Date: 9/19/2011 6:50:40 PM
Subject: Blakout and other anti-CAS Activities – brief update
TO: All CAS Board Presidents, Executive Directors, Directors of Service, Senior Counsel, Communications Leads, HR Managers, Executive Assistants
CC: OACAS Board of Directors, Staff
A brief update on some of the anti-CAS activities ..
The blakout.ca video was posted on Saturday September 17th. It may be helpful for at least one staff in each CAS management group to review the video and, if appropriate send me your comments. (note: it is about 80 minutes in length). The video includes approximately 25 participants including clinical professionals, clients, former staff, lawyers and politicians as the voices raising concerns about CASs. I did provide a “heads-up” email to the dozen CASs which are referenced in the video and/or have speakers from their communities.
In general, the messages in the video include concerns about power of CASs, funding (formula tied to children in care), vulnerability of clients, concerns from parents who have had children taken from them, concerns from adoptive parents where the adoption probation did not proceed, and staff and consultants who are critical of their former agencies. The closing segment focuses on the private member’s bill to give power to the Ombudsman.
OACAS has had one discussion with the Office of the President at Ryerson, and will be scheduling a follow-up meeting with a group of deans in the next few weeks. Concerns included the website, background materials and the trailer for the video – lack of balance and the inaccuracies.
[deleted] contacted OACAS today (September 20) with a series of questions about CAS insurance, coverage for Crown wards, Criminal Injuries Compensation. I advised that I did not have the information. Additional questions focussed on the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act and lobbying, with a question as to whether OACAS would be prohibited from lobbying under the Act (response was that not-for-profit in-house lobbying was permitted). Also asked if OACAS Board meetings were open and when our AGM is. [deleted] asked about a meeting with OACAS to express concerns. [deleted] may be back with something more specific.
[deleted] continues to post on their website, today with demands for a meeting with Chatham Kent CAS as alternative to what surely will be a campaign blitzkrieg.
Common themes across all campaigns are the call for Ombudsman oversight of CASs and a requirement for all CAS workers to be members of the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. There are key messages in past issues notes, please let me know if you need more.
The issue of anti-CAS groups continues to be a topic of conversation for the provincial network groups. I will try to provide an update on their discussions later this week.
Please advise if you receive calls from the media, if you need any assistance with messaging or if you wish to offer advice.
Director, Policy and Mentor to the YouthCAN Program Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies