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VOCA: Tame Children's Aid: families and children need protection

Date: MAR-02-01
Source: Dufferin VOCA
Keywords: overzealous child removal, legal immunity, divorce,
Posted: MAR-08-03
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March 2, 2001

Here is the advertisement which was refused by the paper:

Tame Children's Aid!

Children and families need protection from the Dufferin Children's Aid Society.

In the name of child-protection, the Children's Aid Society (CAS) has embarked on a rampage of family destruction including:

  • Removal of children from their parents without warning. CAS seizes children from two-parent homes, schools, even from mothers sheltered in Family Transition Place.

  • Assignment of children to foster-care for imagined or trifling abuses.

  • Failure to respect the religion of children in their custody, in defiance of the laws of Ontario. A Catholic child in their custody cannot be baptized.

  • Suggesting divorce to improve prospects of regaining child custody. More commonly, CAS orders family members not to associate with each other.

  • Failure to follow agreements with parents. No court will hold them accountable for breach of promise to parents.

  • Misrepresentation in court by omitting material favorable to families, combined with wide-ranging mud-slinging on matters unrelated to child-care.

  • Avoiding the investigation of true child-abuse cases by turning against the accusers.

CAS prevents rehabilitation by using any past infraction, no matter how slight, as grounds for family intervention. Past criminal or CAS cases lead to unrelenting intervention under the doctrine that past abusers are likely future abusers. A computer system makes CAS allegations available to social workers across Canada.

The number of Dufferin CAS cases, 1353 last year, far exceeds the level of child-abuse. Yearly Dufferin CAS expenditures are $88 per capita, 48% above the Ontario average. Court records are secret, so the facts here come from CAS targets, sometimes corroborated in other jurisdictions.

The ultimate CAS weapon is crown-wardship, meaning parents never see their child again. A study by CPS Watch in the USA shows that use of this weapon is based on adoptability, not child-abuse. Parents are defenseless because legal-aid funds for families run out in a few months, while legal budgets for CAS are unbounded.

In all of these actions, the ultimate victims are the children, who are deprived of their parents temporarily, and sometimes permanently.

What we can do

CAS achieves its mayhem with its legal power to remove children, a weapon that ought to be used with restraint. Imagine if at every traffic stop the policeman drew his gun.

Dufferin VOCA believes that the best interest of the child is in keeping his parents. We think Children's Aid should give parents a chance to respond to charges before removing children, abide by its agreements with parents, keep children out of foster-care except in once-a-year cases and never suggest divorce. Serious child-abuse most often comes from non-parents, such as foster parents or casual acquaintances of separated parents. Children should never go from two natural parents to foster care.

Children's Aid enjoys immunity from all legal actions, so their abuses cannot be corrected through the courts. Children's Aid members elect the directors, who in turn appoint the management. Any person over age 18 with a residence or business in Dufferin can be a member for three dollars a year. We urge you to help Dufferin VOCA by joining Children's Aid and voting for our candidates at the annual membership meeting. Please call one of us for applications and additional information.

Dufferin VOCA

Robert T McQuaid

Over the past year Dufferin VOCA has gathered information about the workings of the Children's Aid Society. We assembled a meticulously researched advertisement with substantiation for every fact, and even checked its legality with our own lawyer. On March 1, 2001 the Orangeville Banner refused to run the ad, citing the danger of litigation as its reason. We offered to give them the full set of references for the facts in the ad, and even buy the paper an insurance policy to protect them from liability, but they still refused.

The Orangeville Banner is owned by Hollinger Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership, an arm of the Conrad Black newspaper empire. Another current (or possibly former) Hollinger paper, the Ottawa Citizen, has been in the lead in opposing Children's Aid editorially, so we are not up against bias. Possibly we can get the Banner to change policy. The publisher who made the decision is Keith Poole.

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