This is a letter to the editor printed in the Orangeville Banner of November 5, 2002:
Story lacked view of birth parents, children
The Banner of October 22 contained an article and editorial saluting two foster couples in Dufferin. The article presented the view of Dufferin Children's Aid and of the foster parents, but neglected the view of the birth parents and the foster children themselves.
Children in foster care are not, as your article suggests, from families unable to care for them at the moment. Most are taken from their home by force of arms.
Children's Aid usually makes its initial approach to a family in the presence of a police officer, and the threat of force is used in every apprehension. Your article treats the reunification of children with their parents as a tragedy.
As for the foster children, I know of at least two teenagers who have run away from a local foster home. One had to be restrained with psychotropic drugs.
You also neglected to mention the large amounts of money that go to remunerate the foster parents, and the Children's Aid Society, for each day a child is in foster care.
Robert T McQuaid
The article is exactly as submitted, except that the original clause "teenagers who have run away from one of the foster homes mentioned in your article" became "teenagers who have run away from a local foster home".
This is a step forward for the Banner, and represents only the second CAS criticism of any kind to appear in its columns.