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Saturday, April 08, 2006


Here is the permanent plaque I will be installing in Greenwood Park this summer with my dad. I will of course let everyone know when I'm going so you can all come.

May this sweet child be the catalyst for change in a corrupt, broken system to save other children from suffering the same fate... he is an angel.

727 comments:

1 – 200 of 727   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

No one should forget that Jeffrey Baldwin's murderers were paid employees of Toronto CCAS.

Anonymous said...

Exactly and well said!

Anonymous said...

Amanda - can you post the date of when you will place the plaque in the park - as it would give enough time to give notice to get a lot of people to come out.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, does anybody personally know a child welfare worker or anything about the conditions they work under? try doing a little research into both sides before making such blatently ignorant statements.

Anonymous said...

Report calls B.C. child protection system a mess

Updated Fri. Apr. 7 2006 11:26 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A retired judge slammed British Columbia's child protection system on Friday, calling it an unstable mess because of budget cuts and a revolving door of senior leadership.

Ted Hughes' report says that when the B.C. Liberal government came into office in 2001 with a mission of getting the province out of deficit, significant budget cuts to ministries crippled the child protection system.

"I don't think there's any doubt that the core review of 2001 and 2002 took the knife too far," Hughes said at a news conference Friday after releasing his 172-page report.

Hughes' review of the system found there had been too much change to preserve a solid foundation, noting there were nine ministers, eight deputy ministers and seven directors of child protection all within the last 10 years.

Hughes made 62 recommendations in his review, including the B.C. government create an independent child and youth representative who would report independently to the legislature in the same way the auditor general and the ombudsman do.

The office would combine the work of the child protection officer and the child advocate. The Liberals eliminated the advocate position and consolidated the work under the child protection officer and the coroner.

The Opposition NDP has repeatedly called for the reinstatement of a children's commissioner.

Stan Hagen, minister of children and families, praised the review, calling it "fair and thoughtful."

"We will spend the coming days looking in detail at Mr. Hughes's recommendations and his plan," Hagen said in a news release. "We will move expeditiously, but carefully."

If the government doesn't do anything soon, Hughes said he will take his message across the province and shame the government into action with speeches.

Hughes, the province's former conflict commissioner, was appointed to investigate the situation late last year, which followed the controversy surrounding the death of 19-month-old Sherry Charlie.

The toddler was beaten to death by her uncle in September 2002 while in the care of an aboriginal child welfare agency working with the government.

Ryan Dexter George, 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2004 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The government was forced to admit that 715 child deaths -- the vast majority of which did not involve children in government care -- had not been reviewed properly.

Premier Gordon Campbell said late last year that budget cuts were not to blame for the upheaval in the ministry. He instead blamed the transition process aimed at bringing child death reviews under the purview of the coroner.

Hughes, 78, said he wouldn't accept the child representative job if offered.

He also made several recommendations on aboriginal children in care since there are so many Native youths in that situation.

The aboriginal children recommendations include:

* At least one of three senior positions in the representatives office be an aboriginal person with experience in child welfare;
* The provincial government should collaborate with aboriginal people to develop a governance structure for the aboriginal child welfare system;
* Provincial and federal governments should provide aboriginal agencies with modern information technology and the same training opportunities as are offered to ministry staff;
* An aboriginal emergency response team should be formed to help an agency facing a crisis such as the death of a child; and
* The government should recruit more aboriginal people to work in the Ministry of Children and Families.

With files from The Canadian Press

Anonymous said...

Report calls B.C. child protection system a mess

Updated Fri. Apr. 7 2006 11:26 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A retired judge slammed British Columbia's child protection system on Friday, calling it an unstable mess because of budget cuts and a revolving door of senior leadership.

Ted Hughes' report says that when the B.C. Liberal government came into office in 2001 with a mission of getting the province out of deficit, significant budget cuts to ministries crippled the child protection system.

"I don't think there's any doubt that the core review of 2001 and 2002 took the knife too far," Hughes said at a news conference Friday after releasing his 172-page report.

Hughes' review of the system found there had been too much change to preserve a solid foundation, noting there were nine ministers, eight deputy ministers and seven directors of child protection all within the last 10 years.

Hughes made 62 recommendations in his review, including the B.C. government create an independent child and youth representative who would report independently to the legislature in the same way the auditor general and the ombudsman do.

The office would combine the work of the child protection officer and the child advocate. The Liberals eliminated the advocate position and consolidated the work under the child protection officer and the coroner.

The Opposition NDP has repeatedly called for the reinstatement of a children's commissioner.

Stan Hagen, minister of children and families, praised the review, calling it "fair and thoughtful."

"We will spend the coming days looking in detail at Mr. Hughes's recommendations and his plan," Hagen said in a news release. "We will move expeditiously, but carefully."

If the government doesn't do anything soon, Hughes said he will take his message across the province and shame the government into action with speeches.

Hughes, the province's former conflict commissioner, was appointed to investigate the situation late last year, which followed the controversy surrounding the death of 19-month-old Sherry Charlie.

The toddler was beaten to death by her uncle in September 2002 while in the care of an aboriginal child welfare agency working with the government.

Ryan Dexter George, 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2004 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The government was forced to admit that 715 child deaths -- the vast majority of which did not involve children in government care -- had not been reviewed properly.

Premier Gordon Campbell said late last year that budget cuts were not to blame for the upheaval in the ministry. He instead blamed the transition process aimed at bringing child death reviews under the purview of the coroner.

Hughes, 78, said he wouldn't accept the child representative job if offered.

He also made several recommendations on aboriginal children in care since there are so many Native youths in that situation.

The aboriginal children recommendations include:

* At least one of three senior positions in the representatives office be an aboriginal person with experience in child welfare;
* The provincial government should collaborate with aboriginal people to develop a governance structure for the aboriginal child welfare system;
* Provincial and federal governments should provide aboriginal agencies with modern information technology and the same training opportunities as are offered to ministry staff;
* An aboriginal emergency response team should be formed to help an agency facing a crisis such as the death of a child; and
* The government should recruit more aboriginal people to work in the Ministry of Children and Families.

With files from The Canadian Press

Anonymous said...

I am a child protection worker for the CAS and sorry I tend to agree, things are a mess, not only in BC but here in On. and most places for that matter, I do not agree its all a matter of funding.

Anonymous said...

I lived on the same street when this happened. I recall coming home that evening to squad cars and flashing lights. I assumed that there was domestic violence in that house. Soon after, a neighbourhood citizen had put Christie Blatchford’s initial article in everybody’s mailbox alerting us to these monsters in our midst. I also recall seeing a small child in a stroller for a while, on several occasions, then, after a while, no more stroller. I always had a bad feeling about the people in that house (loud arguments on the porch outside the front door, stares, etc.); now I feel embarrassed not to have gotten to know my neighbours better. Symptomatic of life in a big city?
I am appalled that they were not found guilty of first degree murder. Systematic, deliberate starvation seems pre-meditated to me. None of the adults appeared to be going hungry. EVERY adult in that house ought to be charged with something. AS an educator, if I suspect abuse with a child in my care at my school, I am obligated by law to report it. Not ONE of these adults acted on Jeffrey’s behalf.
I am also appalled that my tax dollars will be keeping these monsters alive. The whole case makes me ashamed to be a human being, with these 2 being members of my species. It’s tragic that the voice of this child was only heard after his own death.
I too would like to know when the plaque will be placed in the park. Jeffrey is in a better place, bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, does anybody personally know a child welfare worker or anything about the conditions they work under? try doing a little research into both sides before making such blatently ignorant statements

To the poster that said this - you have GOT TO BE KIDDING HERE. It is not the conditions that are the problem it is IDIOT SOCIAL WORKERS THAT ARE CLUELESS AND IRRESPONSIBLE. And yes I do know workers from the CAS and they are every bit as inept as what everyone has been saying. This website is to reform the CAS in memory of Jeffrey Baldwin - it was the CCAS THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS MURDER. Please do not come here to defend these idiots!!!

Anonymous said...

To the pro CAS poster:

The comments on this site make it perfectly obvious that most individuals personally know CAS employees and the conditions they work under. They are perfectly aware that CAS acts ruthlessly and dishonestly to remove children from loving families and place them in situations of extreme risk. Given the overwhelming evidence against CAS' credibility as child protectors, it's quite ironic to expect sympathy and understanding for any agency that demonstrates none.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
let us not forget Canada's oldest female inmate who is now deceased. She tortured children who were fostered and adopted for YEARS. AND WHO PLACED THEM THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE PEOPLE - THE CAS!!!


Mom, 81, jailed for abuse
Woman gets 4 years for torturing foster kids
By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA
TORONTO SUN
LONDON, Ont. -- An 81-year-old woman became the oldest female prisoner in Canada yesterday when she was sentenced to four years for torturing and abusing children who were in her care.

Edith Sanders, who ran a boarding house for kids from the 1950s to the 1980s, is now the oldest woman in federal custody, Corrections Canada officials say.

"The impact upon the lives of the three complainants is irreparable," Superior Court Justice Edward Browne said in passing sentence.

"There was a terrible breach of trust. The evidence I heard was more appalling than any I have experienced in excess of my 40 years since my call to the bar, with more than 20 of those years being judicial years."

Victims testified that while under Sanders' care, they were beaten with hockey sticks, tortured with a cattle prod and forced to eat animal feces.

PRACTISED 'DOMINATION'

Browne said while he took Sanders' age and health into consideration, she practised "domination through fear and control."

Sanders, convicted in October of seven counts of assault -- four of common assault and three of assault causing bodily harm -- stared in open-mouthed shock and lowered her head into her hands when Browne announced the sentence.

She walked slowly and stumbled near the judge's dais, grabbing it for support before she was led to the cells. She had not spent any time in custody during the trial.

Sanders' 58-year-old daughter, Yvonne Overton, who was one of the complainants, said the sentence was "a long time coming" and the scars will always remain.

The other victims were an adopted daughter, Kimberly Campbell, now 45, and Beatrice Feick, now 64, who was kept as a house slave for more than 30 years from the 1950s to 1985.

"She would beat me and I got all bloody," Feick told the court.

She described how she was forced into a tub of boiling water and held down with a plunger by Sanders, then placed into ice-cold water outdoors. Later, Sanders broke Feick's blisters with her fingernails.

"I'm glad," Feick said outside the courtroom. "I'm glad to see her put away ... Now she can't harm anybody else."

Copyright © 2003, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.

Anonymous said...

Here is another CAS HORROR STORY. No one should be defending the CAS at this point - they need to be sued on mass for destroying children.

This is in today's Toronto Sun Newspaper and my guess is that this type of horror story is not uncommon. This is the truth of what those wicked agencies have hidden from the public for years.

And this now makes it God knows how many of these agencies that are being sued for giving "caregivers" "adoptive parents", and "foster parents" children where they beat them, raped them, burned them, screamed at them, locked them up and God only knows what else. Who can defend this and why should it be defended? It does not need to be defended - our society should be supporting the VICTIMS of this grave ineptitude not the agencies responsible for these nightmares that have destroyed thousands of people!!!


Sat, April 8, 2006

One man's hunt for justiceAbuse victim slams CAS
By SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN




Dave Witzel has gone from a survivor of childhood abuse to a crusader.

His mission: To make child protection agencies more accountable to prevent another tragic child death by putting pressure on the provincial government.

In Manitoba, he said, the government has reacted to the death of 5-year-old Phoenix Sinclair by ordering that social workers visit every child in its care to ensure they are safe.

"One little girl was killed in Manitoba and there was an immediate response while in Ontario there has been nothing," Witzel of Scarborough said."The Children's and Youth Services Act is the 10 Commandments that CAS is supposed to be following and it isn't.

"They are not ensuring the safety of a child when an unstable mother can dupe a worker during a supervised visit and simply kidnap the baby and walk out the door," he said, referring to a recent Toronto case.


Witzel took a day off from his usual routine of writing letters, phoning victim support groups and sending faxes to government agencies because he wanted to hear Justice David Watt find Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman guilty in the murder of their grandson, Jeffrey Baldwin.

"I am just curious to see what kind of a sentence these people will get for killing a boy." he said.

"I'm going down to support a system that has caught these people and I want to see justice done," Witzel said.

"I want to support the abused kids by being there to listen.

"This has got to be stopped. I just can't stand by idly while these tragedies mount."

Witzel, 58, and his brother, 56, are suing the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society for $1 million for "heinous sexual, physical and emotional assaults" allegedly suffered while under the care of CAS-approved foster parents, starting in 1954.

"The reason I got into this lobbying was to stop the suffering of others," said Witzel, who has been on a disability pension since 1996 when his thumb was crushed in a construction accident.

Anonymous said...

Here is another CAS HORROR STORY. No one should be defending the CAS at this point - they need to be sued on mass for destroying children.

This is in today's Toronto Sun Newspaper and my guess is that this type of horror story is not uncommon. This is the truth of what those wicked agencies have hidden from the public for years.

And this now makes it God knows how many of these agencies that are being sued for giving "caregivers" "adoptive parents", and "foster parents" children where they beat them, raped them, burned them, screamed at them, locked them up and God only knows what else. Who can defend this and why should it be defended? It does not need to be defended - our society should be supporting the VICTIMS of this grave ineptitude not the agencies responsible for these nightmares that have destroyed thousands of people!!!


Sat, April 8, 2006

One man's hunt for justiceAbuse victim slams CAS
By SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN




Dave Witzel has gone from a survivor of childhood abuse to a crusader.

His mission: To make child protection agencies more accountable to prevent another tragic child death by putting pressure on the provincial government.

In Manitoba, he said, the government has reacted to the death of 5-year-old Phoenix Sinclair by ordering that social workers visit every child in its care to ensure they are safe.

"One little girl was killed in Manitoba and there was an immediate response while in Ontario there has been nothing," Witzel of Scarborough said."The Children's and Youth Services Act is the 10 Commandments that CAS is supposed to be following and it isn't.

"They are not ensuring the safety of a child when an unstable mother can dupe a worker during a supervised visit and simply kidnap the baby and walk out the door," he said, referring to a recent Toronto case.


Witzel took a day off from his usual routine of writing letters, phoning victim support groups and sending faxes to government agencies because he wanted to hear Justice David Watt find Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman guilty in the murder of their grandson, Jeffrey Baldwin.

"I am just curious to see what kind of a sentence these people will get for killing a boy." he said.

"I'm going down to support a system that has caught these people and I want to see justice done," Witzel said.

"I want to support the abused kids by being there to listen.

"This has got to be stopped. I just can't stand by idly while these tragedies mount."

Witzel, 58, and his brother, 56, are suing the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society for $1 million for "heinous sexual, physical and emotional assaults" allegedly suffered while under the care of CAS-approved foster parents, starting in 1954.

"The reason I got into this lobbying was to stop the suffering of others," said Witzel, who has been on a disability pension since 1996 when his thumb was crushed in a construction accident.

Anonymous said...

Here is another CAS HORROR STORY. No one should be defending the CAS at this point - they need to be sued on mass for destroying children.

This is in today's Toronto Sun Newspaper and my guess is that this type of horror story is not uncommon. This is the truth of what those wicked agencies have hidden from the public for years.

And this now makes it God knows how many of these agencies that are being sued for giving "caregivers" "adoptive parents", and "foster parents" children where they beat them, raped them, burned them, screamed at them, locked them up and God only knows what else. Who can defend this and why should it be defended? It does not need to be defended - our society should be supporting the VICTIMS of this grave ineptitude not the agencies responsible for these nightmares that have destroyed thousands of people!!!


Sat, April 8, 2006

One man's hunt for justiceAbuse victim slams CAS
By SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN




Dave Witzel has gone from a survivor of childhood abuse to a crusader.

His mission: To make child protection agencies more accountable to prevent another tragic child death by putting pressure on the provincial government.

In Manitoba, he said, the government has reacted to the death of 5-year-old Phoenix Sinclair by ordering that social workers visit every child in its care to ensure they are safe.

"One little girl was killed in Manitoba and there was an immediate response while in Ontario there has been nothing," Witzel of Scarborough said."The Children's and Youth Services Act is the 10 Commandments that CAS is supposed to be following and it isn't.

"They are not ensuring the safety of a child when an unstable mother can dupe a worker during a supervised visit and simply kidnap the baby and walk out the door," he said, referring to a recent Toronto case.


Witzel took a day off from his usual routine of writing letters, phoning victim support groups and sending faxes to government agencies because he wanted to hear Justice David Watt find Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman guilty in the murder of their grandson, Jeffrey Baldwin.

"I am just curious to see what kind of a sentence these people will get for killing a boy." he said.

"I'm going down to support a system that has caught these people and I want to see justice done," Witzel said.

"I want to support the abused kids by being there to listen.

"This has got to be stopped. I just can't stand by idly while these tragedies mount."

Witzel, 58, and his brother, 56, are suing the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society for $1 million for "heinous sexual, physical and emotional assaults" allegedly suffered while under the care of CAS-approved foster parents, starting in 1954.

"The reason I got into this lobbying was to stop the suffering of others," said Witzel, who has been on a disability pension since 1996 when his thumb was crushed in a construction accident.

Anonymous said...

Here is another CAS HORROR STORY. No one should be defending the CAS at this point - they need to be sued on mass for destroying children.

This is in today's Toronto Sun Newspaper and my guess is that this type of horror story is not uncommon. This is the truth of what those wicked agencies have hidden from the public for years.

And this now makes it God knows how many of these agencies that are being sued for giving "caregivers" "adoptive parents", and "foster parents" children where they beat them, raped them, burned them, screamed at them, locked them up and God only knows what else. Who can defend this and why should it be defended? It does not need to be defended - our society should be supporting the VICTIMS of this grave ineptitude not the agencies responsible for these nightmares that have destroyed thousands of people!!!


Sat, April 8, 2006

One man's hunt for justiceAbuse victim slams CAS
By SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN




Dave Witzel has gone from a survivor of childhood abuse to a crusader.

His mission: To make child protection agencies more accountable to prevent another tragic child death by putting pressure on the provincial government.

In Manitoba, he said, the government has reacted to the death of 5-year-old Phoenix Sinclair by ordering that social workers visit every child in its care to ensure they are safe.

"One little girl was killed in Manitoba and there was an immediate response while in Ontario there has been nothing," Witzel of Scarborough said."The Children's and Youth Services Act is the 10 Commandments that CAS is supposed to be following and it isn't.

"They are not ensuring the safety of a child when an unstable mother can dupe a worker during a supervised visit and simply kidnap the baby and walk out the door," he said, referring to a recent Toronto case.


Witzel took a day off from his usual routine of writing letters, phoning victim support groups and sending faxes to government agencies because he wanted to hear Justice David Watt find Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman guilty in the murder of their grandson, Jeffrey Baldwin.

"I am just curious to see what kind of a sentence these people will get for killing a boy." he said.

"I'm going down to support a system that has caught these people and I want to see justice done," Witzel said.

"I want to support the abused kids by being there to listen.

"This has got to be stopped. I just can't stand by idly while these tragedies mount."

Witzel, 58, and his brother, 56, are suing the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society for $1 million for "heinous sexual, physical and emotional assaults" allegedly suffered while under the care of CAS-approved foster parents, starting in 1954.

"The reason I got into this lobbying was to stop the suffering of others," said Witzel, who has been on a disability pension since 1996 when his thumb was crushed in a construction accident.

Anonymous said...

Here is another CAS HORROR STORY. No one should be defending the CAS at this point - they need to be sued on mass for destroying children.

This is in today's Toronto Sun Newspaper and my guess is that this type of horror story is not uncommon. This is the truth of what those wicked agencies have hidden from the public for years.

And this now makes it God knows how many of these agencies that are being sued for giving "caregivers" "adoptive parents", and "foster parents" children where they beat them, raped them, burned them, screamed at them, locked them up and God only knows what else. Who can defend this and why should it be defended? It does not need to be defended - our society should be supporting the VICTIMS of this grave ineptitude not the agencies responsible for these nightmares that have destroyed thousands of people!!!


Sat, April 8, 2006

One man's hunt for justiceAbuse victim slams CAS
By SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN




Dave Witzel has gone from a survivor of childhood abuse to a crusader.

His mission: To make child protection agencies more accountable to prevent another tragic child death by putting pressure on the provincial government.

In Manitoba, he said, the government has reacted to the death of 5-year-old Phoenix Sinclair by ordering that social workers visit every child in its care to ensure they are safe.

"One little girl was killed in Manitoba and there was an immediate response while in Ontario there has been nothing," Witzel of Scarborough said."The Children's and Youth Services Act is the 10 Commandments that CAS is supposed to be following and it isn't.

"They are not ensuring the safety of a child when an unstable mother can dupe a worker during a supervised visit and simply kidnap the baby and walk out the door," he said, referring to a recent Toronto case.


Witzel took a day off from his usual routine of writing letters, phoning victim support groups and sending faxes to government agencies because he wanted to hear Justice David Watt find Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman guilty in the murder of their grandson, Jeffrey Baldwin.

"I am just curious to see what kind of a sentence these people will get for killing a boy." he said.

"I'm going down to support a system that has caught these people and I want to see justice done," Witzel said.

"I want to support the abused kids by being there to listen.

"This has got to be stopped. I just can't stand by idly while these tragedies mount."

Witzel, 58, and his brother, 56, are suing the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society for $1 million for "heinous sexual, physical and emotional assaults" allegedly suffered while under the care of CAS-approved foster parents, starting in 1954.

"The reason I got into this lobbying was to stop the suffering of others," said Witzel, who has been on a disability pension since 1996 when his thumb was crushed in a construction accident.

Anonymous said...

The comments on this site make it perfectly obvious that most individuals personally know CAS employees and the conditions they work under. They are perfectly aware that CAS acts ruthlessly and dishonestly to remove children from loving families and place them in situations of extreme risk. Given the overwhelming evidence against CAS' credibility as child protectors, it's quite ironic to expect sympathy and understanding for any agency that demonstrates none.

WELL SAID - and yes they have never said sorry to anyone, they have never been responsible to anyone, they have never admitted to anything, they have never answered to anyone - they have hidden in their arrogant towers as if they are above the rest of society, and they have had no accountability for over 100 YEARS. Sorry that the article above was copied several times onto this blog - it must have been a computer error.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy of the verdict.I'm very emotional today.He is at peace now and not suffering anymore.I wish that the other adults in the house are charged fith manslaughter b/c they did nnothing to prevent this tragedy.I know that little Jeffrey is an angel now and happy,protecting other children.Let this case be a lesson to all.Protect your kids,love them and cherish them.It is an honour to be a parent not a chore.Anna

Anonymous said...

Well said Anna - and let's start by supporting parents instead of farming them into this Godforsaken system. The monsters that killed Jeffrey are wicked and evil. But many foster and adoptive parents are just as horrible. The whole thing is a mess. I too think those who lived in the house should be on trial as well as the CCAS of Toronto. It is an agency that has failed thousands of children, and it's crimes must be told in an open court one day.

Anonymous said...

The Lawsuit
In May, 2001, REKO commenced a class action lawsuit against the Ontario government on behalf of families with special needs children who were denied services due to the Government of Ontario’s mismanagement and improper elimination of Special Needs Agreements as provided for in the Child and Family Services Act. Ms. Anne Larcade and her son act as the Representative Plaintiffs.

Ms. Larcade’s claim alleges that the Ontario Government was negligent and failed to meet its legal obligation to provide services for severely disabled children that ought to have been provided through Special Needs Agreements. As a result of the Ontario Government’s negligence, families were forced to personally fund services for their severely disabled children and, in some cases, relinquish custody of their children to the government in order to obtain life-saving services. The claim seeks damages of $500 million for the Class.

NOT until every case of abuse by this government and the child protection agencies and many mandated reporters , The crown wards, and more parents with special needs children, the abused in care, the abused parents, the abused foster parents and adopting parents that are not told of the child's medical history, and drug or alcohol exposures before birth, the tragic stolen children, the parents suffering in every possible way after a false allegations or minimal complaint, the moms in therapy and on waiting list to be seen because of post traumatic stress from a CAS investigation, NOT UNTIL we gather as groups and sue this government for knowing and allowing the agency's to get away with yes even murder, will it stop. Its the only thing they listen to after all, is the bottom line.

Between a rock and a hard place barley scratches the surface of the abuse by this agency. And this government understands that, yes we can read, the minutes of the legislator and they tell us clearly, that far to many of you understood and still do, yet give are money to what many consider a corrupt and out of control agency, in the press, is not parental abuse, the children have died because of dismal failures on the part of the agencies though out history.

Are we still not hearing about the day care scandals and satanic ritual abuse, are we finished paying off the aboriginals that have suffered for decades in the residential schools, then taken from families and community's, the crown wards for the abuse in care, the sexual abuse, perpetrators where social workers judges doctors, police, please.

Jeffery's family should be sue, so should Matthews, all others who have lost a child while in care, is this why the need to hurry and make them YOUR children Minister Chambers. your children are homeless, the walking wounded, how will you ever find a family for them now?

For every child that wants to go home, send them, and stop the kidnapping. The foster families that go into business, and you pay rather then the parents, of special needs children shame.

Anonymous said...

And what is our government doing about this mess? They are IN BED WITH A BABY BROKER and planning to ship kids all over the earth to infertile strangers - and they will be using the same checks as they do now?

They will be farming them everywhere over the Internet and "matching" them up into "forever families" and the way that this system operates one cannot help but wonder how many will be killed and abused by their "forever families"?

The government has not even dealt with the horror of the past yet. They are only repeating the same failures over and over again.

Anonymous said...

They do need to be sued on mass, and I suspect that is PRECISELY why they had the former chief legal defense of the Toronto CCAS nake a proposal which the government "adopted" into section 68 of Bill 210 making them more unaccountable then they are right now.

And several of those Godforsaken agencies are being sued to start with and for good reason - the horror stories and abuse stories of what people have endured are absolutely heartbreaking.

The CAS has placed children into the hands of horrific child abusers for DECADES. It is still not accountable despite being instituted in the late 1800's.

Anonymous said...

arents of disabled kids suing Ont. government

Updated Mon. May. 16 2005 11:40 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A group of Ontario parents of disabled children is launching a huge class action lawsuit against the Ontario government. They're seeking damages of half a billion dollars for negligence.

All of the parents in the case lost custody of their children after being informed that the provincial government couldn't provide any further funding for their severely disabled children unless the kids were made legal wards of the society.

Anne Larcade was one of those parents affected. She is now the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. In August, 2000, she was informed that her local Children's Aid Society couldn't pay for the 24-hour care her 15-year-old disabled son Alexandre required unless he were made a legal ward.

"No one can imagine what it's like to hear the government say it needs to take their child to get these services," she told Canada AM Monday.

"We were put in that position. It's a horrible, horrible position to be put into."

The plaintiffs in the suit allege they were victims of Mike Harris' former Conservative government's cost-cutting measures introduced in the mid-90s. They say the government stopped using legislation designed to provide a safety net for vulnerable children and their families.

That legislation had been passed in the early 1980s and required that special-needs agreements be signed to support children whose needs are greater than can be met by their parents.

The plaintiffs allege the province illegally stopped entering into these agreements with parents shortly after Harris assumed office, in an effort to try to save money.

Instead of changing the legislation, the government simply pulled funding for special-needs agreements.

They allege the Harris government didn't want to change the legislation itself because that would have required a debate and they were in a hurry to cut costs.

"We say that if the Ontario government, the Harris government at the time, wanted to cancel this program, they had to go back to the legislature to do it, and they did not," Doug Elliot, one of the lawyers representing the families told Canada AM.

"I think, really, the previous Harris government went through the back door. They didn't want to face Parliament and say 'We're taking this away from disabled children, we're not going to look after disabled children anymore.' So instead they simply went behind closed doors and said, 'We just won't do it anymore. We will pretend the law isn't there.'"

Arcane says the government made hundreds of families in Ontario suffer needlessly.

"Our hearts have been broken. We have waged war for the years that it's taken to get this through the courts. At a time when we were going through crisis and our children needed us, we had to spend time and money on legal process."

On Friday, the families were given the green light to go ahead with their suit against the government. Elliot says this is the first time that a court in Canada has certified a class action over a government's improper cancellation of a benefits program.

About 140 parents have come forward to join the suit.
Elliot is hopeful they can still convince the current Ontario government to reach a settlement with them before the case goes to court.

"I'm hoping it's going to end soon. The ombudsman delivered a report to the Liberal government last week.

The Liberal government we have in Ontario did not create this problem, but they can solve it. We hope they'll solve it this week."

SO HAS IT STOP ? NO! THEY LIE IN COURT AND MAKE THE PARENTS STILL SAY THERE ARE PROTECTION CONCERNS, AND MAKE THE CHILDREN CROWN WARDS, HOW NICE.
IF THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM MAKING THINGS UP IN A FAMILY COURT, ARE THE TRUST WORTHY ?
THEY HAVE HAD YEARS OF PRACTICE.
THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT OF BUSINESS FOR THIS ALONE. JEFFERY HAD SPECIAL NEEDS, I AM SORRY , BUT I CAN TELL BY HIS FEATURES THAT HE WAS DAMAGED BEFORE BIRTH, HE HAS EVERY FEATURE OF AN FAS CHILD, AND NEEDED THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE, WHY DID THE SO CALLED PROFESSIONALS,NOT SEE IT,
EVERY DOCTOR, AND I KNOW THAT HAS SEEN THAT CHILDS BEAUTIFUL FACE, IN THE MEDIA CAN SEE HE HAD FAS. HOW DID THE CCAS MISS IT. WHAT WAS HE DOING IN A HOME WITHOUT ON GOING SERVICES, HE CLEARLY SHOULD OF HAD.THAT SHOULD BE PART OF THE INQUIRY

Anonymous said...

A previous reader raised an excellent point. I wonder if one of the legally knowledgeable people that post on this site would comment about the potential effect ofthe section 68 provision of Bill 210 has on the growing avalanche of lawsuits against CAS.

Anonymous said...

Ontario promises action on care of disabled kids

Updated Thu. May. 26 2005 2:10 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The Ontario government has promised to immediately follow up on a report by its ombudsman that says severely disabled children are being unnecessarily separated from their families.

Children Services Minister Marie Bountrogianni said Thursday she has asked the Children's Aid Society to identify such children.

That was one of the recommendations by ombudsman Andre Marin in his 44-page report -- entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place -- released Thursday.

Anne Larcade, who gave up custody of her disabled child because she couldn't afford to provide proper care, told Broadcast News she was cautiously optimistic the report's recommendations would be followed.

Marin demanded the provincial government take immediate action to ensure severely disabled children don't have to be surrendered by their families before they can get proper care.

His report said up to 150 Ontario families have been put in that situation "out of desperation."

Marin characterized that as "unjust, oppressive and unfair."

In cases where the families have had to surrender their children to a Children's Aid Society, Marin called for their parental rights to be restored and for the government to give the families enough money to allow them to provide adequate care.

The report is in response to complaints by six families who said they had to give up custody of their severely disabled children.

When the probe was announced, dozens of other families stepped forward.

The affected families' children have autism or similar problems. In many cases, they are physically or mentally challenged.

The report claimed "governments have preferred to study the matter to death" rather than act to correct the injustice.

"Unless something is done urgently, it will be happening not only in this day and age, but again tomorrow and a year after tomorrow,'' the report said.

With files from The Canadian Press

ITS STILL GOING ON NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Anonymous said...

If CAS had any real interest in children it would admit its guilt in the lawsuits filed against it. Instead, it will fight tooth and nail to avoid any accountability towards those whose youth it damaged, making it perfectly clear where its priorities lie - an arrogant and uncaring bunker mentality to the end.

Anonymous said...

Blatently ignorant statements run rampant on this site.

This site was started by a young energetic woman who presented well and therefore was able to get the media attention she so deserved (Amanda).

However, this is no longer the same site...it has been taken over by some ignorant people with tunnel vision. They know everything according to them. Dare to disagree and out come the daggers.

The real truth of these anonymous bloogers is probably this: They have had issues with CAS for many years. This has nothing to do with Jeffrey...these same people are advocating for "natural families" to keep their children no matter what the risk. (Jeffrey was with his so-called natural family) They "highlight" children abused/killed while in foster care but these same people put blinders on when the "natural family" commits identical crimes. They dont want to hear about it. Should someone bring it to their ignorant attention they are then labelled "anti-family". These are people who carry boulders on their shoulders and are full of hate and anger. They are anti-establishment and hate the rich....the ones whose taxes fund their welfare cheque every month and more.

I agree there are some in CAS who are incompetent like any other business. But I also believe there are two sides to every story. The narrow-minded on this site show their ugliness with every stinking word they type.

Anonymous said...

Can the person that keeps filling the blog with double and triple clicks please stop?

It is totally unnecessary...

Anonymous said...

David Weitzel is a moron with poor social skills. The reason he is not working is he couldnt get along with co-workers if he tried. Most people would find alternative employment and if he was injured at work he would be receiving workers compensation not medical welfare. He is a lying coniving manipulative freak.

He has mental health issues.....dont comment on him unless you have actually met him. He has anger management issues also--ask his former wife.

He may have issues with CAS that may be founded...but I believe most of his messed up personality traits are "in the genes" honey.

Anonymous said...

See this site:

www.powertochange.com

very informative

Anonymous said...

There is a poster here that is pro- CAS and that continues to attack the victims of the system, I do not know why they are on here but they should leave. This site is about making the CAS accountable in the name of Jeffrey Baldwin and those who have been in the system are by no means ignorant, they are the experts. A child is dead due to the CCAS and other relevant cases of CAS abuse of power and ineptitude are indeed relevant.

Anonymous said...

Also it is not fair to bash a former CAS ward who was abused in foster care on this site. Whoever is bashing this man please stop it is disgraceful on a site that is dedicated to reforming the CAS. If this man has problems no wonder considering the hell holes those agencies farmed people into.

Anonymous said...

If CAS had any real interest in children it would admit its guilt in the lawsuits filed against it. Instead, it will fight tooth and nail to avoid any accountability towards those whose youth it damaged, making it perfectly clear where its priorities lie - an arrogant and uncaring bunker mentality to the end.

In response to the above comment I think this poster is right. Instaed of fighting the truth these agencies are in dire need of real action. They do not care about the victims in Jeffrey's case they never bothered to visit him, they did not check their files, they hid and tried to lose 30 files of information about this case, and they have been quite arrogant to say the least. They should have been on trial.

I truly feel the strange poster that does not want CAS reform on this site is one of their pathetic workers trying to defend themselves. Well that is too late isn't it - Jeffrey is dead.

Anonymous said...

With respect to the cold hateful pro-CAS poster. It is NOT THE FAULT OF THE ENTIRE FAMILY OF JEFFREY THAT HE WAS MURDERED. There are people on this site who are Jeffrey's relatives and they do not need a hateful knob like you making them feel worse.

He could have been placed with his other grandmother or even his cousins some of who have been on this site and who do care.

Place your hatred somewhere else or go and join the CAS - but whatever you do stop posting comments attacking people as it is very upsetting.

Anonymous said...

I also think a CAS worker posted the power to change website. Very ironic isn't it. Shows you how evil these agencies really are. They are the one's that need to change and hugely before any further deaths of children due to their sheer stupidity and lack of regard.

Anonymous said...

I think the person that hates all of Jeffrey's family and that hates the man who was abused in foster care is a CAS worker. There stupid comments convinced me enough.

Anonymous said...

Amanda this site is very informative, the articles though they are very sad about the children who were abused including Jeffrey are important to be told. Thank you for creating it. Let him not die in vain.

Anonymous said...

after reading the comments if they are not a CAS person they must be a baby broker - they hate families and they hate anyone who has had experience with the CAS - really weird eh.

Anonymous said...

Hey stupid--I was referring to the MOTHERS family not Richard Baldwins.

Yvonnes mother, father and her siblings stood by and watched Jeffrey die a slow and agonizing death.

They wouldnt even allow the fathers family to do as much as visit.

The paternal family has been traumatized by Jeffreys death. On the other hand the maternal family could care less--

Anonymous said...

The reason for the cut and paste cases filling up the blog after comments are posted that they dont approve of is simple.....they hope the person who doesnt agree with them will only read their propaganda instead of possibly finding someone who would agree with them...

Sounds communist to me.

Anti-family pro cas--those favourite words of yours. Has it ever occurred to you that if you presented your case in a more non-aggressive manner perhaps you might get support from those you need to push your cause? Many will see you as a bitter person and with your attitude not many will pay attention to your cause.

That is the same reason David Weizel did not get the attention he wanted--City TV will pick up any story.....notice CBC didnt touch it nor CTV.

You appear nuts to the normal population.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary I think that you are nuts and absolutely hateful, and I think you are either a broker or a CAS employee.

Why are you on a blog that wants CAS reform?

Your comments are really twisted and sick you know.

Why are you here to defend the CCAS when a sweet little boy was murdered as they placed him with monsters.

Anonymous said...

Again stop posting horrible comments Jeffrey does not deserve it. Don't come here to promote the industry of selling children I think you are a baby broker from hell.

Anonymous said...

Again the poster is attacking a man who was severely abused by the CAS, and now saying that media outlets would not cover his story?

You have to be CAS as NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTS TO SILENCE CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS. The only one's who do are the CAS agencies of Ontario - the same idiots that do not want the Ombudsman to investigate them.

Let me tell you something sweetheart their crimes will be revealed - they already are, and you seem to have grave problems with that?

Anonymous said...

NOT until every case of abuse by this government and the child protection agencies and many mandated reporters , The crown wards, and more parents with special needs children, the abused in care, the abused parents, the abused foster parents and adopting parents that are not told of the child's medical history, and drug or alcohol exposures before birth, the tragic stolen children, the parents suffering in every possible way after a false allegations or minimal complaint, the moms in therapy and on waiting list to be seen because of post traumatic stress from a CAS investigation, NOT UNTIL we gather as groups and sue this government for knowing and allowing the agency's to get away with yes even murder, will it stop. Its the only thing they listen to after all, is the bottom line.

ABSOLUTELY WELL SAID - for the "best interests of children and families they should not be brokered online to strangers". A massive law suit may be the only thing to stop the madness.

The government is in bed with a baby broker for God sake.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that the Ombudsman gets power as the child abduction society will no longer be able to take children and market them to desparate infertile couples under deceitful acts of fraud and coercion as they have for DECADES. The filthy adoption industry in this Province should end it is destroying many people. And it has nothing to do with child protection it is a corrupt, evil system based on lies, myths and oppression.

Matthew Reid was also killed by the CAS and his family lost him to be shipped to total strangers and he is dead as well. Maybe he and Jeffrey are kindred spirits and friends on the other side. Both wanting to be heard through those of us who care for either of them. These poor little guys died due to CAS agencies and WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET!

Anonymous said...

The Lawsuit
In May, 2001, REKO commenced a class action lawsuit against the Ontario government on behalf of families with special needs children who were denied services due to the Government of Ontario’s mismanagement and improper elimination of Special Needs Agreements as provided for in the Child and Family Services Act. Ms. Anne Larcade and her son act as the Representative Plaintiffs.

Ms. Larcade’s claim alleges that the Ontario Government was negligent and failed to meet its legal obligation to provide services for severely disabled children that ought to have been provided through Special Needs Agreements. As a result of the Ontario Government’s negligence, families were forced to personally fund services for their severely disabled children and, in some cases, relinquish custody of their children to the government in order to obtain life-saving services. The claim seeks damages of $500 million for the Class.

NOT until every case of abuse by this government and the child protection agencies and many mandated reporters , The crown wards, and more parents with special needs children, the abused in care, the abused parents, the abused foster parents and adopting parents that are not told of the child's medical history, and drug or alcohol exposures before birth, the tragic stolen children, the parents suffering in every possible way after a false allegations or minimal complaint, the moms in therapy and on waiting list to be seen because of post traumatic stress from a CAS investigation, NOT UNTIL we gather as groups and sue this government for knowing and allowing the agency's to get away with yes even murder, will it stop. Its the only thing they listen to after all, is the bottom line.

Between a rock and a hard place barley scratches the surface of the abuse by this agency. And this government understands that, yes we can read, the minutes of the legislator and they tell us clearly, that far to many of you understood and still do, yet give are money to what many consider a corrupt and out of control agency, in the press, is not parental abuse, the children have died because of dismal failures on the part of the agencies though out history.

Are we still not hearing about the day care scandals and satanic ritual abuse, are we finished paying off the aboriginals that have suffered for decades in the residential schools, then taken from families and community's, the crown wards for the abuse in care, the sexual abuse, perpetrators where social workers judges doctors, police, please.

Jeffery's family should be sue, so should Matthews, all others who have lost a child while in care, is this why the need to hurry and make them YOUR children Minister Chambers. your children are homeless, the walking wounded, how will you ever find a family for them now?

For every child that wants to go home, send them, and stop the kidnapping. The foster families that go into business, and you pay rather then the parents, of special needs children shame.

Saturday, April 08, 2006 1:54:02 PM

THIS POST SAYS IT ALL - IT IS SHAMEFUL AS TO THE ACTIVITIES OF THE CAS. Forcing innocent, loving parents to surrender their children to the CAS was indeed the straw that broke the camel's back. How horrible that this happened to loving human beings when the child abduction society stooped so low that they destroyed families of special needs kids.

Anonymous said...

To the strange person that said Jeffrey had FAS I think you are wrong - I do not think that this had ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. He was not a special needs child - he was an innocent child, and a lamb sent to a slaughter compliments of the CCAS of Toronto.

And yes adoptive parents need real information about the kids that they adopt but lets not get carried away here - they are NOT THE VICTIMS they are the the people who benefit from the CAS and baby brokers at the expense of innocent people who have their children stolen.

Anonymous said...

To the poster who said that as Bottineau got custody with low IQ, what does it say about the CCAS that agreed to this - EXACTLY, WELL SAID!

It is obvious beyond a reasonable doubt, that the persons working at the CCAS and in the "industry" generally are, to use an archaic but in this case apt term, RETARDED. The evidence speaks volumes.

In regard to attending for rally - please make it April 12 even though it will be to set a date for sentencing, as that is the date the Fifth Estate program will air as well, and further it will be a short appearance, so we will have opportunity to protest immediately thereafter with media there. We can always do an additional rally following the sentencing. A previous poster was right, we have got to get out there and make waves now otherwise there was no point in announcing it to the media and we look foolish.

PLEASE CONFIRM YOU WILL BE OUT AT THE COURTHOUSE ON APRIL 12!!!

Anonymous said...

To anyone who has seen fit to post the idiotic comments attempting to suppress child abuse victims voices, you will meet your justice one day and rot. You are merely a waste of space equivalent to Bottineau and Kidman in stature. Get lost.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Baldwin's case breaks my heart, and it should be the case that changes the system forever.

Anonymous said...

To say that the CAS is retarded is an understatement. They had files in their own building about the evil monsters that killed that little boy and they did not even check them.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who has seen fit to post the idiotic comments attempting to suppress child abuse victims voices, you will meet your justice one day and rot. You are merely a waste of space equivalent to Bottineau and Kidman in stature. Get lost.

AGAIN well said, many of the posters on this site are child abuse survivors that were taken by the CAS in the first place. And we WILL NOT BE SILENT. We will band together to change this system. Let's do it not only for ourselves and each other but for a beautiful boy who no longer has a voice.

Anonymous said...

To the poster who questioned the legal implications of section 68 of Bill 210 - s.68 relates to the internal review system that CAS has whittled down, but from which, if the "review" is done, an appeal to the Child and Family Services Review Board can now apparently be taken.

I do not think this does anything to derogate from the ability of persons with a nexus to the CAS to sue these organizations civilly.

Indeed, there is a case currently brought before the Ontario Court of Appeal that was interesting in raising the issue of whether a duty of care exists by CAS to the family of abused person in care (that is my recollection of the subject of the case). This case has been allowed to proceed by the appeal court and is also one to watch in its outcome. I will post the details of this case further as they become known.

In regard to any class action lawsuit it would be necessary for all those harmed in care by failure of CASs to bring a class action lawsuit as plaintiffs. I forsee problems, however, in certifying such an action, as it is likely that the court will determine that each complainant's issue with CAS failure is discrete or individual and does not bind all in a "common issue" which is staturorily mandated requirement for a class action to be certified.

I would love to argue that the CASs owe a duty to the public at large and see a class action proceed on that basis commenced by the concerned citizens of Ontario or some created association of persons as I think is being done in the US where organizations that are child welfare watchdogs engage in class actions and reform the child protection system in various states by court order mandating that actions be taken. The court orders must be obeyed and have more effect than recommendations of the Ombudsman or via coroner's investigation.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the lady that posted that she lived on the same street as Jeffrey comes to the Memorial for him. It is not the fault of those who lived on his street. It is the FAULT OF THE MURDERERS AND THE CCAS OF TORONTO.

Anonymous said...

To the pro CAS poster:

If you wish to put a stop to the blatantly ignorant statements that run rampant on this site, stop posting.

Your efforts to manipulate facts to create a false impression are worthy of CAS itself. Check the archives and you will see the site's content is consistent from its earliest posts. No one has taken it over and the only posts by ignorant people with tunnel vision are yours.

Absolutely no one on this site has claimed to know everything - that is simply your latest attempt to slur others. However, it could be said you claim to know everthing as you constantly refer to everyone that posts against you as "ignorant." Unfortunately, there is nothing to substantiate your exhalted opinion of yourself. No one in their right mind would agree with your misguided opinions.

If it weren't for the experience some posters have had with CAS, it would be much easier for these agencies to portray Jeffrey Baldwin as an isolated case. The truth is, CAS acts in the worst interests of children every day. Look at the revelations regarding pedophile foster homes for example. The posts you object to are completely in line with the site's objective as defined by Amanda.

CAS dishonestly removes children from natural families and places them in situations of real danger. No one has suggested keeping children with their own family "no matter what the risk" as you'd have us believe, However your constant attempts to portray parents as monsters who are threats to their children have no relation to the truth. There are seldom credible reasons to seperate children from their families. Doing so causes extreme damage. "No matter what the risk" is another attempt to twist words on your part.

You have no excuse not to know that children are physically and emotionally safest in their natural families and that parents who murder children within their family unit is almost non-existant. The same can not be said of foster care, where child deaths dwarf those occuring in families on a per capita basis.

The only person that appears to be consumed by hate and anger is you. You mistake the hatred that drives you with those who are incensed by a corrupt system that causes extreme social devastation. Others are doing everything possible to dismantle it.
You wish this heinous abuse to continue.

For you to characterize those you do not agree with as anti-establishment types who hate the rich only shows how desperate and bigotted you are. I for one have a comfortable six figure income, a doctor who has posted on this site earns a medical specialist salary, etc. Why would you mention welfare cheques sp perjoratively if it were not to demean those who have exposed your idiocy. Whether a person receives assistance, it has no bearing on the truth of their cause.

It's as apparent as ever that you can not make a single honest statement that does not try to twists facts to conform with your agenda. That trait is mentioned again and again by those who have dealt with CAS social workers. Reading your posts may give new readers some insight into the disturbed individuals that work for these agencies.

Anonymous said...

Many of the survivors of the system are very intelligent - we had to be to survive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much to the person that posted the legal information. It's sincerely appreciated.

Anonymous said...

The person that posted such disparaging remarks about David Weitzel is a moron.

The issue has nothing to do with your opinions regarding this man's social skills, employment status, personality traits or marital relationship.

It's about extreme abuse he and his brother experienced at the hands of CAS.

Anonymous said...

Wow the poster that hates the man that is seeking legal justice is blaming the horror of his life under the argument of "genes". They are a baby broker from hell, as only such a sick freak would use this to promote taking children away - but when it does not work - it is not the CAS, the constant abuse in foster homes or the sadists that obtain these innocent children NO IT IS IN THE GENES?

Genes are not evil but those who sell children to strangers are, including the CAS agencies of Ontario.

When it fails and the victims complain blame it on the "genes" that is chapter nine in the handbook of lies from the child abcdution society.

It was not "genes" baby broker from hell - it was the strangers that abused this man for decades and the CAS TO BE BLAMED.

Anonymous said...

As for the legal information what it reads is that the victims cannot obtain evidence from the CAS, they only have the culprits to complain to.

It is quite brilliant really another weapon to destroy the voices that want to expose the CAS.

It was written by the former chief legal defensse of the CCAS of Toronto. The agency responsible for Jeffrey.

Anonymous said...

With respect to the idiot that suggests the posters on this site are on welfare think again. I work and pay my taxes. Even if I did not why hate the poor?

Do our situations of employment have anything to do with the fact that Jeffrey Baldwin was killed due to the CCAS, or that THOUSANDS were abused by their "forever families".

I DON'T THINK SO.

Anonymous said...

You know what is truly scary is the poster on this blog that hates normal families, and that wishes to silence child abuse survivors.

Could it be that they are one of the strange mob of people that wish to hunt down anothers child as they cannot have one - and that they hate pro-creation and are in bed with a baby broker from hell to kidnap other children?

I think so............ and we wonder why so many in foster care and group homes are abused. The CAS gives children to people that should NOT HAVE THEM - but they hate that as well.

Anonymous said...

FOSTER CHILDREN MURDERED

About 100 people gathered on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature last night for a candlelight vigil to honour Phoenix and other Manitoba children who died in care.

Nine foster children were murdered in Manitoba last year and 31 were killed since 2001.

For the family of Heaven Traverse, a two-year-old who died on Jan. 14, 2005, it was a bittersweet end to an emotional day.

Heaven's aunt, Janelle Traverse, said charges laid against two foster parents yesterday in connection with the toddler's death were a relief.

"There will finally be some closure in our lives and (we can) get the children at home where they belong," Traverse said of Heaven's five siblings still in care.

The two accused face assault charges and have been released from custody.

After a long year with few answers, Traverse said she's confident the mystery of Heaven's death will finally be solved.

Kim Edwards, Phoenix Sinclair's foster mother, found comfort in the crowd. "I'm confident this is the beginning of making a difference," she said.

Supporters at the vigil called for better foster parent education and a revamped, more cohesive Child and Family Services (CFS) system.

Many said CFS, which is divided into four service authorities, lacks communication and accountability.

"Whenever we lose a child, another patch goes on between the segments, so we have a patchwork of nonsense," Vince Surbey told the crowd.

Surbey's adopted son Chris, was murdered last summer at age 17 while in CFS care.

Are we going to try and stop this, every child lost, is one to many

Anonymous said...

You know even with an inquest the CCAS of Toronto has gotten away with this horrible situation. The inquest still does not make them responsible though it will examine it which is good. They need to be FIRED the idiots that placed Jeffrey into that hell hole need to be REMOVED FROM EVER BEING IN THAT AGENCY. And what is more disturbing is how many children has that same idiot social worker placed into "foster homes" or "adoptive homes".

I think every single case that she worked on should be reviewed immediately and an investigation should be taken to see if the kids that she was in charge with are okay. Considering that the worker gave Jeffrey to convicted child abusers it is quite possible that she gave other kids to abusers as well.

The government needs to step in here and ORDER A REVIEW OF THIS WORKERS FILES.

Anonymous said...

And considering how stupid the worker is many of the kids that she took in the first place should likely be returned home.

Anonymous said...

You know even in the Toronto Sun there was a letter to the editor defending foster parents from a foster parent and blaming a foster child for the fact that she was not hugged in care? That type of heartless person should not be a foster parent.

Anonymous said...

Amanda you did a great job with the plaque and the poem is beautiful. Every time I look at his little face it angers me more that the CCAS has gotten away with this and that they are not on trial.

Anonymous said...

THE CCAS WORKERS MIGHT BE TOO BUSY VIEWING PORN TO ACTUALLY MAKE SURE THAT CHILDREN THAT THEY ABDUCTED ARE NOT BEING ABUSED!!!


Children's aid agency fires five over porn
Director describes e-mails as 'an affront to our values'

Christie Blatchford
National Post

TORONTO - The Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto has outright fired five staff and disciplined 32 others in connection with an e-mail pornography scandal.

Most of the sanctioned employees were administrative support staff not directly engaged in serving the agency's clients -- area Roman Catholic youngsters and their families -- but six supervisors and seven child-protection workers were also involved, executive director Mary McConnville told the National Post yesterday.

"It's very distressing for a child-welfare agency," Ms. McConnville said.

She hastened to add that the agency's internal investigation uncovered no child pornography, and that the agency had satisfied itself that none of its clients -- in the year ending last March, the CCAS served 21,375 Toronto children who remained with their families and another 1,854 who were taken into care -- were affected.

"But still," she said, "because of the nature of the work we do, it's completely unacceptable that this would happen here. It's offensive to the public and to our clients. It's also something that's terribly offensive to all of the others on staff."

The total number of employees found linked to the scandal represents about 7% of the agency's total full-time staff of about 475.

Ms. McConnville said the matter came to light through ''a bit of a fluke."

The agency was looking into a staff complaint of sexual harassment, and, in the course of that, someone made an allegation about offensive e-mail.

That subject of the sexual harassment complaint was also fired, but was not implicated in the e-mail scandal.

The broader investigation began in April, Ms. McConnville said, and by May 8, "We began to take action. We wanted to act fairly but aggressively. Society staff has to have confidence in the agency and so does the public." She said the agency had informed the union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, throughout.

At its worst, Ms. McConnville told the Post, employees were exchanging and storing on their office computers "material of a sexually explicit nature," what she also termed "the obscene sexual stuff," and comprised conduct she said was "thoroughly unprofessional and unethical."

At its mildest, she said, the offensive material consisted of "dirty jokes, ethnic jokes, that kind of thing," breaches Ms. McConnville described as "poor judgment."

All of it she pronounced "an affront to our values as a child-welfare agency, and as Catholics."

She said it was "astounding" that so many staffers had felt free to circulate such material, pointing out that since 1999, the agency had issued six "very specific directives on what was inappropriate use of e-mail," in addition to its long-standing policy on sexual harassment and discrimination.

Ms. McConnville said that while the internal computer system has a "firewall" to protect the integrity of its sensitive case files from being accessed externally, employees can receive outside e-mails via the Internet.

This, she said, is how the pornographic material apparently first made its way into agency offices. It was then either circulated to other staff, or stored, or both.

In addition to the five e-mail-related firings -- only one was a child-protection worker, who had not been actively working in child protection at the time, while one was a case aide who dealt with clients only on the telephone -- 26 employees were suspended without pay for between three and five days, depending on what Ms. McConnville called "the volume and nature" of the offensive material.

Of the suspended employees, six were supervisors (only three of whom worked in the service area), six were child-protection workers and one was a case aide.

Another six staffers received warning letters on their personnel files.

Ms. McConnville said that while the agency is confident it has ended the practice in the short term, "We want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

To that end, she said, the agency's entire staff has just gone through a mandatory refresher course on its harassment and discrimination policy, is looking for some sort of screening tool that might prevent such material being transmitted into the agency without interfering with its work, and intends to do "some monitoring from here on ... From my perspective, this is like a cancer in the workplace. We've got to talk about what happened."

Last spring, at a coroner's inquest into the June 23, 1997, death of baby Jordan Heikamp, who starved to death in downtown Toronto while he was ostensibly under the watchful eye of worker Angie Martin, Ms. Martin and her supervisor took the opportunity to complain bitterly of their growing workload.

At the end of the 12-week inquest, the five-member jury returned with a verdict of homicide in Jordan's death.

© Copyright 2002 National Post

Anonymous said...

From City Pulse news website the victim is going to sue the evil CCAS - they have it coming and they have had it coming for a long time. That agency is one of the worst one's on this earth.

He was charged with protecting society’s most valuable commodity –- its children.

And later he was charged with molesting them.

Now a man has pleaded guilty to an unthinkable crime that changed the lives of five boys forever.

Paul Blackwell was a foster parent for the Catholic Children’s Aid Society, the organization that cares for abandoned, orphaned or abused youngsters.

The 64-year-old has already been in jail for a year and a half, after allegations surfaced that he abused five of the children in his care between 1977 and 1992.

His trial was well underway and his victims, whose identities are protected by a court order, weren’t looking forward to reliving their agony.

But something nearly miraculous happened when the first of the five now grown-up witnesses took the stand.

Blackwell, who at first denied his guilt, changed his plea, confessing to the disgusting charges.

It’s a bittersweet ending for one of the boys who endured Blackwell’s ‘care’.

“When he first started to molest me was on our way to Florida,” the man, who was just 15 at the time, recalls. “You know, he'd fondle me.”

But that was just the start of his nightmare. “At the same time that this was going on, my case worker had molested me as well.”

Despite the revelations, the Catholic Children’s Aid Society claims it didn’t know what was going on. “We don't have any knowledge of any allegations of this sort involving any case workers who were working with clients in that foster home,” claims spokesperson Anne Rappe.

But the victim knows it happened, and was at least pleased to hear the man who confessed his role in the terrible crime admit his own guilt.

“It was so terrible,” he recalls. “It plays in your head every day of your life.

The Crown attorney is glad the accused man came to his senses and saved everyone the emotional and economic expense of a trial.

“It's good to see a result like this where he accepts responsibility, he acknowledges the harm that he's done to these five boys at the time and men now,” agrees Kara Sweeney.

But for the victim, the memories will never fade and his fight for justice isn’t over.

“I am suing the Catholic Children's Aid,” he declares. “They put me in this pedophile's care.”

Blackwell was sentenced to seven years in jail for his actions, but could be out sooner.

But more charges could be coming before then. Police are convinced there are other victims out there. They’re imploring them to come forward and call Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.






March 24, 2006

Anonymous said...

To the person that wants to silence CAS abuse victims that is an old trick that they have used for decades. They want those with CAS information to be silent, they want the victims to just simply fade away.

Too bad for them though as the victims are not going to go away. The crimes of these vile agencies will be heard more and more.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget either that the cold-hearted piece of crap that murdered Jeffrey was ALSO A FOSTER MOTHER.

Anonymous said...

And the CAS also orchestrated thousands of abductions of aboriginal children as well to give to "white strangers who were infertile".

This case is also about someone who was abused by their "forever family".

http://www.wrcfs.org/repat/stolennation.htm

Anonymous said...

The legal post is very informative. We're very fortunate to have the interest of a person with your knowledge!

Anonymous said...

This is an important petition maybe people here would like to sign it and from the comments posted it confirms the hell of the child welfare system in Ontario.

http://www.petitiononline.com/08311976/petition.html

Anonymous said...

Raising a family – again

Ann Kerr
Globe and Mail
February 18, 2004

“Sheila and Herman Volchert of Fonthill, Ont., have been caring for their two young granddaughters for five years. Mrs. Volchert had to quit her part-time job because the cost of daycare was too high.”

At a time of life when most people are planning their retirement, Paul and Darlene Pellman are raising a family. Again.

Eight years ago, the Pellmans took over care of their two young grandchildren. Their daughter has mental health problems and can't look after them. The children's father sees them fairly regularly but believes the Pellmans are better able to raise them.

"This isn't something we had planned on, but we wouldn't want it any other way. Most grandparents in our situation step in and do whatever it takes to care for their grandchildren," says Mr. Pellman, a family lawyer in Toronto.

In fact, many grandparents in Canada are helping provide for their grandchildren. A Statistics Canada study in December using 2001 census statistics found that nearly 475,000 grandparents lived with their grandchildren. Many contributed financially, especially in single-parent families.

The Pellmans are an extreme example of pitching in. They're what's known as a "skip-generation" family -- grandparents living with grandchildren, without the middle generation. And it's a trend that's growing fast.

According to the 2001 census, nearly 57,000 grandparents in Canada were raising their grandchildren on their own. Between 1991 and 2001, the number of children under 18 living only with their grandparents jumped 20 per cent, says Esme Fuller-Thompson, an associate professor of social work at the University of Toronto who has conducted several studies about skip-generation families.

"To see a 20-per-cent increase in 10 years is demographically a huge trend," Ms. Fuller-Thompson says.

In the United States, the increase has been even more rapid. The figure rose 44 per cent during the 1980s, Ms. Fuller-Thompson says.

The rise is mostly due to better reporting of child abuse and neglect, says Ms. Fuller-Thompson, as well as increased drug abuse by parents and more women being sent to prison. Grandparents take over to try to keep their families intact, she adds.

Many skip-generation families are middle class, she says, but there's also a substantial number who are struggling to make ends meet.

Even those who start out financially secure can find it tough to cover the cost of children's education, camps and living expenses, Ms. Fuller-Thompson says.

"I know of one grandmother who substantially depleted her savings in litigation costs to get full custody of her grandchildren, to make sure they were safe," she adds.

Sheila and Herman Volchert of Fonthill, Ont., have been caring for their two young granddaughters for five years. Mrs. Volchert had to quit her part-time job because the cost of daycare was too high.

Although Mr. Volchert is an engineer, he works for a small local firm that doesn't provide a pension. The registered retirement savings plans the couple have set aside for their golden years will likely be cashed in to pay for the children's post-secondary education, says Mrs. Volchert, who is president of Grand-PARENTING AGAIN Canada, one of several support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Volcherts can afford to put away only about $30 a month for each child into registered education savings plans.

About 85 per cent of the group's members are under severe financial strain, Mrs. Volchert says, living on government pensions or earning little. Many have to use food banks.

"Nobody really expects to be raising another family at this point in life. It's a big shock to your system, especially financially. There aren't many supports out there," she says.

"As a lawyer, making a good income, I'm one of the lucky ones," says Mr. Pellman, who is also professionally involved in grandparent issues. About 15 to 25 per cent of his clients are grandparents involved in legal battles over access to or legal custody of grandchildren.

The Pellmans are able to send their grandchildren to private schools. Their dental and medical expenses are covered under Mr. Pellman's insurance. He and his wife have life insurance to provide for the children and they've made substantial investments in RESPs.

Even still, starting over with a family extracts a financial price. The Pellmans have spent thousands of dollars on assessments and therapy for their grandchildren's learning problems and emotional issues. They had to move from a condo to a house to accommodate the children.

"I had been planning to retire at 60 or so," says Mr. Pellman, who is in his early 50s. "Now, it'll be more like 70, with the kids' university educations to pay for. It's a good thing I enjoy my work."

The Pellmans receive a small amount of support from the children's father. The only other financial help they get is from income tax deductions, the same ones parents are entitled to.

"I think many grandparents raising children are unaware they can claim deductions for them, as long as no one else is claiming them on their return," says Steve Roth, a tax partner at Zeifman & Co. LLP in Toronto.

If you support a dependant under age 19 in your home, you can claim the eligible dependant, or equivalent to spouse, credit on your income tax return, worth about $6,500, Mr. Roth says.

You can also claim child-care expenses such as daycare, babysitting, camps and some educational programs, Mr. Roth says. The child-care tax break is available for children under 17, to a maximum of $7,000 up to age seven, and $4,000 to age 16.

As well, grandparents can claim medical expenses that aren't reimbursed through government programs or insurance, for costs such as dental care and prescriptions, says Mr. Roth. "You don't need to be the actual legal guardian to claim the deductions."

But there are restrictions on those deductions that make many grandparents ineligible, says Scott Gibson, vice president of E.E.S. Financial Services Ltd. in Markham.

The eligible dependant, or equivalent to spouse, credit only applies in situations where there's only one parent or guardian, he says, because it's awarded in lieu of a spouse. To claim child-care expenses, the grandparents must be working, he adds. Under the Income Tax Act, the tax credit is available to the lower-income spouse.

"If the lower-income spouse doesn't have any income, it's lost. Overall, the tax system doesn't offer much in cases where grandparents are raising children."

There are provincial government programs across the country that supply some financial aid. In Ontario, for instance, the Ontario Works program provides $214 a month for the first child, and up to $174 for each additional child, as well as benefits for drugs, dental and vision care, back-to-school expenses and winter clothing, says Anne Machowski, a spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The support is awarded based on the child's income, not the grandparents'. If your grandchild has little or no income, he or she can get the supplement, regardless of what you earn, says Mrs. Volchert.

But grandparent support groups argue the funding isn't adequate or well-publicized.

"Most of the grandparents who start with our group aren't even aware of all the programs. We're lobbying to get better recognition for grandparents and better rates," Mrs. Volchert says.

Another complaint is that the provincial supplement can be clawed back if the grandparents receive the federal child benefit supplement for low-income families. "The family not only loses out on the money, they can lose the benefits as well," Mrs. Volchert says.

Grandparent support groups believe all grandparents who need help to raise their grandchildren should receive the same support that foster parents get.

The regular daily rate for foster parents in Ontario, for instance, is $26.76, says Melanie Persaud, spokesperson for the Children's Aid Society of Toronto.

Some grandparents do become designated as foster parents but many balk at the restrictions, says Joan Brooks, head of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Toronto.

Foster care is only provided in cases with "a verified child protection issue, where abuse or neglect has been reported. We must do a risk assessment and determine it's unsafe for the child to be left with the parents," Ms. Persaud says. It's the Children's Aid that has ultimate authority over a child under its program, not the grandparent, something many grandparents oppose, Ms. Brooks says.

There are moves under way to change that restriction in Ontario. A new Kinship Care program was launched in June in a couple of locations to give grandparents more autonomy. Legislative change is required, though, for grandparents in the program to be official guardians, who can operate more at arms' length from the agency, Ms. Persaud says.

Many of those who work with skip-generation families agree that more government support and tax incentives are needed. "There have always been cases of grandparents having to raise the grandchildren but the numbers weren't as large. They've been invisible up till now and that's why there isn't enough in place to help them," Ms. Fuller-Thompson says.

If there was more financial help, fewer children would end up in foster care, or with parents who do an inadequate job, Mr. Pellman contends. "There are many grandparents who step in but there are a lot who are living on a fixed income and they don't have the extra."

"It breaks their hearts that they just can't afford to provide the care their grandchildren need."

Anonymous said...

In Ontario today a mob of infertile couples, and gay couples and anyone that "wants" a child will get them with Bill 210. And it is a given that those children will be abused just as those children who were shipped to foster care, group homes and adoptive homes were in the past.

But the government at hand does not care if they did they would have the Ombudsman investigate those agencies and they would not be in bed with a baby broker that operates a "business" of buying babies. And on the board of the ACO is a former supervisor from the Metro Toronto CAS - who is now also in the business of "buying and selling babies".

WHY ARE CHILDREN FOR SALE?

There are 3 types of parasites in our world.
1) are those who abuse children
2) are agencies that facilitate abuse
3) are baby brokers that sell babies and children.

In the UK private adoption is ILLEGAL for a good reason. But our government does not appear to have the intelligence to understand why that is - instead they are in bed with people who broker children for profit.

It is disgusting and it is shameful.

Working with a private baby broker on a mission to hunt down children WILL NOT PREVENT cases like Jeffrey's.

Anonymous said...

The ACO - Adoption Council of Ontario that is operated by a private baby broker had an article in the newspaper a few years ago and they compared adoption to the "price of a car" they described it as being "a compact model or a luxury sedan".

We are talking about children for God sake who SHOULD NOT BE BOUGHT AND SOLD to anyone period.

And Minister Chambers is working with this very person to ship children all over the earth to a mob of infertile couples with her right hand henchman beside her.

It is shameful, and totally disgusting and it is literally barbaric.

Anonymous said...

In Ontario Bill 210 will make children pawns for profit. But then again the CAS had made children pawns for profit for decades.

Yet children like Jeffrey die to their failures - nothing is done at all. All that is done is repeating the cycle.

The whole thing is MADDENING. It is insain.

That the one of the worst cases of child abuse in Canada is being ignored by the CAS agencies of Ontario is shameful. The only reason why they want to ignore this is as they are RESPONSIBLE FOR IT.

Anonymous said...

IT IS NEVER THEIR FAULT THOUGH.

It is not their fault that they used deceitful acts of fraud and coercion to kidnap children for strangers, not their fault that thousands were abused in foster care, not their fault that they sent children to the residential schools, not their fault that so many have died in care, and not their fault for Jeffrey either???

Here is a good question - IF IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE CHILD ABDUCTION SOCIETY then who is responsible for this? Someone that lives in a parallel universe unknown to mankind?

They are responsible.

Anonymous said...

The child abduction society does not want kinship care as it will hamper their business of finding children for rich, infertile people that "want" someone else's child for their own selfish and greedy reasons. In some perverse way it makes one wonder if they allowed Jeffrey to die in kinship care to make a case against it so horrifying that no one would want to support it.

I would not put it past them as in the past they literally told women their babies were dead and brokered them out. They are evil.

Anonymous said...

And despite the trial, the media coverage, a pending inquiry is this agency responsible? Is the worker still "placing" children into various different homes? How scary is that - it is enough to keep one awake at night as I cannot imagine the horror shows that the CCAS sent children to with the worker responsible for Jeffrey.

That it took an evil person with a marginal intelligence to pass this over on the CCAS worker to start with really speaks volumes as to their intelligence.

Anonymous said...

I honestly also wonder if they let Jordan starve to death as they HATE NORMAL FAMILIES AND PEOPLE SO MUCH especially poor and single women that they again wanted to make a case against family preservation. I would not put anything past them.

Anonymous said...

the only thing there is to do is mass protest. and mass human kindness, with out judgement. teach the mandating reporters, although most already understand, CAS does more harm then good, and sue if it was not a child protection issue.
We no longer live in a demacratic sociey , as we seen are old peace keepers, ( now called the troops) how sad, to bring demcracy to other country, PLEASE we are not free.
And its about to get much worse.

Anonymous said...

Once the CAS gains entree' the family is put under a powerful, and distorted, microscope. "Social workers" will ask bizarre and invasive questions. Do the parents ever argue? Do they ever raise their voices? This is documented as "domestic violence." No surprise here, the majority of the funding for domestic violence programs is channeled through CAS. If parents deny domestic abuse or child abuse, they are condescendingly told that they are "in denial", and this is all "part of the syndrome." Admitting - confessing - is one of the requirements. Truth is not important. Saying the right things to keep provenial funding flowing, is. You could be asked, as could your child (even a three or four year-old) if you have ever touched them in the chest or genital are. Obviously, after bathing, wiping, applying ointment, etc., any parent must answer "yes." Anyone who admits to having a drink occasionally is labeled "alcoholic and dysfunctional." (Powerful, wealthy politicians evidently have an exemption). Under the CAS microscope every word, inflection, and action is attributed with the most distorted, bizarre, and ludicrous "meanings." If you have ever bounced a check, you have a "criminal record"; if your child is shy, they are "fearful and withdrawn"; if they are outgoing and active, they are "acting out due to the trauma." This is crazy, you say? Oh good, you're catching on now!

Anonymous said...

When baby Jordan died the worker Angela Martin lead an internal email campaign within the CCAS and said that they would "win" - that was reported from an article that Christie Blatchford did.

A baby starved to death under their watch and the worker was busy emailing saying they would "win". A baby starved to DEATH and that was her response??

No remorse PERIOD NONE WHAT SO EVER.

And also let's not forget Randal Dooley who was killed by his wicked step-mother in another horrific child abuse case. The Metro Toronto CAS DID NOT BOTHER TO DO ANYTHING DESPITE CAS BEING CALLED.

Anonymous said...

I think the poster that said that they twist everything is entirely true. And at the same time they ignore actual cases of child abuse.

They lie, they always have lied - they always will lie. They are the most dishonest, manipulative pack of wolves with no responsibility on this earth.

They lie in court, they always have.

Anonymous said...

Lets put the Minister up on E Bay sale her into slavery, what have we not learnt.
CAS has planted the seeds of a genocide.
The directors of the CAS, Bruce Rivers up as a good decent grounds keeper, but must be no young children in the home.

Mary Mc Conville,( her name suites her well,) she could be sold as a prostitute, for use in the prisons Harper wants to build. How much could we get for her do you think?
Lets sale them all off.
and stop voting for idiots.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that they are sharpening their teeth for some nice white babies to sell to infertile couples as they work with a baby broker.

Anonymous said...

You know that is a good suggestion I think we should sell the politicians the way that private baby brokers sell children. I think the baby brokers should be sold to foreign countries to the highest bidder. See how they like being shipped to strangers like pieces of meat and severed from their families.

The rotten, evil thugs.

I wonder if the politicians want to be sold on the Internet the way they are going to broker out children in Ontario?

Anonymous said...

To the poster that said CAS has planted the seeds of genocide - actually they have already created genocide and have done so for decades - which is why the government put in section 68 of Bill 210 to protect those evil agencies legally.

Anonymous said...

Only until a Royal Commission of Inquiry and real oversight mechanisms will those horrid agencies ever be stopped.

They are planning a witch hunt just like they did before - watch the numbers in care soar at an all time high as the baby brokers from hell and their clients want your children!!

Anonymous said...

Yes I think those who have had their children taken by deceitful acts of fraud and coercion should indeed sue. The 500 mil class action suit with the parents of the autistic kids is a good example.

Anonymous said...

If the Catholic Child Abduction Society refuses to let Jeffrey's family see the other kids they should sue them as well and band together to DEMAND responsibility from that putrid agency.

Anonymous said...

But the government is going to try and use adoption as a cure for child abuse? Very strange...

Send abusive mother to jail



Jake Rupert

The Ottawa Citizen



Friday, October 25, 2002

An adoptive mother who abused a toddler, causing six bone fractures and injuries, should go to jail, a court heard yesterday.

Calling the abuse Louise Lavergne, 43, inflicted upon the child inexcusable, assistant Crown attorney Brian Holowka told Justice Lynn Ratushny society demanded denunciation of the crime.

"The community entrusted the care of that child to Ms. Lavergne, and that trust was violated," he said. "This is not an incident that happened once. ... These injuries happened on at least three occasions."

Earlier this week, Ms. Lavergne pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing bodily harm, which covered her actions between March 2000, when she adopted the 10-month-old girl, and September 2000, when doctors detected the abuse on a trip to CHEO.

She initially denied the allegations and claimed the injuries were the result of accidents.

She later admitted to police she caused the injuries in various ways, including pushing the child into the table while the child was in a high chair, banging the child's elbows into the floor and swinging the child into the side of a bathtub.

In his submissions to the judge, Mr. Holowka said an 18-month jail sentence, followed by two years' probation, would adequately reflect society's abhorrence of the crime.

Earlier, Ms. Lavergne's lawyer, Joe Burke, introduced evidence showing Ms. Lavergne will never have custody of children again, has true remorse for the crime, is taking counselling and has changed.

He suggested a conditional sentence, which would spare his client time in jail, was an appropriate sentence in the circumstances.

Judge Ratushny will sentence Ms. Lavergne in two weeks.

© Copyright 2002 The Ottawa Citizen

Anonymous said...

Tuesday 12 December 2000

We are tearing families apart

Today the Citizen's Dave Brown begins a five-part series taking a critical look at Canada's family court system.

Family courts, he writes, have moved far beyond protecting children from abuse. They deal now in terms such as "a child in need," and "best interests."

That means the court can decide a child needs better parents, even if the child has not been abused or neglected. By creating courts that undermine parents' rights to a fair trial, he argues, families are being torn apart.

Every day in North America, thousands of people are judged in courts that don't offer the protections of burden of proof, reasonable doubt, hard evidence or presumption of innocence. These courts operate in virtual secrecy.

They're called family courts, and they dispense judgments far more heartbreaking than criminal courts. Because they operate under different standards, they can have the effect of removing the right to a fair trial. In the climate of our times, that's seen as the price of protecting children.

These courts are very busy and rapidly increasing in number and power. They will likely get even busier after a recent Supreme Court decision written by Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dube, giving child protection workers the right to apprehend a child without a warrant.

She wrote: "A wrongful apprehension does not give rise to the same risk of serious, and potentially even fatal, harm to a child, as would an inability on the part of the state to intervene promptly ... "

Hers was the majority view from a five-member panel that voted 3-2. Justice Louise Arbour filed the minority opinion, arguing: "Harm may come to the child from precipitous and misguided state interference."

That's already happening.

There are sections of the Criminal Code of Canada that call for harsh penalties for persons who abuse or neglect children. In the past two years in Ontario, 2,168 children were made Crown wards.

If they were being abused or neglected, there should have been an equal number of parents punished. In fact, virtually no parents were punished. In the past year alone, 133 of those children were processed by family courts in Ottawa, again without parents jailed or fined.

Once Crown wardship is in place, child protectors turn children over to foster parents. If adopted, they become new persons with new names. Who they were becomes a package of sealed records.

The absence of corresponding punishment of abusive and negligent parents begs a question: Why not?

The answer is that family courts have moved far beyond protecting children from abuse. They deal now in terms such as "a child in need," and "best interests." That means the court can decide a child needs better parents, even if the child has not been abused or neglected.

Are children safer in foster homes? In its Nov. 13 issue, Time Magazine observed that many foster parents act selflessly to help at-risk kids, but "a quagmire of child-swallowing bureaucracies plague the system ... The incidence of neglect, physical and sexual abuse of children in foster care systems is feared to be significantly higher than the incidence in the general population ... Nobody bothers to keep an accurate count."

Is the situation any better in Canada? Who knows? Children's Aid Societies are arms-length agencies. Their books aren't open and their accountability seems to be questioned only when news leaks out that a child in care has been hurt or killed.

Criminal courts must deal with matters in a timely fashion. To make a criminal wait too long for closure is considered cruel and unusual punishment, and can result in the case against him being dropped. The same time limits aren't enforced on family courts.

In October, family court Judge Jennifer Blishen handed down a decision making three sisters, now aged seven to 10, Crown wards. They had been in the system, in custody in foster homes, for three years and four months. for short visits, they were kept apart from their parents and from each other for most of that time. Neglect or abuse (by the parents) were not issues. Parenting skills were on trial.

About the same time in another courtroom a few doors away, family court Judge Jennifer Mackinnon permanently removed a two-year-old from her mother. The mother was in family court because of an allegation of child abuse made against her when she was a foster mother, before her own child was conceived. Back when she had no children of her own, the child protectors pressed criminal charges. The case didn't go to court. The Crown Attorney said there wasn't enough evidence.

When she became a mother, though, she became vulnerable. Lack of evidence is not a problem to a family court. It uses created evidence, such as psychological profiles and projections that almost always support the side that pays for them.

I monitored these trials and in both cases needed a lawyer to argue me into the courtrooms. The law says the courts are open to the public, but CAS lawyers frequently argue that public attention would not be in the child's best interests. was the only uninvolved witness to proceedings, and by law must protect the identity of the families. In both cases the parents would love to be identified, and scream that they are victims of an unfair system. The child protectors would consider that an embarrassment to the children, and therefore child abuse.

Details of these cases will come later in this series.

It's important to understand the lengths we, as a society, are prepared to go in an attempt to do the impossible -- shield all children from all danger. By creating courts that undermine parents' rights to a fair trial, we are tearing families apart. Most of us, remembering our childhoods, can understand that being separated from one's parents would be terrifying. To be kept in limbo while a court process ground endlessly on would be torture.

Beyond a doubt there are children in need of protection, and court processes to protect them are needed. Our ancestors knew that when they built child protection into the Criminal Code. Somehow it became accepted that protection under the code was handicapped by the requirements of a fair trial, so family courts were formed. They have now evolved to the point where we can lose our children if we fail to pass parenting tests. The rules are unclear, but the testers will be social workers, psychologists, or psychiatrists.

Courts accept those specialists as experts. They don't deal in ballistics or poisons, but in theories. The view seems to be that they practise a science. Psychology is not a science. Its practitioners are fallible, but free from accountability.

If these views sound harsh, they aren't just those of this writer. They are shared by family court Judge Robert Fournier, quoted in a case I reported in April, 1999. After ruling an Ottawa couple were good people and good parents and could keep their baby twins, he had to explain why in previous family court hearings they were vilified as violent drug-addicted perverts, and lost four children to Crown wardship and adoption.

Three were taken into custody on allegations of child sexual abuse, made while they were out of the country and the children were with a babysitter. By the time they got back, the babysitter was the paid foster mother of their children. The fourth child was a newborn removed by protection workers from the nursery of the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus.

Judge Fournier explained that evidence allowed in family court is anything from an observation to an opinion to an impression. He said the mother's appearance contributed to the loss of her children. She's a bodybuilder with a penchant for tight clothing, high heels and big hair. To child protectors, she gave an impression of a wrong mom, said the judge.

As a result, some of the analysis/opinion/evidence became less than objective, she lost her children. Judge Fournier also made it clear there's no reverse in the child protection system. "I know it leaves a hole in your heart," he told her, "but c'est la vie."

While Judge Fournier was making that statement, the CAS was continuing with the adoptions of the first four children. Heidi Polowin at the time was chief in-house counsel for the society. She said: "The cases aren't connected. Once a court makes a child a Crown ward, other processes start. There's a normal flow." Mrs. Polowin has since been made a judge.

It wasn't my first close-up look at family courts in action. In 1991 I reported on the case of baby Joshua, handled by Lanark Child and Family Services. There was no allegation of abuse or neglect. The mother came under the agency's scrutiny when she asked for its help.

Over the next few months, authorities slowly pulled her baby from her through a series of access-reducing court orders. She came to my office frequently, and I watched her turn into an emotional wreck. Eventually a judge granted Crown wardship, but with a condition. The baby was only to be adopted if no member of his extended family would take him.

The adoption happened quickly. The extended family was in New Brunswick and had a room waiting. I know because I phoned. The child protecters didn't make those calls


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday 13 December 2000

When love isn’t enough - Part two of a series

There’s clarity in brevity, and lawyer Lynn Keller was brief when she told her clients’ wishes to an Ottawa family court in early summer this year. Her clients were three sisters aged seven to 10, and they wanted desperately to go home to their parents.

She pointed out they had been in custody for three years. During that time, they were separated not only from their parents, but from each other. Two of them had been in and out of six different foster homes each. They had been in and out of several different schools and had been treated for mental and emotional problems at the Royal Ottawa Hospital, all while in the care of the child protection system.

Ms. Keller said the children loved their parents and their parents loved them.

There was no evidence of neglect or abuse.

“Let my clients go home,” she pleaded, not the first time this plea has been made on behalf of the children during the three-year ordeal.

Children in these trials are represented by a lawyer from the office of the province’s Official Guardian.

When family court Judge Jennifer Blishen wrapped up the two-week trial, she said there would be a further delay. She would be on vacation for the month of July. It was almost four months later when her decision was delivered, not in open court, but by messenger to the lawyers involved.

The answer to the plea to go home was no. The children would stay in state care as Crown wards.

There are many kinds of abuse, and that was what Judge Blishen had to deal with. The father abuses alcohol and his attempts to beat his addiction during the last three years have not been impressive. That’s the heart of the issue, but over the years it has become surrounded by a body of complications packaged in caseworker reports and psychological assessments.

Mother is a product of a state upbringing. She was a Crown ward. She saw child-protection workers as family. Early in her relationship with the father, she turned to that family of child-protection workers when she wanted to vent, complain, or seek help. She didn’t realize social workers were keeping records that would eventually be presented in court.

The pivotal point was in May 1997, when a social worker assigned to the family made the decision to apprehend the children. Mother was in hospital and father was the caregiver. He was drinking. He wasn’t falling down drunk, but was obviously under the influence. Tiny details would find their way into the court record. It was noted he wasn’t keeping up with the laundry.

It was clean, but piled on a bed unsorted, and the children were being dressed from the pile.

Lawyer Andrew Fobert represented the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton. His job was similar to that of a prosecutor—to win the state’s case. He amassed an impressive pile of material to do that. There was little in the lives of the family that wasn’t exposed to opinions from social workers and psychologists, and worked into court records. Between the mother’s instability and the father’s preference for maintaining a constant low-grade buzz, their lives were messy.

An assessment of the family was ordered, and that task was turned over to psychiatrist Dr. Gregory Motayne. He completed one in April 1998. The major problem was the father’s drinking, and he concluded the man was “unlikely to maintain abstinence” if the children were returned.

Dr. Motayne said he couldn’t get a solid read on the mother, because she was trying so hard to impress him that she was skewing the results. That part of his report weakened the CAS argument for permanent Crown wardship.

In June 1999, another assessment was ordered, again from Dr. Motayne. By now, the CAS had drawn up a plan of care for the children. When Dr. Motayne’s second assessment came in, in February, it seemed to not only support the CAS plan, but follow it almost point by point.

The couple’s parenting skills were flawed in several ways, he reported, and each flaw had been “observed.” Lawyer Wendy Rogers, representing the parents, zeroed in on that word. Dr. Motayne said the observations were not his, but reported to him by caseworkers. This appeared to be using a psychiatrist as a typist, and when asked to justify that style of expertise, Dr. Motayne answered, “Accuracy is not as important as consistency.”

The children’s paternal grandparents sat through the trial and Judge Blishen told them they could ask questions of witnesses. This was the only time they accepted the invitation to question. The grandfather said: “I’m an old surveyor, and I know if you don’t have accuracy, you get a lot of inconsistency.” He didn’t end his statement with a question mark, so there were nods and the trial moved on.

The circumstances of the grandparents show an odd bias in the child-protection system. There are children’s aid societies, but there are no parents’ aid societies.

The grandparents tried to care for the girls while the protection system made a decision, but being in their 70s, they found keeping up with three active children too difficult. They tried so hard, the grandmother was hospitalized. They asked for, but could get no, financial assistance, in-home help or respite care.

The public purse opens wide to strangers (foster parents) in times like this, but families are expected to provide for their own.

The parents of the children separated in early 1999. Mother said she was advised her only hope of getting her children back was to get the father out of the picture. Although they lived apart, they were “sneaking” back together. Finally they gave up, and in February this year, got married.

Mother had an attitude: “I think it’s probably the most important thing, that children have parents who love each other.”

But if you run that kind of attitude through psychology, you come up with words like “co-dependent.” That’s how her view of love appeared in reports to the court.

“There is no question that both parents dearly love their daughters,” the judge observed in the judgment. She noted that access visits with the children showed “spontaneous mutual affection.” The children, she noted, “continue to have a fantasy wish to return to their parents’ home.”

In the three years since the apprehensions, the parents’ relationship seems to have stabilized and the judge made note of that too. Her concern, expressed in her judgment, is would children be safe in a home with an alcoholic father who also admitted to past drug use?

On the witness stand, mother was asked by her lawyer if there was a threat to her children, would she protect them? She gave the impression she definitely would. She wanted her children home and if there were concerns, she was willing to agree to frequent visits from CAS.

Judge Blishen said no. She recommended the children be allowed to see their parents at the discretion of the CAS, perhaps four times a year, and held out a faint hope they could some day be reunited.

Protection workers recently drew up a plan for the children’s Christmas. They will be allowed to spend the day with the grandparents, but the parents can’t be there. Mom and Dad will see the children on Dec. 21. Grandfather says he doesn’t understand why he can’t see his son at the same time as his grandchildren, and have the extended family together. CAS doesn’t have to explain. It is now the official parent.

There is a wide door opening here. If we, as a society, take all children out of homes where alcohol is abused, where are we going to store them? Odds are good at least one of the girls will be in a foster home where alcohol is a problem.

The judge’s decision is the safe one. If the children were returned to their parents and harmed, the whole child-protection system would be in disrepute. If harm were to occur in a foster home, that’s a new case.

Removal of children from families should be treated like a death sentence. A family court judge should face parents, like a criminal court judge faces a condemned prisoner, and deliver the bad news.

They should see the pain.


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Thursday 14 December 2000

Mother presumed guilty by court - Part 3 of a series

A two-year-old child, never abused or neglected, has been taken from her mother. Expert evidence purchased from psychologists by the child-protection system won out over expert evidence purchased from psychologists by the defence.

Mother was launched on her personal voyage of the damned in January 1997, when she was accused by child protectors of abusing two children who were not her biological children but who were in her care.

They were brothers aged three and five who were wards of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton. The CAS pressed criminal charges but allegations didn’t get past the Crown attorney’s office. There wasn’t sufficient evidence for an appearance in a criminal court.

Had the allegedly abused children been her own, she would have appeared in a family court, where the burden of proof is not much of a burden. As it was, the two were in her home on an adoption-probation basis. She found them too difficult to handle and wanted to return them.

In the minds of the protectors, those stopped charges against her were still hanging. In their minds, just because a criminal court wouldn’t hear them didn’t mean she wasn’t guilty of something.

After quitting the adoption program, she and her husband split up. She became pregnant with a new partner, who was never part of these proceedings.

When she gave birth to a daughter, she immediately had something to lose, and so qualified for family court. Seven months after the birth, child protectors appeared at her door and took her baby into custody, weaning her in the process.

The mandate of every state-funded child-protection agency is to enforce child protection laws. In Ontario, it’s called the Child and Family Services Act. By definition, that makes them something like police departments. Like police in the criminal system, caseworkers are not held accountable if they push into the courts persons who shouldn’t be there. They may not have the power to arrest parents, but neither are they subject to the same kind of review and second-guessing that police are.

In the criminal system, there are safeguards, such as presumption of innocence, to protect the accused. Hard evidence is needed. In family courts, judges make decisions based mainly on opinions. They could be called trials by psychology.

An obvious case of child abuse with broken bones or bruises, goes to criminal court. “Maybe” cases, or “it-might-happen” cases, go to family court.

In this case, Judge Jennifer Mackinnon, in her judgment released Nov. 6, made mother’s baby daughter a Crown ward to protect her from a mother who may have abused children in the past, and therefore, presumably, could do it again. Psychologists paid by the state to support the CAS case said those were real possibilities. Psychologists hired by the defence said otherwise.

There was hard evidence of injury in the case of the two children who had been temporarily in the mother’s care as possible adoptees. The three-year-old required eye surgery for an injury experts said was caused by shaken baby syndrome. That injury is usually associated with babies not developed enough to support their heads. But experts said it could happen to a three-year-old if the shaker was strong enough. Mother said the boy fell down stairs.

There were burns from an iron on the older child. Children don’t testify in court, so he said through interviews, reported to the court by experts, that the marks were punishments inflicted by mother. She said he was a strange and damaged child and had burned himself.

The boy made other accusations that became part of the record: She held his head in the toilet. She flushed his brother’s head in the toilet. She made him iron. She put him in the washing machine while it was running. He was forced to sit on the toilet while the family ate, and he wasn’t fed. She made him eat feces and drink urine. She wrapped a chain around them in the garage and was going to pull them. She kicked. Hit. Pushed.

Those accusations were presented along with an expert opinion that the child did not suffer from “attachment disorder.” There were no signs “whatsoever” of self-mutilation. In the final phase of the two-year ordeal, that same expert under cross-examination by lawyer Frank Armitage saw “some partial aspects of attachment disorder.”

The words “post-traumatic stress disorder” were added to the psychological soup. A child can get that from being separated from his birth mother. There was agreement that the disorder can result in “a vivid sense that terrible things exist which don’t exist.”

CAS lawyer David Elhadad presented the court with an impressive profile of mother as a dangerous person. It was painted mainly by opinions from a variety of experts, most of them using psychology.

Journalists in court can’t ask questions. Here I can. Why wasn’t the woman assessed before two children were left in her care for more than a year? If they were abused, did the protection system not fail them? Where’s the accountability?

As a skeptic, I see psychology as a spooky craft too open to error. Its application can be too easily turned and tuned to the needs of lawyers.

For the third time, I saw a twisted test turn up in evidence. It’s called the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. You may not have abused a child yet, but maybe you will. In none of the three cases did the mothers pass the test, and always for the same reason.

The way it was worded this time: “(Mother) gave socially desirable responses, perhaps in an attempt to hide negative personal characteristics. Moreover, she wished to present herself in a favourable light to create a positive image. Consequently, the results of the test were invalidated.”

In other words, you fail by trying. In the other two cases, they lost their children too.

It smacks of Salem in 1693, and a test for detecting witches. Suspects were bound and thrown into a pool. If they knew how to relax and stay afloat, they were condemned because it must be the Devil holding them up. If they sank and drowned, they weren’t witches after all.

In this year’s case, there were other tests deemed unreliable because the mother has multiple sclerosis.

What Judge Mackinnon was faced with here was not hard evidence, but opinions on which she had to build a balance of probabilities: Had the mother abused those CAS wards? If so, was she likely to abuse her own child?

There’s no room for reasonable doubt. If there is a chance a child may be abused, it’s a chance family courts won’t take.

Every child is at some risk of abuse, more so as the definition of what constitutes abuse expands. This latest child taken into state care is still at risk -- but any hurt the baby daughter gets won’t be from her birth mother.

The last time I talked to the mother, after the decision was delivered, she proved one part of her psychological assessments correct. She’s a strong woman with impressive self-control. (Some experts thought those traits were good.) Others said it showed she may be capable of masking her true cruel self.) She was making arrangements for a private polygraph test. She said she will appeal.


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Friday 15 December 2000

‘Why did somebody decide she couldn’t be my mother?’ Daughter sees her mother, adoptive parents and herself as victims - Part 4 of a Series

Dora Bieber disappeared into the child protection system and was adopted 12 years ago. She’s now 19, and has been living with her birth mother for two years. She wants answers.

“There’s nothing wrong with my mother,” she said of the woman sitting beside her. “Why did this happen to her? Why did somebody decide she couldn’t be my mother?”

She’s looking to me for answers because my name appears as the writer of many stories that for many of those years tracked her mother’s one-woman war against the powerful child protectors.

First Dora wants assurances that nothing will be done to harm or embarrass her adoptive parents, for whom she has respect and admiration. To protect them, she doesn’t want her photo taken, nor does she want her adoptive, and now legal, name used. She says they, like herself and her birth mother, are victims.

It’s 8 p.m. Nov. 29. We order supper at a west-end steakhouse, and settle in for a long talk.

First, some truths for Dora. Her mother was indeed arrested 10 times because she refused to accept family court decisions that took away her child, made that child a Crown ward, and made her disappear into adoption. Yes, mother really did at one point spend 10 months in jail, refusing an offer of early release by refusing to agree to conditions.

Yes, I saw her brought into courtrooms wearing jailhouse jumpsuits, chained hand and foot, raising her handcuffs over her head and shouting defiance: “I love my daughter!”

I have long wondered how she managed to locate her daughter so many times, and how she came within a whisker of pulling off an abduction.

After a slow meal and a long talk, we had some answers. But there’s still a gap between mother and daughter. There’s something unusual about their interaction. In the parking lot, Dora was waiting in the passenger seat of her mother’s car, looking straight ahead at nothing. Like her mother, she’s a small woman, and seemed to be trying to make herself disappear between her own hunched shoulders. The body language was clear. She needed a hug.

“I know,” said her mother, still standing outside. “I just can’t. It would be fake and she’d know that. It would make things worse. I don’t fake. It’s part of the damage. I can’t forget the look on her face that day (of the near abduction). She recognized me, and she ran. She was afraid of me. That hurt so much. How could she have believed I would ever hurt her? How could she have believed them?”

Maria slid in behind the wheel, backed the car out, and paused for a moment to adjust the wipers to clear the cold drizzle. Mother and daughter were pushed against their own sides of the car. Both needed a hug, but mother was still too angry, and daughter too frightened.

- - -

Citizen, Dec. 3, 1987, Brown’s Beat: “Woman says justice system failed her after husband walked out.”

It was the first time Maria Bieber appeared in one of my columns, and it was intended to show a needed repair to marital law. Three years earlier on an October night, Ms. Bieber, after a lengthy visit to her home in Hungary, arrived back in Ottawa with her three-year-old daughter and ailing mother. Her husband, a bankrupt casket salesman, didn’t meet them at the airport as promised. He was gone, along with all their belongings. She was a self-employed hairdresser and he had disposed of her equipment. Everything was gone, including her home and her means of supporting herself and her family. He hadn’t kept up the mortgage payments.

For three years, Ms. Bieber knocked on justice’s doors demanding he be tracked down, charged with theft, and brought back from Alberta, hogtied if necessary. She was in a fury, and once managed to get into the office of Perth Crown attorney John Waugh. When he said he couldn’t help, she left her child, saying she couldn’t afford to raise her, so Mr. Waugh would have to. She returned later to get her daughter, but it was an incident that didn’t look good years later in front of a family court judge hearing a Children’s Aid Society application for custody.

In that first story, her lawyer, Ted Masters, was quoted as saying the kind of theft she experienced was a gap in law that should be closed. It still isn’t. Although marital property is supposed to be joint property, if one partner steals it, police will tell the other party to take it to a lawyer. It’s a civil case.

To Maria Bieber, theft was theft and she couldn’t put it behind her. Her anger was further fuelled by the realization he was planning his moves before she left for Europe. That he was still sharing her bed while planning his betrayal was the greatest theft of all. “He stole my love.”

The social safety net was keeping the small family barely afloat when she arrived at my office in 1987. She had her small daughter with her and the child seemed placid when mother gave a temper-filled account of her circumstances. The girl found things to play with while mother downloaded. She seemed accustomed to mother’s emotional high-tension wiring.

- - -

Brown’s Beat, Oct. 26, 1988: “Group aims to judge lawyers, fight bad law.”

It was a story about people who had paid much money to lawyers and felt they had been burned. They believed they had been little more than raw material for an industry that didn’t care. Over the next few years the group would grow to a membership of 170, and then fade away. Shortly after it was founded, Ms. Bieber showed up at a meeting. She became the cause celebre for the group, which called itself CABL—Citizens Against Bad Law. She told how she had been watching television at a shelter for the homeless in 1988, and saw a commercial about the services of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa Carleton. The main theme of the ad was: We’re here to help. If you’ve got problems, call.

She called and talked to a caseworker and signed an agreement placing her daughter in foster care for three months. She extended that twice while she waited for rent-to-income housing. She frequently visited her daughter and thought she was lucky to be in a country that offered such fine services. Her daughter was in a nice home being cared for by good people.

After getting an apartment and decorating a room for her daughter, she contacted her caseworker and said it was time to bring her daughter back. The child had been in care for almost nine months.

She says now: “I knew I was in trouble the minute the new caseworker walked in. Up until then, I had been dealing with a woman who had become a friend. She was 62, and I thought of her like a second mother. The new worker was younger. She said she wasn’t running a babysitting service and accused me of taking advantage of the system.”

Maria Bieber has a hot temper and a low flashpoint. Treated to a view of the eye of one of mother’s storms, the social worker decided to apprehend Dora for the child’s protection.

The fight was on.

In family courts in child protection cases, the steps are painfully slow. As Maria’s access to Dora was slowly reduced, she became more angry and distrustful. She fired lawyers and eventually the only people she would trust were CABL members. They turned out at hearings to show support, and some of them at some points represented her. One of them kept count of her court appearances, but stopped counting at 147.

- - -

Brown’s Beat, Nov. 22, 1994: “Woman seeks trial to get back ‘lost’ child.”

Maria Bieber had been in jail for six months at this point. A judge offered her instant freedom if she promised to stop her attempts to abduct the child the system was now referring to as her “former daughter.” She had been caught with passports and within a few feet of the girl.

She said no to the judge’s offer, and went back to jail for another four months. She was demanding her case be heard by a criminal court, and she wanted a jury “with mothers on it.” It didn’t happen.

Watchers, including police, were impressed by mother’s investigative skills. That she managed to track her daughter and find her, frequently, through a series of foster homes was impressive. At the steakhouse she explained: “I drove all the time, all over the Ottawa and St. Lawrence valleys. I would watch schools.

“Garbage was best. Once I knew where one (foster) home was, I would pick up the garbage and go through it, mainly for phone bills. I would call the numbers and sometimes connect with the next foster home. If I suspected a house might be a foster home, and found a lot of calls to the CAS, I would know I was on the right track.”

During dinner at the steakhouse, she focused more than once on the day in 1994 when she almost abducted her former daughter. “I’ll never forget the look on Dora’s face. I was so close, but she ran. She was afraid of me. They lied to her, and she believed them. She believed I would hurt her. That’s what I can’t forget.”

Dora asked for help making her mother understand. “When they told me I’d never see my mother again (she was seven), I think I cried for three months. But the surroundings were nice and people were nice and I was just a kid.

There were lots of distractions and I started to change. I started to forget.

“When I was 10, I remember we (she and her foster parents) got all dressed up and went to the courthouse and I was adopted. The judge told me I was lucky and I thought so too. We went out and had a nice dinner, and it was a happy day.”

Over the years, the caseworker who took Dora into custody maintained contact. “She told me my mother had gone crazy and was looking for me to kill me. She said my mother wanted to burn my house down. I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep. I recognized her running towards me that day, and I ran for my life.”

At 13, things were changing in Dora’s life. “I didn’t feel close to my (adoptive) parents any more. They were, they are, wonderful people. But I started to feel alone. Even when I was with my parents or my friends, I had the feeling of not belonging. I started to smoke. They didn’t like that. Did I tell you they even spent a lot of money on riding lessons? I’m a good rider.

“They didn’t deserve what happened. I started to feel there was something wrong and I started to rebel. I wouldn’t co-operate. I started skipping school. My marks fell. I used to tell them all the time that the minute I turned 16, I could legally make my own decisions. I would be legal. I would get away from them. I was going to do it. I’m so sorry. They really tried, and I hurt them.”

She left in April 1996, the day after her 16th birthday.

Within a few days of her flight from her parents, an anonymous caller told me the girl I knew as Dora was on her own, and where she could be found. She was at a home in a valley town about an hour away. I drove there and left a brief letter for her in the mailbox. If I never heard from her, I wrote, that was her business. But if she needed help, use the number on the business card.

For the next year she drifted, often waking up not knowing how she would get through the day or where she would go to bed that night. She held onto the card and after a year, made the call. She was brief. She wanted her former mother’s telephone number. I didn’t hear from them again.

On Nov. 27, just a couple of weeks ago, I was at the Elgin Street courthouse and passed them in a corridor. I didn’t recognize them. Ms. Bieber called out. We talked. Did Dora want to tell her story?

“Hell yes,” she said. She is angry at the system that took her away from her mother.

Dora made the call to mother in late 1997. The Red Lobster Restaurant on St. Laurent Boulevard was chosen as the meeting place. They didn’t recognize each other for several minutes.

Dora (laughing): “Suddenly I had this crazy woman jabbering away at me in a language I couldn’t understand. She switched languages and I still couldn’t understand. I thought, oh damn. They were right. She’s crazy.”

Maria: “When they took her away, she spoke English and Hungarian and Italian as well as I do. I was so afraid she would lose her languages. And she did. At least she didn’t get fat.”

How did they decide to live together? “I didn’t have a choice,” says Dora. “She told me to get in the car. We were going home. It just felt right.” Mother is a fitness fanatic, and now daughter is too. They work out regularly together. No smoking.

Dora is attending an alternate school, maintaining a 90 average, and expects to earn her high school diploma by April.

In an attempt to show the child-protection system as, in her word “stupid,” Ms. Bieber borrowed a niece from a sister in Hungary. The girl was the same age as Dora. From 1989 to 1994, she played mother to the child, sending her to school as her daughter, using Dora’s name and paperwork. She also continued to collect support from social services as a mother of one.

She wanted to force the child protectors to make a move, and get the issue back into court. “If I was such a bad person they took away my own daughter, how could they possibly allow me to have another child in my care?”

CAS didn’t bite, and her niece was left in her care.

After the niece returned to her mother in Hungary, speaking excellent English, Ms. Bieber was charged with fraud. She was accused of defrauding the taxpayers of Ontario to the tune of $55,000. She appeared in front of a criminal court in 1998, unrepresented and offering an explanation. Whether the child in her care was her daughter or somebody else’s, she was a child in need of support. The court agreed and lowered the amount of the fraud to $7,000, found her guilty and the sentence was two years probation. She will complete the sentence in July.

- - -

Dora’s question: A mother loves her child and the child loves mother, and there’s no abuse or neglect. Why would anybody tear them apart?

One answer is that it’s because there is a Children’s Aid Society, but no parents’ aid society. Her mother was suffering from depression and was being treated for it. When she signed over temporary custody of her daughter, she was admitting she was flawed. Most of us are, but we don’t put it in writing. The request for help put child protectors in the position of having a child to protect, and they had some difficult choices to make.

Mother was depressed and her anger at the system made her appear irrational. With the interests of only the child in mind, the protectors decided mother’s healing time was up, and started separating child from mother. Once that process starts, it doesn’t back up.

Maria Bieber has a different answer to the why question. She calls it false advertising. “If I had never called that number, they would never have been in our lives.”


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December 16, 2000 Saturday

We need protection from the protectors

Ottawa parents are 19 times more likely to lose their children to state care than are parents on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. The risk that parents will be taken to court by child protectors in the first place is three times higher in Ontario than across the river in Quebec.

Either Quebec authorities are leaving children at risk, or Ontario child protectors are being over-protective. Take your pick, but there has been no noticeable epidemic of child abuse in Quebec.

For Ontario parents, the risk of court challenges by child protectors skyrockets if they’re poor. Ottawa lawyer Ross Stewart has been practising at the family bar for 11 years, and is a veteran of protection cases. Among those clients over the years, he can’t remember one that wasn’t a legal aid case. Only the poor qualify for legal aid.

There are 448 Crown wards on the rolls of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton, which serves a population of 780,000. In Quebec, where Les Centres Jeunesse de l’Outaouais serves a population of 325,000, there are 10 children for which the agency is “tutor,” the Quebec equivalent of a Crown ward. Put those figures through a calculator and the number of Crown wards in Ottawa-Carleton is 19 times greater per capita.

In Ontario the decision to remove a child from its family is made by family court judges. In Quebec those decisions are made by judges in juvenile courts. In 1999, according to Attorney General Department figures, Ottawa family courts were asked to decide the fate of 2,151 children. For the same period in the Outaouais, child protectors asked for court decisions for 302 cases. On a per capita basis, that’s puts the Ottawa figure three times higher.

Why are the Hull-side figures so low? Luc Cadieux is director of the Outaouais child-protection agency. He says one possible answer is oversight. He has powerful people looking over his shoulder to make sure his child protectors don’t abuse their power. His peers in the Ontario system don’t. “It makes you cautious,” he says.

Parents in Quebec who believe the protection agency has overstepped its authority, or acted improperly, can complain to the Quebec Human Rights Commission. That agency will investigate, even if the case is being pushed to court.

In Ontario and the rest of North America, rights agencies stand back. They take the view that any involvement in a court-related issue would be interfering with justice.

Family courts are classed as courts of justice, but are they? They do not review hard evidence and scientific fact. If there’s any of that, the case appears in a criminal court.

A family court makes decisions it believes to be “in the best interests of the child.” Evidence is mainly opinion and theory from social workers and psychologists. There is no requirement that those who put parenting skills on trial—including judges—must themselves be parents. Frequently they are not.

The “best interests” principle has been called, by some legal experts, the vaguest principle in all of statutory law.

For Ontario parents who think they are being abused, the complaints desk is in the same agency they want to complain about. Children’s Aid Societies are arms-length organizations. There are more than 50 in Ontario. There is no oversight.

Regional councillor Alex Munter hears enough cries for help at his office that he has called for a complaints process. Ontario’s new ombudsman, Claire Lewis, former commissioner for public police complaints, believes child protection agencies are enough like police services to require oversight. He has offered to take on the role of CAS complaints reviewer—if the legislature will give him the power.

In a family court, the most dangerous accuser parents will face is a psychologist. There are reasons to fear them and their spooky craft. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, multiple personality disorders (MPDs) were all the rage in the psychology industry. Many got rich writing about patients they said had several different personalities inhabiting the same body. Since then, the existence of MPDs has largely been discredited.

In the ‘70s, evidence taken from children by psychologists and presented in courts sent dozens of daycare operators to jail for involving children in satanic rites and sexual abuse. Oops again. It didn’t happen. Massive lawsuits are still going on.

Now on the block is suppressed memory syndrome. Reports suggest that those memories are often planted by psychologists’ repeated, leading questions.

A new breed of psychologist is emerging, dedicated to exposing junk psychology. One of them is Dr. Tana Dineen of Victoria, author and frequent contributor to this newspaper.

The title of her 1996 book leaves no doubt where she stands; Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People. For more information visit her Web site at www.tanadineen.com.

Recently I watched three different family court trials in which mothers failed a test called the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP). In each case, psychologists, paid by the prosecution, reported that the mothers were trying so hard to fool the tester by being nice that they were masking their true feelings and invalidating the test. They didn’t pass. They lost their children.

I asked Dr. Dineen for her expert opinion of that test.

“Psychologists are the inquisitors of the modern age witch hunts. They control the uncovering of child abuse and thrive from identifying perpetrators. The tests they use, including such questionable instruments as the CAP, are useful to them for two reasons: The tests sound clinical and scientific, and they cast such a wide net that they identify a significant number of innocent people as potential child abusers.”

Family courts provide abundant grazing for psychology. Not only are practitioners highly paid for producing the reams of material that will be logged in as evidence, but there’s more good grazing on the periphery. Courts routinely order people to take parenting courses, marriage counselling, anger management courses, addictions counselling and the list grows.

Courts buy psychology as science and the media buys it as sexy. Hardly a week goes by that a new psychological discovery doesn’t make a splash in the media.

A new affliction discovered recently in California is called affluenza. The discoverer, with a book bearing that title already on the U.S. market, promises to make nice people of the children of the affluent. The diagnosis is rich kids grow up to be arrogant snots, but don’t worry, a treatment has been developed.

The perfect life is living rich in California where you can hire experts to give you angst-free love, guilt-free sex, and snot-free kids.

Psychology is a hard sell in a Quebec child protection case, because judges run courts that require more of a burden of proof. Of the 1,237 files opened in 1999 in Hull juvenile court, 876 were under the Young Offenders Act. The remaining 302 were child protection cases under the Loi de la protection de la Jeunesse.

Parents who truly abuse their children and cause injuries or leave marks, appear in criminal courts. There are harsh penalties.

For the kind of abuse psychologists describe in family courts, though, the aim is not to incarcerate the parents, but to take their children into custody. They go into a foster-care system that regularly turns out adults with a high failure rate. In March, the latest month for which figures are available, there were 14,200 children in the care of all Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario. It will cost taxpayers $650 million for their welfare, including foster care.

When we created family court with its reduced burden of proof, we established an institution. Institutions grow and, to do that, they need numbers. This institution is served by dedicated professionals in the child-protection system who, through no fault of their own, provide the system with what it needs to keep growing—a body count.

The problem is the system, not the people in it.

Only public pressure is going to bring about change. Politicians are locked into the idea that more power for the child- protection industry means more protected children. What’s needed is protection from the protectors—accountability—and that’s not going to happen until the public demands it.

Anonymous said...

Children's rights": the phrase has been a legal battle cry for twenty-five years. But as this provocative book by a nationally renowned expert on children's legal standing argues, it is neither possible nor desirable to isolate children from the interests of their parents, or those of society as a whole.

From foster care to adoption to visitation rights and beyond, Martin Guggenheim offers a trenchant analysis of the most significant debates in the children's rights movement, particularly those that treat children's interests as antagonistic to those of their parents. Guggenheim argues that "children's rights" can serve as a screen for the interests of adults, who may have more to gain than the children for whom they claim to speak. More important, this book suggests that children's interests are not the only ones or the primary ones to which adults should attend, and that a "best interests of the child" standard often fails as a meaningful test for determining how best to decide disputes about children.
What's Wrong with Children's Rights


Martin Guggenheim is Professor of Clinical Law at New York University.

Anonymous said...

Jeffery death will not be in vain, I cannot get over how many people are posting, Change is needed, but how do join forces and actually make it happen.
Amanda the plake is really nice. lets hope he is smiling down on the park, and can finally feel, he is loved. He is, he was worthy of at least that.
Yes I am angry at the CCAS and CAS, but I am more angry at the government that does not get it.

Anonymous said...

How to control adults by means of 'children's rights'.
PLEASE read, This women is not NUTs

DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY PARENTS CANT CONTROL A 12 YEAR OLD WANTING TO GO TO A RAVE, BECAUSE THAT CHILD HAS MORE RIGHTS, HER PARENTS HAVE NONE IN CANADA. THIS IS THE LAW, CALL ANY POLICE DEPT ANY CAS IN CANADA AND THEY TOO WILL TELL YOU ITS A CHILDRENS LAW, PARENTS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS ANYMORE IN CANADA.
MOTHERS CAN CALL CAS AND ASK FOR HELP GETTING A 14 YEAR OLD IN TO A DRUG TREATMENT CENT, THE CAS WILL COME AND ASK THE TEEN DO YOU WANT TO GO, IF THE ANSWER IS NO, THE MOM IS TOLD TO STOP PUSHING AROUND THE CHILD AND COULD END UP IN COURT, IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.


This article is published by The Human Life Foundation, Inc. New York, in the HUMAN LIFE REVIEW, Vol. XXV, No. 2, Spring 1999, pages 65 - 73. The article is reproduced here with the kind consent of the author.

Lynette Burrows is a well-known English educator and journalist. Her latest book, The Fight for the Family, was published in 1998, revised and reprinted in March 1999 by the Family Education Trust, Family Publications, Oxford, England.





When you think about it, the fashionable crusade of 'children's rights' is bound to be anti-family. It is a movement which declares itself to be more interested in the welfare of children than are ordinary parents. It seeks rights and laws for children that neither they, nor their parents, want. It promises to give children legal sanctions against their parents and, in so doing, pits the interests of children against their parents. The inescapable implication is that children are not in safe hands with their own parents and that a whole movement has had to be called into being in order to protect them. It is an innocent-sounding piece of subliminal, anti-family propaganda, advertising the fact that parents are, at best, inadequate and, at worst, hostile to the needs of their children.

Analysing the 'loaded' message of the title 'children's rights' one can see it attempts to pack the punch of an appeal to both parental feeling and the nobility of action implied by the word 'rights'. It is utterly bogus! A 'right is classically defined as 'the freedom to act without interference, according to one's conscience.' It means nothing unless the individual has the capacity to act upon their 'right' and children, by nature of their immaturity and inexperience, do not have that capacity. So they have people who act for them, in the form of the people who created them and who love them more than anyone else. Those people, the adult parents, have a freedom to act according to their conscience, and within the law, with their children and it is that freedom that the children's rights activists seek to remove.

One can clearly map their intentions by what they have achieved so far and what they are signalling they want to do in the future. I don't know anything about the American scene but, in Great Britain, and several European countries, among their achievements has been securing the right of the state to allow under-age children to be given contraceptives and abortions without their parents' knowledge or consent. This remarkable right was not achieved via parliament, which still upholds an 'age of consent' at sixteen years. Still less was it achieved by pressure from either parents or children. It was as achieved by the active collaboration of the industry that sells contraceptives, the people who are employed in promoting their use, and the 'children's rights' lobby who claimed that, since children had now decided to be sexually active - there was nothing parents could do about it.

The right for children to 'divorce' unsatisfactory parents has also been secured for them by children's rights lawyers; working on the usual pay-rates but with the bill settled by the taxpayer. So far parents have not been given the right to divorce unsatisfactory children - but that is consistent with the philosophy of children's rights. It is parents who are failing in their duty to give children the freedom they need. Children, the client group, are not to be criticised or restricted in any way.

Children have also been given the right to take themselves out of the care of their parents and put themselves instead, into the misnamed 'care' of the local authority. Just what this can mean was illustrated by a mother, Mrs Iverson, whose14 year old daughter went to live with a 33 year old drug-dealer from Jamaica. She appealed to the local authority to get her daughter back and they responded by getting a social worker to take the child to a contraceptive clinic. The anguished mother could do nothing whilst her daughter was first introduced to a life of prostitution and then, a month later, murdered. No-one in authority was criticised or prosecuted for their lack of action since they, and the police, were prevented from denying the child her 'right' to free association, by the Children Act, 1989.

Thus, one can see by their aims and achievements, that the right to behave badly is second only to the right to premature sexual activity, according to the children's rights agenda. Furtherance of this aim was massively enhanced by the successful campaign of one of the earliest children's rights groups to get corporal punishment, of even the mildest kind, outlawed in schools. An unwary parliament passed this law by one vote, against a background of generally unproblematic discipline in schools. Certainly primary schools were little havens of tranquillity and learning for children in even the roughest areas. All this has gone now; together with thousands of good teachers who have fled a profession where harassment of them is the norm rather than the exception in many areas.

Children have, in other words, been given an amazing collection of liberties to behave badly, with absolutely no enforceable obligations to behave themselves or even to observe the law. On the other hand, their misdeeds are providing masses of highly paid work for the now enormous lobby of professionals who are parasitic on the new options available to children and the problems they bring. Any attempt to improve the behaviour of young people, is bound to run into opposition from these professionals since they are defending a financial interest that is dependent upon more of the same.



Another peculiarity of the rights, sought by activists for children, is how extremely limited and arbitrary they are. If these really were rights that any child could legitimately be supposed to need or to want, they would surely start with the right of a child to be born and not to be killed before birth. But all children's rights activists support abortion in principle and in practice as if, in any circumstances, it could be considered in the unborn child's best interest.



Then again, any child should surely have a right to enjoy a relationship with both their mother and their father; rather than being created by artificial insemination for the benefit of a lesbian couple. In all the arguments about this still highly contentious practice, and its rather more relevant, related topic, the ability of homosexuals to foster and adopt children, the children's rights people have been 'out to lunch'.

Another major area where a serious question of children's rights are involved, is surely the right of children not to be bullied at school. Parents protest about it all the time, but little has been done to address their concerns because parents do not belong to well-funded organisations with direct access to the media. 70% of parents were found last year to want corporal punishment restored in school; and so too did 68% of schoolchildren.

The reason for this is, no doubt, because many children are in fact receiving punishment that is decidedly 'corporal' in school - but from bullying thugs rather than from lawful authority. The rights activists don't address this subject because they are so busy monitoring schools for signs of homophobia, sexism or racism that they seem to have overlooked the much larger number of children who are simply terrified of the big boys.

Other areas deserving attention from those who could support parents in wanting the best for their children, would be having a flexible school leaving age and having the right to do work outside of school hours. Even more important, amongst the list of glaring omissions in the children's rights agenda, is the care and protection of children who have been taken into council care.

The Social Services Inspectorate presented a report last year that pointed out just how badly children 'in care' are doing. Despite there being only 0.5% of children in local authority care, 22% of young men in prison and 39% of prisoners under 21 have been in care. One third of people sleeping rough in London have been in care and one quarter of children in care aged 14 or over, don't go to school regularly. For some reason, referred to in the report but not explained, many of those who abscond from children's homes, somehow disappear from local authority records thereafter.

When this report came out, there was much public discussion about this parlous state of affairs and many people commented on the lack of independent monitoring to safeguard vulnerable children. None that I saw, even thought to question the complete lack of involvement or interest in this scandal by the many, high-profile, publicly funded, children's rights organisations. There are many areas of pressing need in relation to disadvantaged children, where parents with the best will in the world, simply have no power to get things done. Well-funded organisations with premises, facilities, telephones, full time staff and, above all, access to the media, could do so much of real value if they wanted to; but our current crop do not. So, one has to ask, what do they really want?

The answer to this must be that it is something ideological as well as something financial. The financial objective is fairly straight-foreward. It has provided a good many jobs and the children's rights activists have certainly found themselves a career. My book, The Fight for the Family, (a second edition of which came out in March) started life as a commissioned chapter in a book about social affairs. I was given a researcher (American) and told to find out about the principle children's rights groups; who formed them, who supported them and who paid for them.

Once we began, we found a scene so entirely different from what we had expected, that we became seriously interested and what had started out as a fairly hum-drum piece of research turned into a fascinating lesson in the modus operandi of pressure groups. It also ballooned into a small book.

For a start we discovered that all the principle groups concerned with this characteristically liberal/left version of children's rights, groups were founded or co-founded by one man, and his domestic 'partner', mostly as limited companies. Their friends and colleagues over the years were spread amongst child care charities and government committees and one, or both, turned up on the boards of all eight of the principal organisations promoting their version of 'children's rights'. Their ideological orientation explained why the narrow agenda they pursued in every case was so similar. It also explained why the basic assumption was always that children needed to be 'liberated' from their parents care and control. Not having chosen to get married themselves, despite having children, it is fair to say that they have some rooted objection to marriage as an institution or, at least, believe that it is not important.

These groups have played an important part in promoting all the rights referred to above relating to premature sexual activity and behaving badly. One of the organisations was exclusively devoted to securing the abolition of corporal punishment in schools and, that having been achieved, its funds were transferred to another organisation, End Physical Punishment of Children, (EPOCH) which is the principle driving force behind attempts to get parental smacking of children criminalised.

The part of my book which really enraged rights activists, however, was not the discussion of their ideological bent, which they did not seem to dispute. It was the fact that attention was drawn to the similarity of their aims to those of the paedophile organisations of the 1970's, which were prosecuted and suppressed in 1980.

As a matter of fact, the similarities are striking and, whilst I was not claiming that children's rights activists were all paedophiles, it is nevertheless evident that their campaigns have been useful to those who want greater sexual access to children. 'Unwitting' was the word I used to describe the direct help given to paedophiles by the de facto abolition of the age of consent for girls in the matter of providing them with contraceptives at school. Now it is proposed to apply the same age of consent law to boys for homosexual activity, we will no doubt see its de facto abolition too.

However, it was after the book was sold out that the response to the publishers began to make another aspect of 'children's rights' clear. It was always obvious that the welfare of children was very low on most of the activists' agenda. Otherwise they would have been doing honest research to discover whether the freedoms advocated by them for children, were actually beneficial. They would also have been much more interested in whether breaking up families was the best response to anything but clear law-breaking on the part of parents, not to mention whether local authority care was better for children than a normal, even strict, home.

Now, like a voice from beyond the grave, we suddenly heard that Sweden had, at long last, developed a protest movement against the things that were being done to them in the name of children's rights. I don't know if it is the same in America, but here and in Europe, Sweden has always been held up as a paragon of 'progressive' innovation. It is referred to in reverential tones by liberals everywhere and children's rights activists place particular emphasis on the beneficial effects of their 1979 law which forbade parents to smack their children. According to their literature, no parents have ever been imprisoned or otherwise penalised for having laid a hand on their children and there is no cause for concern anywhere.

Well, it isn't true! An organisation of academics, lawyers, doctors and other professionals have formed 'The Nordic Committee for Human Rights', which is principally concerned with human rights abuses in Sweden, the most powerful and influential of the Nordic nations. They have a website (NKMR.org) where you can read all about it in English. They point out several crucial, historical factors. Notably that the Nazi's copied a good deal of their social policy from the Swedes; particularly that part of it which saw children as belonging to 'the parental state' rather than to its parents. The family too was viewed with dislike since it encouraged thoughts and actions that were not prescribed by the state.

Unmarried mothers had their babies automatically taken away from them and an organisation called 'Save the Children' was begun during the 1930's in Sweden, which was, contrary to expectation, profoundly anti-family. What children had to be 'saved' from, were the imperfections of their natural parents and the oppressive and un-enlightened atmosphere of a normal family. That has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?

They were also very enamoured of eugenics and the idea of a perfect racial type. Unbeknown to the rest of the world, the Swedish government pursued a policy of forced sterilisation of children it thought came from poor stock, until 1976. What a surprise for liberals everywhere when the fact came out, only last year, that more than 60,000 children had, in that way, been cleansed of their ability to procreate .

Few people had any idea that the Swedish government had the power to maintain such secrecy when it also had a relatively free press. One can hazard a guess that the truth only emerged finally because a couple of sad individuals, who had been deprived of their birthright by being sterilised when they were children in care, sued the government for compensation for what was done for them. Victims have now been promised the princely sum of £7,000 apiece.

The Nordic Committee, under its energetic and fearless chairman Ruby Harrold-Claesson, has at last broken open many of the other half-truths that the Swedish authorities are still putting about. She is a lawyer - incidentally, the only black one in Sweden - and has dredged up a lot of the figures relating to the seizure of children by the authorities. These are difficult to obtain because they are not recorded in the normal, criminal courts. Hence the ability of the children's rights people to claim that there have been no prosecutions under the 1979 law. Children are taken away under the auspices of an administrative court which, in the public interest, of course, keeps the figures safely out of reach of most people.

To give you an idea of the scale of the tyranny over the family, it is necessary to describe the context. Sweden has a population of eight million; it is also extremely homogenous as to race and no people in Europe are more clearly identifiable by their appearance alone. It has virtually no poverty, wall to wall welfare and no large cities. The capital city has a population of less than two million and the second city has one hundred and fifty thousand people. There should be, in fact, very few cases where children need to be taken from their parents. Yet, in 1981 the authorities seized 22,000 children; which represents a rate of seizure 86 times greater than that of West Germany. An equivalent figure for America would be, by that reckoning, more than 687 thousand - in one year!

No doubt the authorities had such a field day because of the number of children who had been smacked by their parents before the 1979 Act came in. The figure fell somewhat after that but, in 1995, it was 14,700 children removed from their homes. That is a rate 57 times that of Germany and, in American terms, would be nearly 500 thousand children. A mind-boggling number for the rest of the world to contemplate and a clear explanation why so few people in Sweden either get married or have children.

Yet why is this so little known? From time to time there is brief publicity of the abuses of Sweden, before liberals return to their uncritical admiration of it. Unfortunately for the oppressed everywhere, the liberal/left always treasures its heroes - even when they are murderous tyrants - so it will take some time, and a lot of repetition, for the truth to rise to the surface.

Another stalwart of the Nordic Committee, Siv Westerberg, has taken eight cases to the Court of Human rights at Strasborg, and has won seven times. The Readers Digest featured one of her cases in 1993. It involved three children who were abducted by the authorities whilst they were at school. They were sent to separate families 600 miles away and it took the parents 5 months even to find out where they were. No specific reason was ever given for why they had been taken; just that it was in their 'best interest'. It took seven years before the parents were able to get their case to the European Court, which found in their favour. The parents were awarded £33,000 compensation and the Swedish authorities were told to return the children to their parents. The eldest, who was then 17, was allowed home but the other two were not. This is the system that we are being asked to admire and follow!

By a striking coincidence, on the very day the organisation that published my book held a conference to discuss its findings, the BBC asked to do an interview with me about the smacking debate. Since I was tied up with the conference, they decided to interview me in a side room during the lunch break and, accordingly sent an interviewer and crew. I took the opportunity to introduce them to Ruby Harrold-Claesson, who was one of the principle speakers at the conference and she gave them a brief run-down of what she was saying about Sweden.

The team looked uncomfortable and, when I suggested that they include an interview with her to beef-up the debate, they said they already had been to Sweden and would be including an account of things there, as part of the programme.

When we watched the programme a few days later, sure enough, there they were in Sweden interviewing a handful of schoolchildren who confirmed that their parents were not allowed to smack them. They then asked a senior official about whether many children had been taken from their families as a result of the anti-smacking law. Laughing uproariously, she waved her hand around her, 'Can you see many children being taken?' she said. And that was supposed to be a sufficient answer.

After this, the missing brick fell into place! The question was always, why are the children's rights people so concerned to make the parental right to smack their children illegal? Most of their organisations have been more or less devoted to the subject despite the fact that 90% of good and caring parents say that it is necessary at times. Now the answer is clear.

It is a device which places most parents in the power of social workers. They are, by training and tradition, marxist, feminist, and anti-religious. They don't much care for the family and lend their weight on every possible occasion to arguments and devices that show it in a bad light. In this country, they are still opposed to the inclusion, in official statistics, of figures which show the precise nature of the relationship of abusers to the children they abuse. At present, they are simply called 'fathers', even though they are seldom genetic fathers and, even more seldom, genetic fathers actually married to the mother of their children. The traditional family is still the safest place for any child to be - but you would not know it from official literature on the subject.

Thus, anybody who wanted to further a marxist, feminist agenda, could not do better than to have most families in thrall to social workers. The right to browbeat parents because they smack their children when they think it necessary, as the Bible tells them they must, would be all an officious bureaucracy needed to infantalise the majority of adults. It is not about the elevation of children's rights at all. It is about the crushing of adult ones.

It is a particularly crafty bandwagon to set on the road because it has drawn support from so many unpleasant but powerful allies. Contraceptive-selling commerce has welcomed and supported them; paedophiles love them; and as for those government employees engaged in the job of directing, but not curbing, the rising tide of young people in trouble - they simply could not do without them.

Baby-snatching, as it has always been called, is almost bound to be due for a make-over in the years to come. There has been in increase in infertility amongst the young that would be considered alarming if we were not still so fixated with the idea of over-population; plus the fact that the 'wrong' sort of people are still having babies, particularly out of wedlock. This rise must be due, at least in part, to the powerful steroids being given to young girls to ensure their continuance as sexually active people. Also because of the extraordinary increase in the sexually transmitted diseases which cause barrenness in women and sterility in men.

Evils have a habit of happening one upon the other and it is an ironic observation made by the Nordic Committee for Human rights, that one of the reasons it is so easy to find foster-carers for the thousands of 'snatched' children in Sweden, is a political one. Successive social policy makers have scorned the role of wife and mother for many years. A woman loses all child benefits if she refuses to place her children in a crèche and she would feel very vulnerable to having them taken away too. Unless of course she had a very well-paid job to do there - looking after other people's stolen children.

It is incongruous, isn't it? To build your home on the ruins of someone else's. No wonder Scandinavian dramatists at the turn of the century were always so gloomy; they must have sensed what was coming.


The Fight for the Family

Anonymous said...

This book will provoke a welcome storm of debate in family, custody, and child welfare law. Martin Guggenheim makes a powerful case that it is in the most humane American tradition to support parents' rights, not as a denial of children's humanity but an affirmation of their best chance to grow and be supported within a family, with an edifice of significant barriers to state control and intervention. The issues addressed by What's Wrong with Children's Rights? are timely, and will impact millions of children in the U.S. Guggenheim's arguments make us think and rethink the role of lawyers for children, guardians, social workers, and the great battery of professionals who advise judges and administrative decision-makers.
--Bernardine Dohrn, Northwestern University






What's Wrong with Children's Rights?

By Martin Guggenheim



http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=197411

New York University School of Law; New York University - School of Law



Abstract:
This book explores the subject of "children's rights" as a phenomenon: how the rhetoric of children's rights is used, by whom, and to whose advantage. It describes how the modern Children's Rights Movement began and how an emphasis on "rights" became its fashionable choice of language. An important claim presented is that although adults need to pay greater attention to the way they treat children and how they might change their behavior to serve them better, they should learn to do these things outside of the rubric of "children's rights." For better or worse, the words no longer do very much to advance the conversation (if they ever did). The book suggests that the Movement has not proven to be of much help to children and that we may have reached the point in our history where children would be better served by returning to a time when we treated children like children; when the mistakes they made were understood to be part of the natural process of growing up; and when adults understood their obligations to do right by children.

The book also carefully examines a number of debates across various subject areas. One of the book's principal theses is that the Children's Rights Movement - particularly in the areas carved out for extended discussion - has been advanced by adults because they have something to gain by making claims on behalf of children. Across a wide range of subject matter, including disputes over adoption, third-party visitation (grandparent rights), custody and relocation arising out of divorce, child welfare and foster care, and even adolescents' rights to abortion, the book shows how adults use the rhetoric of children's rights to advance agendas that serve adults' interests. In the process, though children's interests are invoked, they are rarely furthered.

In this sense, to a far greater degree than is commonly appreciated, "children's rights" is really more about adults than it is about children. Because the subject matter is so broad, however, this book does not cover its entirety. Among the prominent children's rights topics not discussed in depth are the rights of children in schools and their rights in the criminal and juvenile justice arenas. Some of the major theses of the book do not apply to these areas or apply in distinctly different ways than suggested here.

Despite "children's rights" having become a familiar and often used phrase over the past generation, it is replete with contradiction and inconsistency. At its worst, it borders on being incoherent. This book fills an important gap in our understanding of the Children's Rights Movement by highlighting many of most contentious topics. Written by an experienced litigator and nationally known expert on children's rights, the book challenges a core claim of "children's rights": that it is possible - let alone desirable - to isolate children from the interests of their parents or society as a whole. The book also shows how courts have come to be the battleground for the Children's Rights Movement and how the Movement is dominated, in an unprecedented way historically, by lawyers.

The book shows how some in the Movement have succeeded in treating children's interests as antagonistic to those of their parents, a trend that has much affected foster-care laws and policy. The book reveals the extent to which the Movement is driven by adults who often have more to gain, and often gain more, than the children in whose name they advance claims. The book also reasons that children's interests are not necessarily the only ones to which adults should attend; that often it is sensible to subordinate children's interests to others in society; and that the child-centered perspective claimed by many advocates ultimately fails as a meaningful test for determining how to best to decide disputes concerning children.

Chapter 1 offers a brief history of the two children's rights movements in the United States in the 20th century and traces when and how the public rhetoric regarding children shifted from "needs" to "rights." Chapter 2 provides a constitutional analysis of the parental rights doctrine, how that doctrine furthers core values of American constitutional law, and the relationship of the doctrine to children's rights. Chapter 3 describes the Baby Jessica case in detail and explains why the common understanding of why Jessica should have been allowed to remain in the custody of the parents who sought to adopt her is far too simplistic. The chapter also shows how so many children's advocates rallied around the case on the side of Jessica remaining in her pre-adoptive home and the incoherence or inadequacy of their argument that the proper means by which the custody dispute should have been decided was based on a "child-centered" approach.

Chapter 4 discusses the deeply contentious issue of "third-party visitation" (the effort by adults who are not legally recognized as parents to secure the parent-like right to visit with someone else's child. The chapter discusses both the substance of these varied claims (which arise in the context of grandparent lawsuits, but also in same-sex co-parenting or other unmarried partners who raise children together.

Chapter 5 describes the historical and modern changes in American law as it affects divorce, custody, visitation, relocation, and the appointment of lawyers for children. This chapter shows how adults came to agree on the "best interests of the child" as the formal basis upon which their disputes should be resolved. The chapter suggests that the best interests standard serves adults well by making it possible of them to win their case and by masking their guilt over the harm their personal choices may cause their children. Even worse, the chapter suggests, the best interest standard actually harms children because it encourages litigation.

Chapter 6 focuses on child welfare issues involving children in foster care and recent federal efforts to accelerate their adoption. This chapter demonstrates how politicians and the American public benefit by emphasizing the adoption of foster children as a prominent goal of current foster care policy and suggests that the modern child welfare system denies any public obligation to bolster marginal families before the need to place children in foster care even arises.

Chapter 7 describes the law of pregnant minor's who wish to terminate their pregnancy with a larger focus on how the law uses the subject of a child's "right" to secure a result that works well from a public health perspective.

Chapter 8 shows the degree to which the modern children rights movement has contributed to an ever larger number of children ending up in state custody and having their fate determined by state officials. This chapter suggests that there is a relationship between the unprecedented number of children who end up in foster care and who are sentenced to serve adult-like sentences for criminal conduct and that the modern children's rights movement has been singularly unsuccessful in developing strategies to protect children from the harshness of the criminal justice system.



THE CAS IS USING THE FLAWED UN RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, TO DESTROY PARENTS, AND CHILDREN, THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, ACTUALLY HARMS CHILDREN, I AM GLAD TO READ SO MANY OF US ARE NOT ALONE IN THAT THOUGHT

AND CHILD PROETION AND CHILDRENS LAWYERS ARE PROFFITING OFF IT, WELL NO SURPIZE THERE, WE MUST SUPPORT THE NDPS BILLS. GET OUT AND SPEAK AND TELL YOUR STORYS.

Anonymous said...

Chapter 6 focuses on child welfare issues involving children in foster care and recent federal efforts to accelerate their adoption. This chapter demonstrates how politicians and the American public benefit by emphasizing the adoption of foster children as a prominent goal of current foster care policy and suggests that the modern child welfare system denies any public obligation to bolster marginal families before the need to place children in foster care even arises.

Thanks for posting, it has shed a great deal of light on the reason why this is happening, its all insane,

Anonymous said...

It is a travesty of justice that the CCAS is not responsible for Jeffrey Baldwin and it is disgusting. How many more children will die before that agency is held to account? And when will they ever face their victims from the past who are not dead like Jeffrey but who are injured in some cases beyond repair.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can find the words to say how sorry I am that this little boy was so tortured it breaks my heart. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

So ... 8 people shot dead by bikers! Yes, the CAS must be happy that another news story has taken the heat off them. It's only temporary Mary McConville ....

Vladimir Orlt said...

There is no greater sadness than this... reflecting on this and imagining the details has the power to make us realize true horror. Let us always be able to cry and rage at the thought of what Jeffrey endured, and at the senseless cruelty of a world that we delude ourselves into thinking is a better one.

Yes, Amanda, please let us know when you will place the plaque in the park... I would like to come.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The person that posted such disparaging remarks about David Weitzel is a moron.

The issue has nothing to do with your opinions regarding this man's social skills, employment status, personality traits or marital relationship.

It's about extreme abuse he and his brother experienced at the hands of CAS.

Sunday, April 09, 2006 12:46:30 AM

INDEED this is so true and if anything we should hear from people like this. It makes one wonder about what has went on for decades.

Anonymous said...

FYI: All readers,

The Globe and Mail often allows readers' online comments to stories they publish, including those involving CAS. To post a comment, you simply register - there's no fee and no further business solicitation on their part.

Because the Globe is among the largest and most authoritative newspapers in Canada, this is a good way to make the public more aware of CAS issues. Judging by the response to the Globe's latest articles on Jeffrey Baldwin, the public is beginning to catch on. Please consider posting your comment to the Globe on CAS issues as they arise.

Anonymous said...

There were 2 letters in the Toronto Star about Jeffrey, I don't think I have talked to anyone that has not cried from reading the articles about him it is heartbreaking.

Story brought tears
How could this happen? Why did no one —

CCAS, neighbours — step in to stop this tragedy?
Apr. 10, 2006. 01:00 AM



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abusers convicted of killing grandchild


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 8.

I have never before heard my husband weep while reading a newspaper. Saturday's story of little Jeffrey Baldwin was just too heartwrenching. How could this happen?

Why did no one step in to stop this tragedy? The children's services, the other grandparents, the older siblings, the neighbours . . . look, a little life is hanging by a thread. Surely, we could never be guilty of such callous indifference.

But wait, let's look at little Hawa as she is placed in the arms of our daughter, Dr. Jane Philpott, recently volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in draught-stricken Niger, West Africa.

Hawa weighs the same as some newborns though she is 2 years old. The minutes she has left to live will not be long enough for treatment to be possible. How can this happen, another innocent child dying of starvation?

Every year 18 million people die of starvation, even though we could all help feed these people if it was a priority for every person and government. Why do so few really care?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Audrey Little, Sundridge, Ont.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abusers convicted of killing grandchild


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 8.

I have followed the story of Jeffrey Baldwin with great sadness and anger. Anger directed towards his grandparents and the Catholic Children's Aid Society (CCAS) and sadness at Jeffrey's terrible anguish.

As a father of two young boys, your details of Jeffrey's suffering brought me to tears. I am pleased that his grandparents have been found guilty of second-degree murder and hope they are given an appropriate sentence. I also hope and pray that the coroner's inquest will lay blame on the CCAS and its directors for not doing their jobs properly and for not preventing this shameful loss of innocent life.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Joe Galati, Richmond Hill

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the Star letter writers read this site, but CAS refused to facilitate visits with Jeffrey's other grandmother which would have saved the boy's life. Perhaps the reason CAS never monitor the child can be best understood by Jeanette Lewis' transparent excuse that CAS cannot monitor its employees 24/7 - such a sleazy attempt to deceive even in the light of a child's murder. Forget 24/7 - it would have taken only one competent visit in all that time.

With respect to third world children, I've often thought that the money wasted on taking children into CAS custody on false pretences would be far better spent in third world situations where the need is legitimate.

Anonymous said...

How must Matthew Reid's family feel seeing CAS making phony statements of regret in the case of Jeffrey Baldwin when it intentionally withholds any comment in their tragic case.

I wonder if reporters reading this site know that Matthew's grandmother brought concerns that Matthew was being sexually abused in that foster home to Mary Anne Chambers in the months before his death. This story also deserves to be put before the public.

Anonymous said...

I'm also the father of young child who was brought to tears after reading Jeffey's story.

In fact, since last Friday, I've been feeling depressed because of this story.

No other news story has every affected me in this way before.

The thing is, even if things do change, even if no other child is ever put into a similar situation, that won't erase the horrible things that Jeffrey had to endure.

He never got to know happiness or love. I'm not a religious man (although at times like this I wish I was) and can't take any comfort in the thought that he's in a better place. I just feel miserable about this.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the Jeffrey Baldwin story for the better part of a year and can asure all of you that the sadness and anger doesn't go away...The conviction of Elva and Norm are a small win for Jeffrey but the war for his justice has just started. The CAS, CCAS and the other "adults" in that home still need to be held accountable for what happened to this sweet innocent little boy.

ph said...

One can only feel terrible sadness and shame over what happened to young Jeffrey Baldwin in the Bottineau/Kidman household. Jeffrey's suffering ended on November 30, 2002 and, finally, the two killers have been convicted and will pay the price for torturing, tormenting and murdering him.

However, one stone is left unturned. What about the role of the Catholic Children's Aid Society (CCAS)in this despicable affair? They placed him, as an infant, in the hands of the killers. It was their negligence and indifference which allowed him to suffer and die so tragically.

A Coroners Inquest may get to the root of their involvement. But we also need to push government to allow Ombudsman Ontario oversight of the CCAS and CAS; to help in ensuring that this bureaucratic money eating monolith, otherwise known as the child protection industry, is made accountable.

We should also support a civil lawsuit against the CCAS on behalf of the surviving children. Maybe then the CCAS will show genuine contrition by their actions and deeds and not just through meaningless words.

Anonymous said...

I am heartened by some of the poters comments on this site which appear to appreciate the gravity of what happened to Jeffrey and the institutions and our government that let it happen. However, I have yet to hear solidarity for a rally to protest the status quo which the government appears willing to prop up. Justice for Jeffrey means rising to the occasion and doing something to stop this publicly.

Let start with a rally on April 12 at the courthouse and continue with more protest rallies after.

Can I have a response to this from people out there????

Anonymous said...

I have found the coverage of the dead bikers over Jeffrey's case to be really in poor taste. The bikers chose their lifestyle Jeffrey had no choice.

I do hope that the Fifth Estate can ensure that his story is covered more as well. The media articles were well done in that I cannot see how one could not cry reading them. What he suffered is so horrible and those that killed him are purely evil.

Anonymous said...

I would love to go to the protest but won't be able to. I wish I could though.

Anonymous said...

I think that they should make a park for Jeffrey or change the name of the park to the Jeffrey Baldwin Park. The plaque that Amanda did is a beautiful tribute to this darling, little sweetheart but a park itself might also be nice.

Anonymous said...

Can you IMAGINE what 1.5 billon could do for children in Africa, this is just a part of what our government gave to the CAS in only Ontario this year.
Has it saved any children, NO, the best interest of the child is an add campaign as is the most vulnerable children to keep, psychologist, social workers , lawyers and Minister Chambers in business.

Can you imagine, what they really could do with that money? and the money spent on legal aid lawyers, and privately contracted lawyers families need two now, to try and get their children back.

Today Howard Hampton NDP ask Minister Chambers why do they not want oversight by the ombudsman, he spoke of Jeffery, there were many boos in the house, the Liberals don't want to hear about oversight or Jeffery Baldwin. Chambers spun it in a shaky voice, how wonderful the child advocate was in the press this weekend, J Lewis, this women is out to lunch, the liberals need to be,
do they not understand we don't but it anymore, that we understand why they CANT allow oversight.
why does no one mention Matthew Reid, and the other children that have died in care, the suicides. its makes me sick.

WE DO NEED TO HAVE A RALLY, AND A ORGANIZED VERY LARGE ONE, INCLUDING FATHERS FOR LIFE, AFTER FOSTER CARE, EX CROWN WARDS, PARENTS THAT HAVE LOST THEIR CHILDREN, AND GRANDCHILDREN , SOCIAL WORKERS THAT HAVE QUITE IN DISGUST, MANY OF THE DOCTORS THAT WOULD NOT REPORT TO CAS UNLESS THEY KNEW A LIFE WAS IN DANGER, ( BUT THEY ARE SCARED AS WELL) the moms that have had their babies stolen, the families terrorized by the agencies,the families of the special needs children that we all know the CAS had no problem filing false avadavat in family court, this alone should be reason to shut the system down.
RALLY
this CAN be done, the public, and true children advocates.


so lets do it. the 12th is not enough notice, people have tried to get people out before, few showed, many live in fear. we have to over come that fear, and be heard
lets organize this Please.
LOOK at the numbers of children in care, please educate on the subject. most are not in care because they need to be protected, Because we are all so anonymous, how do we find each other?
Also some high profile people would be willing to join this Rally if it is organized and people will show up. So how, who when, and lets get it done. a planning bog is needed.

Anonymous said...

There is a petition at Queens Part on oversight of CAS with thousands of signatures, over three thousand from one area, it has not been presented as far as I know, its signed by mostly medical people, asking for sweeping changes. Yet no one has presented it I would like to know why?

Anonymous said...

Five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin was found dead in his grandmother's east Toronto house in 2002. Officially, Jeffrey died of pneumonia, the result of breathing in his own feces, but the real cause was severe, prolonged malnutrition.

Four months after his death, his grandparents, in whose care he had been placed by the Toronto Catholic Children's Aid Society, were arrested and ultimately convicted of second-degree murder. The grandparents, Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman had a history of child abuse; Jeffrey was not the first child to die in Elva's care. And this history of abuse was detailed in CCAS files.

Gillian Findlay and the fifth estate have investigated the death of Jeffrey Baldwin to find out why and how this couple could have been given custody of Jeffrey and his siblings.

on this Wed.

Anonymous said...

When children are removed and they don't have a scratch on them, or maybe a teenage daughter just wants out of the house so that she doesn't have to follow the rules decides to fight her mother. She then calls the police and says that she is abused. The police take the children out of the house because they believe the child. The child has gotten their way and the parents have to go through a mourning period because their children have been ripped out from under them in the middle of the night. The office of DCFS needs something to change about it. They aren't acting in the best interest of the children. They are acting in their own best interest. Because they haven't looked into the situation and investigated the story throughly. They only jump the gun and start removing your children and then have the gaul to put them on a website called "Children in Waiting". Like they are selling them on the slave block. Because they certainly do not come for free. They sell them to you.

Anonymous said...

Michigan: State sued under federal racketeering and civil rights statutes


July 2, 2004
Mother sues state for racketeering
She says officials kidnapped her children
By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT - Starletta Banks has not seen her three children, Darius, now 11, Danielle, now 7, and Darren, now 5, since the year 2000, but she says she is determined to have them come home again to her loving arms.

"It's been devastating," said Banks. "It's been hard holding jobs and eating and sleeping. You can't even imagine the Christmases and birthdays I've spent. When we get them back, whenever that is, it will be Christmas because I've gone on buying presents for them all this time."

Banks says her children were essentially kidnapped by Governor Jennifer Granholm, Attorney General Mike Cox, and various judges, administrators and doctors to be used as "cash cows" for the benefit of the state's child foster care system. That system is largely farmed out to private non-profit agencies who receive federal funds for each child. She says the alleged kidnappers have profited because they sit on the boards of agencies in that system.

On June 6, Banks filed suit in U.S. District Court under federal racketeering and civil rights statutes, demanding her children's return, and calling for an immediate investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the alleged misuse of federal funds by the State of Michigan in hers and thousands of other foster care cases.

"I'm going to fight them with everything I've got, until my children are returned to me, and I want other families to join me," said Banks, who, so far, is representing herself in the case. Banks resides with her mother and father Barbara and Leo Banks, who are supporting her suit. The suit was inspired by a similar action in Los Angeles County that opened an investigation into 30,000 foster care cases there.

"Plaintiff was severely damaged and her family destroyed by the kidnap under color of law of her three children," reads Banks' complaint. "Defendants used the Michigan state foster care system as a 'child for profit' machine, with eighty percent of their caseload contracted out to private agencies who are paid federal monies by the case. . . Defendants sat on the boards of agencies that received federal monies for the 'care and custody' of children, while actively participating in, or making judicial decisions on cases involving child custody or termination of parental rights including plaintiff's case."

Banks' parental rights to her children were terminated by Wayne County Juvenile Court Judge Patricia Campbell in October, 2000, after a series of events that began two years earlier when Banks took Danielle, then an infant, to Henry Ford Hospital after she fell out of bed. (See "Attorney General Seeks to Take Children," Michigan Citizen Mar. 12-18, 2000.)

The baby sustained a skull fracture, but the hospital contended at the time that other X-rays showed evidence of old rib fractures. Subsequent studies, however, showed no such old fractures. The family now believes that Danielle's X-rays were initially mixed up with those of another infant.

At the time, the court took temporary custody of Banks' two children. Her third child was born later and also taken based solely on the accident with Danielle. The children were assigned to Orchard's Children's Services, where workers eventually recommended that they be returned to Banks after she successfully completed a parenting course at Black Family Development.

The workers said the children had been traumatized by their removal from their mother, repeatedly cried and asked for her, and were scared of being left alone.

However, after an Orchard's worker withdrew the recommendation for return, Campbell terminated Banks' rights, despite the fact that no charges of abuse or neglect had ever been brought against her. Banks' parents were later appointed as guardians, but that status was terminated in 2001 and the children were returned to foster care.

Banks appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which ruled against her in July of 2002. The State Supreme Court has since refused to hear the case.

Banks contends that numerous state officials who participated in the termination of her parental rights also are members of non-profits connected with the foster care system, creating a blatant conflict of interest. They are cited as individual defendants in her case.

They include appeals court judge Kathleen Jansen, one of the three judges who denied her appeal, who sits on the Macomb County Child Abuse Neglect Information Council, and Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver, who chairs the "Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice and Family Independence Agency."

Although she was not the attending physician, Dr. Annamaria Church testified against Banks on behalf of Henry Ford Hospital. Besides heading the pediatric residency program at the DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, she is also involved with the state's non-profit Children's Trust Fund, which doles out $70 million annually in funding to various non-profit child welfare agencies including foster care programs.

"My lawsuit showed every foster care case was tainted because officials in Los Angeles County failed to disclose their conflicts of interest," said Dr. Shirley Moore, National Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Family Rights Association.

In response to Moore's actions, as well as an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit and an expose by the Los Angeles Daily News, a judge ordered a review of foster care placements in that county.

"Up to half of the 75,000 children in the systems and adoptive homes were needlessly placed in a system that is often more dangerous than their own homes because the county receives $30,000 to $150,000 in state and federal revenues for each placement," wrote the Daily News.

Moore said the situation in Michigan is far worse, because officials at all levels up to the state are involved, and there is no recourse here except federal court.

Press representatives for Governor Granholm and the state's Human Services Department would not comment on Banks' action due to the pending litigation, and the attorney general's representative would not comment due to "attorney-client privilege." An attorney for Dr. Annamaria Church had not returned a call for comment by press time.

Anonymous said...

Teddy Bellingham, Smiths Falls Ontario, sixteen years old, August
1992, beaten

Jerome Bennett, Oshawa Ontario, fifteen years old, February 3 2006, homicide

Sherry Charlie, British Columbia, nineteen months old, September 4 2002, battered

Jeffrey Baldwin, Toronto Ontario, December 20 1996 - November 30
2002, malnutrition/pneumonia

Caleb Jerome Merchant, Edmonton Alberta, thirteen months old,
November 26, 2005, battered

Karen Quill, St Louis Saskatchewan, twenty months old, September 13 1997, internal injuries


Paola Rosales, Milton Ontario, fourteen years old, July 3 suicide

2001,Matthew Reid, Welland Ontario, three years old, December 15 2005,
suffocation

Lloyd Stamp, Edmonton Alberta, seventeen years old, September 29,
2005, suicide

Nadine Catherine Beaulieu, Dauphin Manitoba, twenty three months
old, February 1996, battered

William Edgar, Peterborough Ontario, thirteen years old, March 1999, restraint

Jordan Heikamp, Toronto Ontario, May 19 1997 - June 23 1997,
starvation

Dion Jack, Sproat Lake British Columbia, six years old, March 1
2006, untreated seizure

Stephanie Jobin, Brampton Ontario, thirteen years old, June 21 1998, restraint

James Lonnee, Guelph/Hamilton Ontario, sixteen years old, September 7 1996, beaten by cellmate

Anonymous said...

posted above just a few of the children that have died in care, one is to many.

Anonymous said...

Amanda,

Renaming the park where you're placing Jeffrey's plaque is a truly inspirational idea. Kudos to the poster that suggested this.

Given you established contacts at City Hall when the memorial was held, would you feel comfortable approaching the City with this idea?

Anonymous said...

To the idiot that suggested abuse is in the genes they are saying that Jeffrey Baldwin himself was somehow defective simply because he was born into a family with his grandparents being convicted child abusers. How evil of a suggestion that "genes" are a problem.

That is the type of sick mantra that is used by wicked baby brokers from hell that use that type of argument to buy and sell babies.

How dare anyone suggest that in reference to this case. It was not genes baby broker from hell that killed Jeffrey it was his grandparents who were abusive monsters and the CCAS who are responsible. That alone does not mean in any way that "genes" are a problem.

In fact it was that type of hatred that lead to massive witch hunts for babies all across North America - children taken for no reason other then to supply a market to others.

Anonymous said...

I think before the government starts shipping children to infertile strangers all over Ontario with a baby broker they might want to look at the cases of abused children in the Province especially considering the list that one of the people provided on this site.

Anonymous said...

And even more scary is that the army of baby brokers in this Province are also accountable to NO ONE. If you count the Ministry who supports the sale of children as an "oversight" they have NO RESPONSIBILITY EITHER.

But Minister Chambers is in bed with them.

And it disgusts me beyond words that those who "profit" from destroying families are actively working with the government as "consultants".

Anonymous said...

I'm also the father of young child who was brought to tears after reading Jeffey's story.

In fact, since last Friday, I've been feeling depressed because of this story.

No other news story has every affected me in this way before.

The thing is, even if things do change, even if no other child is ever put into a similar situation, that won't erase the horrible things that Jeffrey had to endure.

He never got to know happiness or love. I'm not a religious man (although at times like this I wish I was) and can't take any comfort in the thought that he's in a better place. I just feel miserable about this.

- I do as well to the father that said this. It is really hard - it is haunting.

Anonymous said...

Here is David Witzel's letter to the Toronto Sun with the editor's short but encouraging reply:

Sound the alarm for kids

I just finished reading Vivian Song’s three-part series about abused children and Sam Pazzano’s coverage of the trial of the death of Jeffrey Baldwin. Both of these articles are stunning and alarming.
Alarming because the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, which is in charge of our most vulnerable of children, seems not to be doing its job.
The ministry is supposed to ensure the Children’s and Youth Services Act is followed and obeyed. With such atrocities committed against these poor children, it is obvious the act is not being followed.
About 700 children have died in care since 1994 and the ministry has done what? Are these children worth that little to society?


I was abused 52 years ago for years and so was my brother, and it has haunted us and messed up our whole lives.

Keep up the good work, Sam and Vivian, and to the Toronto Sun, thank you for trying to bring this to the attention of what appears to be an uncaring public (until it happens to them!).

David Witzel

Scarborough

(The public does care; people want more accountability in this system)

Anonymous said...

The artciles that were covered about child abuse were well done. It was important to include those abused in foster care and adoption as all too often both are put on a level of worship that is not realistic.

The comments by the editor are encouraging. That it took Jeffrey to die to bring awareness of accountability of the CAS is very sad though.

Anonymous said...

****Just heard that OMBUDSMAN WILL BE ON CBC THE CURRENT at 8:30AM today discussing Jeffrey and the CAS *******

Anonymous said...

State gets waiver that could put fewer children in foster care

April 10, 2006

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Thousands of Michigan children may be able to remain with their families rather than go into foster care now that the state has received federal permission to use some foster care dollars to better help those families.

Families could receive mental health services, substance abuse help, housing, clothing and intensive home visits from social workers trained to teach them to treat their children appropriately.

The goal is to help families so children are not at risk of abuse or neglect in their own homes, and avoid having the state put them in foster care for their own protection.

"It's all about helping sooner before children are in danger," state Department of Human Services director Marianne Udow told reporters Monday. "In most cases, these parents want to be good parents. They don't always know where to go for services."

The new focus has been made possible by a federal waiver DHS received that will allow the state to spend part of the $107 million it gets annually in federal funds for foster care on more early intervention. Michigan has about 17,000 children in foster care, although not all are covered by money included in the waiver.

Some of the money will go to pay relatives who are acting as foster parents, Udow said. They currently cannot receive the payments that go to other foster care families.

Udow said the state's goal is not to save money, but to use the money differently so more children can remain safely with their own families and avoid foster care. Some of the funds will be used to help families regain children in foster care or, where that's not possible, to help the children be adopted more quickly.

The state will begin the new approach with demonstration projects in several counties, including Wayne. The other counties will be selected after they submit proposals on how they would use the money. The program is expected to start sometime between September 2006 and March 2007, Udow said.

Humm SHOULD THEY NOT BE DOING THE SAME HERE, OF COURSE, BUT THE HAVE NOT BEEN HIT HARD ENOUGH WITH LAWSUITES, AND GREED, KEEPS IT GOING, NOT CONCERNS FOR CHILDREN.

Anonymous said...

CURRENT, MARY MC CONVILLE ABUSE EXCUES, NO MARIN,

HOWEVER A LAWSUITE HAS BEEN FILES AGAINST THE CCAS

Anonymous said...

City denies sex-probe cover-up
Globe and Mail - 4 hours ago
VANCOUVER -- The City of Richmond is rejecting a suggestion by its former fire chief that it tried to put an end to an investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct by its firefighters with underage girls.
FOSTER PARENTS, HOW NICE!

Anonymous said...

A Lawsuite has been filed against CCAS in Jefferys case.

ph said...

Jeffrey's Law/Amanda:

Since there seems to be interest in a public rally of some sort and we need an event to serve as a catalyst for organizing such a rally(5th Estate April 12 may be too soon), is it possible to move the plaque installation forward from summer to mid Spring? That way, we can use the installation ceremony at Greenwood Park as a focal point for getting people out to attend a rally and generate media attention. We can also sign people up at the rally who are interested in getting involved in advocacy activities such as the lawsuit and lobbying for change.

May also present an opportunity to raise funds for this important cause.

Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Baldwin deserved better protection
Toronto Star, Canada - 6 Apr 2006
... I need think only of the misery and death of Jeffrey Baldwin to realize the true value in having the kind of vital and robust ombudsman's office that we have ...

listening to the current with Ms ,Lewis trying to do the spin, she makes no sense at all, and the Ombudsman speak, its clear SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG IN ONTARIO, yet she goes on about the new oversight bull, its all internal,

Not only should this private members Bill pass, there needs to be a Royal commission of Inquiry ordered by the PM.

The board of directors all have a vested interested, and a CONFLICT. how else does one explain the doctors, that run the so called psychobabble CAPS test also sitting on the boards,
As we already know no one can pass the test, she not only sits on the Board of directors for the Ham. CCAS, but once children are in care uses them in studies, highly unethical, and YES I WILL POST proof of it all, and the police dept, who sit on the boards are in the press , misleading the public on how wonderful CAS is. The law firms that represent CCAS are on the boards, how on earth do they think this is a external process,its a conflict of interest, but then again Child Protection has nothing to do with children, it has every thing to do with adults profiting off it.
Now when will they be investigated.?
A truly are a criminal organization, and why is there no action being taken?

Dave Brown on CAPS test below.
As a skeptic, I see psychology as a spooky craft too open to error. Its application can be too easily turned and tuned to the needs of lawyers.

For the third time, I saw a twisted test turn up in evidence. It’s called the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. You may not have abused a child yet, but maybe you will. In none of the three cases did the mothers pass the test, and always for the same reason.

The way it was worded this time: “(Mother) gave socially desirable responses, perhaps in an attempt to hide negative personal characteristics. Moreover, she wished to present herself in a favourable light to create a positive image. Consequently, the results of the test were invalidated.”

In other words, you fail by trying. In the other two cases, they lost their children too.

It smacks of Salem in 1693, and a test for detecting witches. Suspects were bound and thrown into a pool. If they knew how to relax and stay afloat, they were condemned because it must be the Devil holding them up. If they sank and drowned, they weren’t witches after all.

In this year’s case, there were other tests deemed unreliable because the mother has multiple sclerosis.


The “best interests” principle has been called, by some legal experts, the vaguest principle in all of statutory law.

For Ontario parents who think they are being abused, the complaints desk is in the same agency they want to complain about. Children’s Aid Societies are arms-length organizations. There are more than 50 in Ontario. There is no oversight.

Regional councillor Alex Munter hears enough cries for help at his office that he has called for a complaints process. Ontario’s new ombudsman, Claire Lewis, former commissioner for public police complaints, believes child protection agencies are enough like police services to require oversight. He has offered to take on the role of CAS complaints reviewer—if the legislature will give him the power.

In a family court, the most dangerous accuser parents will face is a psychologist. There are reasons to fear them and their spooky craft. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, multiple personality disorders (MPDs) were all the rage in the psychology industry. Many got rich writing about patients they said had several different personalities inhabiting the same body. Since then, the existence of MPDs has largely been discredited.

In the ‘70s, evidence taken from children by psychologists and presented in courts sent dozens of daycare operators to jail for involving children in satanic rites and sexual abuse. Oops again. It didn’t happen. Massive lawsuits are still going on.

Now on the block is suppressed memory syndrome. Reports suggest that those memories are often planted by psychologists’ repeated, leading questions.

A new breed of psychologist is emerging, dedicated to exposing junk psychology. One of them is Dr. Tana Dineen of Victoria, author and frequent contributor to this newspaper.

The title of her 1996 book leaves no doubt where she stands; Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People. For more information visit her Web site at www.tanadineen.com.

Recently I watched three different family court trials in which mothers failed a test called the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP). In each case, psychologists, paid by the prosecution, reported that the mothers were trying so hard to fool the tester by being nice that they were masking their true feelings and invalidating the test. They didn’t pass. They lost their children.

I asked Dr. Dineen for her expert opinion of that test.

“Psychologists are the inquisitors of the modern age witch hunts. They control the uncovering of child abuse and thrive from identifying perpetrators. The tests they use, including such questionable instruments as the CAP, are useful to them for two reasons: The tests sound clinical and scientific, and they cast such a wide net that they identify a significant number of innocent people as potential child abusers.”

Family courts provide abundant grazing for psychology. Not only are practitioners highly paid for producing the reams of material that will be logged in as evidence, but there’s more good grazing on the periphery. Courts routinely order people to take parenting courses, marriage counselling, anger management courses, addictions counselling and the list grows.

Courts buy psychology as science and the media buys it as sexy. Hardly a week goes by that a new psychological discovery doesn’t make a splash in the media.

A new affliction discovered recently in California is called affluenza. The discoverer, with a book bearing that title already on the U.S. market, promises to make nice people of the children of the affluent. The diagnosis is rich kids grow up to be arrogant snots, but don’t worry, a treatment has been developed.

The perfect life is living rich in California where you can hire experts to give you angst-free love, guilt-free sex, and snot-free kids.

Psychology is a hard sell in a Quebec child protection case, because judges run courts that require more of a burden of proof. Of the 1,237 files opened in 1999 in Hull juvenile court, 876 were under the Young Offenders Act. The remaining 302 were child protection cases under the Loi de la protection de la Jeunesse.

Parents who truly abuse their children and cause injuries or leave marks, appear in criminal courts. There are harsh penalties.

Psychobabble, children Rights and those that profit are NOT the children,



The very solution has become the problem!
Lacking the necessary education and training skills to conduct objective and competent child protective "investigations," intake workers at social service agencies remove non-abused children from their homes frequently; and in doing so, leave truly abused children in jeopardy. Combine this equation with a mental health industry that is rendering unnecessary clinical therapies for alleged repressed memories, and you have a prescription for disaster.

To exacerbate matters, our triers-of-facts, our courts, our rubber stamping error-rich recommendations from guardians-ad-litem, social services, child protection teams, and therapists... forcing non-abused children into foster care homes while allowing kids in harm's way to die (at the hands of the state).


160,000 reports of suspected child abuse were reported in 1963. That number exploded to 1.7 million in 1985.
And a report disseminated by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) Child Maltreatment 1995: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, depicts more than three million reports of alleged child abuse and neglect that year. However, two million of those complaints were without foundation or false!
In addition, our child protection laws, such as The Mondale Act and Megan's Law, have instigated and invited scores of anonymous and unfounded reports of abuse to be made.

Anonymous reporting of child abuse is an open invitation for governmental intrusion into American homes. This *parens patriae* mindset has spawned such child *advocate* leaders as Dr. C. Henry Kempe to champion government authorized visitations (totalitarianism) resulting in family *support* workers teaching parents, parenting! Click on *Beware The Child Protectors* and read about it, here!



False allegations of child abuse demand immediate attention. If you've been accused of a sex crime unjustly, you must fight back with a vengeance to survive. The Tong's Tips and Referrals and Resources are a great place to start if you have been falsely accused.

REMEMBER

Whether you've been accused of sexual child abuse, physical child abuse, domestic violence, or sexual harassment, you should consider following Tong's 2-Prong Test:

You must prove your innocence, which equates to psychological, and/or psychosexual testing; and
You must impeach the credibility of your false accusers.
"We will not win the war against child abuse until
we first win the battle against false accusations."
Dean Tong, Author/Forensic Consultant

Ethics. AIDS drug experiments on foster children violated rules.

Did I make the grade? Ethical issues in psychosocial screening of children for adoptive placement. This article suggests that psychological evaluations as a "screen for normalcy" with a view to adoption are a breach of the child's right to psychological integrity and privacy under international human rights law. A foreseeable outcome of such psychological screens, especially for the older foster child who has experienced multiple placements, is an unreliable mental health diagnosis. Normal, albeit maladaptive, potentially modifiable coping strategies arising in the context of family disruption come after the psychological screen to be labeled as an indicator of mental disorder. This, in turn, may inappropriately interfere with the child's adoption prospects. It is suggested that psychological screens for normalcy of preadoptive children represent a misuse both of psychology and psychiatry for they are motivated more by the needs and interests of social institutions involved in the adoption process rather than those of the child.

PMID: 15810176 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Board of Directors
Ham CCAS
Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton

Ken Lancaster, President
Taylor Leibow, LLP

Karen Cimba, 1st Vice President
Cimba and Associates

Blair Laxdal, 2nd Vice President
Laurentian Financial

Dr. Anne Niec, Secretary
Faculty of Health Sciences,
McMaster University

Greg Huss, Treasurer
Hamilton Police Service

Jamie Anderson
Hamilton Police Service

Vito Colella
Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School

Christine Hendrie
St. Charles Education Centre

Ivan Marini
Yachetti, Lanza & Restivo Lawyers

Sister Michaela
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton

Alexandra Mlekuz
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District
School Board

Rita Mooney-O’Connor
Community Volunteer

Dorothy Spence
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District
School Board

Joe Spotts
Mobile Communications Services

Very Reverend James Valk
Diocese of Hamilton
St. Joseph Parish

Cathy Wellwood
Fundraising Consultant

Beatrice Kemp
Executive Director


Ken Lancaster, President,
Board of Directors

© Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton
Does this look like a list of people with no vested interest
why is it allowed Ms Lewis.

When Dr Ann Niec, after terriazing a family for many months,

was unable to convince the CAS to keep the children in care, they did not to be in care, even the Judge was angry. I have the court transcripts. Dr Niec asked the mother to go to the CCAS, the mom of course laughed, you sit on the CCA board therefore, have more power then with CAS, the answer is yes. She should not only lose her medical licence but NO everyone is protected in the child protection field but children and families.

the study at Mc Master was deemed unethical as well, yet no one cares, Children in care have and ARE being used in medical studies, pesticide studies, and no one cares. this is ABUSE, and many have dies as a result, and more will given the exposures to dangerous chemicals, but hey they are the governments children, How many people are being made aware that this is happening as well.

WE NEED TO STOP ALLOWING THE KIDNAPPING OF CHILDREN. UNDER THE PRETENCE OF PROTECTION

Anonymous said...

The person that suggested using a mid-spring plaque ceremony as a rally to involve attendees in advocacy and fundraising has a very good idea. I would certainly attend. What do others think?

Tina said...

Is there really a lawsuit being filed against the CCAS? Does anyone have any more information on this? Who? When? How?

Anonymous said...

I understood the lawsuit is being filed by the attorney general against CCAS.

If there is a lawsuit it would have to follow the inquiry, I think.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for a plaque ceremony as a rally to involve attendees in advocacy and fundraising has a very good idea. I would attend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina - you asked about the lawsuit with the Toronto CCAS - they are being sued from a man who was molested by his foster father AND social worker from that agency. It is not in reference to Jeffrey.

It is one of a number of agencies being sued right now for giving people to child abusers.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey's Law/Amanda:

Since there seems to be interest in a public rally of some sort and we need an event to serve as a catalyst for organizing such a rally(5th Estate April 12 may be too soon), is it possible to move the plaque installation forward from summer to mid Spring? That way, we can use the installation ceremony at Greenwood Park as a focal point for getting people out to attend a rally and generate media attention. We can also sign people up at the rally who are interested in getting involved in advocacy activities such as the lawsuit and lobbying for change.

May also present an opportunity to raise funds for this important cause.

Just a suggestion.

Response - I like this suggestion - first can this be done on a weekend with at least a month notice. From there we could get together to organize a larger rally. Giving people a few weeks notice who live out of town is very difficult - a month where we notify all people that we know would work much better. Having protests in the week do not work well as it precludes huge numbers from attending - a Saturday on a regular and not long weekend may generate more numbers - what do people think?

Anonymous said...

An enraging letter is in the Toronto Sun today from the Ontario Association of Social Workers asking for the public to not malign their profession? The response to Jeffrey has been breathtakingly arrogant - and it disgusts me.

Where is the concern of these workers that this child was so tortured. But they all appear to be sticking together despite the fact that a little boy is dead - the whole thing is shameful!

Anonymous said...

If there is a lawsuit against the CCAS pertaining to Jeffrey I am not aware of it, however if one exists I would also like to hear more about it.

In consideration of the selfish response by the social workers from the Sun letter it further enrages me about this case. Maybe it will take a lawsuit to get them to take responsibility.

They lost 30 files in his case and tried to cover the whole thing. It is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This is a response by the CCAS in regards to Jeffrey. I am so choked with rage at this agency that there are no words to express it. In the statement they claim that an online complaint was made to the CCAS and that they checked their files but not good enough to find the convictions of the murderers.

DID THESE IDIOTS PHYSICALLY GO TO DEMAND TO SEE JEFFREY? NO - the more they make statements the more inept they all look.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2006/07/c3260.html

Anonymous said...

I've been so affected by this story and would like to do something to help beyond advocating for Jeffrey's Law, which is an excellent idea or donating money.

Does anybody have any ideas or a list of organizations where one can volunteer to help children who may need attention and guidance now.

I would love to do something like that in Jeffrey's honour.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the last poster. I too would love to do more for children in need. Jeffrey's story has had a huge impact on me and I would like to do something over the long term. Maybe at the memorial/rally we can talk more.

Anonymous said...

A mid-spring weekend plaque ceremony and a a rally to involve attendees in advocacy and fundraising is a good idea.
I would attend.
It's time for change!

Anonymous said...

TINA:

Last night I heard on CBC that the attorney general was suing CCAS over the death of Jeffrey.

This had nothing to do with a man.

I havent heard anything more but I am sure I understood it right. During this news clip they had a pic of Jeffrey also and Mary Mcconville was talking as well as the ombudsman.

I dont know when where or how.....anything would have to follow the inquiry anyways.

Anonymous said...

The social worker's letter in the Toronto Sun also appeared in the Toronto Star. Did you notice the Sun editor's response? "In Jeffrey’s case, public anger is both justified and necessary." Good for the Sun.

For readers that have not seen the letter, Beverly J. Antle portrayed CAS as a group of overworked but highly skilled "experts" worthy of community support. She forgot to mention these highly skilled CCAS did not merely fail to check the grandparent's records but employed the convicted child abusers to care for other people's children.

Antle says nothing of the fact these highly skilled dismissed seperate allegations of abuse against the grandparents. Nor did she mention that CAS refused to facilitate meetings with Jeffrey's relatives that would have saved the boys life. Even one visit from these highly skilled experts would have prevented the tragedy. Instead, they simply paid Jeffrey's killers without any expectation of accountability - a practice that only reflects systemic stupidity and incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Everytime I think about poor little Jeffrey, I'd burst into tears. How come after 3 years, no one in CCAS has been held accountablility? They are as guilty as Thy Grandparents. This tragedy strucked me the way I never thought could be. I'm so angry with CCAS and even the government. They abuse their power to everyone that they can touch. We have to stop this, but HOW??????? Is there any form of action?

Anonymous said...

I too cannot stop crying over this case. It is hard not too, and when I am at work etc.. if I think of it I can barely concentrate.

I think the public should demand that the Ombudsman has oversight, and demand that the social worker involved and all others who participated in this are fired immediately. Moreover, I think the government should ORDER A FULL REVIEW OF THIS WORKERS FILES AS IT IS CHILLING TO THINK OF OTHER CHILDREN AND WHERE SHE MAY HAVE SENT THEM!

Anonymous said...

To the poster that asked how to help kids in need I honestly think that supporting parents is the first step. I wonder if a mentorship/support program for fathers and mothers could be started in your area. Too many children are in care that should not be. Parents helping each other without the CAS would be beneficial.

The greatest way to help them as well is to start writing to politicians to ask for Bill 88 to be passed which will make the Ombudsman have oversight. Just a few suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a good group to help kids with. They remain with their families but have a support person to help the child. It is a great group of people.

Anonymous said...

The other thing that the concerned public can do is to support a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the CAS agencies of Ontario. The victims of the system will be calling for one in the future and the evidence will be told to the public.

They will not simply sweep the horrors of the past under the rug for one important reason - that IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN EVER. What has happened in the past is horrible alone, as well as what is going on today.

Anonymous said...

How must Matthew Reid's family feel seeing CAS making phony statements of regret in the case of Jeffrey Baldwin when it intentionally withholds any comment in their tragic case.

I wonder if reporters reading this site know that Matthew's grandmother brought concerns that Matthew was being sexually abused in that foster home to Mary Anne Chambers in the months before his death. This story also deserves to be put before the public.

TO WHOEVER SAID THIS - yes this is so true. Matthew is also a precious little boy killed under the watch of the CAS, and he deserves to have his tragic life told to the public. He was molested and then killed in foster care.

The ONLY PERSON WHO HAS HAD THE GUTS TO EVEN REPORT THIS IS CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD. Come on media if you are reading INVESTIGATE THIS. He deserves our care and concern as well, and for that matter so does his family.

Anonymous said...

BMC to go national with legal aid program
Lawyers, doctors team up for health

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff | April 10, 2006

Sometimes lawyers, not doctors, can be the key to good health

That principle drives a Boston Medical Center program that relies on
attorneys, in partnership with physicians and social workers, to help
low-income children stay healthy. The lawyers ensure that houses are heated
in the winter, help undernourished families apply for food stamps, work to
eliminate rodent infestation, and prod landlords to clean up moldy
apartments that can trigger asthma, among other tasks.

Now, in a national project backed by $2.7 million in grants, BMC today will
launch an ambitious effort to replicate its program in every state. By using
lawyers to solve legal problems that can cause illness -- from fixing faulty
furnaces to navigating immigration rules that may make patients afraid to
apply for food or housing assistance -- doctors believe they can prevent
more serious health crises, such as malnutrition, job loss, and domestic
violence.

''This is a way of changing pediatric care for low-income families," said
Dr. Barry S. Zuckerman, chief of pediatrics at BMC and founder of its Family
Advocacy Program, which will be renamed the Medical-Legal Partnership for
Children. ''It's an opportunity, in a pediatric setting, to pick up legal
problems before they reach their natural unfortunate outcome, such as
homelessness or child abuse."

Driven by studies and first-hand experience showing that poor children
suffer more health problems than their wealthier peers, the program will
encourage doctors nationwide to diagnose not only medical issues in
impoverished children, but also barriers to good health that the law can
remove. They can range from relatively simple problems like eliminating
indoor pollution caused by cigarette smoke from neighboring apartments to
more complex matters, such as accessing safe and affordable housing and
education.

The program also will match law firms and legal aid organizations with
health centers nationwide so that families unable to afford private legal
services can work with attorneys free of charge. In Boston, Day, Berry &
Howard LLP works with BMC by staffing weekly legal clinics for low-income
families at East Boston Community Health Center. Seven other local law
firms, as well as local bar associations, also do pro bono work for BMC,
which has six in-house attorneys that work on patient advocacy issues.

. . . . .
Similar programs, modeled after Boston's, are underway in more than 30
communities nationwide. To further nationalize the effort, BMC officials
will develop curriculum and training materials; travel around the country to
educate pediatric staffs, lawyers, social workers, government officials, and
community agencies; host national conferences; develop a more comprehensive
website; and provide on-site consultations, technical assistance, and
evaluations to a network of hospitals and health centers.

Legal services are provided at no cost to patients, and the national effort
will be funded by $2.7 million over five years from several philanthropic
groups, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, according to the program's executive director, Ellen M. Lawton,
who is a lawyer. Kellogg alone has committed $2.3 million. [snip]
. . . . .
Sacha Pfeiffer can be reached at pfeiffer@globe.com.

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
WHAT A CONCEPT really trying to help children
-------------

Anonymous said...

Bill 210 is going to mak it very hard, and so will CAS and CCAS for ever allowing kinship placements this is the oly lesson they will take from Jefferys tragic death, how do I know?? I called some CAS offices and asked around. they seem to think the public will like them even less, with the new Bill. gee hard to imagine

Anonymous said...

the CCAS is being sued because of Jeffery Baldwin, there will be very little media on this, as there always is when the agencys get sued, they may have already settled, who knows.
But it is fact,
we should be sueing the government that allows this and does NOTHING to stop the CAS and CCAS from taking familys apart. killing children in care, and missing ones that are being so abused, it has made this provence sick.
We all wish Jeffery never had to happened, we need to ensure it never does again. CCAS thinks kinship is so wrong WRONG, its usually safer then foster care, they got this wrong and now more children will be harmed because of it. How nice.

perhaps Bruce Rivers and Mary Mc Conville killed the bikers to get the heat off CCAS, no real lose, but
this is how much the public trust the agencys now.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone hear the Ombudsman take on Jeanette Lewis from the CAS this morning on CBC's the Current at about 9AM? she sounded so bad and defensive ...

Anonymous said...

I heard the CBC report this moring on the current. Jeanette Lewis definitely was agitated and Andre Marin will not back down. It was pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Those VILE, GODFORSAKEN AGENCIES WILL BE HELD TO ACCOUNT.

There will be a public inquiry one
day, and they cannot hide forever under their market of "forever families" that these inept villians have orchestrated.

Anonymous said...

I could have picked him out of a thousand children to be abused.

It is in his eyes ........ THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO EVEN VISIT HIM.

But once again they do not care = Clients of the CAS are NOT CHILDREN THEY ARE THOSE WHO WANT OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN.

Anonymous said...

Amanda: Please see my previous post.

Finally those family members and their boyfriends who watched Jeffrey and his siblings suffer will be held acountable financially at least.

Kidman had money before he went to jail. Hopefully it is still available. Kidman is also being sued for sexual assault--something that came out in the criminal procedings.

May they all rot in hell.

CCAS is also being sued.

Jeffrey's Law said...

who's suing CCAS??

Anonymous said...

Amanda:

CCAS and the "Clan" are all being sued by The office of the Children's Lawyer (Public Trustee)

It is one lawsuit.

I am so glad to hear sexual assault is part of it as well as JAMES MILLS .

Anonymous said...

Social workers 'determined there was no problem,' Spears attorney said.
Britney Spears
Photo: Steve Finn/Getty Images
Two months after Britney Spears was criticized for driving with then-4-month-old son Sean Preston on her lap, social workers visited the singer's Malibu, California, house again over the weekend. According to the Los Angeles Times, Spears



became concerned on Friday that Sean might have a head injury and took him to an emergency room, prompting an automatic notification of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

According to the paper, the 6-month-old son of Spears and husband Kevin Federline fell out of his highchair, which triggered the visit from social workers accompanied by a sheriff's deputy over the weekend. Spears' attorney, Martin Singer, said Tuesday that state law required the hospital to automatically report the visit to child welfare officials, and "DCFS immediately responded and determined there was no problem and no reason to open a formal investigation. They determined that the parents weren't involved in the injury and nothing improper occurred within the home."

While the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and the sheriff's station in Lost Hills did not reveal details about the visit, Lieutenant Debra Glaskides told The Associated Press, "It's a very standard, routine patrol request. We stood by, we took no action, no report or anything."

DCFS paid a visit to Spears and Federline in February after Spears was photographed driving her SUV with Sean Preston on her lap instead of in a car seat as required by law; no charges were filed in the incident and Spears said in a statement at the time that the photographs were taken during a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi." She said she "instinctively took measures" to protect the baby.

— Gil Kaufman
so its required to take police??
costing more money, and fear into familys, hospitals have to report all injuries, because we are all child abusers, you can bet if the singer did not have a lawyer and was famous, her child would have been taken for not being in a car seat, speeding down the road in the front seat on his mothers laps, and perhaps he should have been. Micheal Jackson after all has his children. boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

MALIBU, Calif. Apr 12, 2006 (AP)— Child welfare officials and a sheriff's deputy visited Britney Spears' home because her infant son was accidentally dropped from a high chair.

Six-month-old Sean Preston fell April 1 as his nanny was lifting him from the high chair and something in the chair snapped, Star magazine reported Tuesday. The infant slipped from her arms and fell, bruising his head on the floor, the magazine said.

People magazine and the Los Angeles Times also reported the incident on Wednesday.

Though a doctor examined the baby at the house, Spears and husband Kevin Federline took the baby to the emergency room to have him examined six days later, People said.

Spears' attorney, Martin Singer, said in a statement that the hospital made a report to the Department of Children and Family Services as required by state law.

"DCFS immediately responded and determined there was no problem and no reason to open a formal investigation. They determined that the parents weren't involved in the injury and nothing was improper within the home," he said.

The Los Angeles DCFS and the Lost Hills sheriff's station declined to give details of Saturday's visit, and would not say if there was an ongoing investigation. DCFS public-affairs director Louise Grasmehr didn't return a phone message left Tuesday at her Los Angeles office. The department routinely refuses to discuss cases, citing confidentiality laws.

"It's a very standard, routine patrol request," Lt. Debra Glaskides said Tuesday. "We just roll out with them. We stood by, we took no action, no report or anything."

In February, DCFS visited Spears' home after publication of photographs showing the 24-year-old singer driving with then 4-month-old Sean Preston in her lap, rather than in a car seat as required by law.

Spears later apologized, saying she did it because of a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

so glad to hear nothing was found to be inproper in the house, so no messy house, thank goodness, if this was any one else the child would be gone, whats the make of the high chair, if this story is true, it should be recalled, ASAP, I will contact the CPSC, and try and find out

Tara said...

There isn't any one person to blame for Jeffrey's death. Had his birth parents not been abusive losers in the first place, they wouldn't have lost custody of their children. It's them that started the ball rolling, i think they should be charged with manslaughter. I can hardly believe the level of hatred i feel towards the parents, grandparents and the other lowlife bastards that knew and did nothing, especially the jerk who didnt want to lose his free housing...omg get a job u F****** waste of a human life. Anyway, I've heard Jeffreys "mother" is pregnant, I pray that isn't true.

Karyn said...

The pain in my heart is nothing compared to what you felt day after day night after night. I can't imagine how cruel and cold a life without smiles, laughter or human touch was for you. I don't know why nobody did anything as you crawled around on the floor begging for food. My heart aches at your suffering and I lie awake at night at how cruel knowing who you are now is instead of knowing you when something could have been done. Your story will haunt me forever and I'm so sorry that this life you were shown was so merciless in your short, sad years. I can only imagine what you thought of your frail body failing you each day as you grew weaker. Nobody reached out to you as your cried yourself to sleep at night and, ultimately, cried yourself to your eternal sleep.

Karyn said...

The pain in my heart is nothing compared to what you felt day after day night after night. I can't imagine how cruel and cold a life without smiles, laughter or human touch was for you. I don't know why nobody did anything as you crawled around on the floor begging for food. My heart aches at your suffering and I lie awake at night at how cruel knowing who you are now is instead of knowing you when something could have been done. Your story will haunt me forever and I'm so sorry that this life you were shown was so merciless in your short, sad years. I can only imagine what you thought of your frail body failing you each day as you grew weaker. Nobody reached out to you as your cried yourself to sleep at night and, ultimately, cried yourself to your eternal sleep.

Anonymous said...

Karyn I think everyone that has seen this tragic story is reeling in pain from it. What that little boy went through was beyond tragic, it is heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

I gave some money to "The Jeffrey Baldwin Tree and Memorial Plaque' and thought the ceremony was held in October 30, 2005 but I do not see anything about this here. One does not need an outward sign though, Jeffrey will always have a place in my heart.

Anonymous said...

I was in Greenwood Park today, and saw the memorial plaque that you mounted on the bench, and it brought it all back. It hurts my heart, unimaginably, to know what happened to my little boy.

Tonight, i hugged my one year old boy and swore - like i've done before, and will do again - that i will never let anything like that happen like that happen to him.

All babies should have parents or guardians who love them. It is a terrible truth that some children don't get the love that they deserve. :(

- maura

Anonymous said...

*points to above post*

"It hurts my heart, unimaginably, to know what happened to my little boy. "

*that little boy, obviously. Jeffrey.

When i hear things happening to other children, i can't help but fear that they will happen to my boy. :(

- maura

Anonymous said...

Today it's 4 yrs since you have become an ANGEL.Oh Jeffrey I love you so much and have been praying for you all day.I wish you were here precious one.I know you are happy and free and that's what we wish for you.Yuo are too sweet to feel anger or hate.I love you HUGS and LOTS of KISSES to you my precious.Love always Anna

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