restraint.Denis Jobin was testifying on the opening day of an inquest into the death of Stephanie at a residential group home for children in 1998.Stephanie died after being physically restrained by staff at the home, known as Digs for Kids, in Brampton, northwest of Toronto.

Mr. Jobin said his relationship with his daughter didn't become close until her mother, his estranged wife, died after suffering a brain aneurysm during a visit with the girl in 1995.As he came to know his daughter, Mr. Jobin said, he learned ways in which he could control her often violent outbursts, during which she sometimes tried to hurt her caregivers and herself."There's no need to right away apply physical restraint unless they're really hurting themselves," said Mr. Jobin, who held a photo
of Stephanie and her favourite stuffed toy as he testified.The courtroom was packed for the first day of what it expected to be five weeks of testimony.

Also expected to testify are the staff from Peel Children's Aid Society, the Hastings Children's Aid Society and Digs for Kids.Mr. Jobin described one of his visits, during which Stephanie lunged at him from across the table."I looked her straight in the eyes and I hugged her -- she stopped," he said.

Mr. Jobin testified that he believed his daughter was improving during the time she was at the Digs For Kids home. He also testified that he did not realize Digs for Kids was a privately run group home."The assumption I made was that Digs for Kids was a government-run agency" Mr. Jobin said.

Crown counsel Tyler Shuster opened the inquest with a lengthy explanation of the circumstances leading up to Stephanie's death.Mr. Shuster described how she was frequently restrained at the variety of group homes in which she lived over the course of her short life.

Family Services Minister Brenda Elliott announced yesterday that the province is putting an additional $58.6-million into services for children with autism.The largest chunk of the money, $39.6-million, will go to providing "intensive behavioural intervention" for young autism patients.
Intensive behavioural intervention is an attempt to modify the behaviour of the child using
a tailor-made approach that does not involve the use of drugs.

Matthew Geigen-Miller, a youth activist seeking approval for young, group-home residents to testify at the inquest, said he wants to see changes made to the culture of care at group homes for children with developmental disabilities. "What this inquest is really about is the disrespectful culture of residential care of children in the province of Ontario," said Mr. Geigen-Miller, who represents the Ottawa-based youth rights group Defence for Children International.

Worker applied different force. Used beanbag to restrain girl Inquest probes 13-year-old's death
MIKE FUNSTON, PEEL/HALTON BUREAU, Toronto Star, 19 November 2002

The social worker in charge of a 13-year-old autistic girl's primary care for three years never resorted to the type of force that was used to restrain her the day she suffered fatal injuries at a Brampton group home, an inquest was told.

John Wickham had to physically restrain Stephanie Jobin an average of once a month at the Digs For Kids home to protect himself or others from her attacks or attempts at self-injury, but never by sitting on her back while she was being held down, he testified yesterday.

Stephanie died on June 21, 1998, four days after being rushed to hospital following an episode in which two workers pinned her face down on the floor, with one holding her legs and the other sitting on a beanbag chair on her back in an effort to restrain her from attacking them.

During the incident, which lasted about 20 minutes, Stephanie began to turn blue and the workers called 911. But her breathing had stopped and she suffered severe brain damage. Only a month before that, Wickham had left the group home to pursue another job.

Wickham said he considered himself lucky to have a special relationship with Stephanie, who was particularly fond of him, adding that the use of distraction techniques to stop Stephanie's outbursts of aggression worked 99 per cent of the time.

But on the occasions when he had to physically restrain her she was most commonly placed in a prone position on the floor for a short time, but no heavy beanbag was used, he testified.

He conceded Stephanie was exceptionally strong for a girl her age and "one day she got me good as I bent down to pick up some crayons she had spilled. In an instant she jumped on my back and clung to my hair," Wickham said. Stephanie liked being restrained because it got her attention, he said.

She was placed in the Brampton home in December, 1995 by the Hastings Children's Aid Society, which cared for her for several months after her mother Sharon Small of Bancroft reached "the breaking point" in trying to cope with her daughter's condition, testified Kirk Gosse, a children's aid worker.

Small died of a brain aneurysm on Remembrance Day, 1995. Gosse explained how difficult it was to find a group home that would accept a child with autism as severe as Stephanie's.

He checked with 37 homes over a one-year period before Digs For Kids agreed to accept her.

"She is the most difficult child I have ever personally encountered," Gosse testified.

If the provincial government set up a central registry of licensed group homes that social workers could access, it would make it far less difficult to find places for children like Stephanie, Gosse testified.

Restraint method unknown to official. Beanbag placed on teen's back Inquest told girl difficult to handle

MIKE FUNSTON, PEEL/HALTON BUREAU, Toronto Star, 21 November 2002

A restraint technique that led to the death of a 13-year-old autistic child at a Brampton group home would have sparked an investigation had the Peel Children's Aid Society found out about it, an inquest was told.

Donna Smart, a society worker responsible for reviewing treatment plans used for Stephanie Jobin at the Digs For Kids group home, testified yesterday she had never heard of staff there using a heavy weight on Stephanie's back while restraining her from violent outbursts.

Described as being exceptionally strong for her age, Stephanie was prone to such outbursts and frequently had to be restrained to prevent injuries to herself and to staff members. In fact, two caregivers were hurt by her seriously enough to miss work, the inquest heard.

During her worst outbursts, staff at the home had been trained to pin Stephanie face down on the floor with a worker holding her arms and another her legs until she calmed down.

On June 17, 1998, she was held down by a worker who placed a heavy beanbag chair on her back and sat on it, while another sat on her legs for about 20 minutes. Her breathing stopped, she suffered severe brain damage and died four days after being rushed to hospital.

Smart testified she routinely received reports from the group home about the restraint incidents and described communication with the group home staff as being good. She conceded that Stephanie was "very difficult," and required constant one-on-one supervision.

Julie Kerr, manager of a special education program, Tre-Add, to which Stephanie was bused during the day, testified that workers there employed a face-down on the floor restraint method similar to that used at the group home. Up to four workers were needed to restrain her at times, Kerr testified.

Because of the difficulty Stephanie posed to them, staff proposed using some form of mechanical restraint on Stephanie, but the group home officials didn't believe it was appropriate and refused to allow it, she said.

Anonymous said...

How convenient! The OACAS wants its members to be reviewed by a discipline committee composed of only CAS people.

I think that if the proposal was written by the former chief legal defense for the CCAS of Toronto that it speaks volumes. It is about protecting the CAS, not children. It has nothing to do with accountability though as that might translate into legal "liability". And that might translate into legal cases that are covered in the newspaper, and that might turn into the public knowing what is going on, and that might turn into the CAS being forced to be responsible after 100 years. I think the whole thing stinks and that is long overdue to be totally revealed.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein named children's advocate
The Leader-Post (Regina)
Fri 27 May 2005
Page: E8
Section: Sports
Byline: Veronica Rhodes
Source: Leader-Post

The Legislative Assembly passed a motion Thursday to appoint Marvin Bernstein as the provincial Children's

Premier Lorne Calvert made the motion to appoint Bernstein, seconded by Saskatchewan Party MLA Ted Merriman.
"The children's advocate not only listens to but gives voice to Saskatchewan's children. This is an essential role in any
society that strives to promote the welfare and dignity of every member of the human family," Calvert told the

"To simply state that Mr. Bernstein is eminently qualified for the office of the children's advocate may be something of
an understatement ... he has devoted much of his life to the service of children."

For 28 years, Bernstein has played a role in advocacy and senior leadership in the child welfare field. He most
recently served as director of policy development and legal support at the Ontario Association of Children's Aid

He also worked for 20 years as chief counsel to the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto. He has a Master of
Laws degree in alternative dispute resolution from York's Osgoode Hall Law School.

Bernstein said he felt very positive about his new position, which he considers quite an honour.

"One of the things I appreciate about Saskatchewan is that this is an independent position, an independent officer of
the legislature. That is not the way every advocate's position is structured across the country," said Bernstein.

The Children's Advocate acts as a voice for children in the province, paying particular attention to the needs of youth
receiving care and services from government departments or agencies.

When asked about having to be critical of government and report on its success and failures as they relate to
children, Bernstein said it is important to work cooperatively and collaboratively with government.

"I don't think you start off with a confrontational approach, I don't think that helps. But if you make recommendations
and you feel as though the government isn't following through with those recommendations, part of the responsibility
of the office is to hold government accountable," said Bernstein.

"I think one has to be vigorous in the advocacy. I think as long as you're being reasonable, as long as you're being
fair-minded and giving government advanced notice that you have to make certain public statements that its important
that government proceed with some of those recommendations, then that's part of the responsibility."

Anonymous said...

My two cents worth.

Fron reading the above postings. No shock and ahh! that CAS will only allow a panel of there like minded mobsters, to look over complaints.
Indeed the Minister is the head chesse of the CAS.
Stephanie like to be restarianed because she wanted attettion????
she was in care, the tax payers were paying for her care, how much more would we have had to spend so she would have been shown just a bit of attetion, I wonder what also may have happened before her murder.

The PM should be insisting on a Royal commisionn inqury.
And a stop and decease order would also save a few children. And with all the apprehenisons going on in the last few weeks in various agencys, one has to wonder tis the season, or concerns about Bill 210.

Sexual abuse happens all the time in care, with one of those risks the take when they err on the side of caution and remove a child because of some trumped up concern. Wht do you never see the concerns in writing, because they get made up as they go along. Most of what CAS does it against the Human Code, they can not speak with your child with out your concent,and mush more, the way the treat children should be enough for a total revolt. Slam the door say no thatnks we dont need your services. Call the police if you really think someone is abuseing a childs its against the law. not the crap kids are in care for today.
When will it ever end.

Anonymous said...

I think we should have a blog space for what brings us here , share your storys, with out fear. Share the false alligations , name the names. a social worker watch dog group.

Anonymous said...

You appoint one of your own as the watchdog. He is afraid to offend you. He does not do anything without your permission. Does that sound familiar? What a farce. Will the voters ever rise up? Canada will dissolve.

The psychologists are key to a socialist totalitarian state. They have the finesse to keep everyone in line.

Anonymous said...

Please do not misunderstand my earlier comment re keeping postings current and relevant. The intention is not to bury the past at all, however to bring meaningful things to light from past and present in regard to the state of child protection. A lot of the postings had really veered off course in that regard and were extremist diatribes and/or included irrelevant lengthy materials from very long ago.

I think it is important to keep this site credible and sensible. That means not getting bogged down in outlandish rants and instead putting forth good ideas for reform. Hoope you all agree.

In that regard, I note that nobody has commented on the new regulation previously posted re section 68 of Bill 210, except me. Why do we not get some constructive feedback from people out there about that?

Look forward to those postings.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any outlandish rants on this blog, all the articles are important as they address the larger issues here. I hope that everyone continues to ask the politicians for the Ombudsman to have investigative power, and also at this point for an inquiry into the CAS agencies of Ontario. This system cannot continue to destroy families and children.

Anonymous said...

I've read through many of these boards filled and unfortunately lost the place of one I wished to support. Still, I'd like to make two comments:

1) I value both the personal comments and articles

2) One writer suggested CAS changes its allegations as it goes along. In my experience, this was completely true - the target was always shifting. As each lie was addressed another sprung up. Some allegations disappeared without a trace.

It appeared the point of their game plan was that the last lie would win in court. Fortunately, this did not happen. But the experience was sufficiently ruthless that I'll do everything possible to make others aware of these agencies until they are shut down for good. I would never have imagined that such evil agencies existed or that our government would support them.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster - I think the problem is that the general public does not know what has been going on, and the depth of hell that has happened in the past with these agencies. Glad to hear that someone else is speaking out against them.

Anonymous said...

You are right as to the target - the bull's eye used to be unmarried mothers, then it was poverty or both, then anyone, autism, special needs, and now anyone in a general defenition of "risk". The target does change without question.

Jeffrey's Law said...

The targets do change all the time and until you just mentioned it, I didn't even realize that point! It absolutely astounds me that parents have to give up custody of their children to get the medical attention their autistic children need. How did it ever get this far?

It got that far because the public honestly doesn't know what's going on and until so very recently, (I'd say the Jeffrey Baldwin case)the media never bothered to draw attention to this problem.

The CCAS/ CAS make so many unfounded, ridiculous decisions that effect society as a whole and I don't think they are ignorant of this fact, I think they just don't care because the money keeps coming in.

Why hasn't this site been flooded with stories from past or present crown wards? I think it's because the majority (John Dunn and others like him are unfortunately the exception, not the rule) of them are on the streets fighting for their lives or don't have access to a computer or are in jail. I don't think very many children who were 'being cared for by the system' get out alive or with a good life. I couldn't imagine in my wildest nightmares what it must be like for these kids who are abused, shuffled around and then tossed out on their asses when they are 18.

I am SICK and TIRED of my very hard earned dollars paying for McConville's cushy lifestyle while some of the kids in her charge aren't even eating!

This must, must stop!

Anonymous said...

Your post is right on about kids that were formerly "saved" by the system. In addition to the reasons you give, many are emotional shells - walking zombies (as are their parents) While you or I might raise our voices against the system's insanity in a straight-forward manner, that may be next to impossible for people carrying such baggage. Their faith in people has been extremely compromised and they do not trust governments that would allow this to happen

To extend your point about prison, about fifty percent of CAS graduates are thought to have spent time there. Others are now parents who are terrified of losing their kids if they say boo. Former CAS clients are regularly "culled" for their children - it helps to keep up the pretense of inter-generational abuse.

It's basically what you see from people living in a totalitarian state. Once the dictator falls the stories of abuse emerge.

Anyone who knows a graduate of the system should do their best to help them come forward - it would be great if some were directed to this site.

Anonymous said...

This thing about putting sleeping pills into the milk shows the same intent that Karla Homolka used on her sister. Although the youth in this case didn't die, the CAS guardian's actions were every bit as repulsive as Homolka's. I hope this guy is put away for a very long time as a deterrent to other CAS pedophiles and act as a signal for other victims to come forward.

Anonymous said...

Amanda you said "
It got that far because the public honestly doesn't know what's going on and until so very recently, (I'd say the Jeffrey Baldwin case)the media never bothered to draw attention to this problem"

This is exactly the problem. For years the horror stories of the CAS have not been reported in the media. There are some but not near enough. The former wards are very broken human beings in many cases, after all being abused by their government - CAS AND foster parents has been too much. These poor souls are invisible to the public but they are real. Then we have those adopted - society worships adoption as if it is a magic cure for everything. In truth it gives no one rights except those who adopt. Really in either system children have NO RIGHTS they are for the caregivers. There is an army of former wards who were abused, and those adopted as well. Many times when people speak out they are spoken for, dismissed, labelled, ignored etc.. the government and others do not hear from the victims they hear from the criminals of the system. What has happened in the past is a dark, ugly mess that needs a huge investigation. Those fostered and parents who have lost children to the CAS, as well as those adopted have been dealing with those ruthless agencies for decades and it has been a NIGHTMARE. Files are lost, stories are made, lies are told. No one has access to their own file, and the CAS has been allowed to get away with everything. Ask anyone who has dealt with them how unpleasant it has been. Social workers have been abusive, unprofessional and down right nasty. And all these agencies ever say in anything is that it is not their fault - no it is never their fault to them it is someone else. Jeffrey Baldwin is a catalyst for many people who have long been against the CAS, who have long been victimized by them and who have long had it with the lot of them. This is why this story has simply enraged many different groups. It was one case too many.

And it was no great surprise considering the parasites that people were sent to be it in foster care or adopted by. These agencies have broken various laws, and they cannot hide forever. I think Jeffrey's tragedy just tipped the scales really.

Anonymous said...

And even in the cases where a child had loving foster parents or adoptive parents it still does not address the fact that the children were removed by deceitful acts of fraud and coercion for years in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Even in the cases where those who had their children stolen by the CAS finally get information about the child the information is riddled with lies, and the same for those sent to the system. CAS has no oversight so writes any piece of fiction that they can dream up. False information from these wicked agencies has been an ongoing problem for decades.

Thousands of siblings were seperated from each other, and in many cases their parents were never abusive, in many cases they were poor. But the CAS instead of supporting these parents shipped the kids to foster care, and paid strangers instead? Still happening hugely. Check out these so called foster parent groups today - they want all the rights as well.

How one little boy has outraged so many is not a coincidence, people have been outraged about the CAS for years. These same idiots after all arranged thousands of foster placements and adoptions? Was it all a great arrangement "in the best interest of the child" - or was it a private, and secret baby broker business that went unchecked and went on for decades, and that is still going on today.

Anonymous said...

Amanda - you said, "The CCAS/ CAS make so many unfounded, ridiculous decisions that effect society as a whole and I don't think they are ignorant of this fact, I think they just don't care because the money keeps coming in."

You are right they do not care, and they never have. They have never addressed the past. No agency on this earth can allege to protect children today while attempting to sweep under the rug decades of illegalities and corruption, not to mention lies. That they refuse to even measure themselves is a statement alone. They have treated the victims like criminals and they still do. God forbid anyone ever ask these agencies for information about their own situation - no that is not allowed. The CAS treats people like children forever. They allege that they are protecting children but they only protect themselves.

The system is in fact very much like the pedophile priests and the churches involved. They keep a facade up, ignore the victims, hide the evidence and never look back. There time is over though, it has to be, for Jeffrey Baldwin alone it should be!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The point about CAS' lies is well taken. In our case, 150 pages of CAS affidavits left my family wondering if CAS was capable of making even one true statement. Even the most innocuous information was twisted beyond any resemblance to truth.

I remember reading of a social worker who wrote a series of newspaper articles for a Christmas fundraising drive who was caught lying throughout. Lying seems to be an occupational prerequisite, yet statistics concerning child welfare are based on the premise that CAS workers tell the truth. As others have said, a broad-ranging inquiry is desperately needed. The truth is the system abuses human rights on a massive scale.

Anonymous said...

This is from the SOONEWS.CA site
it is about a survivor of the system.....

Bajek's Journey...The Hands of a Carver

Karen Johns -- -- Saturday, March 11, 2006, 11:57AM

Bajek is a quiet man with a soft laugh and a gentle sense of humor.

His hands create works of art instilled with the beauty and inspiration of his native heritage.

It hasn't always been this way.

He was born on the reserve of Moose Cree First Nation,on Moose Factory Island fifteen km. south of James Bay in 1952. He remebers a life where the Cree people made their living by trapping, and afternoons spent with his grandfather, as he sat carving on the riverbank.

When he was 5 years old his life drastically changed . The Hudson Bay Indian Affairs, acting on government orders, came to the reserve and rounded up the children and took them to residential schools.

Bajek entered a world that was frightening and alien to him. A world of rigidity and endless rules that he must follow or take the severe punishment that was imposed for the breaking of any of those rules.

Stern faced nuns and dour looking priests were the only adults they had contact with.

No speaking in your own language, only french or english, and then only when spoken to.

No contact with his sister even though whe was at the same school.

No practicing of his native culture.

Bajek said that throughout the years of residential school, he was referred to as a number or by only his last name. There was no freedom. Even bathroom times were scheduled and you dare not disregard them. He remembers one small boy who accidentaly defecated in his pants because he couldn't hold it. The nuns made him put his soiled pants on the floor, where the other children were forced to walk through it. Then the youngster was forced to clean the floor and all the shoes of the other children.

Bajek remebers having some rotting teeth pulled out , without benefit of anethesia.

In the middle of the night his mouth bled, staining his pillow and sheets.

In the morning the nuns took him to the centre of the room where he was given a pail of cold water and made to scrub the stains as the other children looked on. This was a lesson to them. No bleeding on your bedding...or else.

One other memory that he recalls happened at the breakfast table.

One young boy, who was stricken with some type of stomach ailment, was forced to eat his bug-infested porridge, even though he was sick. His nausea caused him top vomit up what he had eaten. The nun in the dining room pushed his face into the bowl and forced him to re-eat all that he had regurgitated.

Bajek recalls looking on in hunger into the dining area where the nuns and priests ate their much tastier and plentiful meals.

Such was life in the residential schools. Bajek feels lucky to not have been sexually abused, but many of the boys in his dormatory were often woken in the middle of the night and taken out by the priest and not returned to their beds until the morning. No one spoke of it, but they knew what was going on.

Bajek tried to run away twice, was caught both times and his hands were severely beaten until they were swollen and unusable for some time. He was locked up on the top floor of the school for two weeks in isolation and fed a diet of bread and water.

Years of systematic abuse wore on Bajek and at the age of 9 he started drinking . Returned to Moose factory for the summer months he and his friends would get alcohol, which was becoming a huge problem on the reserve.

At the age of 13 Bajek was taken from his mother, who by then was an alcoholic. Many of the children on the reserve were taken on authority of the Children's Aid Society and placed in foster homes in attempts to

separate them from their alcohol plagued reserve. Foster care turned out to be just as horrible as residential school. Often families would take in as many as six or seven children, who were regarded as little more than childhood "slaves" for the families who took them in. No love or kindness was shown to these children.

At one of these foster homes, Bajek was subjected to horrible physical abuse from the eldest son of the foster family. He recalls mornings after the abuse when they would gather in the morning to listen to the daily bible readings as the son would sneer at him, knowing that Bajek was helpless to do anything about it.

It wasn't until Bajek was placed in a foster home in Cochrane that he was shown any kindness.

He left that home when he was 18 and worked in construction. Because of his alcohol addiction Bajek lost many jobs and often lived on the streets, stealing and scheming just to survive.

Brushes with the law caught up with him, when in defending his then girlfriend, he got into a fight, charged with assault , and was sent to prison. Alcohol and drugs were easily obtainable in prison and Bajek continued to drink. He told me how inmates made aclcohol with fruit and vegetables. Drugs were brought into the prison various ways and just about any illegal substance that was wanted, was available. He recalls the postal code for the prison being KOH 1G0...or as the inmates said..".keep on hoping I get out". Whenever someone died in prison the local radio station would play Queen's song Another One Bites the Dust. Such was life in prison.

When he was released to a half way house, he eventually broke parole and went on the run for three years. He said he knew that he really couldn't escape and eventually gave up running and returned to jail for three more years.

While in jail , he made friends with some other Native men and started to follow and practice native spirituality, and he began carving. When Terry Fox was starting his run for cancer, one of Bajek's carvings was given to him. Bajek donated it for the courageous young man. At the end of his jail sentence he was sent to a halfway house in North Bay

When Bajek was finally a free man he overcame his alcohol addiction and began carving in earnest. He also began work with the Forestry Department , fighting fires,and doing other jobs.

Deteriating discs in his neck and back forced him to give up that job, but he never gave up on his carving.

He found friendship with some other Native people and credits their spiritual guidence with helping him to overcome his alcohol dependence

Today Bajek is at peace with himself. He has been free from alcohol for over a decade and has replaced the need for alcohol with the need to create.

He finds most of his materials in the bush, on the shore, or from friends. He carves wood, soapstone, and antlers.

Bajek likes to work with cedar not only because it is a soft wood, but because in Native culture, cedar has a healing component..

Before starting on a carving Bajek "smudges" (cleanses) his materials with sweetgrass and/or sage.

He says that although before , he used carving as a way to calm himself, he no longer creates when he's angry or upset because he doesn't want to put those feelings into his work.

Bajek admires art from different cultures. He likes Italian carving and architecture and Viking figureheads and design.

He makes walking sticks, shields, headboards, doors, tabletops,knife handles, canes and just about anything that someone wants to order. When he has to, he will use power tools but for the most part prefers to work with hand tools, which give him more of a "feel" for the material he is working on.

Recently he has carved staffs for Algoma University and the Anishinabek Police Services Department.

The staff for Algoma U was for residential school survivors. Those who wish to , can tie an eagle feather on to it in rememberence of their relatives.

Bajek often gives a deep discount to these sacred item customers when he knows the item will be treated with respect.

Bajek gives credit for the way in which he has turned his life around to the following of his Native Spirituality and almost always includes somewhere on his carvings either an eagle feather or a braid of sweetgrass. He has great respect for nature and wildlife.

He told me of one time when he and a Native elder were out walking and came upon a raven, badly hurt. He took it home and helped it to heal and in return he says the raven helped him to heal. The raven stayed with him for the summer and to this day he loves ravens.

Bajek has made his home in Sault Ste. Marie for the past two years, but feels it's time to move on. This summer he is going back to Moose Factory where things are greatly improved from his youthful days. He wants his son to live where they can fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors. The natural deposits of soapstone and alabaster will be used for some of his sculptures. There he will continue his work and has plans to build a studio, a round log cabin, with lots of light, and seven pillars for the seven sacred, respect, bravery ,honesty ,humility, wisdom and truth.

It's been a long journey for Bajek, and it has come full circle. He's going home at last.

Baamaapii my friend, 'til we meet again.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said. "The point about CAS' lies is well taken. In our case, 150 pages of CAS affidavits left my family wondering if CAS was capable of making even one true statement. Even the most innocuous information was twisted beyond any resemblance to truth."

I can see how that would happen. I have a lot of lies in my information as well. I do not think that agencies with no accountability are capable of anything but abuse of power, lies and destruction. Heaven only knows what they did to you are your family, but they have indeed lied to many. It does make one wonder about everything regarding them.

Anonymous said...

Woman beat and shocked kids, says witness
By FEDERICO BARAHONA, Free Press Reporter
London Free Press
An elderly woman facing charges of child abuse repeatedly beat and used electrical shocks on children for not doing their chores, one of her accusers testified yesterday.

Londoner Edith Sanders, 80, faces 14 charges related to alleged beatings and torture of children dating back to 1951.

Yesterday, a 58-year-old witness who lived with Sanders until she was 17 described a beating she saw in which a young teen received about 100 whacks with an altered hockey stick.

"I walked into the bedroom and her bum was bleeding," said the witness, who referred to the beatings as "getting the belt."

"Her back looked like first-degree burns it was so blistered."

She said Sanders would also use electrical shocks, using an unspecified method, on the same teen if she fell asleep before doing her chores.

Sanders has no lawyer and is defending herself. Yesterday, she looked frail and had trouble getting up when Superior Court Justice Edward Browne left the courtroom.

At one point, a court technician was asked to turn up the volume of a speaker on Sanders's counsel desk after she complained she was having difficulty hearing testimony.

"Your obligation is to signal that you didn't hear right away," said Justice Browne, who also urged Sanders to take notes while others testified so she could cross-examine them.

Later, Sanders's voice was shaky, as she tried to cross-examine a witness. She then started to cry when she described how much she loved a witness who testified Wednesday but was cross-examined again yesterday.

Minutes earlier, a friend who was supposed to be taking notes to help Sanders fell asleep during the proceedings.

"Please wake up," Sanders pleaded as she struggled to poke her friend awake.

The trial is slated to last as long as three weeks.

The witness told court as many as 10 kids, including children from Children's Aid and foster kids, lived in the house under Sanders's care during the 1960s.

The witness, who lived with Sanders in a Hill Street house until 1962, said the children feared Sanders because of the random beatings she would deliver.

"It all depends on the mood she was in," said the London woman. "When she does it, she doesn't stop till she's worn down."

She said the house's back bedroom was known to the children as the "whacking room."

Sanders, who was charged in 1998 -- unlike the U.S., Canada has no statute of limitations -- is also accused by women ages 44 and 58.

As a previous witness testified, the woman referred to incidents when Sanders used a belt to beat the children.

The woman said many of the children in Sanders's care had run away.

The trial continues today.

Copyright © 2002, The London Free Press.

Anonymous said...

Social workers must be creative writers. many are, but how the heck they get away with it one has to wonder, I thought they must have been writing about something else when I read a report writen by a social worker. Even with proff it is twisted and full of out right lies, there seems to be a real need to cover it up and self protect, its not protecting children its damaging the very core of the family.

Anonymous said...

Why not have our Ontario Ombudsman do this for us in Ontario?

Girl's death brings outrage
The Daily News (Halifax)
Fri 24 Mar 2006

RCMP investigators believe they have found evidence of a body of a missing five-year-old girl in a shallow grave next to a remote logging trail.

But they also said yesterday they believe animals carried off her remains.

Police released few details about what they found on the Fisher River Cree Nation, 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg, and how it might help them solve the mystery of what happened to Phoenix Sinclair.

"Right now, we have evidence to support that Phoenix was at this location," Sgt. Steve Colwell said.

"Further forensic tests will be conducted to prove that Phoenix was in this site."

Phoenix's case came to light two weeks ago, when it was learned she was missing for nine months before anyone noticed.

Her mother, Samantha Kematch, and Kematch's boyfriend, Karl McKay, have been charged with first-degree murder.

The story has angered the public, prompted high-level political finger-pointing and raised disturbing allegations over how she met her end and how government officials handled her child-welfare file.

David Crate, chief of the Fisher River First Nation, said the discovery brings some sense of closure to the community.

"It does provide some answers," Crate said.

"I think it will offer some closure to individuals in the community (who are) wondering ... whether or not she'll be found."

Crate and other residents held a prayer service at the makeshift gravesite yesterday morning.

Investigators believe Phoenix's body was dumped last June, after weeks of physical and emotional abuse. RCMP won't say who led them to the shallow grave.

Investigators set up a nylon tent around the area, while a generator has provided electricity for lights and heat for those who have been digging.

Kematch and McKay are due in court today. The charges against them include allegations that Phoenix was locked in a pig pen, shot at with a BB gun, beaten with a broom handle and deprived of food and water.

Police were only made aware of Phoenix's death when her 12-year- old stepbrother came forward to document the alleged crimes.

The case has drawn criticism to Manitoba's Child and Family Services Department because Phoenix had been in foster care for much of her life.

Police believe she died on June 11, 2005, three months after her child services file was closed.

Two reviews of the child welfare system have been announced by the province. One, by the provincial ombudsman, will examine the system as a whole. The second - involving the ombudsman, children's advocate and a psychologist - will focus more specifically on the Sinclair case.

Premier Gary Doer has also left the door open for a full public inquiry.

Family Services Minister Christine Melnick has been under increasing pressure to resign. Opposition politicians say she or her department ignored repeated warnings that children in care were falling through the cracks.

The province is also dealing with allegations from Lawrence Traverse, another resident of the Fisher River reserve. Traverse says his two-year-old daughter, Heaven, was beaten and battered while in provincial foster care. She died on Jan. 14, 2005.

Police are still investigating Heaven's death, which was classified as suspicious.

Anonymous said...


Monday, March 20th, 2006
Police probe another foster child death
By: Leah Janzen Email Story Printer Friendly Version

Heaven Traverse (FPNS)
WINNIPEG — A grieving Fisher River father is demanding to know how his two-year-old daughter could die “covered in bruises” while in the care of Child and Family Services.

Saying he was scared into silence since the Jan. 14, 2005 death of his daughter, Heaven Melissa Andrea Mae Traverse, Lawrence Traverse said yesterday he decided to come forward with his story to let people know the tragic death of Phoenix Sinclair, 5, is not an isolated case.

He said there are problems with the child welfare system and he wants someone to be held accountable for Heaven’s death.

“I got no answers when she died and I have no answers now,’’ he said from his home on the Fisher River First Nation — the same community where Phoenix was allegedly tortured and killed at the hands of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend last June just months after her CFS file was closed.

“I told CFS my daughter was getting hurt. They called me a liar.”

Police believe Phoenix died June 11, 2005, just three months after her CFS file was closed.

No one knew she was missing and dead until police laid first-degree murder charges against Samantha Dawn Kematch, 24, and Carl Wesley McKay, 43, earlier this month.

The case has shone a light into the devolution of CFS from a single agency to one in which there are agencies specifically designated to handle the cases of native children.

Some social workers and the Manitoba Government Employees’ Union say they feared the quick transition of cases between the agencies and a lack of resources to handle the work may have let kids like Phoenix fall through the cracks.

According to Traverse, Heaven and his five older siblings were apprehended by CFS workers when Heaven was about 18 months old.

Traverse said he was told the children were being removed as a result of negligence and poor parenting skills shown by him and his wife.

The children were separated. Heaven and her older sister Rhonda were sent to live with a foster family on the Peguis First Nation. Traverse said he saw signs of abuse on his child numerous times when he would take her for visits.

Last Christmas, Traverse said he went to pick his girls up in Peguis and noticed their room was filthy, a potty was left unemptied in the room, Heaven’s sheets were stained and his older daughter reported that Heaven had been hit with a shoe.

“She was bruised a lot,’’ he said. “I told CFS lots of times.”

Police say that in January 2005, Heaven was rushed by ambulance to the Percy E. Moore Hospital in Peguis and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg.

She died on Jan. 14, 2005.

Traverse said when she died, Heaven was “covered in bruises” on her head, chest and legs. He said the child died as a result of head trauma.

RCMP Sgt. Steve Colwell said police continue to investigate Heaven’s death, which was classified as suspicious. No one has ever been charged.

Traverse said he feared going public with his story because his surviving five children remain in foster care and he does not want to jeopardize any chance he and his wife have of getting the kids back.

He said he’s complied with CFS requirements that he undergo parenting classes and anger management courses in an effort to win back his children.

Tory family services critic Mavis Taillieu said she fears there are more cases like these still to be uncovered.

“It’s another warning that can’t be ignored,’’ she said.

A spokesman for the province said he cannot comment on Traverse’s allegations because the Child and Family Services Act prevents him from speaking about specific cases.


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Anonymous said...

Next week will be 4 years when the little angel passed.I will pray for you that day as I do everyday so that you may be happy and at peace .Watch over the little ones Jeffrey you can now be a big brother to all.I love you and wish you where here ,but I know that you are happy in Gods arms.Love always (hugs and kisses) A.S

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Anonymous said...

Paul Blackwell is out on the streets again, now hiding out in Waterloo, Ontario.
He lives in an apartment building next to Wilfrid Laurier University, where there are thousands of unsuspecting youths, admittedly of legal age, but without the life experience to learn how to avoid predators like him.