Misdiagnosing foster children with exotic psychiatric disorders, then pumping them full of expensive psychotropic drugs, which they’ll be dependent on for the rest of their lives, has many profitable advantages for the Children’s Aid Society. Children live out their lives in a drugged stupor, making them easy to manage for minimum-wage-earning young adults in group homes. Since the drugs are conveniently paid for by the Ministry of Health, and not out of the Children’s Aid budget, the drug solution is a free benefit to the agency. Further, both the pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatrists profit.  If challenged, the Children’s Aid Society will stop at nothing to persecute the parent, grandparent, foster parent or loving guardian who dares advocate for the mental health of the child.  The long term impact on society is substantial and weighs heavily on social services and the justice system, long after these children are no longer the responsibility of the agency that raised them.
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The long-term consequences to society are often witnessed in a courtroom, decades after the abuse in a foster or group home has occurred. Sexual and physical abuse in foster care and group homes is more common than not – a stark contradiction to why a child goes into care. Will suing improve how children are cared for and treated by the Children’s Aid Society? Settlements are a weight on the payer. Insurance companies most often pay out the settlements. Thus, the onus lies with the insurance company to either reexamine the type of care that children are receiving with the Children’s Aid Society and implement new guidelines, or else raise the insurance premiums and let the tax payer flip the bill.
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Every family and child in Ontario is vulnerable to the agency’s authority. Poor parents and children are at even greater risk. The Children’s Aid Society can remove a child from a home, with or without a reason. While the law requires the agency to obtain a warrant for an apprehension, they rarely do – and they get away with it in court. This behaviour encourages malicious behaviour from teachers and principals, neighbours, adversaries, and health-care providers to use the agency as a weapon to avenge a personal vendetta – one of the most common reasons the agency is called. A parent best be careful not to swear at the principal, challenge a child’s teacher, argue with a malicious neighbour, or irritate a medical professional at the hospital – because the odds are against them. All it takes is a phone call. No warrant required. View page

The Minister of Children & Youth is the highest authority over the Children’s Aid Societies. The Minister can investigate and reverse any decisions by the Children’s Aid. He or she can hire and fire Directors, dissolve boards, open and close agencies, and so on. Subsequently, the burden of responsibility for managing and mending a broken and abusive Children’s Aid Society, falls squarely onto the Minister’s shoulders – and the public that elected the ruling government. Keri’s plea to the Minister is not unlike many parents who have fallen victim to an agency out of control. View page

While the law encourages the Children’s Aid Society to include a child’s community when resolving child welfare issues, the law also gives the agency a choice of whether or not to do so. More often than not, the agency chooses to assert its authority by not incorporating the child’s community into the decision-making process. Often times, homes in the community do not meet the agency’s criteria, which is based on middle-class standards that are culturally irrelevant to the community. Or, the agency has a profit-driven motive to exclude the child’s community – such as placing the child on unnecessary drugs or in a group home. Even culturally-centric agencies, such as the Jewish & Family Services and Native Children’s Aid Societies have excluded the child’s community in lieu of aggressively asserting their power over families and optimizing the province’s funding formula. View page

When the Conservative government, under Mike Harris, introduced the Children’s Aid Society’s funding formula, it also opened the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. It passed a law that stipulates anyone who practices social work or social service work in Ontario has to be registered with the College. The College was then given legal authority to enforce this law to ensure that all social workers practicing in Ontario, follow a code of ethics. The objective seemed sound in theory, but it has tragically failed in practice. Most social workers employed by the Children’s Aid Societies are not registered with the College, and thus, are not bound by a code of ethics in their work. Furthermore, the College has failed to fulfill its mandate by either enforcing the law, or paying due diligence to public complaints. Subsequently, the College has allowed the CAS to employ unregistered social workers, empowering these workers to exercise their limitless authority, unchecked and unaccountable. A College whose mandate is to enforce ethics, has proven to be ethically irresponsible to the public that enables it. View page
Can a child be removed from their parent(s) over a diaper rash? Yes. Would a foster parent lose the child in their care for the same reason? No. The reasons for apprehending a child have far exceeded the scope that the public ever intended the Children’s Aid to exercise. When a child with a diaper rash is traumatized – first by being severed from his or her mother and/or father, then later sexually and physically abused in care, the apprehension becomes a gross social-economic weight on society with cyclical repercussions. The province spends approximately $45,000 per year, for every child it apprehends, and approximately $85,000 per year if the operations of the CAS are factored in. If these funds were paid directly to families (only a small percentage of children who are taken into care are orphans, or families, whose children are apprehended, are drug addicts and criminals), it would eliminate poverty, finance daycare, decrease crime… the possibilities for improving society are endless. So, why is the public paying Children’s Aid to raise kids with diaper rashes, when that money could improve the quality of life for families across the province? View page
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