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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 22, 2006
Toronto Sun Publication
Foster parent guilty of abuse
'He's the father I never had'


A former foster parent has admitted sexually abusing two wards of the Catholic Children's Aid Society in a surprise guilty plea entered yesterday.
Paul Blackwell, 64, was convicted of one count of indecent assault and four counts of sexual assault on five different victims, including the two CCAS wards, between 1977 and 1992.
The victims were from 12 to 16 years old.
"It took a lot of courage for these people to come forward," said assistant Crown attorney Cara Sweeny. "For them it's good to see that the system works."
The trial had barely begun when Blackwell changed his not guilty plea. He was originally facing 22 charges.
None of his victims can be identified under a court-ordered publication ban.
But the Crown's first witness, a 43-year-old man, testified Monday he was first assaulted when the CCAS placed him in Blackwell's home as an emergency measure in 1977.
Despite the abuse, the man said Blackwell treated him well otherwise.
He said he quit school in Grade 10 to go to work for Blackwell's construction company.
"He's the father I never had," the man said yesterday as he continued testimony before Blackwell entered his guilty plea.
"You felt he treated you well," defence lawyer Louise Botham said.
"Yes," the man answered.
No explanation for the change in Blackwell's plea was given in court.
Justice Frances Kiteley said she will hold a sentencing hearing Friday.
"I think you have taken a very important step," she told Blackwell.
When Blackwell was arrested and charged in September 2004, a spokesman with CCAS said they had no reports of abuse.

The victim who testified Monday said he was also abused by his caseworker and at one point contemplated legal action against CCAS. Instead he went to the police.

"There may be more victims," Sweeny said outside court yesterday.
"If there are I would urge them to call Toronto Police 55 Division," she said.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these stories Amanda. It's not a stretch to suspect that in the fifteen years this monster was free to sexually abuse children, the numbers exceeded the five he was convicted of assaulting - a serial pedophile in CCAS' employ.

The abuse inflicted by the other caseworker is still unknown - it's possible he's employed by the agency even now.

These revelations are even more disturbing because 38 CCAS workers were discovered internally circulating pornography a few years ago. Most still work for the agency.

Given these above, you have to really wonder how extensive such abuse is within the culture of Toronto CCAS. They have no credibility as child-welfare guardians.


Anonymous said...

On the basis of this information, an investigation should be launched into whether a pedophile ring operated within the Catholic Children's Aid Society between the dates in question.

Two CCAS employees have been implicated in this affair - the second appeared aware of the convicted man's activities. In the case of Maple Leaf Gardens, an investigation confirmed a pedophile ring consisting of three men that sytematically abused boys for years.

These events should not be swept under the rug - but fully (an externally) investigated. If you experienced similar abuse at the hands of CCAS or know someone who did, please contact police at the earliest opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I agree I think there should be an in depth probe as to if there was a ring in the CCAS, and considering what is known of that agency it would not be a surprise if there was, or if there is.

Anonymous said...

Ex-CAS worker faces 26 new
sex charges
The Toronto Star - Tuesday January 13, 1998
By Philip Mascoll, Staff Reporter
A former Metro Toronto Children’s Aid Society Worker, charged before
Christmas with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Oshawa boy, faces 26 new
sex-related counts following allegations by six more complaints.
And a North York man who Durham Region police say was a friend of the
youth workers faces sexual assault charges against two Oshawa boys, one a
6-year-old and the other a 13-year-old who was just 6 when the alleged
offence occurred.
The youth worker was arrested and charged with the 26 offences yesterday
by detectives from the force’s sexual assault squad, minutes after he
appeared on court on the original charges laid Dec. 11.
They have told investigators that they were befriended by a man between
1990 and December last year and that the assaults took place at an Oshawa
residence and at an secluded pond near Uxbridge.
The Original charges – one of sexual assault, one of making child
pornography and one of possession of child pornography – related to a 12-
year-old boy who said he was introduced to a man through a family friend last
August, police said.
Gary Brian Sharrard of Cambridge Court in Oshawa faces seven counts of
sexual assault; seven of sexual interference; five of invitation to sexual
touching; one of exposing genitals to a person under 14 years old; one of
possession of child pornography, and six of exposure to a person under 14.
Charged with two counts of sexual assault is Marlin Roy 41, of Prue Ave.,
North York.

Anonymous said...

I think they all need investgating and more

Anonymous said...

I excerpt this quote from article posted by Amanda: "Despite the abuse, the man said Blackwell treated him well otherwise.
He said he quit school in Grade 10 to go to work for Blackwell's construction company."

This exemplifies how CAS/foster kids are lead into such horific circumstances by their "protectors" that they can actually rationalize that their abuser was good to them.

See also case R. v. R.B., a 2005 decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Same comments made by youths sexually abused by foster parent in that case.

Court of Appeal reduced the foster parent's sentence for the abuse on appeal because they latched on to youth's evidence that the foster parent was otherwise good to him except for prolonged sexual abuse by foster father on boys in care.

The Court of Appeal said another mitigating circumstance re abuse committed was that the foster father was a "church leader" and hence could be viewed as otherwise having good character.

These cases tie in with 3 other issues: 1) sentencing of child abusers 2) systemic discrimination of youth in care and 3) criteria and stringency through which foster parents are accredited and monitored by CAS and government.

Obviously, sentencing of child abusers must be on primary principle of public denounciation and zero tolerance - sentences should be hefty mandatory minimums, no concurrent terms and two strikes you are out. Such conduct is the utmost breach of trust of the most vulnerable in our society and must be treated that way by our courts and laws.

Child abuse must be viewed as irreconcilable with "good character" or any purported mitigating circumstances. It is hypocritical in the extreme to be a "chruch leader" and engage in child abuse.

Further in my view the court has demonstrated a systemic bias against youth in care to the effect that they come from such disadvantaged circumsntaces that if they suffer abuse from an otherwise "nice" foster parent, they are "lucky" and the abuser should be treated more leniently.

In addition, it is patently obvious, given the number of allegations and convictions for abuse against foster parents, that the accreditation and monitoring of foster care is woefully inadequate if it exists, and must be completely revisited and overhauled ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Funny you never hear CAS crying out about the extremely high incidence of youth that are seriously abused in foster care. True child welfare guardians would be onto this like a dog with a juicy bone.

Instead, parents with a messy house are considered the devil incarnate - obviously in need of perpetual counselling. In my opinion, these utterly hypocritical morons are the very scum of the earth.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster I agree - no we never hear about the abusive homes that children were sent to. The CAS has one target "real and natural families", they have one enemy, and one goal. They do not care about the crossfire, they do not care about the dead, the abused, the broken. They care about staying in power and control.

Anonymous said...

Break out the vacuum cleaner and Mr. Clean before the child abduction society steals your child.

Anonymous said...

Another good article ..........

Former residents of Ontario training schools allege decades of sexual abuse
James McCarten
TORONTO (CP) – A group of reform-school alumni is emerging from a dark corner of Canadian history with chilling tales of sexual abuse, physical brutality and emotional torment they allegedly suffered as boys inside institutions once operated by the Ontario government.
Dozens of veterans of Ontario's training school program – a long-defunct, 60-year project to house and rehabilitate “unmanageable” and “incorrigible” children – are suing the province over a litany of alleged abuses spanning three decades, The Canadian Press has learned.

Police have so far interviewed more than 3,000 former training school residents and employees living across Canada as part of several ongoing criminal probes that began in 1997 and remain far from over.

The allegations, contained in numerous statements of claim filed over the course of the last two years with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, run the gamut: sexual assaults, beatings and an endless array of emotional and psychological cruelty.

Much of the abuse was allegedly committed by school staff and supervisors, as well as employees at a handful of privately operated foster homes, over a period stretching from the early 1960s to as recently as 1986.

John Prokipczuk, 50, alleges he was beaten regularly and sexually abused dozens of times while attending two different Ontario institutions between 1966 and 1969.

Prokipczuk, who lives in Penticton, B.C., blames the abuse for his chronic depression, sleepless nights and a life that has been filled with illegal drugs and time in jail.

“It's kinda like, if they could've killed you and got away with it, they would've done it,” said Prokipczuk, whose chronic truancy landed him in training school at the age of 13.

“Certain things were isolated, like the sexual part of it. It wasn't done in front of other people. But you knew what was going on. The mental, spiritual, emotional, physical abuse – that part was done out front.”

Many of the victims are identified in the statements of claim only by their initials, but Prokipczuk is among those who specifically requested that his real name be used.

“If they're still alive, I want them to fear,” he said of his alleged attackers. “I want other people who know, I want them to see my name. Because I'm not afraid of them. I've got nothing to lose.”

Allegations in a statement of claim are accusations only and must be proven in court. The province of Ontario has indicated it intends to defend itself against the lawsuits.

A spokesman for the attorney general did not return calls.

Most of the alleged abuse involves two schools Prokipczuk attended: Brookside Training School in Cobourg, Ont., an hour's drive east of Toronto, and Sprucedale Training School in Hagersville, Ont., about 50 kilometres south of Hamilton.

Among the other institutions and facilities identified in the suits:

– White Oaks Village, originally a facility for boys aged eight to 12 that was located adjacent to Sprucedale and operated as an open-custody juvenile facility;

– Pine Ridge Training School in Bowmanville, Ont., formerly known as the Ontario Training School for Boys, Bowmanville;

– Kawartha Lakes School in Lindsay, Ont., formerly the Ontario Training School for Girls, Lindsay;

– Circle 'R' Boys Ranch in Cookstown, Ont., a foster home now known as the Robert Thompson Youth and Family Centre;

– A variety of Ontario foster homes, most of which are no longer in operation.

Sprucedale was moved to Simcoe, Ont., in 1978 and now operates as a young offender facility. The Brookside Youth Centre has also housed young offenders since 1984.

Beginning in 1925, training schools operated in various forms across Ontario as reformatories for wayward children, often as young as eight and often for “crimes” as minor as truancy and obscene phone calls.

Section 8 of the 1965 Training Schools Act, which gave the province the power to seize custody of any “unmanageable” child regardless of the wishes of his or her parents, was repealed in 1977.

Many schools continued to house children aged 12 to 18 until the mid-1980s, when passage of the federal Young Offenders Act formally signalled the end of the training-school era in Canada.

Like Prokipczuk, many of the students who attended those institutions in the 1960s and 1970s have suffered lifelong emotional scars. Many battle drug and alcohol addictions and struggle to stay out of jail.

“They're angry and bitter,” said defence lawyer Loretta Merritt, a specialist in institutional abuse cases who's spearheading the legal offensive.

Since taking on her first training school client in 1999, Merritt has filed suits for 31 former residents of Ontario's secular training schools, with plans in place to file on behalf of another six.

She's in discussions with four other potential clients and said she hears from new ones on a regular basis.

“It's amazing how broad the implications of this (abuse) are,” said Merritt, who also represents victims from St. John's Training School in Uxbridge, Ont., a Catholic facility at the centre of a similar scandal in the 1990s.

“It's really quite devastating. Quite devastating. It's the kind of thing that oftentimes, you don't ever get over it.”

All told, more than 15,000 students were registered at secular training schools across Ontario between 1963 and 1979.

It's too early to speculate about the number of victims or when – even if – criminal charges will be laid, said provincial police Det.-Supt. Ross Bingley, director of the criminal investigations branch.

But there are at least eight officers working full time on Sprucedale alone, which was home to an estimated 2,200 students during the relevant 20-year time frame, he said.

“It's a huge endeavour,” Bingley said. “You can appreciate the enormity of it, and these things we don't want to charge into in any way, shape or form; we're going to work as long as we have to to make it accurate.”

A separate investigation into Brookside is also underway, and police are also investigating allegations of abuse emanating from Pine Ridge, Bingley said.

At least 20 criminal complaints about Pine Ridge were handed over to the OPP by Durham Regional police investigators in 2001; Bingley said all three will be more closely linked for a more co-ordinated effort.

The investigations are taking a long time, he acknowledged. But they represent a Herculean task: there's anywhere between 14,000 and 30,000 people across Canada police believe could be helpful to the investigation.

“Tracking down potential witnesses and/or victims is a huge task.”

An array of staff members who worked at the schools during the relevant periods are also named in the civil suits as individual defendants. In many cases, their full names aren't even known.

In one statement of claim, the victim, now 37, alleges he was fondled and sexually assaulted in the shower by staff during a two-week stay at Pine Ridge in 1977.

After complaining to his parents, he was transferred to Kawartha Lakes, where he allegedly endured a variety of sexual assaults during a two-year span by staff members both male and female, including social workers, teachers, the school doctor and even the school hairdresser.

In 1979, when he was 14, the plaintiff ended up at Brookside, where he alleges he was subjected to more than 30 separate physical and sexual assaults at the hands of 11 different staff members.

“The conduct of the individual defendants was intentional, malicious and done with the knowledge that it would cause the plaintiff to suffer humiliation, indignity, sexual, physical, emotional and mental distress and injury,” the statement of claim reads.

The abuse was allegedly committed “with the knowledge that the plaintiff's emotional and physical anguish would increase and was done with wanton, careless and wilful disregard of the consequences to the plaintiff.”

In many cases, plaintiffs were kept quiet with physical threats or promises of cigarettes, special privileges or early release, the statements say.

In those cases where the alleged abuse was reported, it didn't stop, and often became more severe.

In his statement of claim, Prokipczuk alleges he was sexually assaulted on more than 20 occasions by one Brookside staff member in particular, usually in an office or a change room.

Many of the statements describe insidious forms of systemic physical abuse, including one apparently common tactic that saw supervisors pitting the boys against one another.

At Brookside, one staff member was known for putting a boy in the centre of a room, then declaring that he had to leave the room “because he 'heard the telephone ringing' in the office next door,” one statement said.

“This sequence was a cue to 'scramble' the targeted child by covering his head with a blanket and then brutally beating him.”

If a child failed to eat all of his meal, “the Brookside staff would force the child to drink excessive amounts of water until the child finally vomited,” the statement says.

In one case, plaintiffs from Brookside describe being made to stand naked, their hands extended behind their backs for hours at a time, leaning backwards against a wall on their thumbs until they collapsed.

They also allege being forced to hold chairs over their heads while their toes were “stamped on” by staff.

“Group punishment such as this was common at Brookside, and often resorted to when no child would take responsibility for conduct that had taken place,” one statement says.

“Later, if the child who was responsible for the conduct was discovered, then that individual would be severely beaten by the staff members.”

Many of the plaintiffs, veterans of the prison system, live in fear of again encountering their alleged attackers, some of whom continued to work as jail guards after the training schools closed.

“I had a client call me and was really upset because one of his (alleged) abusers was a guard at an institution, a regular jail,” Merritt said.

“This does happen.”

The statements all blame the abuse for a long list of psychological and behavioural side effects: depression, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of trust, and criminal, anti-social and suicidal behaviour.

Many victims blame their training school experiences for recurring nightmares, failed marriages, strained family relationships and an inability to hold down a steady job.

One plaintiff who alleged repeated sexual and physical abuses at Brookside between 1974 and 1976 “blames himself for the abuse,” his statement of claim says.

“He continues to experience depression and repeatedly engages in self-mutilation with razor blades.”

In Ontario, only two former staff members at secular training schools have ever been charged: Ray Elder, a former White Oaks supervisor, pleaded guilty three years ago to two of the 11 charges he faced and the other was acquitted.

The decision to abolish training schools in Ontario came after a sustained public and political outcry brought on by 19 children who died – many of them violently – in the space of two years after being released from provincial training schools.

Four of the deaths were suicides.

The deaths came amid mounting criticism that the program did little more than prepare children for an inevitable life of crime and warnings from insiders that staff members were condoning and encouraging “brutality of an organized nature.”

In 1975, those warnings prompted the Ontario government of former Conservative premier Bill Davis to launch a quiet investigation of the treatment of 1,320 children at the province's 12 training schools.

Over the next 10 years, schools were either closed or converted to detention centres for young offenders as defined by the Young Offenders Act, which came into effect in 1984.

Anonymous said...

Peel child agency hit by $8M suit
Father alleges Douglas Moore sexually abused his son, 10
Boy lived in foster home where Moore was frequent guest

Douglas Moore hanged himself after he was charged with sex assaults on three boys. He was also a suspect in three killings.

The father of a young boy allegedly abused by Douglas Moore while in foster care has sued the Peel Children's Aid Society for $8.1 million.

Peel child welfare authorities and the foster parents failed to protect the boy from the convicted pedophile, according to a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior court.

The claim consists of a series of allegations against both Peel Children's Aid and the former foster parents. The allegations have yet to be tested in court.

Moore hanged himself in jail in April, shortly after police charged him with sexually assaulting three other boys who lived at the Belfountain-area foster home.

Moore was also the prime suspect in the deaths of two young men and a 15-year-old youth he knew from the Meadowvale drug trade, but he died before he could be charged.

The case now before the civil courts involves a 10-year-old boy (who cannot be identified) who was living at the same foster home for two years ending in 2003. The boy's parents had been deemed unfit, but the boy has since been released to his father's care. "I truly believed my son would be safe at that foster home," the father said in an interview yesterday.

Moore was a regular visitor to the home from 2000 until shortly before his death. The 36-year-old ex-con was a friend of the foster parents and was allowed to play with the children, take some on short trips and others on at least one overnight stay.

At the time, the rule was that foster parents were supposed to obtain clear criminal record checks on any adult looking after a foster child overnight.

Peel Children's Aid has since toughened its standards and now requires police checks of all adults living in a foster home or having significant contact with foster children, even during the day.

The foster parents, whose contract has been terminated, did not check Moore's background. Moore told them he had a criminal record for manslaughter, not sexual assault of young children. The foster parents have said they trusted Moore and thought he would be a good influence on the foster children because he had overcome a tough life.

In reality, Moore had numerous convictions for sexually abusing young boys beginning when Moore was 18 years old.

The lawsuit claims Moore, on numerous occasions, lured the boy and other children to an area behind the foster home, forcibly confined and sexually assaulted them.

The lawsuit also alleges Moore threatened the boy that if he ever spoke of the abuse (which allegedly involved fondling and anal intercourse) Moore would kill the foster mother and the boy's biological father.

"My son was protecting me by not speaking up," the father said.

Peel Children's Aid files show that a "Dougie" was known to be hanging around at the foster home, but social workers did not ask about his background. Yesterday, a Peel Children's Aid spokesperson said the agency could not comment on the lawsuit because it is before the courts.

Previously, Peel Children's Aid staff told the Star they were "devastated" to learn that children in their care had been abused.

"Moore was a cunning pedophile who managed to infiltrate the foster family and gain their trust, always working under the radar of the authorities," said Peel Children's Aid executive director Paul Zarnke.

The lawsuit also claims that the foster parents used Moore as a babysitter when they were away, which the foster parents deny. In recent interviews, the foster parents told the Star they had no idea Moore was a pedophile. While they say they had a lapse in judgment in letting two other foster kids stay overnight at his Meadowvale home, the foster parents said they never used Moore as a regular babysitter, although he did take some children on short jaunts to hardware stores and elsewhere.

The foster parents say they were stunned when police told them that Moore had abused children in their care.

The 10-year-old in the lawsuit has suffered extensively, according to the statement of claim.

The boy has anger management problems, mood swings, flashbacks to the abuse, severe sleep disturbances, self-destructive behaviour, loss of self-esteem and had problems in school.

After the police questioned him, he said nothing to his father for a week.

"Then one night, after he went to bed, he got up and said, `Dad, I want to tell you what happened.'" the father recalled. He said his son described the attacks and the effect on him.

"Now, I keep thinking about the horror of what happened to my boy," the father said.

The father's lawyer, Paul Miller, said he also hopes for a public inquiry into the case.

Anonymous said...

Clandestine battle waged for inquest in foster child's death
Coroner's 2003 memo sought probe in death of Savannah Hall, 3 Miro Cernetig and Lori Culbert, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 Article tools
Printer friendly
Font: * * * * The death of three-year-old Savannah Hall was officially ruled "undetermined" by the B.C. Coroners Service and quietly tucked away in government files, without an inquest or a single recommendation to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

But behind the scenes a battle was waged for more than two years to hold an inquest into the January 2001 death of the foster child, according to an internal government memorandum obtained by The Vancouver Sun.

"Still believe this case should go to inquest," Beth Larcombe, the coroner who investigated the case, wrote in a 2003 e-mail to three officials in the Solicitor-General's Ministry.

Larcombe, who declined to be interviewed for this story and expressed surprise that The Sun had the memo, wrote it to provide her superiors with a detailed chronology of events in the case.

The four-page memo, which has never been published, also suggests serious misgivings within the government about the death of Savannah, who was rushed to hospital after her foster mother found her struggling to breathe in her crib.

"All agreed that some of Savannah's injuries are not consistent with accidental injuries," wrote Larcombe about a September, 2002 meeting that included senior members of the coroners service, the RCMP and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

"Especially the bruise on the bottom of her right foot and some facial contusions. Concerns still exist," wrote Larcombe, now with the regional coroners office in Vancouver.

The memo indicates the fight to have a full-blown investigation into the death of Savannah, whose foster parents were tying her up in a leather harness at night, even got the attention of Liberal MLAs Rich Coleman, now forests and range minister, and Pat Bell, now agriculture and lands minister.

The memo suggests Bell, then a Prince George MLA, sent Savannah's autopsy report to Coleman, who was then B.C.'s solicitor-general, and made some sort of request to the coroners service.

The memo did not specify what Bell's request was, but it prompted a Sept. 6, 2001 e-mail exchange between chief coroner Terry Smith, deputy chief coroner Norm Leibel, and deputy solicitor-general Tony Heemskerk, after which the politicians were advised "this is a RCMP investigation."

Coleman noted in an interview that the Crown determined there were no grounds for a charge.

Karen Johnston, a spokeswoman for current Solicitor-General John Les, said: "I'm also given to understand that police did investigate and the Crown said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges."

Larcombe was not the only person within the coroners service demanding an inquest.

Former investigator Kathleen Stephany, who investigated Savannah's death, also wanted a probe into the Prince George foster home, which the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) now alleges had a long history of children complaining of abuse.

NDP MLA Adrian Dix, who has the foster care system under scrutiny, Monday called for an inquest.

So has Savannah's mother, Corinna Hall. "My daughter needs to rest. This should have been done a long time ago," she said Tuesday.

Miro Cernetig and Lori Culbert, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 Article tools
Printer friendly
Font: * * * * Children's Minister Stan Hagen said in the legislature Monday that an inquest is not necessary.

Larcombe's chronology of events begins Jan. 27, 2001, the day after the toddler died. Her foster parents had brought her to Prince George hospital in a coma with massive brain swelling, advanced hypothermia and multiple bruises.

Larcombe writes the police investigation was closed one year after Savannah's death. The memo says the RCMP had concerns about her temperature, the foster parents' timeline of her illness, and her sodium levels.

But the RCMP noted the pathologist did not establish abuse, the foster parents refused further interviews, and medical concerns were referred to the coroner, the memo says.

A month later, in February 2002, an internal MCFD investigation report concluded the "child was suffering from neglect and abuse," Larcombe writes.

Also that month, the memo says, three doctors agreed that Savannah's bruises were "consistent with abuse" and that the foster parents' timeline of her illness was "off."

A pediatrician who saw Savannah several months before she died said she was failing to thrive and asked the foster parents to bring her back for a follow-up in two months, but never saw her again, Larcombe says.

How thorough the police and ministry investigations into Savannah's death were is unclear.

Larcombe writes that as of March 2002 -- 14 months after the child's death -- no one from those two agencies had interviewed staff or collected files from the daycare she attended.

Coroners requested a revised autopsy report after new information surfaced, and then met in September 2002 with the RCMP, who agreed to do more interviews, but only to assist the coroner.

The memo ends with a list of unanswered questions from doctors.

Leibel, who said he does not remember the memo, said in an interview Tuesday that Larcombe's and Stephany's opinions would have been taken into consideration but that, following standard procedure, the final decision was made by a group of coroners service employees.

Savannah's foster mother, Patricia Keene, has denied all wrongdoing and is suing MCFD.

MCFD filed a countersuit, alleging Keene provided substandard care and there were multiple complaints about the foster home.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Unions are part of this problem as well and others - read how a CAS worker who lied was returned to the agency......

Anonymous said...

The child abduction society also took children for social workers who were infertile to adopt, they also arranged adoptions for other infertile people in the community as a means of giving them babies, while making false allegations about child abuse against there parents. It was an "industry". Foster children were left to rot, as the business was not about them it was about hunting down babies.

Anonymous said...

The children's aid society was formed in the late 1800's by John Joseph Kelso. To this day the victims that had their babies stolen, the stolen babies, and the foster children CANNOT SEE THEIR OWN FILES.

Anonymous said...

Money was exchanged, and children were sent all over the earth, sometimes the CAS did a double head count on a child - meaning that a foster child was shipped from one county to another, and the CAS would count the child's head in two jurisdictions for their funding. The child was a head count for funding, this has not changed.

Anonymous said...

I almost cried reading the article about abuse in Ontario training schools. As one poster said elsewhere, the Ontario government is the number one child abuser in the province. The revelations contained on this blog are almost unbelievable.

I'm also shocked at the number of pedophiles that seem to permeate foster care. Although I can understand how secrecy, unaccountability and incompetence would be a magnet for such people,it is truly beyond my comprehension.

Those who are posting on this blog are to be highly commended. You are providing an essential service for every resident of Ontario.

Anonymous said...

No medical information was given to foster parents or those who adopted to make the child more adoptable. This put people's health at risk. Kariann Ford was just one victim - she sued the Metro Toronto CAS - the CAS withheld information from her for over 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you - it is time that this system was exposed.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the article about the Ontario training schools - the child abduction society sent the children there - they also sent children to the horrific residential schools. I think in between the history and today that enough is enough with them to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "I'm also shocked at the number of pedophiles that seem to permeate foster care. Although I can understand how secrecy, unaccountability and incompetence would be a magnet for such people,it is truly beyond my comprehension."

People that molest children are inclined to be drawn to secret systems where no accountability is ever provided. It is the same with the pedophile priests. This explains why some are attracted to foster care, and why some still are. Furthermore the CAS alleges that the homes are safe - this gives the molester the perfect enviroment - a child, no accountability, and the public not even suspecting that anything is going on.

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading the Dufferin VOCA site about the latest CAS attrocities. These wicked agencies are pulling out all the tricks in the book to find babies for infertile couples who are their clients, while destroying families. It is enraging!!!

Anonymous said...

Joseph R Howard
Director of Affairs for Germany

May 23, 1999

Dr. Mboi, Chair

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
UN Center for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

RE: Germany

Dear Dr. Mboi:


As a result of not knowing the Committee's precise schedule until recently, I greatly regret that this communication concerning the Government of Germany's failure to adopt measures (including implementing legislation) to give effect to several of the most fundamental rights set fourth in the Convention on the rights of the child.

Despite its international legal obligations under the Convention, Germany's harmful conduct toward children with respect to family law matters, international child abduction, and wrongful retention of children is beyond question and based on clear evidence. It cannot be denied by the Government of Germany, and will be apparent to Members of the Committee, based on this communication and other available information. From the article by article analysis below, members will note the provisions of convention that Germany has failed to implement, and or violates, in this area (notably Articles 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 21, 29, and 35).

Germany's gross misuse of Article 13 of the Hague Convention is implemented often on very young children months or years after the abduction takes place.
This is a viololation of articles 9 and 18 of the Convention not to mention outright child abuse, plane and simple. During months or years of isolation of abducted children from the victim parent, classic Parent Alienation Syndrome, (PAS) is allowed to thrive. Children are often placed in German schools following the abduction to immerse the child into a new culture. Once (PAS) is profoundly inset, the abducted child is subjected to a custody hearing and asked to testify against her/his own parent. PAS - Analogous to the Stalkhome Syndrome, exploits the child's fear of losing the only remaining parent following the trauma of losing the victim parent during the abduction. This was denoted at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Held on 01 October 1998. The following is an excerpt from this hearing and is sworn Testimony used as evidence:

* 3. Perversion of the Convention‚s intent

* In a number of countries, therefore, interpretations of the Hague Convention extend its meaning to encompass in practice an unwarranted jurisdiction in custody matters. Certain consequences flow from this, all of them prejudicial to the victim.

* When a child is not returned, the abducting parent has the additional advantage of having subsequent proceedings dealt with in the country of retention rather than the country of the child‚s habitual residence. Case studies show that these court decisions, dealing with custody and access rights, tend to favor the abducting parent. This, combined with the fact that in some countries (for example in Germany,) judges are reluctant to enforce access orders, results in a situation where a parent is often deprived of all contact with the child, or at best, has contact in only the most harrowing circumstances (e.g. a government office with a third party present). On this interpretation of Article 13, the Hague Convention becomes in effect the instrument of alienation between child and victim-parent ˆ the very opposite of what was intended

* Professor Elisa Perez-Vera provided the primary source of interpretation of the Convention in her Report of 1980: "The Convention as a whole rests upon the unanimous rejection of the phenomenon of illegal child removals and upon the conviction that the best way to combat them at an international level is to refuse to grant them legal recognition∑ the systematic invocation of the said exceptions, substituting the forum chosen by the abductor for that of the child's residence, would lead to a collapse of the whole structure of the Convention by depriving it of the spirit of mutual confidence which is its inspiration".

Anonymous said...

Like the children that think care was good to them, NOT many DO, Ask the crown wards.
Stalkhome syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Exactly not many do and that includes both those fostered and adopted. The loss of one's family is not anything to celebrate but it has been at the expense of those in the system.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone with a knowledge of the criminal court system would care to comment on the abrupt conclusion of the CAS pedophile's trial.

From what I understand, two of the five victims were involved with CAS. The first one stated he was abused by both his foster parent and social worker - the trial then came to a very abrupt end. The foster parent pleaded guilty before any more witnesses could be called. It would not surprise me if the second CAS victim, or perhaps some of the others were about to divulge further information that was damaging to CAS. Is that a fair suspicion, or is there a perfectly normal explanation for the events unfolding the way they did?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think that many "higher up's" wanted this to end quickly and quietly. I do find it suspicious as well. God only knows what else was going to be divulged in that trial. It is weird. Trials be their nature are not short - they tend to be long especially in such a situation. As the severity of such a charge is so serious one does not tinker with it. They raised a white flag of surrender before the real battle began.

Anonymous said...

I think if the truth is told and the real voices are heard about the system - being those who were in it that abuse is the norm, and not the exception.

Anonymous said...

The pedophile plead guilty via a "plea bargain". Simple as that --it is done all of the time. His lawyer probably advised him to based on the evidence against him. One knows that the less the case is dragged on the lighter the sentence imposed. The CAS worker involved in this case has left the country years ago.

Stockholm syndrom is spelled the same as the city.

Anonymous said...

it is difficult to understand how this could be construed as a significant advance for children's rights as contemplated by early proponents of protective rights for children. However, the issue in this case was one of choice rights and was based on an unqualified concept of youth as individual rights-possessors. This accounts for the complete failure of the court to justify its decision in terms of the "best interests of the child," or to refer anywhere to the autonomy of the family or to the interests of parents in policy issues that could potentially effect their children.

Justice for Children and Youth is one of several child-rights N.G.O.s presently playing a leading role in child-rights law reform in Canada. This is unsettling given that the ideology of many influential child-rights N.G.O.s is not only inordinately child-centered, but in many cases, antipathetic to established authority. The focus of these organizations is too often on defending the child against authority, whether exercised by social agents or parents.

The activities of organizations such as Justice for Children and Youth illustrate the functional chaos that is resulting as the Canadian government funds and mobilizes N.G.O.s in order to promote child rights without a contextual framework that gives due weight to parental rights.

Since 1992, the federal government has allocated $459 million toward conforming Canada's law and policy to the provisions of the U.N. Convention. Part of this amount was used in 1992 to create the Children's Bureau of Health Canada, whose mandate is to "ensure consistency and coordination for all federal programs and policies for children."15 From its inception, the Children's Bureau has worked with federal and provincial N.G.O.s to develop and implement Brighter Futures: Canada's Action Plan for Children, which is a massive effort "to work through all sectors of society - business, labor, communities, other governments, N.G.O.s, families and individuals -- to improve the lives of children."16 Most state intervention in the parent-child relationship occurs at the provincial level. Provincial legislation empowers social workers to undertake measures that intrude on the autonomy of the family and the rights of the parents. For example, social workers are empowered to conduct inquiries and petition the court for a variety of orders with regard to a family under investigation. The court may give child protection authorities supervisory powers over the family, including unannounced "spot visits" to the family home, the power to interview children on demand or in the absence of a parent, and the power to require a suspect parent to attend one or more counseling programs. As well, the authorities may seek an order restraining a parent from being alone with the child, or having any direct contact with the child, or returning to the family home. It may make recommendations to the court regarding parental access to, and alternative placement of, the child. Finally, the child protection agency may seek an order for wardship of the child.

The powers of government authorities in child protection proceedings are manifold compared to those of the parent. The state, with all of its personnel and money, is pitted directly against the parent. Yet the procedural safeguards are minimal. The cases indicate that even though protection authorities exercise quasi-judicial powers, the standard of proof in child protection proceedings is, at best, based on a balance of probabilities.17 Under provincial law, all that authorities require before initiating an intrusive investigation of a family is one complaint by an anonymous third party. Under provincial legislation, a child may be apprehended if the social worker decides they fit within the catch-all term a "child in need of protection". Although this term is well defined by the legislation, unclear procedural and evidentiary standards often mean that state interference in the family is based on assumptions rather than facts, leaving a disquieting margin for error.18 The powers of social workers might be necessary, but it is imperative that these powers expressly require not only justification and responsibility but procedural safeguards as well.

The following cases illustrate the tragic impact this can have on a family. Until February, 1995, Charles and Sandra Butler home-schooled their children, ages eleven, eight and five.19 According to Newfoundland law, parents are allowed to home-educate their children as long as the curriculum they use is accredited by the district school board. The Butlers followed a home-school curriculum developed by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, one that the school board had refused to accredit. The family had no past history of neglect or abuse.

In February 1995, the Department of Social Services decided that the Butler children were in need of protection as contemplated by the province's Child Welfare Act on the ground that the Butlers had neglected to provide adequately for the education of their children. However, within hours of apprehending the children, the Butlers realized that their five-year-old was not required by law to begin school until September; therefore, the grounds for apprehension could not rightly apply to her. Not wanting to release any of the children without further investigation, Social Services reapplied to the court to amend the application. Four days after the initial apprehension, Mr. Justice Handrigan granted Social Services four months temporary custody of the children based on an expanded list of grounds. These included, not only concerns about the education of the children, but also concerns about the children's health and medical care, the possibility of physical and / or mental abuse of the children and the religious zealotry and fervor of the parents.

The Butlers retained counsel and appealed the order on several grounds: that the judge applied an improper standard of proof, that he relied on inadmissible evidence and hearsay, and that the hearing violated the principles of fundamental justice in that the appellants were unrepresented, were not properly informed of the nature of the hearing, and were not given an opportunity to call evidence.20 On appeal, Dunn J. reviewed the evidence that the trial judge had relied on:

[The Butlers] are adherents to a breakaway sect of the Seventh Day. Adventist Church. They associate with people of like religious views and practice a lifestyle which may be regarded, by some, as out of the norm. They are vegetarians and follow a strict dietary regime. The children are permitted two meals a day. They are not allowed liquids with their meals or for one hour prior to and one hour after same. The children have not been immunized as recommended by the Department of Health, Newfoundland. Instilling certain religious beliefs in reference to the Bible is fundamental to the lifestyle of the appellants. For example, they believe that the end of the world is fast approaching and are teaching their children to expect and prepare for same.

In December 1995, the court granted the Butler's appeal and ordered that the children be immediately returned to their parents. In her conclusions, Dunn J. found that the Butler's parental rights under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights had been violated. She concluded that the children's academic abilities seemed normal for their age, they appeared well-adjusted, were physically healthy, were rarely sick and that there was absolutely no evidence that the parents physically or mentally abused the children. In response to the Butler's claims of fundamental and procedural injustice, Dunn J. stated:

Where parental rights to custody of children and the possible deprivation of such custody are at issue, proper procedure and reasonable notice are essential to the process. The application was not conducted in a manner in keeping with the principles of fundamental justice and on this basis alone I would have been prepared to grant the appeal.21

Although the Butler children were eventually returned to their parents, they had spent more than six months in foster care. The devastating results that this has had, and will continue to have, on the family and on their relationship to their community cannot be underestimated.

The Butler's case is not isolated. Similar incidents are occurring across Canada. In June 1995, for example, a Nanaimo couple's three children were apprehended by Social Services on grounds later described by an attending psychiatrist as diagnostic speculations. The event occurred after Terry and Lisa Neave's two-year-old daughter, Karianna, was transferred from Nanaimo General Hospital to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver for testing and treatment of a choking disorder. One day before the transfer, the Nanaimo pediatrician taught Mrs. Neave a jaw-thrust manoeuvre that would clear her daughter's airway when she was choking. This manoeuvre involved raising the child's jaw with a hand at her neck.

At Children's Hospital, Lisa and Karianna Neave were assigned to a double room, which they shared with another mother and her sick child. The mother observed Mrs. Neave perform the manoeuvre during Karianna's choking episodes, suspected that this was abuse and reported her suspicions to hospital authorities. Soon after, the head of the hospital's child protection unit (C.P.U.), together with a social worker, questioned Lisa Neave, at which time she explained her doctor's instructions.

The C.P.U. director did not contact the Neave's pediatrician or family doctor because, as she later told the court, it was not her responsibility to do a thorough investigation. She diagnosed Mrs. Neave as having Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (M.P.S.), an unusual form of child abuse in which a parent fabricates an illness for their child and allows multiple unnecessary investigations and treatments. The next day, social services apprehended all three of the Neave's children. Later, in family court, the judge accepted the social worker's recommendation that Mrs. Neave was high-risk and that the children should be temporarily placed with their grandparents. The order allowed Mrs. Neave to visit her children under supervision, but she could not be alone with them.

The only evidence before the court was the C.P.U. director's diagnosis and an affidavit by Mrs. Neave's cousin, a social worker, who stated that Mrs. Neave was "emotionally troubled and a good person struggling with huge problems...who may very well be crying out for help in the only way she knew how." At trial, the cousin conceded that he had never seen Mrs. Neave do anything in his presence that could be misconstrued as abuse. In fact, no one had ever seen Mrs. Neave abuse her children. In the meantime, the Neave's family doctor andpediatrician tried to contact the acting social worker but reported that their calls were not returned.

In December, the children were allowed to come home, with Mr. Neave acting as supervisor over his wife. In January, the results of a court-ordered psychiatric assessment of Mrs. Neave concluded that Mrs. Neave's only psychological problem was caused by the apprehension of her children and by an R.C.M.P. interrogation shortly thereafter. In February, the Ministry of Social Services applied to the court to have all orders against Mrs. Neave set aside. At the time the orders were set aside, the Neave children had lived away from home for five months and the Neave's legal bills exceeded $10,000.

As these cases illustrate, the margin for error in Canada's child protection laws place families in a vulnerable position. This is not to say that the state has no role in protecting children. Society has a vested interest in ensuring that a child's best interests are served. There are times when the state's power to intervene in cases of genuine physical or sexual abuse or neglect are crucial. A parents rights do not trump the rights of their child. Neither are the two necessarily opposed. The rights of the child must be paramount. However, where the parent and the state disagree on the child's best interests, the law must begin with the presumption that the parent, and not the state, is right. Beginning at this point places the onus on the state to rebut the presumption according to the principles of fundamental justice.

For example, when a parent administers corporal discipline in a manner that a child-protection worker decides is abusive, but which the parent believes is appropriate in the circumstances, it should be presumed that the parent is in the best position to assess the situation and act with the child's best interests in mind. In Ogg-Moss v. R (1983), 41 C.R. 297 (S.C.C.), the Supreme Court concluded that if corporal discipline was administered reasonably, and was intended for the benefit and education of the child, this constitutes legitimate discipline falling within Section 43 of the Criminal Code. A chronological study of the case law suggests that the risk of successfully invoking Section 43 to justify physical injury to a child is steadily diminishing. Prosecutors and judges are more aware of child abuse and are more responsive to protecting children's rights than were earlier courts. This observation was recently made by one of Canada's leading authorities on family rights, Queen's University law professor Nicholas Bala. In a presentation made to the Consultation on Section 43 of the Criminal Code, Professor Bala stated that:

The law and its application has clearly changed in the last two or three years. Court decisions interpreting Section 43 are moving away from tolerating the levels of physical injury to children cited from earlier years. While there are differences between judges and even between the courts of appeal of the different provinces, positive change may best come about through the development of case law to reflect changing attitudes toward the acceptance of severe corporal punishment of children.22

It then becomes incumbent on the child protection worker to rebut the presumption with evidence that is directly probative of the ultimate question, is this child in need of protection as contemplated by the legislation? Speculative allegations would not in and of themselves be sufficiently probative to justify apprehension.

Placing family autonomy and parental rights squarely within Section 7 of the Charter of Rights would be a significant step toward ensuring a more equitable child-protection system. Deference to parental rights would not detract from the rights of the child; it would protect the child against the trauma that accompanies wrongful apprehension and temporary placement away from home and family. In addition, it would provide some protection to parents against the formidable powers of the state, which are sometimes exercised in ways that do not comply with the principles of natural justice.

In December 1994, for example, the Children's Aid Society (C.A.S) began to investigate an Ontario family after someone in the change room of a local swimming pool noticed a bruise on the boy's bottom. A C.A.S worker requested that she be allowed to come into the family home and examine the child. The parents refused, insisting instead that they would have their family doctor examine the child as quickly as possible and submit a report to the C.A.S. The doctor s report indicated that there was a transient bruise on the boy's bottom. The father readily admitted to the C.A.S. worker that he had spanked his son after the boy kicked the family cat and then refused to go to his room. The father explained that he had carried his son, kicking and screaming, to the boy's bedroom, where he proceeded to smack the boy's bottom with a belt. The father acknowledged that the spanking in question was excessive and that bruising a child was not within the purview of reasonable corporal discipline. However, he maintained that this was an isolated incident, unlikely to recur.23

The C.A.S. tried to have the couple sign a contract agreeing to refrain from using corporal punishment to discipline their children. The couple had six children between one and nine years of age. This was the first allegation of abuse against either parent. The couple refused, stating that they believed corporal punishment was an appropriate form of discipline reserved for instances of blatant disobedience or defiance. They retained a lawyer and attempted to negotiate with the C.A.S. The next day, with no advance warning to the father, two police officers arrested him at his place of work. In the presence of his co-workers, the father was charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. He was handcuffed and taken into custody pending a bail hearing.

In May 1995, six months and eight court appearances after the father was charged, the Crown, without explanation, asked the court to stay the proceedings. By this time, the family had incurred approximately $8,000 in legal fees and much emotional stress. As a result of the ordeal, the husband believed his opportunities for advancement with his employer had been seriously undermined.

This case, like Butler and Neave, raises questions about fundamental justice and procedural fairness in child-protection cases. Much of what occurred would not have, if family autonomy and parental rights were clearly understood to be within the scope of Section 7 of the Charter.

The theoretical and functional chaos that characterizes much of Canada's child-rights policies is due in large part to Parliament's failure to ensure that the Charter of Rights expressly protects family autonomy and parental rights. In order to reintroduce the contextual purpose into child-rights theory, policy-makers must recognize again that protecting family autonomy is foundational to ensuring the best interests of the child.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada took steps to initiate the recognition of family autonomy by importing American jurisprudence that supports the inclusion of both parental rights and family autonomy as protected liberties within the meaning of Section 7 of the Charter.
What is Family Autonomy?
Read Cindy Silver, Canadian Lawyer

Anonymous said...

amily Autonomy and the Charter of Rights: Protecting Parental Liberty in a Child-Centered Legal System Protecting Parental Liberty in a Child-Centered Legal System

by Cindy Silver

Recognition of due process and the retained rights of parents promotes values essential to the preservation of human freedom and dignity and to the perpetuation of our democratic society. The family is the principal conservator and transmitter of cherished values and traditions. Any invasion of the sanctity of the family, even for the loftiest motives, unavoidably threatens those traditions and values.

Family autonomy helps to assure the diversity characteristic of a free society. There is no surer way to preserve pluralism than to allow parents maximum latitude in rearing their own children. Conversely, there is no surer way to threaten pluralism than to terminate the rights of parents who contradict officially approved values imposed by reformers empowered to determine what is in the 'best interests of the child."1

Canadians live in a world where post-modern human rights are now a driving force, challenging the philosophical and legal traditions on which our social institutions are based.2 This is nowhere so evident as in the radical restructuring of the roles and relationships of the family and the state, while the state takes an evermore active role in protecting child rights as defined under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.3 This paper discusses the impact on the family of state attempts to both define and protect "the best interests of the child." In particular, it brings to light internal contradictions in child-rights jurisprudence, particularly when the state's power collides with the parent's right to liberty under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights.

This paper discusses recent ideological and legal developments that challenge the a priori right of parents to nurture, maintain and educate their children free from undue interference of the state. It reviews the macro-social, philosophical and legal traditions that underlie Canada's long- standing policy of respecting the autonomous nature of the nuclear family. It examines changes in federal and provincial policies as a result of Canada's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the plan for which is contained in Brighter Futures: Canada's Action Plan for Children.4 It discusses the role that non-governmental organizations (N.G.O.s) currently play in initiating policy changes and how this might be affected by a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision that places parental rights squarely within Section 7 of the Charter of Rights. Deconstructing the Family, Promoting the Child

As Canadian law and policy moves from an implicitly Christian framework to an explicitly secular one, the conceptual roles and legal rights of family members are being redefined. The once implicit right of parents to raise their children free from the undue intervention of the state has become obscured, while the individual rights of children have become a primary focus.

Before the Charter, family autonomy and parental rights enjoyed a quasi-constitutional legitimacy. This was derived primarily from the Canadian Bill of Rights, the preamble of which states:

The Parliament of Canada affirming that the Canadian Nation is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and worth of the human person and the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions.

Affirming also that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for social and spiritual values and the rule of law.

As a constitutional document, the Charter of Rights is now primary in determining human-rights issues and, in practical application, prevails over the Canadian Bill of Rights. The Charter's preamble, now the definitive purpose statement for the protection of human rights in Canada, is much shorter and has deleted references to the family: "Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law."

By deleting express reference to the family, the Charter of Rights removed from plain view the grounds for constitutional protection of parental and family rights. This omission has contributed significantly to the demise of family autonomy and the devaluing of the family in law and legislation.

Although the Charter failed to mention the family, it did specify age as a prohibited ground for discrimination within Section 15(1), a characteristic not mentioned in the anti-discrimination provisions of the Canadian Bill of Rights. Section 15(1) states:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

The inclusion of age as a prohibited ground for discrimination effectively changed the constitutional status of children to one of prima facie equality with adults. Although age-based challenges have proved unlikely to succeed, the fact remains that any legislation that distinguishes children from adults based on age is vulnerable to challenge under Section 15 (1).

Even as the Charter was being developed and implemented in Canada, there was a growing sense elsewhere that the rights of children were being ignored. Initially there was concern than, at the very least, children should be guaranteed protective rights, including the right to proper nutrition, basic medical care, hygiene and literacy, and the right to be protected from child labor, child prostitution, and the atrocities of war. Then, as child-rights theory became more sophisticated, human-rights groups included their concern that there was an 'epidemic' of family violence, including child abuse, in the developed world.5

Child-rights advocates argued that abuse within the family was rooted in and perpetuated by the hierarchical authority structure of the traditional family and by the veil of privacy that discouraged government intervention in family matters. The solution, they believed, was for the state to shift the balance of power in the parent-child relationship through policies that would define and limit the power of the parent while increasing the power of child. This would necessarily include changing the legal status of the child from an integral part of the family unit to an individual rights-possessor, and then conferring on the child explicit decision-making choice rights.

In 1979, the United Nations (U.N.) proclaimed the International Year of the Child, an event that set in motion a ten-year process that culminated in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The final document reflects an attempt to address all of the concerns raised by child-rights groups. As a result, the U.N. Convention confers both protective rights, and choice rights, thereby establishing a presumption that children should be able to act autonomously whenever possible.

The Convention, which Canada ratified in December, 1991, includes the following choice rights:6

Article 13 - the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds...whether orally or in writing, in the form of art...or through any other media of the child's choice.
Article 14 - the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Article 15 - the right to freedom of association.
Article 16 - the right to privacy.
Article 19 - the right to be free from all forms of physical and mental violence.7

The U.N. Convention and the Charter of Rights have become powerful companions for defining the scope of child-rights. Together, these documents function as the reference point for the development of child-rights law in Canada. Both documents emphasize the state's role in protecting the autonomy of the individual against the institutions of society. In functional terms, this has recast the state and its courts as child-advocate against parents.

In a recent article, Iain Benson, Executive Director of the Centre for Cultural Renewal, discusses the theoretical and functional chaos that is being created as our society attempts to separate the technique of the academic disciplines from a shared understanding as to their purpose within the social good.8 Recent developments in child-rights law illustrate the problem Benson describes. The technique, or theory, that defines child rights has expanded and become more sophisticated, while a shared understanding as to the purpose of child rights as components of the social good has become increasingly narrow. This separation of technique and purpose largely explains the present confusion as to the goals of child-rights law reform, not only among academics but among the offices of government and the courts. Having severed the connection between its technique and its purpose, child-rights theory, policy and law are in chaos; our society is trying to define child rights without clear reference to family autonomy or parental rights, and without deference to the best interests of society. This is a no-win situation, analogous to placing children in a speeding vehicle on an unmarked road with no clear destination.
HOW TRUE only CAS could make sence of this. Take your cases to Human Rights, it will be the only way to change things, and sue, case law will be the only thing that will have an effect.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again:

How a child's sad life ended up in a tragic death
The Toronto Star
Sat 25 Mar 2006
Page: F5

This is a Canadian story. It's about a girl's life.

This is how it ends at age 5, Phoenix Victoria Sinclair is confined, sometimes in an animal cage, beaten with a broom handle, shot with a pellet gun, deprived of water and food, and finally killed and buried by a garbage dump.

It takes nine months for anyone to notice she's gone, or at least anyone adult. Police hear of the abuse from a 12-year-old boy with the same father (in the sense that he sired Phoenix). Her mother (in the sense she gave birth) is charged with the murder. So is her live-in mate.

This is how it begins Phoenix is born in Winnipeg in April 2000. For reasons that can be presumed to reflect badly on the infant's care, she is taken into government custody 10 days later. Seven months later she is returned to her mother, Samantha Dawn Kematch, and father Steve Sinclair.

In April 2001, Phoenix's sister Echo is born. She dies three months later, of pneumonia. Kim Edwards, a friend of Sinclair, assumes care of Phoenix. Edwards has her, off and on, for a couple of years, then Phoenix goes to Sinclair's home.

In February 2003, Phoenix is treated at hospital for an infection. Winnipeg Child and Family Services reopens her file. Five months later she's placed in official foster care with Edwards. Shortly after she's taken back because Kematch and Sinclair want her transferred to a new native-run agency.

Native agencies were recommended several years ago by a provincial inquiry into aboriginal justice. The idea is children and families will fare better with "culturally appropriate" care.

Phoenix goes back and forth and forth and back from Edwards's home to Sinclair's to that of Edwards's ex-husband, Rohan Stephanson. One day Kematch takes her from Stephanson's home for an outing. They never return.

It will never be known whether "culturally sensitive" care would have helped Phoenix. Incredibly, sadly, tragically, instead of being transferred, her file is closed by the Winnipeg agency in March 2005. Phoenix is returned to Kematch with no provision for social worker visits or anything that might save her from an unthinkable life.

Three months later, she dies an unthinkable death.

Police say a few weeks ago, "certain information" led them first to Carl Wesley McKay, 43, Kematch's mate, at Fisher River Cree Nation, 220 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Kematch allegedly said Phoenix was still in foster care in Winnipeg. (Local media say she still claims this from jail.) Police say someone tried to pass off another girl as Phoenix.

Police allege Phoenix was killed June 11, 2005. A couple of weeks ago McKay was charged with second-degree murder and Kematch with lesser counts. But March 15 first-degree murder charges were brought against both. Deliberate, premeditated killing is alleged.

Phoenix's body hasn't been found. Searching was slow due to frozen ground and efforts to preserve evidence. Thursday, police said a shallow grave was found and they fear the remains were taken by wild animals.

Monday, Manitoba announced separate reviews by its Children's Advocate and ombudsman, to go along with a probe by the chief medical examiner, and the criminal proceedings.

Family Services Minister Christine Melnick is under attack in the legislature and local media. She comes across as bureaucratic and defensive, and is criticized for not showing remorse or emotion. A 5-year-old is shuffled, neglected, abused and killed, and the minister speaks of "respecting the processes that are in place."

Monday she said, "We want to find out if something went wrong here, what went wrong here and how do we improve." Presumably, "if something went wrong" won't take long to determine.

Racial tensions arose when it was initially reported that the native agency had responsibility. Manitoba Grand Chief Ron Evans objected that people were too willing to assume the tragedy meant the native agencies don't work. Child-care unions have insisted the changes were rushed and suggest other files - other children at risk - might have been lost.

Statistics that might not be relevant to Phoenix's case, but which intuitively point to increased failure, stoke political heat. Manitoba has about 5,500 minors in its care. (Seventy per cent are native.) Nine died in 2005 from homicide (not accidents or suicide). Between 2000 and 2004, 22 were killed; from 1990 to 2000 there were 40.

By all accounts, Kim Edwards looked after Phoenix better than anyone, motivated by little but goodness. She said publicly what many think "How can she be gone this long and no one has known? This is just unbelievable."

Sadly, it isn't.

Murdoch Davis is a writer and editor who has worked in Edmonton, Victoria, Winnipeg and Toronto. He is editor of The Beaver magazine.

Anonymous said...

Is the last poster trying to convince the rest of us that these organizations are incompetent? Yes. You have succeeded.

Ontario is spending $1.5 billion annually. How much is Canada spending to continue this charade of child protection?

The question I ask is why? Don't these NGOs have enough workers, money, power, tracking computers, police support?

Do they allow these tragedies to deliberately happen to justify their existence? A few "valuable" children are expendible for the greater good.

Are they taking the children that do not need to be taken and leaving the ones that they should be taken? Why? Are they afraid to enter certain homes?

The poster addressing the Rights of the Child is right on. Societal turmoil and costs will continue to escalate until these issues are legally resolved.

Canada needs to re-evaluate its signature on the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child.
This is a flawed document because it fosters the abuse of children and parents under the pretext of the "best interests of the child."

Did the original drafters of the Convention intend the present applications? Was it instead meant to protect children from economic and political slavery in the Third World?

It has failed to do this. It has instead enslaved children in the First World for the economic and political benefit of a large social welfare industry.

A previous poster referred to this industry as a five-headed monster, an inverse pyramid of jobs and careers that has an insatiable appetite an ongoing supply of new raw material, our children.

Anonymous said...

Has the Dufferin voca site gown down because it dared to say the truth too bluntly?

Leave the older children and remove the adoptable ones???

The poor cannot be allowed to have too many children???

Anonymous said...

Dufferin VOCA is still there, I don't understand what you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

As to the poster that said leave the older one's and adopt the younger one's BINGO you have it. That is EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR YEARS. In cases where there was domestic they NEVER took the older one's just the babies to be brokered, leaving the mother and older children to rot. Now if it was "child protection" really why just take the baby to broker? The CAS has a long history of a focus on the younger children as they are easier to market to the infertiles, and others who are hunting down other people's children. Not all infertile people are like this, but many are. They are the client folks - they want other people's children, and CAS is quite willing to provide them at any cost to anyone!

Anonymous said...

to the person that said "The poor cannot be allowed to have too many children???" - exactly but the CAS DOES NOT HELP the poor. They help strangers with financial aid, they pay strangers in foster care so that they can pay off their mortgage, buy new things, etc.. under the guise of child protection. They create jobs where people can live off children being in care. Do the children really benefit? No of course not, the caregivers do. And when the ward is 18 they are kicked to the street. The system is a snake's pit of theivery and lies.

Anonymous said...

When a child vociferously demands to be returned to his natural parents, it is a violation of Section 15(1) to ignor his request. This needs to be challenged at a Human Rights level.

Subsection 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in effect since April 1985, provides that:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, AGE or mental or physical disability.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster yes it does. All of this needs to be challenged. The child abduction society does not value children though, and those that wish to return are not heard. The system needs to be dismantled entirely, a full legal inquiry needs to emerge, children need to be returned, and the abuse of power needs to be stopped. For over 100 years the child abduction society has stolen children. That children are literally begging to be returned to their families again should be enough to change the system. The past, the present, and the horror of the child abduction society must be revealed.

Anonymous said...

Only when we take cases to a higher court and Human rights will are children be safe,and familys safe from the on going slaughter being done in the name of child protection.

Then and only then will we have recourse.

Anonymous said...


On January 11, 2005, the Committee on the Rights of the Child considered the third periodic report of Sweden on that country’s efforts to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Introducing the report, Elisabeth Borsiin Bonnier, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the work of her Government to implement the provisions of the Convention within Swedish society had been constantly on-going since the country had ratified the treaty 15 years ago.

Committee Experts raised questions concerning child asylum seekers, the treatment of children with disabilities, acquisition of citizenship, and placement of children in foster families, among other things.

Moushira Khattab, (Egypt), the Committee Expert who also served as country Rapporteur for the report of Sweden, said Swedish children were fortunate to enjoy their rights.

The NCHR finds it surprising that Moushira Khattab, the person who has served as country Rapporteur for the report of Sweden, could say that "Swedish children were fortunate to enjoy their rights". Judging from Ms. Khattab's CV, her working languages are Arabic, English, French and German, it is quite obvious that she is unfamiliar with the tens of thousands of cases where the social services and the administrative court system in Sweden deprive children of their basic Human Rights to private and family life by forcibly taking them into public care and placing them in foster homes among total strangers. These child care cases are completely lacking in fairness, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. It is also quite obvious that Ms Khattab is not acquainted with the judgements in public care cases that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has delivered against Sweden since 1982. It is also quite obvious that Ms Khattab has never visited the NCHR's web site where there is more than sufficient information to prove the serious violations of the basic Human Rights to private and family life of tens of thousands of children and their families.

Anonymous said...

Note that this UN document labels ADD and ADHD as behavioural disorders which I interpret can be prevented with better parenting. It fails to take into account the toxic environment and diet of Greenland. This is more likely responsible for the increaed incidence of the disorder there and everywhere else.

UN advises ADHD misdiagnosed and drugs over-prescribed

30 September 2005
Original: English


Fortieth session


Mental health services

1. While acknowledging the measures taken to strengthen the mental health care services, the Committee is concerned at the remaining challenges such as the fact that a considerable number of children and young people are placed in adult psychiatric centers. The Committee is deeply concerned at the high rate of suicide in Greenland, particularly among adolescents.

2.The Committee encourages the State party to continue and strengthen the development of mental health care so as to ensure that adequate treatment/care are provided to all children and young people in order to avoid their placement in adult psychiatric centers. It further recommends that the State party strengthen its measure to prevent suicide among adolescent, particularly in Greenland.

3.The Committee is concerned at the information that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) are being misdiagnosed and therefore psycho-stimulant drugs are being over-prescribed, despite the growing evidence of the harmful effects of these drugs.

4.The Committee recommends that further research be undertaken on the diagnosis and the treatment of ADHD and ADD, including possible negative effects of psychological well-being of children, and that other forms of management and treatment are used as much as possible to address these behavioral disorder.$FILE/CRC_C_15_Add273(unedited-eng).doc

Anonymous said...

In Sweden the Ombudsman is responsible only for oversee the implementation of the CRC, not protecting the individual rights of children and families.


Independence of the Children’s Ombudsman:
In the short run, the fact that the Children’s Ombudsman does not have the possibility to pursue individual investigations allows the Ombudsman to concentrate on working on a general level with the aim of promoting the effective implementation of the CRC at the national, regional and local levels. In the long run, however, the Children’s Ombudsman believes that there will be a problem of legitimacy if the Ombudsman will not be able to pursue individual investigations concerning children’s rights, as there is no complaints mechanism in Sweden that is especially designed for children. The fact that childhood is not a “discrimination ground” does not need to be an obstacle. For instance, the Consumer Ombudsman investigates individual cases, although being a consumer is not considered a “discrimination ground”.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider you wonder what has made Sweden change its attitude and decide to probe its dark eugenics history. As a Swedish lawyer, I can only say that the truth has to come out at some point in time. It started with the Eugenics debate from the 1990s and it is at present at a new peak level because of the claims made by at least one hundred thousand Swedes of physical abuse and cruel treatment in state children's homes for decades from the 1950s.

The government has promised an official inquiry into claims for the period 1940 - 1980, but in my capacity as a lawyer and president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights I know that similar abuses of the state "cared" children occur in the foster homes and institutions. The NCHR has therefore suggested that the government should extend the inquiry to 2005-2006 to include the conditions for today's foster children.

The Reuters article states "Sweden is now known for its strong social welfare system and outspoken advocacy for human rights, but in the past it has experimented with social engineering."

1 - The image that the government and its representatives have tried to portray around the world is that Sweden is liberal and tolerant and democratic. That is a fallacy. As to its "strong social welfare system" the fact is that during the 1970s and 80s Sweden accumulated cumbersome debts and extorted taxes from the population in order to finance the social welfare system. The high-tax society had to clean up before entering the European Union in 1995 and since then Sweden no longer has a strong social welfare system. In fact the majority of the municipalities in Sweden have budget deficits caused by the social sector - specifically because of the unnecessary taking of children into care and placing them in foster homes.

2 - Also, Sweden's representatives love to preach human rights. They externalize their devotion to human rights while violations of basic human rights occur on a daily basis in Sweden. In the 1980s and 90s the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) found Sweden guilty of violations of Human rights, but unfortunately, there has been a shift towards eastern Europe. Be informed that Sweden is the country with the greatest amount of complaints of human rights violations in relation to its population. Hundreds of complaints against the Swedish administration are sent to the ECHR every year but they are declared inadmissible mostly because the Court has a backlog of several thousand complaints. There are 44 countries under the jurisdiction of the ECHR and these countries have a total of 800 million people. In 2002 the ECHR estimated the amount of complaints to 34 000 to 35 000 and 2012 it is feared that the numbers will be about 200 000 per year. That makes countries like Sweden get off scotch-free when they violate human rights.

3 - Sweden is still experimenting with social engineering even though the law permitting forcible sterilizations was abolished in 1976. In stead, Parliament passed the Law of the Social Services and the Law with special provisions for the care of young people in 1980. They could no longer sterilize the "unsuitable" mothers, so they opened the way to remove the children and place them in foster care - a practice that has always existed in Sweden and expanded with the development of the welfare state. Hence the awful disclosures of the gross abuses towards children in the state institutions that was aired on November 27, 2005. The documentary hit a raw nerve even though the NCHR has been actively informing those who have been willing to listen about how children even today are being abused in foster homes and state institutions.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, LLM, Attorney at law, President of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights - NCHR/NKMR
December 21, 2005

Anonymous said...


On Sunday 27 November 2005 Swedish state television (SvT2) showed the documentary "Stolen Childhood" in which it was reported that about 100 000 Swedes have at some point in their lives lived in children's homes. Many of those people's lives today are still affected by their childhood experiences.

The TV-documentary has now resulted in the Swedish government promising an official inquiry into the serious allegations made against the child-care institutions.

"The State must make an unconditional apology to those former children's home children" said Social Services Minister Morgan Johansson.

The NCHR is pleased that the Swedish government is to launch an investigation into the conditions for the former children's home children, but as usual, Sweden is a late starter.

Other countries have already started investigating and coming to terms with the despicable conditions to which children taken into state care have been subjected. Australia seems to have been the first country to investigate the conditions under which children - Aboriginee children - who had been forcibly removed from their parents, lived. The investigations started in December 1995 and the report Bringing them home: The 'Stolen Children' report presented in 1996 - 1997 made echoes around the world. The United Nations called the system Genocide. The Australian government has failed to apologise to the victims of the past policies.

In England and Wales, the Waterhouse Commission (1996 - 1998) set up by former Tory leader, William Hague, presented its report, The Waterhouse Report, in 2000.

In 2001, former children's home children in Bergen, Norway demanded redress and compensation for the abuses that they had suffered while they were in state care. This gave rise to a land-wide investigation led by the Befring-Committee that found that there was systemic abuse in the foster homes and institutions. The victims have sued the Norwegian state for their demands and so far the government has made settlements with a few but the case is still pending.

In Ireland the government has set aside billions in order to give compensation to former children's home children. There have been several investigations made about what took place when the Catholic Church systematically exposed children to abuse. There is an enormous amount of reports and investigations and everyone who has been in certain institutions are eligible for damages. The sums vary between GB £ 3 600 and £ 214 000. On an average payments of GB £42 800 each have been made after application to the "Redress board" which ceases to exist after December 31, 2005. Survivors and their spouses and children are also granted economic support for education and leisure activities through the state agency NOVA.


The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has - on numerous occasions - found Sweden guilty of violating children's and their families' Human rights to private and family life. The first case was Olsson v. Sweden, 1982, which was a decisive victory for attorney-at-law and former medical practitioner, Mrs. Siv Westerberg, who has subsequently won several child care cases against Sweden in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Despite all those verdicts against Sweden we are experiencing a galloping number of cases where children are being unnecessarily taken from their parents and placed in public care.

The NCHR (Nordic Committee for Human Rights, For the Protection of Family Rights in the Nordic countries) was co-founded in 1996 by Mrs Siv Westerberg, in a desperate attempt to prevent a proliferation of cases like those presented in Stolen Childhood and the modern child care cases. See for eg The Edner Case and The Helena Lufuma Case.

In August 1998 Attorney-at-law Lennart Hane, a fierce opponent of the Swedish system, wrote a letter to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Social Affairs demanding compensation to the victims of the social services. In November 1998, Siv Westerberg and I, Ruby Harrold-Claesson, had a meeting with the legal secretaries at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, in order to bring focus on the fact that not only the visiting rights issues but also the separation of children from their parents should be treated as violations of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

At this point the NCHR would like to remind our readers about the eugenics debate that raged in the 1990s concerning the ca 60,000 women who were forcibly sterilised between 1936 - 1976, after being deemed unfit for motherhood because they were handicapped, according to the then modern medical and social expertise. After the sterilisation law was abrogated in the middle of the 1970's Parliament passed new laws for the social services and the forcible taking of children into public care. They couldn't stop the adults from having children, they took the children and placed them in "suitable" foster homes. The new-swedish term "family home" was brought into existence.

Once again, the NCHR is pleased that the Swedish government is to launch an investigation into the conditions for the former children's home children, but it is of utmost urgency that the government should investigate the conditions of the tens of thousands of children and young people who are living in foster homes today.

14 year old Daniel Sigström died in his foster home in Härnosand on April 24, 1992. Since then several other children have died in their foster homes. The Sigström case was investigated by the Ombudsman of Justice but despite the fact that there were over 100 serious miscarriages of justice, the Ombudsman did not prosecute any of the civil servants involved. Also, several parents, for eg The Götene Case have had to take their children and flee from Sweden to protect their families from being destroyed by the social workers and the administrative courts.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, attorney-at-law

President of the NCHR
December 11, 2005

Anonymous said...

This article shows that Canada is not alone in dealing with child abduction in the name of producing a better society....EUGENICS,



Last Saturday the Daily Mail told the horrific story of a family whose children were confiscated by social services because their loving parents were "too slow". The outcry it sparked has been astonishing - and reveals the true scale of this scandal....

They are a hidden population, 250,000 strong but without a proper voice or control over their futures.
Shockingly, they are 50 times more likely than their neighbours to have their children taken into care and run a "significantly" higher risk of losing those children permanently.

Their crime is to be "slow" intellectually, to have a low IQ or to be labelled as having a learning

Last Saturday, the Daily Mail revealed the scandalous case of a young couple whose family has been
destroyed because their IQ's did not satisfy Essex County Council.

Their two children, a girl of four and a one-year old boy were taken into care after social workers
judged that the mother did not have regular routines for her son and daughter, and that she left the girl
to play alone, could not cook simple meals and took too long brushing her teeth. The father was
bizarrely, said to have too many routines.

The parents had not hurt their children or let them go hungry. There was no sign of abuse or cruelty
and, sitting in secret, a family court judge told the couple they had done nothing wrong, but still ordered that the children be put up for adoption to give them "a better life".

The view of the social services and the court was that the couple could not meet their children's basic
needs. The father said "They said our little girl wouldn't reach her full potential if she stayed with us".

The mother, who has an IQ of 60 but can read and write, added: "The social workers think I am stupid
- but I am not. They have told us that the children are having a new forever mum and dad and that our
little girl doesn't like us any more. It really upsets me".

The outcry following this story has been astonishing. Experts, politicians, campaigners and parents have written, telephoned and e-mailed to express their outrage at what some believe is a sinister experiment in "social engineering".

And I have discovered the distressing fact that this is not an isolated case. This couple are by no means alone.

In fact, according to new research by an eminent expert, and astonishing 20 per cent of all local
authority care proceedings in this country involve parents with learning disabilities.

They are, according to Professor Tim Booth, a "disproportionate number" who are likely to have their
competence as parents judged against stricter criteria or harsher standards than other parents' and are disadvantaged in the child protection and court process by rules of evidence and procedure, their own limitations and inadequacies in services".

He is writing about people like the original couple, who are desperately exploring every legal avenue to challenge the court order that put their son and daughter up for adoption. The father says: "We have
got our MP is so hard for the children's mother to believe that she won't ever see them
again. This cannot be right".

And people like another Essex couple who have lost one of their three children to social services. The
father has a full time, responsible job. The mother has a mild learning disability and cannot read and
write but is devoted to her three sons, aged ten, four and two.

Their first child has a problem with controlling his bowels and at the age of eight, despite being
diagnosed by a specialist in London as having a medical condition. Essex Social Services called in a
psychologist and started legal proceedings to have him taken away from his parents.

The father, who to protect his son cannot be named says: "We were blamed for a medical condition. A consultant in London said it was a condition our son would grow out of , but social services said it was us. They said we were bad parents because we gave in to the children and don't keep boundaries.

"They blamed my wife's learning disability for her not having routines. But we are not bad parents. My
wife can't read or write, but she is a lovely mother. You should see her with our boys. This is a happy
home and we will do everything we can to get back our oldest son.

"We have been told he must remain in foster care until he is 18 and we can only see him once a fortnight for four hours".

Astonishingly, despite taking the first child away, Essex Social Services have neither removed the two
younger boys nor put them on an at-risk register.

"Social services have been involved throughout my wife's life because of her learning disability", the
father says, pacing up and down his small living room. "And when she had our first child, she had
postnatal depression and they always seemed to be here, picking holes in what we were doing.

"Our boy was a little bit behind at school and the psychologist's report said he would do better if he was taken away from the home environment. The solicitor told us we should co-operate with the social
services and they would ease our son back into our home. But we have found out they have no such
plans. Poor chap, he wants to be home with his mum and dad".

The couple, who live in a council house filled with toys and baby equipment, went with their son when
he was taken to his new home with foster parents. The father recalls: "We had to leave him there. He
was only eight and was crying for his mum,, holding onto her leg. Social services don't know the
damage they are doing ripping kids away from their parents.

"The reason given for taking him away was unintentional neglect. They are blaming my wife's learning
disability for hindering our son's development. They said he was too dependent on his mum, too

"What we do not understand is that we are the same parents for the other two boys and they are not
being taken away. It doesn't make sense.

But there is a pattern to these cases. In both, the mothers have learning disabilities and social workers concentrated their criticism on their "lack of routines". The first mother claims she was "set up to fail" by ten professionals involved in her assessment.

The second mother says: "They kept watching and picking little holes in what I did. I still give my
littlest one a bottle sometimes and they say he is too old and must drink out of a cup. My friends don't
have someone telling them how to do everything and when to do it. I love my children and I take care
of them".

And in both cases, the fathers were accused of being aggressive and told to go on an anger management course. The first father was then told by his course tutor when he arrived that he didn't have a problem.

The second father has not yet got a date for his course and rolls his eyes at the thought: "Of course I am angry. They are taking my child away and destroying my family. I don't need to classes. I need my son back".

The second couple are starting a legal battle to discharge the care order and get their son home but,
according to Professor Tim Booth, the odds are stacked against them.

The recently retired academic, who held the chair in Sociological Studies at Sheffield University has just completed a two-year investigation into the treatment of parents with learning disabilities when they become embroiled in care proceedings. His findings are a damning indictment of the system.

In his report, Professor Booth raises the spectre of widespread discrimination against parents with
learning disabilities by social services and the family court system. He and his co-author, Wendy Booth looked at a total of 437 care proceedings in Sheffield and Leeds and the figures tell their own story:

Fifteen per cent of all local authority care applications involve a parent with learning difficulties.

Another five percent of applications involve a parent with with borderline learning difficulties.

Parents with learning difficulties and their children feature in care applications up to 50 times more
often than would be expected from their numbers in the population.

75 per cent of children with parents with learning difficulties were taken away from the family.

Two in every five of those children were put up for adoption.

The children of parents with learning difficulties were significantly more likely to be the subjects of
such adoption orders than children of other parents.

But, of course, the human cost behind these statistics is vast. Professor Booth says "A whirlpool of
distress lies hidden in these figures.

The reality beneath is of mothers, especially, battling agsinst the odds to create a family home, with little but their own impoverished childhood to fall back on by way of example, eventually coming under the surveillance of social workers who are more concerned with policing than supporting their parenting.

"The families end up ensnared in an inquiry, operated by rules and standards beyond their understanding, which finally leads to legal proceedings and the loss of a cherished child. Then, they may have another baby, to establish the ordinary family life they crave and hoping to shut the door on the professionals they no longer trust". But then the interference starts again.

And he gives a powerful insight into the long-term effects of enforced adoption from interviews with
affected parents. "For these parents the hurt has not eased nor will their grief abate. However long ago it was since their case was heard, the impact of the proceedings continued to ripple through their lives.

"A quarter of the parents we talked to voluntary mentioned that they had been, or were going to be,
sterilised as a result of having been through care proceedings. There may have been others. It is not
possible to tell how far these decisions were taken on health grounds, under the pressure of professional "advice" or from a consuming desire to avoid having to face the same trauma of loss with yet another child.

He is scathing about the lack of expertise among social workers, who make such fundamental
judgements. "The possibility cannot easily be dismissed that some social workers bring their attitudes to the job: that the "professional knows best", itself a product of the kind of people attracted into child protection work" - and about government policy which insists the number of adoptions should be increased and the process speeded up.

Arrangements for quicker adoption were introduced in the Adoption and Children Act 2002 in order to
get more children out of council care and into families.

However, according to members of the legal professional who were interviewed anonymously for the
report, the policy may be encouraging some local authorities to put children up for adoption rather than spend money on supporting parents with learning disabilities.

One solicitor says "Removing the child from the parent and placing them with someone who they can
just leave them to get on with rather than offering that support is the easier option - so it is
discriminatory in a sense".

Ominously. a judge admitted: "You know it's terribly easy to go along with the local authority I mean,
it's the easiest way through to go for adoption. It feels safe". Another judge said simply: "It depends
how people look at someone with learning difficulties: it's something from which you don't recover".

All of which makes alarming reading for parents caught in the care process and the campaigners who are fighting for their rights.

David Congdon, Men cap's Director of External Relations said: "This is most disconcerting. Cases like this show what a difficult situation parents with learning difficulties are placed in. Forty to sixty per cent of parents with a learning disability get their children taken away while the evidence is that with a little bit of support, many are quite capable of looking after their children.

"It is hard to believe that all of these parents were not able to bring up their children. Taking children
away should be the exception - not the norm. The assumption appears to be that these people can't be parents, which is wrong".

It is a view echoed by the Commissioner for Disability Rights, Phillippa Russell, who urges local
authorities to put more support systems in place. She says; "This is a very complicated area, but there are far more people with learning disabilities living in the community now, having ordinary relationships and having children.

"We don't want a situation where people with learning disabilities are assumed not to be able to be
parents. That would be social engineering gone mad. These people need non-intrusive, appropriate

Meanwhile, the Government is being urged to to end the secrecy of family courts which sit without a
jury or public scrutiny in order to protect the confidentiality of the children. Anyone who tries to raise
issues in the public interest risks an injunction and imprisonment. The result is that miscarriages of
justice go unnoticed and unchallenged. The Constitutional Affairs select committee recommended
earlier this year that courts should be more open and publicly accountable, but the Government has yet to act.

Sarah Harman, a leading children's rights solicitor and sister of Harriet Harman, the newly appointed
Minister of State in the Department of Constitutional Affairs, has written to Beverley Hughes, the new
Children's Minister, demanding more transparency in care proceedings.

She says: "I am currently involved in a case where parents have children living at home and another
child placed in care. The bread winner parent has suffered serious depression and anxiety as a result of one of his children being placed away from home and has been less and less able to do his job".

As a result, his employers are taking disciplinary proceedings against him, yet he is forbidden by the
secret court from discussing the reason for his troubles. Yet again, the system seems to be riding
roughshod over some of the most vulnerable in society.

As Professor Booth sums it up: "The parents stories have a kind of inevitable momentum about them,
driven less by what was happening in their lives than by the dynamics of the process in which they had
become entrapped. It is this that accounts for the apparent gulf between the general ordinariness of the family's troubles and the pathos of the final outcome".

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Essex Social Services said: "We are aware of no occasion where a court in Essex has ever placed a child in the care of the County Council simply because one or both parents have learning difficulties.

"Ninety-nine per cent of children and young people referred to Essex County Council's Children's
Service remain with their families and we assess the needs of each and every child on the at-risk register before deciding the best possible support for that child".


It is a world of terrifying shadows, which thank God most of us will never know: a world of
all-powerful officials, secret courts, stolen children and ruined lives: a world where love has no place
and the vulnerable have no voice.

Today on page 22 [SATURDAY, 14TH MAY 2005] we reveal the profoundly disturbing details of how decent people can be caught up in a nightmare they don't understand, how happy, cared for children can be torn from their mothers and given to strangers and how a remorseless administrative machine insists it's all for the best.

No, this isn't a story from the dark days of Soviet dictatorship. This is happening in civilised liberal
Britain, where parents have no rights at all if they don't measure up to the standards of intelligence
deemed appropriate by social workers.

And it doesn't matter if your children are loved, well-nourished and properly clothed. It doesn't matter if
they are content and cared for in a stable, hard working environment.

They are still liable to be snatched from you and put into the cold "care" of the local council if you happen to have learning difficulties or a lower IQ, whatever your other qualities.

Somehow, without any publicity or popular consent, the social work establishment has set itself up as
the supreme arbiter of good parenthood. And the consequences are devastating.

Take the positively Kafkaesque case we reported last Saturday involving a couple who are utterly
distraught at the way their very young daughter and her baby brother were confiscated and sent for
adoption. The reason? Social workers in Essex claim the couple are "too slow" to be parents.

But this was a happy, secure family. The children were loved and kept clean, well dressed and well-fed. Moreover, their father has held down a job in the same company for 22 years.

None of that seemed to matter to the thought police of Essex. They were worried that the mother had a low IQ. And having sent an army of social workers into the family home, they solemnly concluded that she took too long to brush her teeth and had difficulty in preparing meals (though the children's father did much of the cooking). To cap it all, this outrage was originally shrouded in shameful secrecy.

The Family Court, which heard the case. doesn't sit in public. And a bullying Essex County Council threatened an injunction against a brave local councillor who dared to raise questions.

Fortunately, Barry Aspinell refused to be cowed into silence, which is why this appalling case is now in
the public domain. But as our report today reveals, the scandal isn't confined to Essex.

All over the country, families are being cruelly torn apart not for the welfare of children, but because
social workers are following a politically correct,bureaucratically convenient agenda.

After all, isn't it cheaper and simpler to put children up for adoption than to spend money supporting
parents with learning difficulties? And anyway, doesn't the social work establishment tend to think the
state always knows best?

The aching sadness in all this is that while loving families are being crushed, cases of genuine child abuse too often go unnoticed or ignored until it is too late. Can anyone forget the deaths of Maria Colwell, Jasmine Beckford, little Victoria Climbie and so many others betrayed by social workers? The best way to protect children is through the love and security of two parents and a stable home.

And that doesn't take brains. It takes care and commitment and responsibility. That is the lesson of human experience.

How tragic that officialdom seems incapable of grasping it.

Anonymous said...

I don't who these sad people are - or why they do the cruel things they do - but I know one thing, one day when THEY hear a knock on their door it will be fate coming for REVENGE. L.Bevan

Anonymous said...

ADHD is one of many fabricated disorders that put a negative spin on perfectly normal behaviour - the better to treat them with professional "services" and drugs. The criteria for identifying such disorders is completely ludicrous to any thinking person. Moreover, conditions in which children are subjected to (such as school) are seldom if ever probed for their expectation that children become automons. Where is the ADHD factor in children playing sports or pursuing a range of activities - some which require considerable attention - which interest them? If you said non-existant, you are right. Psychologists have labelled virtually normal human reaction to unnatural environments as a disorder - social engineering at its best. This plays right into the hands of CAS agencies who have no more idea of the best interests of the child than they do of quantum physics. If they did, rejecting junk science would be at the very top of their list.

Anonymous said...

I recently went to a symposium on the use of these drugs for ADHD. The speaker was sponsored by a drug company and the audience consisted of family physicians, educators, social workers, pyschology personnel and the CAS. I was the odd fellow in this group.

This "magic" pill suddenly makes the child more docile and able to integrate into a class of 30 children.

I got quite a few stares when at the end of the talk I raised my hand and said that I had already signed the Church of Scientology petition and that I thought that these drugs are being overused. Instead of accommodating the children's learning style, they were chosing to drug the children.

The speaker was quite flustered by my comments.

By the way the talk was at a exclusive private club and I had rack of lamb, of course at the expense of the drug company which was simply selling its wares.

You see it is all about money and making us choose their product.

Anonymous said...

This article, published in the Washington Inquirer, was excerpted from Eric Brodin's address given to the Eagle Forum's Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., on September 21, 1985. The article is published here with the gracious permission of Mrs Phyllis Schlafly, lawyer, leader of the Eagle Forum - Pro-Family Movement since 1972.

Some years ago a British journalist returned from Sweden saying: - I have seen the Future and it doesn't work. Despite many evidences of the truth of that o b s e r v a t i o n many Americans - especially those in sociology and related disciplines - help maintain belief in the myth that Sweden's Welfare State is still a model for us and others to emulate.

The family has become the target because it is the solidifying and most effective element for perpetuating those traditional values that often are the only defence posts against the totalitarianizition of our society.

"Legislation," as one government directive puts it, "is one of the most important instruments available to the state to anticipate the desires of the people or to turn the development into new channels.

In Sweden they have included a veritable barrage of legislation in which internal relations within the family and the role of the family within the society and vis-à-vis the government has undergone a radical change. Some of these plans are the following:

(1) Subject the child to compulsory educational programs in sex education, socialisation, and religion which are consciously and with ideological bias intended to counteract the child's values derived from parents within the family.

(2) Deny the parent the right to insight into or control over curricula and textbooks (which may not be brought home). This is particularly true for material which has proved to be effective in values clarification or similar experiments where secular humanism is a raison d'être.

(3) Deny the parent the right to exercise a choice over the education or the schooling of the child by forbidding private or denominationally run schools, this despite Sweden's being signatory to a UN Declaration which provides the parents with the right to alone determine which schooling best fulfils the ethical and religious requirement the parents wish for their children.

(4) Provide a curricula which intentionally ridicules or attempts to change traditional masculine/feminine, boy-girl gender roles by forcing boys to take sewing and girls to take metalcraft.

(5) Pass taxation legislation which penalizes the woman who wishes to stay home and care for children. Deny her tax deduction for child care; deny combined tax filing. Sweden bas already removed deductions for children at home.

(6) Encourage the woman to leave the home although minors may be there by incessant propaganda on state-controlled radio and TV against " parasitic mothers. " In the interest of equality in the labor market, give cash bonuses to employers who give traditional female jobs to men and mate jobs to women.

(7) Provide collective care for children between ages of six months to seven years, thus providing an opportunity for the state to assume the parental role and provide a neutral and ethically normless environment.

(8) Radicalize sexual instruction, making it available to increasingly younger age groups. Avoid moralizing, as it preserves prejudices and adheres to impossible prohibitions. Teaching the proper use of contraceptives and methods of sexual acts should be encouraged.

(9) The right of the "woman" to the "fruit of her body,"- even if it is a 14-ycarold girl, should be maintained even if it means that a school nurse's decision in abortion can be performed without the knowledge of the parents or prospective father.

10) The state is the natural protector of the children's best interests. It has the right to determine social or ethical suitability of real parents to keep the children. It can deprive parents of Their children without a court case or warrant. It can grant a "divorce" by a 16-ycar-old girl from her family, for example.

(11) Legislation regarding marriage, divorce, and child custody shall be changed to take into, consideration shifting moral values. If a divorce is declared due to the adultery of one partner, this must, under no circumstances, have any effect on the courts' determination of who shall have primary right to the children.

(12) In the case of a father's (or mother's) failure to provide the cost of the child's care, this shall be assumed by the state.

(13) In Sweden the state now arrogates to itself the power to be the primary protector of the child. It can determine whether a single, mild form of corporal punishment, verbal chastisement or temporary restriction of the child's activities, constitutes an infringement of the law, by which the parent becomes subject to a jail sentence.

The case of Sweden then should serve us as a warning: it is a model more to be avoided than emulated. Its function must best be to indicate for us where we in America could be ten, twenty years or less from now unless we learn from Sweden's "Future that does not work."

Anonymous said...

78 children died under suspicious circumstances in the care of the Ontario Children's Aid Societies. Isn't anyone horrified? The Globe did a story on the 9 in Mannitoba. Where is the Ontario outcry? How many sexual assaults and beatings? How many deaths through sheer negligence? I want to know those figures. Does any one have them? Can Mary Ann Chambers tell us?

I am waiting for her to get her ass kicked!

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt the Minister is aware of the children that have dies in care, I have even called the office about it, there remarks " we don't keep stats, some of the children perhaps died of natural causes, and pre exciting medical conditions. WE DON'T KEEP TRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
in other words, who give a %^$^$
A child commits suicide is this included, a child freezes to death, because there are sleeping on the streets!! is this included, does the agency tell the public when asking for donations, about the amount of money the receive a day, and yet have no place to house many crown wards, so they try and survive the homeless shelters, and sleep under bridges.
The per exciting children, are those children in care because there moms have been accused of the factious disorder MSBP and the separation test failed.

One such child was a three year old boy, he was in care because mom was a crown ward, and there for suffered depression because of the loving treatment she received in care. DID it SAVE ANY CHILDREN, no IF ANYTHING


Anonymous said...

Thanks to the brave doctor, I am asuming of course, but understand the rack of lamb dinners in private clubs put on by the drug reps, as part of the sales pitch. Did you note any fidgiting among the crowd during dinner ? perhaps some one might of subjested a new scrip for that as well. ADHD ADD, please, pychologist are a very strang breed, like social workers that dont have the brains to take the mickey mouse courses, but follow the ling likes its peer reviewed science. Its NOT, and putting children on dangerous drugs to inable over tacked schools to shove down a cricullium that will neither help or inprove anything, is garbage. Yet resit and CAS will be banging down your door, with the ligsaltion allowing this to continue.
Crininal indeed.
But then again anyone with an IQ over 110 is a threat to this angency.
and dare I saw most politicans.
The UN rights of the child, was meant to help children in war torn countrys. starving, the AIDS emidemic. ( that is you read Salk)polio, vaccine he was not a happy man, be may have left the world with something far worse then the polio emidemic, AIDS. to quote
"It is difficult to belive that the out break of HIV infection in Africa at the same time and location as this mass polio vaccine trial is coincidence,"
So was is big pharma doing to save the children being left with out parents, in Africa,that did not have the foresight NOT to use grow vaccine culture in monekeys?? Did they idots not understand the dangers of simian virus, even Merck refused to participate.
Did the live polio vaccine give introduce HIV to the human population that has literally wipe out millons, and millons, I belive so , I also belive that they are now in no way helping the poor children the UN Convetion of the child was writen to protect ( and I agree severly flawed document, and being abused all over the deloped world)
we now send the regeted thimerisol vaccines to the poor children. And guess what? they are seeing the frist cases of Autisum.

how and why is this conected,
Big Pharma is one of the largest corpertions, it feed off making illness and diease. much of it caused by the vaccines, they make a killing off in the name of protecting childrens health, that schools and others try and force parents to inject into babys bodys.
And dear god if that child is one of the unluckey ones, and is vaccine injured, oh well, CALL CAS when the parents ask for help. Treat the injury with more and more drugs.
People need to understand that just because a drug or vaccine is on the market does not in any way mean its safe, for the masses. People are not the same. ADHD meds will now contain some of the strogest warnings of any drugs, and its way over due.

Then you get to the medical system and its been going on for many years, cant find the cause of SIDS parents did it, 2 casues and its a done deal,( forgot genetics)
The anyoying mom with the bulls to question a docotr and have an opnion and the cause of a childs illness ( after all mothers do spend much more time with the child then a docotrs alotted 15 mins or less) and CALL CAS mom has MSBP or is in some way unfit. Truth is she may be to well read, and its a threat to the docotr.
We hear it over and over again.
Are they targeting the poor, of course, new forever familys will no doubt not be on any kind of social sevices, but that in itself is discrimntaion, and I cant wait for the infertial couple on welfare to try and adopt. Is an adoption with out risk, hell no, people are still prone to the same kinds of life stresses no matter how afluent. perhaps even more so.

No one is immune from menatl illness, a tragic car assident, and what happens when the money runs out, and mom cant shop at Holts, dad goes nuts, and there is a family breakdown, do we then go on to find the child another forever family.
Leave children with there natural familys is the only moral and ehtical thing to do. And stop wasting money on the rest of this shit. Put sevices in place to support parents, and young children and in cases of real abuse let the police take charge.
Or just change there names from say Red Cross, to what is it now the national blood something or another, but its all the same. Hep C. changed nothing, and they waited till many died, a governemnt to be proub of indeed.

So the next time your out having a dinner at the expenise of the drug companys, please raise two hands, I second your opnions.
Stop abusing children in the name of what ills society and addressing the issues that YES will cost, but be benifical for the future generations as well. Now wont that be something.

Anonymous said...

In Southern Italy there is an epidemic of Hepatitis C induced liver disease. the Hepatitis C was transmitted in the population with repeated use of inadequately sterilized glass syringes to administer the Salk vaccine. I wonder if the same thing did not happen in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Toronto Report Card on Children *
* *

SECTION 3: Determinants and outcomes


Free of violence, abuse, neglect

14. Child protection caseloads
Children's Aid Societies (CASs) in Ontario are not-for-profit, incorporated private agencies governed by a volunteer board of directors and funded by the Province. A primary mandate of CASs is to protect children from harm and to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect.
April 2002 - March 2003
Children served in the community/homes
Children served in CAS care
Children served total

The data is compiled from the three Children's Aid Societies that currently serve Toronto. The Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) accounts for about 57% of Toronto's child welfare cases; the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) serves about 40% of the families involved with child welfare; Jewish Family & Child Service (JFCS) provides service to around 2% of the cases. As of Spring 2004, Native Child and Family Services (NCFS) is set to formally receive its child welfare mandate, and estimates are it will serve about 1-2% of the Toronto child protection cases.

Over the past decade, the child welfare sector has continued to experience significant changes. The number of children (children aged 0-16) and families served by the Toronto child welfare services continues to rise. In 1998, 28,070 children were served in their community/home by the Toronto CASs. By 2003, that figure has almost doubled, to 51,661 (see the following table). While the number of children served by child protection services in their homes increases, the number of children admitted to care has remained relatively stable over time and has actually decreased over the last three years. This reflects CASs primary service philosophy: to ensure that the safety of the child is paramount, while improving the home situation and strengthening families wherever possible.
Child protection workload: Toronto

April 2000 - March 2001

April 2001 - March 2002

April 2002 - March 2003

% Increase
Children served in the community/home




Children served in CAS care




Children served total





Key issues
The rise in the number of children and families served by child welfare is due, in part, to recent amendments to the child welfare legislation, the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA). More specifically, neglect and emotional abuse definitions were expanded. For example, the legislation stipulates that situations where children are exposed to or witness domestic violence/adult conflict are now to be investigated. The mushrooming of investigations of adult conflict investigations is evident in the review of numbers over time: in 2000/01 the number of investigations of these cases was 3,961; by 2002/03 the number had surged to 17,059 – nearly a five-fold increase.

An additional factor that has affected the rise in child welfare referrals is the Child Welfare Reform that commenced in 1997. Even prior to the change in legislation, there was an emphasis on community agencies and the public of their legal requirement to report allegations of suspected as well as known maltreatment of children by their parents or caregivers. That said, other key factors have also contributed to the rise in child welfare investigations. The cumulative cuts to education ($350 million over five years) and the children's mental health sectors, along with the impact of the revamping of the social assistance program (Ontario Works), the lack of affordable housing and removal of rent controls in Toronto have all had adverse effects on children and challenged the family's ability to care for them.

For example, Hulchanski's and colleagues' (2001) study found the lack of appropriate housing accounted for one out of five children entering CAST care. "A more recent study at the London CAS compared risks to children and increasing family cases from 1995 to 2001. The findings indicate more children are in need of child welfare services due to increasing risks and more stressed parents, not simply due to policy changes." Leschied and colleagues, 2003.

While the next table shows the overall number of children entering care has decreased in the last three years, the actual number of children staying in care has increased. This trend is mirrored across Ontario (Trocme et al., 2002). Children, when they do enter care, are averaging a longer time in care because their family problems are exacerbated by extenuating issues, such as housing and finance problems, coupled with the children presenting with more complicated and difficult challenges. For example, the number of children who are Crown wards (the Province is their permanent legal guardian) has risen substantially, and they now make up almost half the children in care. Of these children, nearly half require a modified or special school program.
Children in care



April 2000 - March 2001

April 2001 - March 2002

April 2002 - March 2003

% Increase 1998-2006
Admissions/re-admissions to care
1,879 1,985



Discharge from care
1,632 1,841




There are four broad, major categories of child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. The breakdown for investigations for 2002/03 is: physical abuse (30%); sexual abuse (6%); emotional abuse (18%) and neglect (46%). In Toronto, almost one-third of all child abuse investigations involve an alleged physical abuse of a child, and nearly half of all investigations are classified as neglect because of inadequate supervision, medical neglect or permitting maladaptive or criminal behaviour.

One ramification of the increased emphasis by the provincial government on providing expanded child protection services is that it has limited CASs ability to provide outreach and prevention services. Current focus by the Toronto CASs is to continue to develop collaborative community partnerships in key areas: cultural diversity, domestic violence and service to at-risk populations, such as children under six and high-risk youth. 2004 initiatives include developing provincial outcome measures.

Crimes against children
Children under the age of 12 accounted for 5.2% of all victims of offences reported to Toronto police in 2002. This represents 909 boys and 944 girls.

* The number of children who are victims of crime and their overall proportion of all victims has changed only slightly over the past five years (from 1,951 persons in 1997 to 1,853 persons in 2002). In addition, the proportion of offences by type has remained relatively stable over the same period.
* More than half (56%) of the offences against children were non-sexual assaults. In 2002, there were 685 cases of non-sexual assault against boys and 352 against girls. Non-sexual assaults accounted for 75% of offences against boys and 37% of those against girls.
* Sexual assault, meanwhile, accounted for 22% of all offences against children. In 2002, Toronto police reported 318 cases of sexual assault against girls and 97 against boys. Sexual assault accounted for 33% of offences against girls but only 10% of those against boys.

Offences against victims
(for a larger view, please click on chart)

Action to end physical punishment of children
The 1998 Ontario Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect found that the rate of reported physical abuse doubled between 1993 and 1998, and that 72% of physical abuse cases were cases of physical punishment. One objective of the Early Child Development Family Abuse Prevention project is to reduce the use of physical punishment through four strategies:

* developing a Toronto Public Health position statement against the use of physical punishment
* advocating for change in federal legislation that allows parents and teachers to use physical punishment with children
* running a media campaign on positive discipline and the harms of physical punishment
* educating service providers on promoting positive and effective discipline with families.

Safe environment
15. Air quality and respiratory health
In 2003, Ontario's environment ministry issued five smog advisories for Toronto for a total of 12 smog alert days. While smog can exist every day, a smog alert is called when there is a strong likelihood that there will be widespread and persistently elevated levels of smog within the next 24 hours. In other words, a smog alert is called when Ontario's Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to reach a value of 50 or greater over an extended area and time.

Children are more sensitive than adults to the effects of air pollution because they breathe faster and often spend more time active outdoors, and closer to ground level. For sensitive people such as asthmatics, even a small increase in pollution levels can make symptoms worse.

Air pollution has been linked to hospitalizations and early deaths. Studies in the U.S. have also raised the possibility of a link between air pollution and lung cancer.

Smog advisory days







The number of smog advisory days over the last three years continues to be much higher than in previous years.

Key issues
With climate change and the increasing number of hot sunny days in the city, the number of smog alert days (also known as smog advisory days) is likely to increase. The main source of air pollution in Toronto is the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, diesel and coal.

Services, supports and initiative
Through the "20/20 The Way to Clean Air" social marketing campaign, Toronto Public Health is working in collaboration with health units in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to provide residents with resources to help reduce home energy use and vehicle use by 20%. This campaign offers participants a free 20/20 Planner – a practical step-by-step guide to reducing energy at home and on the road. The goal of this campaign is to lower energy use, thereby reducing health impacts from air pollution and climate change.

In support of the Call to Action on Physical Activity, in June 2003 Toronto Public Health released a report on air pollution and physical activity. The report identified the times of day when levels of pollutants are lowest in Toronto, to provide guidance on when and where to exercise. Given the importance of physical activity to well-being, the study promotes regular physical activity year round, while advising the public to modify physical activity outdoors on days when air quality is poor. TPH is also collaborating with Health Canada and Environment Canada in a new personal exposure study in Toronto, to ensure that advice provided during smog events is effective in reducing exposure to air pollutants, with a focus on children.

Toronto Public Health continues to implement a variety of public education and outreach initiatives on smog and air quality year round. Smog alert days provide heightened awareness for the public and staff who work with high-risk groups such as children. Toronto Public Health also participates in the annual Smog Summit and in developing and implementing the 2003 GTA Idle-free campaign.

Ideally, Toronto would experience zero smog alerts per year, indicating that the levels of air pollutants that trigger smog alerts have decreased.

Playground safety
In 2003, the City continued to address the issue of playgrounds built using chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated lumber. All 217 of the City's play structures containing CCA-treated wood were tested for arsenic. Both wood surface samples and soil samples were collected. As a result of this investigation, 58 play structures were targeted for remediation through sealing, or through sealing and soil replacement. This remediation work was completed in 2003. Monitoring of playgrounds that were remediated, plus those approaching the remediation guideline, is ongoing.

Respiratory hospitalizations
In 2001, there were 2,965 hospitalizations of children aged 0-14 for respiratory disease (asthma, croup, bronchitis and pneumonia) compared to 2,824 hospitalizations in 2000 and 3,244 in 1999. A child will be counted more than once if they were hospitalized on more than one occasion in the same year, and this is a possibility for many of the respiratory diseases. Trends in hospitalization are influenced by many factors, including hospital admission policies and access to care, and do not necessary reflect changes in morbidity.

Bronchitis was the most common cause of respiratory hospitalizations among infants (53%), while asthma was the most common cause among children aged 1-14 (44.5%). Respiratory hospitalizations only partially reflect the full extent of respiratory illness in the community. Studies estimate that only one in ten children who report having asthma are hospitalized.
Data source: Hospital In-Patient Data for 1999-2001, Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB). Extracted by Toronto Public Health: October 2003, Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC

Completely smoke-free homes
According to the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System for the period July 2001-June 2003, 74.2% (±3.4 %) of households with children age 0-14 were completely smoke-free. Completely smoke-free homes are those where no household member smokes regularly inside the home and visitors are not allowed to smoke.

The current level of completely smoke-free homes is encouraging but also allows for considerable improvement. A recent British study showed that an absolute ban on smoking in the home decreased urinary cotinine levels in children while, restrictions that did not eliminate smoke exposure in the home completely had very little beneficial effect.

The benefits of eliminating second-hand smoke around infants and children include decreased risk of SIDS, decreased risk of children developing bronchitis and pneumonia, decrease in the risk of developing asthma, allergies and fewer middle ear infections and related hospitalizations.

It is important for parents to be role models for their children Children from households where neither parent ever smoked are far less likely to become smokers. Parents who quit smoking when their children were young lowered risk by about 40 percent; having just one parent quit cut risk by 25 percent.

Car seat safety
According to Toronto Police Service, of all child care seats that are inspected by the police (through an appointment or through a clinic) 80% are deemed to be improperly used. This includes improper installation and incorrect car seat selection for the particular child based on height and weight requirements.

16. Hospitalizations due to injuries
In 2001, there were 1,247 hospitalizations of children aged 0-14 for all types of injuries compared to 1,359 in 2000 (see limitations).
Data source: Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), July 2001-June 2003, Health Information & Planning, Toronto Public Health and the Institute for Social Research, York University

Hospitalizations due to injuries include causes such as poisoning, traffic collisions, cycling collisions, falls, assaults, burns, adverse effects of therapeutic drugs and medications, suicide and self-inflicted injuries. A vast majority of childhood injuries do not require hospitalization. Thus injuries resulting in hospitalizations are only a fraction of the total number of injuries treated in emergency rooms, the community or at home.
Data source: Hospital In-Patient Data for 2001, Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB). Extracted by Toronto Public Health: October 2003, Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC


* excludes injuries due to surgical and medical procedures
* causes are based on the most responsible diagnosis (i.e., diagnosis associated with the longest duration of treatment) during a given hospital stay
* hospitalization data includes multiple admissions for a single individual. Multiple admissions likely occur more frequently for chronic diseases. Therefore hospitalization data provide only a crude measure of the prevalence of a disease or injury
* data is influenced by factors that are unrelated to health status such as availability and accessibility of care, the practice patterns of providers, and administrative policies and procedures. This may influence comparisons between areas and over time
* data is collected based on location of hospital, but is generally analyzed by the residence of the patient. Hospital discharge records are the most comprehensive and accessible source of morbidity information. The cause is the primary reason for the hospital stay (i.e., most responsible diagnosis).

For the most part, injuries are both predictable and preventable. Ontario spends billions of dollars each year in direct and indirect costs related to unintentional injuries. Injury hospitalizations are just one part of these costs. Many more people with injuries are treated in emergency rooms than are admitted to hospital. An unknown number of injuries are treated in other settings and go unreported. These are not captured in the statistics presented here.

When a child is injured, there is the added burden of a parent needing to take time away from employment to care for the injured child and possibly increased child care costs as the child recovers from his or her injury. In addition to economic costs associated with childhood injuries, there are numerous intangible personal and social costs such as pain, grief and/or reduced quality of life as a result of these injuries.

Trends in hospitalization are influenced by many factors, including hospital admission policies and access to care, and do not necessarily reflect changes in morbidity.

In 2001, for infants under one year of age, injuries (see limitations) represent only 1% of all hospitalizations (excluding newborns). This increases to 8% for ages 1-4, 15% for ages 5-9 and 21% for ages 10- 14. Within each age group, unintentional falls account for the greatest proportion of hospitalizations, while the second and third leading causes of hospitalizations vary among the age groups.

Analysis of injury hospitalization rates of children, birth to six years of age, for 1998 to 2000 combined, reveals that for the most part, Toronto children have lower rates of injury hospitalization compared to the rest of Ontario. However, in the area of scald burns, Toronto children (birth to six years) are admitted to hospital at a higher rate than children in the rest of the province. These rates could be a reflection of many things, including differing admission policies and community support for injury treatment and recovery between Toronto and the rest of Ontario.

Key issues
Many factors affect how children are injured including:

* Growth and development - As children grow, their developing capabilities put them at risk for various types of injury. As their mobility and skill level increase hazardous situations. Preventing an injury to an infant can be different than preventing an injury to an older child.
* Location of injury - In the early years, children spend a great deal of time at home. As children get older, they begin to spend more time away from home, in child care settings, at school and at public recreational facilities.
* Reliance on actions of others - Children rely on others to create safe environments and to practice safe behaviours to prevent injuries. As a child grows, he or she will become increasingly involved in practicing injury prevention behaviours, but will still rely on others as role models for such behaviours.
* Reliance on government decision-makers - Governments are responsible for enacting laws, standards and regulations to assist parents and care givers in providing safer environments for their children. In addition, the enforcement of these laws, standards and regulations is just as crucial for providing safe environments.

Services, supports and initiatives
Toronto Public Health has received funding, under the Early Years Plan, for the Early Child Development (ECD) Injury Prevention Project. This project is addressing injuries occurring to children, birth to six years of age, in residential environments. The ECD Injury Prevention Project in Toronto is working to prevent scald burns to young children through a number of initiatives:

* advocating for changes to the National and Ontario Building Codes to reduce the temperature of hot water at faucets in residential dwellings to 49ºC
* raising the awareness of families about the temperature of their water by providing hot water temperature indicator cards
* ensuring information on the risks associated with hot water temperature above 49ºC and ways to reduce the risk of scald burn injury are included in educational resources.

As well, other activities of the ECD Injury Prevention Project will focus on increasing the knowledge and skills of parents, caregivers and other service providers pertaining to childhood injury prevention. These activities include a health communication campaign and other advocacy activities.

As part of its Injury Prevention/Substance Abuse Prevention (IP/SAP) program, Toronto Public Health (TPH) currently plans, delivers and collaborates on a wide variety of injury prevention initiatives targeted to children and their families. These initiatives focus on increasing knowledge and raising awareness of injuries and how to prevent them, preparing children and their parents to develop personal safety and injury prevention plans and habits, and developing skills and strategies to prevent or minimize harm due to injuries. Examples of these programs are Child Passenger Safety initiatives, Bike Safety initiatives, Injury Prevention Week and the At Home Alone program.

The IP/SAP program has identified falls and motor vehicle/pedal crashes as the key priority injury prevention issues to address in the 5-14 year old age group. For injury prevention programming to be successful, it must be comprehensive, coordinated and include multiple strategies focused on environmental modification/engineering as well as on education, legislation and enforcement. Therefore, the primary strategies used by Toronto Public Health to prevent childhood injuries are policy development, advocacy, social marketing,education skills-building and community action/mobilization.

Toronto Public Health, through the ECD Injury Prevention Project and the IP/SAP program, is developing a comprehensive approach that focuses on increasing parental/caregiver capacity to prevent injuries. Establishing strategic partnerships in the community to develop a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to address unintentional injuries in children is crucial.

Internet safety
The Child Exploitation Section of Toronto Police Service, Sex Crimes Unit contacted Microsoft to discuss the possibility of working together. This contact has led to the development of a network database called CELTS-Child Exploitation Tracking System. This database allows Toronto Police to coordinate with police across the rest of the country and to commence multi-jurisdictional investigations. Toronto Police Service and Microsoft are continuing to explore new software to help identify children at risk on the Internet as well as suspects who may be preying on children. Safety for children is a key component of the Toronto Public Library's electronic services for children through:

o filtering children's workstations
o developing Kids' Space: a children's web portal, that guides children to age-appropriate sites
o Families on the Net: training sessions on Internet safety for children and their families.

The enviroment has a great deal to do with child saftey, and the government is not adressing it.
Grass roots activist are. moms like me, I am shocked at the numbers of docotrs and social workers that have not a clue about the enviromental risk to children. And how exposures can harm for life. And the government covered up CCA wood dangers for years. and just two years ago doctors were told by health Canada they could not say air quility had anything to do with the high numbers of asthma. Wait till they tell the truth about vaccines, and CAS. it wont be long.

Anonymous said...

also amazed at the number of spelling mistakes I make before coffee. sorry

Anonymous said...

When a child is injured, there is the added burden of a parent needing to take time away from employment to care for the injured child and possibly increased child care costs as the child recovers from his or her injury. In addition to economic costs associated with childhood injuries, there are numerous intangible personal and social costs such as pain, grief and/or reduced quality of life as a result of these injuries.

What happens to a family when a childs health has been altered because the government failed to protect children and the public and put industry before childrens health. Should the parent sue the government what do you think?
If a child and family become ill because of a product they were told was safe?
When not even the hospitals were told?
when the parent then gets accused by CAS of causing the problem or deemed nuts because the mother understands what happened, and did not stop till many others did as well, in the name of public health, and child advocate.
Who should this parent hold liable?

Anonymous said...

Sealing CCA wood may be cost effective but does nothing to keep the arsenic and hex chromium off childrens hands, and it is trans dermal, both cause cancer. The City needs to do some home work, and read the latest studys, on just how much children have on their hands after playing on this wood. sealents made no differnce and in many cases just add to the toxic soup mix, In acid rain, and yes we have acid rain, you would need to seal the wood at least every 3 months. And the goverment has known about this real risk to childrens health for many years.
It may also cost more in health care cost in the long term, and can cause learning problems, the only way to reduce the risk to young children is to get rid of it. But we understand its really a toxic waste concern, but its no excuse for allowing children to be exposed to heavy metal. And its inorganic, not like the fish as.
When we start spending money on the real issues of child protection , perhaps then people will have faith again.
How many social workers are aware that CCA wood is a risk to children? none I have meet. bad batch and the problem is heart breaking.
But at least the City of Toronto is not hiding there heads in the toxic sand. Now help the poor and help familys, leave children at home and mean it. Its costing us all so much. would it not be a better kinder place to raise children, if we all truly cared. I would like the government to model as well.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who missed this article should read it - just in case you think CAS must have learned something from the Jeffrey Baldwin affair. In fact, these type of incidents are not uncommon with CAS.

Reading this story also prompted a question that is not directly related but deserves asking.

Where are the feminists? Their voices seem completely silent about tens of thousands of females abused by CAS in this country.

I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of female readers. To me, it seems feminism in Canada is somewhat elitist - where is the outcry about females like the girls in this story. In my opinion, feminists should be leading the charge against CAS.

Here is the article:

Toronto Sun - Sun, March 26, 2006
By Mark Bonokoski

COBOURG -- There are few secrets in
small towns such as this, and therefore there
were many whispers at various water coolers when the local newspaper told the tale of a man being sentenced to house arrest for sexually molesting his teenaged stepdaughter's best friend.

But sometimes two and two take their
time adding up. In the case of one father, it took almost five weeks before all the rumours swirling about were confirmed -- that, horror of horrors, his 7-year-old daughter was living in the same house where the house arrest was being served.

Indeed, the convicted sex offender in thenewspaper was the same man who had beenliving with his ex-wife for the past two years, and therefore the man who was ultimately sharing the joint custody of his child.

But could he get his daughter out of
harm's way? Would the Children's Aid see any absurdity in these living arrangements, or the inherent danger in a 7-year-old child having an
admitted sex offender as an authority figure? Would the courts?

The answer to both questions is no.
"All I am asking is for one of two things to happen," said the girl's father. "Either give me full custody of my daughter or get him out of
that house. "Right now my daughter is living with a sex offender. She's at a vulnerable age, and he is
what he is. "He even pleaded guilty to being what he

The 39-year-old accused appeared here before Justice Rhys Morgan back in January, with a publication ban enacted so that the name of his victim could be protected.
That ban, in turn, has the downside of also protecting the identity of the accused -- which, in turn, prohibits the father of the 7-year-old girl, as well as any interested media, from putting any names into play.

"So everything has to an anonymous,"
says the father. "It's as if none of this is real, and none of it happened. "But it did happen, and my daughter is living with a sex offender who is under house arrest until mid-April. "How could this possibly be okay?"

According to Crown prosecutor David
Thompson, the assault occurred when theaccused found himself alone with his stepdaughter's best friend late one evening. He began fondling her as they watched television. At another time, he masturbated in front of a web camera when he believed the girl was
watching.She was 14.

It was a pang of guilt which eventually had him confess his actions to his girlfriend -- the mother of the 7-year-old in this story -- but it was an unnamed third party who took it to the police, who in turn laid the charges. In the end, Justice Morgan sentenced him
to three months of house arrest with counselling.

He was also ordered to surrender a DNA sample for the national data bank and have his name added to the sex offender registry. His house arrest lockdown, in fact, is
virtually 24/7. He is allowed out for three hours on Saturdays to run errands and he has Sunday mornings to attend church. To cap it off, he has a non-communication order when it comes to his victim. But he has no restrictions-- absolutely
none -- when it comes to contact with either the 15-year-old stepdaughter who was the victim's
best friend or the 7-year-old little girl who, because of a joint custody order, lives under his roof one week out of every two.

There was no attempt here to contact the Children's Aid about its side of the story or why,for example, it has apparently seen no problem
in having a 7-year-old girl living in the same house as a convicted sex offender who doesn't even have the hook of a blood relationship.

Privacy laws prevent the agency from
talking specifics. Even the father knows this. When he went
to the Children's Aid to inquire whether the man in the newspaper was the same man his ex-wife and daughter were living with, he was told the agency was legally unable to either confirm or deny. All this was when small-town whispers
were at their peak.

The father who wants his young daughter out of that house, and with seemingly justifiable reasons, has had a shared parenting agreement
and joint custody of the child for five years. He has a steady job. He has no criminal record. "Yet," he says, "everywhere I turn to get
my daughter out of the house, I get the door slammed in my face. Put it this way: Would you want your
child living with that man? Would you?"

"Sure, I've thought of keeping her with me," he says. "But what would happen then? I'd be charged with kidnapping or failing to comply
with a court order. And then I'd never see her again. "Men don't win those sort of court battles," he says. "Women win those battles.

In recent days, however, it has gotten worse.

The man's ex-wife, along with her
convicted sex-offender boyfriend, have packed up and moved the entire family to Peterborough because they have supposedly "found God," and
the church where that "God" exists is apparently nowhere else to be found but in Peterborough. Even the lawyer who represented the
man's ex-wife and helped with the shared parenting and joint-custody agreement regarding their 7-year-old child has had enough. Her client's move to Peterborough was the
last straw.

"She does not seem to grasp the
seriousness of the issue," the lawyer wrote, indicating that she would no longer be representing the woman in any further legal proceedings.

In the meantime a 7-year-old little girl wakes up in the morning with a sex offender in the house. And today, being Sunday, they'll be off to church. or

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify - when I said feminists, I mean feminist organizations. Individual women activists, some who may consider themselves feminists, are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

To the poster that said "Where are the feminists? Their voices seem completely silent about tens of thousands of females abused by CAS in this country.

I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of female readers. To me, it seems feminism in Canada is somewhat elitist - where is the outcry about females like the girls in this story. In my opinion, feminists should be leading the charge against CAS."

Thus there is part of the problem. The feminist movement has encouraged women to have the sense of "entitlement" to other women's babies and children. They see it perfectly fine for Lesbian couples to somehow have the "right" to another child, they also see straight women as having a right. Feminism has never discussed this issue - only in the sense of empowering the industry. In fact they are partially to blame for the industry that has allowed the CAS to continue for so long.

And really the movement ignored those women who lost their babies to foster care and adoption, and in fact they still do. It is seen as being politically correct to have the "entitlement" attitude. Equal rights seem to have crossed the lines into rights to other peoples children. A very sad state. While I do not think all people who may describe themselves as being a feminist may promote the industry, certainly it is part of the problem.

Women's rights should always include the RIGHT TO THEIR OWN CHILD. For that matter men need the same right as well. Part of the industry is as well in not supporting mens rights.

Anonymous said...

January 2011
This predator is now hiding out in Waterloo, Ontario, and commuting to T.O. Daily. Right near WLU where there are LOTS of young men/boys to prey upon. If you've been affected by this monster, call the campus security of WLUandUW. Call l police, post notices around King&University intersections. Drive him out wherever he tries to settle down; maybe he'll do us all a favour and up on the business end of a noose.

Anonymous said...

January 2011
This predator is now hiding out in Waterloo, Ontario, and commuting to T.O. Daily. Right near WLU where there are LOTS of young men/boys to prey upon. If you've been affected by this monster, call the campus security of WLUandUW. Call l police, post notices around King&University intersections. Drive him out wherever he tries to settle down; maybe he'll do us all a favour and up on the business end of a noose.

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