CAS Response to Documentary *** Internal Email ***

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 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.



Virginia Rowden
Director, Policy and Mentor to the YouthCAN Program Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

Read about the outcome of the Children’s Aid Societies formal complaint to Ryerson University

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18 Responses to CAS Response to Documentary *** Internal Email ***

  1. Anonymous says:

    *Yes, the workers who cause us foster parents the most grief are those who don’t have children themselves, and make unreasonable demands of us, set unreasonable limits on the children, and interfere in our ability to provide a stable loving temporary home.  The worker’s personality dictates how the children will be treated far more than the Ministry and Agency guidelines.  They are not accountable, complaints rarely result in behaviour changes or adherence to policies.  Soon to be “former foster parents”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    *Its hard to understand the way the system works until you are involved.  I am a foster/kin person I have be witness to the behaviors and twisting of the truth to suit their needs.  Lies, incorrect documentation, all the stall tactics and I am currently dealing with a vindictive London & Middlesex county worker…who has her best interests in mind, and not the child.  CAS needs to be monitored and audited!

    • Anonymous says:

      We are currently foster parents and have witnessed the abuses of power, deceit, unethical and unprincipled behaviours of workers and supervisors at London CAS.  Workers don’t know ministry standards or agency policies, they do not apply what they know about them consistently, they have conspired against birth parents, violate the rights of the foster parents, foster children and their families, threaten negative consequences, or retaliate upon the foster parents who question the tactics, report the unprincipled behaviours, and simply terminate those of us who are openly critical of their processes and/or decisions.  We have witnessed the horrible treatment of several children placed in our care, kin who have been deceived, unethical treatment of prospective adoptive parents, and have been the subject of workers’ lies and deception ourselves. 

  3. Mary says:

    Paul, you are very courageous to bring everything that you have out in the open. I feel your pain and disappointment and I wish you all the very best in continuing to find a ‘safe place to rest’ to get on with your life. You are still young enough to find peace, and by writing what you have, you’ve shown that you are caring and have great restraint. Hold your head high, have pride in what you do well and continue to seek out “ears” who will truly “listen” to you. You are a wonderful advocate for those children who are still at risk, and living in horrible situations. There’s good and bad in everything – we just need to keep pushing for the good whenever we can. Even if it means exposing the ugly truths. God bless.

  4. Patt M says:

    I believe, when they first opened the child welfare agencies, it WAS for the safety of the children. It was suppose to be, but as luck would have it, “money is the root of all evil” – out of a 100 %, I give 0.05%. There are some parents who become addicts and don’t have any support, that’s where the agencies forget what their logo represents. Its more about the dollar…. its sad and sickening…. 99.95 % are nothing but what did they say and the name of this film.. ohh right ‘POWERFUL AS GOD – CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES” (meaning they’re nothing but monsters, way worse than a monster) I thought when Dilico came into the picture, they’d be different – but then again same thing… to the agencies its nothing but ‘BUSINESS AND POLITICS, like mostly everything in this world”

  5. I am currently engaged in an investigation as to whether or not the OACAS (as in the letter above) or their clients/members (CASs) are breaking the law as lobbyists under the Lobbyist Registration Act.

    Details at the link

  6. Paul Williams says:

    You people have no idea of the damages you do to kids. You routinely violate section 7 and 8 of the Charter of rights. You do not provide adequate protection of kids from older bigger kids who you know are bullies. You do not adequately supervise the homes these kids are abused in. I’m living proof and my lawyer is currently representing me in a lawsuit. She’s Loretta P. Merritt, the same lawyer who handled the Toronto Maple Leafs Sex Abuse Scandal. And I’m Posting this here, because you’ll try to shut me up with a gag order.
    Read all the ugliness. And you are going to lose in the lawsuit.

    When I was a young boy I was taken from my parents, who weren’t the best at providing a stable environment. I keep running away from home and finally during the early winter months of 1975, I was taken, from a police station to a group home administered by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto. Well almost right from the get go I was subject to, corporal punishment by an older boy, who was the son of the people who ran the group home. The older boy would come to pick me up from school and as it was known I was a runner, if the older boy couldn’t find me, he’d get upset. When he did find me, he’d beat the backs of my hands with a ruler. This occurred until I was put into a Group home, which was run by a black man and his family. The black man at the time, Al Harris was also employed by Earlscourt Children’s Services. While in this home I was also abused physically by three of the older boys in the home, Joey, Shane and Walter. Joey and Shane came one time with Walter into my room, loaded up with paper clips, kept shooting me and had Walter, who was 16 at the time, pull down his pants, Joey and Shane kept shooting at my face and head, until I took Walter’s penis in my mouth. It wasn’t the only form of bullying I took at the hands of Joey and Shane, but it was so long ago I can’t remember every event. As I was still a “runner”, disappearing from the group home, Al Harris would send Walter to pick me up at whatever police station I was at. Whenever Walter came to get me he would beat me with his leather belt.

    One time after returning to the group home from a visit home, Walter took off his belt and in front of Joey, Shane and Al Harris’s daughter beat my bare bottom so many times I lost count. I was in the Al Harris Group Home, until a space opened up in the Earlscourt Children’s Center. Nothing untoward occurred at the center, while I was there. In 1978 I was sent to foster home ran by Wayne Cubitt, on Airport Road south of Stayner Ontario. It was here that the worst of the abuses took place. There were two other boys in the home, Ralph Mitchell and Richard Simonato. Ralph was 16 and Richard was 13. Richard was the perpetrator of a lot of sexual and physical abuse, Ralph witnessed some of the physical abuse, such as Richard whipping me with branches from a willow tree, the pushing me to the ground, grabbing my feet and bending me over stomping on my back. Ralph had to warn him not to do that, or he’d break my back. Other times Richard would have a way to get my mouth open and place 9-volt batteries on my tongue. Another time Richard tied a tea towel around my mouth so tight I started choking, couldn’t breathe and vomited. When no one was around Richard would play with me, he’d take his pants off, make me take mine off and would have me lie on top of him, and then he’d go through the motions of intercourse. One time he had me lie down with my pants off in an old chicken coup. He then got on top of me and went through the motions of intercourse and then urinated on me. I eventually told Ralph what was happening and then told Wayne Cubitt. Wayne laid a beating on him and several days later Richard was taken out of the home by the Stayner OPP. Other things also went on such as, being forced to do work on the farm I was not physically capable of doing. Wayne Cubitt also one day in front of Ralph Mitchell kicked me several times, while wearing steel toed boots. The Cubitts, also rarely bought me clothes, I was going to school in the winter with running shoes with holes in them and clothes that were also in a similar state. My mother actually had to take me shopping and get me new shoes and clothes that were fit to wear. She eventually had to tell the Catholic Children’s Aid that she wasn’t taken me back there again, if something wasn’t done.

    In the spring of 1980, or 81 I was taken out of the Cubitt’s and placed in a foster home ran by Alvin Schultz. This foster home, I have fond memories of, was treated right and not subjected to any form of abuse. After being released from the Crown Wardship with the CCAS, I was really screwed up; I couldn’t stay in school, or hold a job for any length of time, frequently going back and forth between the two. I got into trouble with the law. At 16 years old, after hijacking the TTC Subway, I was in real trouble, that incident actually made the newspaper the Toronto Sun. I have been in and out of jobs most of my life, made a little progress with school, have been in the hospital several times for psychological problems, have trouble with relationships and have had problems with my sexuality. I haven’t abused anyone, but have found it uncomfortable to be around children. I babysat my nephew a couple of times, and having to have to give him a bath, felt very self conscious, uncomfortable and still had to wash him. But I got through that and later as he grew older, we’d constantly tell him that no one was allowed to touch him inappropriately.

    I did after going through court ordered anger management, report Richard Simonato to the Stayner OPP.

    He received 188 extra days in jail and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board awarded me $9000 for pain and suffering, plus put aside another $5000 towards covering the cost of any future medical costs I would incur if I needed counseling. I retained counsel (Gordon Vadum, Q.C.) to represent me with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The worker, who was involved with me at the time, was concerned enough, when the charges came out against Richard Simonato, to pay me a visit. Howard Otterbien, who was my worker back when I was at the Cubitts farm, admitted they knew Richard Simonato was a bully. But yet they placed me with this monster and with the Cubitts never seeming to be around to supervise, placed me in a position where I was personally damaged and have never recovered. I never received any counseling while I was in the Catholic Children’s Aid Society, for the events that occurred at the Cubitt’s farm in the years I spent in care afterwards. Today I’m on Ontario Disability Support Plan, my family doctor, Dr; Howard Jay was responsible for getting me on it. I didn’t react well to stress, was on medication for the longest time, and can’t find a job, never graduated High School. Now at 42, have given up on having a meaningful productive life. The Catholic Children’s Aid of Metropolitan Toronto has never helped me out with counseling, compensation for their part in the neglect in seeing to my safety and well being, which was the whole point with me being placed in the Aid to begin with. How many other kids placed in homes administered by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto, suffered the same fate ? When are the Children’s Aid Societies, going to accept the responsibility that they have dropped the ball, offer an apology and compensation, then clean up the system, in which children are often abused, bullied and sometimes killed when under their care? How many victims have psychological problems which were/are untreated, have unproductive lives, have committed, or attempted suicide are going to suffer because of this?

  7. anonymous says:

    My family is now three generations of crown wards and adoptions,all handled by the same agency. I feel, as a survivor of this system, myself and my family have a basic human right to speak of the horrors we endured at the hands of this system.

    While initially, childrens aid society was created to stop child abuse and protect children, due to its expanding powers and out of control funding, it is now causing the abuse it was meant to stop. While children and youth do require some confidentiality, this veil of secrecy is keeping the dirty secrets hidden. Most websites that criticize or speak out against the abuses are faced with law suits and intimidation.

    What kind of agency, which heralds itself as the savers of abused kids, would try to stop a society’s democratic and human right to their freedom of speech and Charter Rights? The black out video is the first of its kind, where survivors are finally being given a voice with which to speak the truth.

    The more retribution style tactics and silencing of those victims, only offers more proof that we are telling the truth, and that no matter what is done to stop the flow of information, it only proves the CAS’s of Ontario have much to hide. The public deserves to know how its tax dollars are being spent, and how our most vulnerable are really faring inside the system. A healthy debate, and an open discussion are the result of a healthy democracy, and in a country like Canada, it means we care for the basic human rights of families and their children. Shame on the OACAS for trying to stop, what is inevitable. MAJOR REFORM.

  8. Donald J. Lester says:

    All the aforementioned comments are a tip of the disgracefulness negligent actions by CASs across the province of Ontario. Inasmuch as said actions have been orchestrated by CASs the Province of Ontario, The Ministry of Family and Children’s Service have allowed such atrocities by failing to insure all regulations that govern children are adhered to. (CFSA) As such the Province of Ontario has failed in it’s fiduciary duty to insure that children’s rights are protected and the Province is directly responsible for said atrocities. It also should be noted that Family courts are also well aware of the total disregard CASs have for children but it is simpler to maintain a blind eye.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The CAS denied me the right to a lawyer in hospital. There was no apprehension order. I did nothing wrong.
    I was alone, my request for witnesses was denied and I was put into a room alone with the social worker who, wrongly, told me that if I didn’t sign non-ward, temporary foster care papers, that she would take my son. She said sign or never see your son again. I begged for a lawyer. She illegally told me that I had no right to a lawyer in the hospital. She said that she would take my son (without an apprehension order), tell him that I was “unco-operative” (implying abuse when there was none) without my consent and I would never see him again. She said that I would get my son back if I signed the non-ward, temporary foster care agreement. She blackmailed me into that signature and she lied about getting my son back.

    I took my case to the UN who said that the CAS denied me my basic human rights. That is a fact.

    The CAS also broke a condition of the non-ward temporary foster care agreement that has as one of its conditions that if a request for a lawyer is denied before signing, the agreement itself is then made null and void.

    The CAS trample the rights of parents. The UN says so.

  10. Yvonne Craig says:

    There are documented cases in which children have been made permanent wards through the supremacy of an unaccountable child protection system which uses the Legislature & legislative act to apprehend children on analogous grounds, lock them into litigation by which an inter-locking system of administrative & bureaucracy may fail to provide them with a liberal opportunity to mount a reasonable defense against an immune agency who has all the powers of state behind them.

    There are children who have been made definitive “victims of law” in the ordering of Crown Wardship because of select probabilities, such as a procedural anomaly (under the family law rules) or legal negligence from their representative or system structure leaving them with “loss of chance”. The child protection act which gives Ontario’s 53 CAS’s it’s power to be Crown “repo” agents has no rights protections for parents who are being constitutionally violated & entitlements to parentage forcibly removed.

    All this said, I would refute that CAS is an infallible agency; the OACAS is a 2+ million dollar per year lobby group who’s sole duty is damage control & imagery to support & maintain a child protection system WHICH DOES get it’s funding BASED ON THE NUMBER of active caseloads; so hyperboles implying it’s a “child fed” funding system are accurately based.

    My children committed no harm against the Province & weren’t abused or neglected, but through a domino effect of incompetency my case was decided on a procedural anomaly & my children wrongfully locked into the Crown (parens patriae) for which the Court could provide no remedy. There was manipulation of memories (programming) of the children (parental alienation) by CAS’s to support the collusive & biased sphere surrounding them through CAS’s favour toward the paternal family whilst the maternal family was annihilated without question…

    My case was identified as being dirty, & messy; sophisticated & complex in it’s perversions with the children in the middle. Anything said by OACAS or CAS board of directors, executive admin in their favour is just useless “rhetoric” to preserve their image. I would contest, with time hopefully, the statement “absolute power corrupts absolutely” will ring true & they’ll be forced to submit to some measure of accountability as they are a hypocritical institution which flies in the face of the TRUE definition of “child protection”. For OACAS to imply multiplicitous experiences, cases & examples are nothing short of fallacy or exaggeration; labeling those who speak “real” words about the system as being “anti-cas” are themselves only harming the promotion & protection of children.

    A profiteering organization has no business speaking for the values of a child protection system which has vested interest in capitalism. Those of us who have no monetary interests bare nil reason to invest ourselves in the task of revealing truths; it’s purely a matter of unconditional love of children, our children & others children’s who are interminably legally imprisoned in state care.

    • Mad says:

      Your comments appear to be the writing on the wall for us.

      I am a suragate grandfather and of course I have no standing. My friend is the maternal grandmother and guardian of her three grandchildren. The children were happy, flourishing and loved before this, with a growing future before them.

      On a flimsy endangering charge the kids were apprehended. The last resort was used first. Eight months later, two low life lawyers, forced self representation and a judicial system that won’t listen our side of the case has given us another slap by putting off our day in court until mid July.

      That will be ten months and we still can’t be sure our side will be heard. I understand after twelve months the kids become crown wards, which CAS has already stated it intends to do. We have tried mediation and they say no.

      With all these sad stories, and those of other sites, there must be away to join forces in a common goal to explore how to help and support one another. The greater experience will lift the fear and secrecy that CAS has over myself and many others.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How long did you all think you could bash families, take kids and start smear campaigns after you send parents for an evaluation? Your games, your cold hearts, and worst of all is when CAS workers misdiagnose kids and use schools and doctors as a tool to slander parents. CAS tells kids they have bad parents and play god. WHEN YOU ATTACK PARENTS YOU ATTACK KIDS. YOUR AGENCY IS THE WORST CHILD ABUSERS GOING.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bad karma is coming their way, that is for sure. The whistle blowers need to start whistling, ‘cuz if you aren’t part of the solution, you are definately part of the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        What is the matter with you people!!! CAS is called for a reason…shake your head..they are doing a great job!!!

        • Mary Anne Britnell says:

          A great job my foot! They abuse and kill more children than is experienced in the rest of the country by bio families. Check your info before you make such rash statements. The Canadian gov’t had to step in and make new laws just to stop the foster care givers from murdering so many children. They havn’t helped much even though some of these foster care givers are now serving life sentences. Right after those laws were made one foster care mom bashed a 3yr olds head so hard he died. The same weekend she did this, another care giver murdered a 4 month old. Both of these women were from the same city too, Edmonton. There are plenty more like them around!!

        • Lisa says:

          Great job???? Ya whatever. How does falsifying a case file and notes, then claiming a parent is a drug addict when they are not, doing a great job? No drug tests done etc.

          Also, how can they be doing such a great job when they take kids from families that don’t abuse them and don’t help the abused ones? Tell me that.

          I was accused of drug addiction, I have never done drugs, nor ever plan to. It was a drug addict who called CAS on me because I would not sell her my prescription for Percocet, which I had for pain management for an injury at the time.

          I am deemed OK to take care of my boy, but they kept my girls and made them crown wards. Why is it OK to parent one child but not the others? You call that a good job?

          I was also severely abused in care. That is the only thing they still use against me, stating that because I was abused in foster care I will do the same to my kids. So thus they took them, made them crown wards and set for adoption simply because they, by their own personal screwed up beliefs, think that sometime in the future I MAY harm my kids?

          Maybe they should remove yours? Oh wait, they don’t remove kids from CAS supporters, even if they are abused. They should work on keeping families together not tearing them apart. And they should actually make sure, without a doubt, that the children were indeed abused, not that they “may be”, based on their own beliefs.

          Why should people like you get to adopt my children when I did nothing wrong to lose them in the first place?

          If I could sue my foster parents I would, and the CAS, because it is them who allowed me to be abused. This enabled them to use their stupid AT RISK BS to take my children away.

        • Anonymous says:

          not all calls to cas are legit and not all cas workers are qualified to judge a parent since most of them are not parents themselves