Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I have made a request to the City of Ottawa for an information picket (protest type thingy) permit if you are interested in reading this.


ORGANIZER:
John Dunn
Canadian After Foster Care Council
604-108 New Orchard Ave
Ottawa, ON
K2B 5E7
1-613-721-1833

SPECIFIC DATES:
August 01 2003 to August 31st 2003

SPECIFIC TIMES:
24 hours, seven days per week

SPECIFIC LOCATION:
Telesat Court

(At both ends due to the following circumstances)

During the various different times of day, such as morning, lunch, evening, and nights, there are specific traffic flows of pedestrian's who would benefit from this information picket at the two different locations.

I need to be able to adjust my position accordingly. So basically there are two spots. One spot at each end of the street.

EAST END:
One spot is at the East end of Telesat from The intersection of Meadowbrook and Telesat, up to the intersection of the CAS Driveway and Telesat just a bit west up Telesat on the "west" side or Left.


WEST END:
Second spot is at the West end of Telesat which is a Loop turn around point. That loop is surrounded by a walkway to Blair Station on the North arc of the loop, and a baseball park on the south side of the loop. I would like to position myself at the South Side of the Loop near the park or basically the whole "south side of the loop".


EXPECTED NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
I expect there to be between 1 and 10 participants at a time on site at all times.

DESCRIPTION OF INFORMATION PICKET:
The information picket which is located outside of the CAS and on Telesat court, is for the following reasons.

1. Disemination of information regarding CAS and Ministry Policies and Practices to educate the public and clients of their rights concerning CAS.

2. Collection of information from CAS clients and interested public in the form of interviews for FOSTER CARE RADIO which will be of their own initiative. (No verbal solicitation on my behalf until they ask first)

3. To collect a list of names / emails of clients who wish to take part in support groups for clients of CAS.

4. To hand out CD-ROM's of my own personal experience's, interviews with CBC Radio, and my own Documentary on my life in foster care.

5. To assist anyone who needs an advocate with CAS should they request it of me I will make myself available to them by being at this location.

I will be on location as the person responsible for the site and can be reached at the information at the top of this request.

Thanks
Leave Voice Messages with Sue Clark if you do not reach me.

John Dunn
john@afterfostercare.com
http://www.afterfostercare.com

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Foster Care
CD-ROM

Suggested Donation: $15.00


The Foster Care Audio CD-ROM is jam packed with almost sixty minutes of emotionally charged personal life experiences, poetry, audio art and music related to foster care. This CD was two years in the making.

You will hear a thirteen-minute documentary which aired on CBC Radio, that takes you on a virtual subway ride through the life of a foster child, (John Dunn) who was moved through thirteen different foster homes in sixteen years.

Get thrown into the mind of foster care survivor, John Dunn in a four-minute abstract piece, which explores his frustration with the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto from them not allowing him to obtain copies of his own personal records.

Listen in as Matt Reigny of CBC Charlottetown interviews John Dunn after his 800km protest walk to the east coast against file secrecy.

Step into a painful, angry moment in John’s adult mind as he prepares to dance in tribute to his mother who committed suicide when he was twenty-eight years old, and much more.

To order your copy, email:
cd@afterfostercare.com

Produced by:
The Canadian After Foster Care Council
www.afterfostercare.com

Monday, July 21, 2003

Hello everyone. I am presently homeless in Ottawa! What a turn of events. I have slept under bridges, in parks and on beaches. Sounds like a great holiday but the worst part of it all is as follows.

Here are just some notes I have made of being out there.

Showering.

I need to be able to shower properly or at least I need to get a face cloth which would allow me to wash in public washrooms or in the Ottawa River when I need to.

Soap and shampoo is obtained at the bottom of Bank Street and St Catherines in the church up the ramp where they have hot meals and things for the needy.

Blanket:
A good but easy to carry blanket is needed for night sleeping. Even though it is summer, the nights here are very cold and damp.

Padding:
I have also found a great need for some sort of padding. I have not been able to get comfortable many nights because of the fact of sleeping on hard pavement or picknic tables and being a skinny little bugger, my bones almost pearce my skin when laying there.

When using a structure such as a bridge to sleep under, make sure to keep a low profile. For some reason people driving by in their cars call the cops to have you removed from sleeping under the bridge. Even though you are way up at the top where the bridge merges with the land, and far from the traffic below, they just have a fear of the homeless and call.

I am then approached by the police and told to move on as I am "loitering". Best bet is to wait until after dark then move in and find a place to sleep.

It is also best to get out of the down town core if you wish to have at least a relatively "safe" sleep. For me, I am quite wimpy so can not handle sleeping with the crowd of homeless under the bridge because they tend to be a little to tough for my liking.

So I have found several bridges in the "out of core" area of Ottawa. One bridge is particularly nice and has lots of privacy basically. I can feel good sleeping up there.

Food:
I get a loaf of bread when I can and a jar of Peanut Butter and I am ok. that can last for a couple of days. As for water, just fill up my water bottle when I get to a university or public place to use the tap.

Money:
Well at the moment I am still too embarrased to ask for money from people so I have not been "panning". I am too embarrased. Instead, I am living off the money from last months welfare. I get another check soon so I will be ok.

I have no money now, but will have some next week.

that is all for now, but I am learning as I go. Tonight I am at a friends house for the night using the net and sleeping in a nice soft bed. hmm.... how nice.

Take care till next time.

Email me at this link

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

At the moment I am heading to Midland for a visit for a couple of days, then I will be heading to Ottawa to resume my work on foster care issues.

I have a few things to make comment on when I get back to Ottawa next week.

1. The Kennedy Youth Home in Ajax which the NDP makes comment on.
Click Here

2. Children's Aid Societies protecting themselves from public knowlege of years of hidden child abuse in their files and records. How they go about hiding these files from the public including no longer allowing form fourteens to be used, and calling the foster kids files "Society Documents" instead of the personal documents that they really are.

3. Lack of humanity in decisions made by CAS agencies when it comes to kids.

4. My new business which will provide web sites to people who have CAS in their lives, who wish to keep in touch with their kids should they be abducted by CAS for any reason and made crown wards. It might be illegal, but I am determined to promote this idea which is in the best interests of the children to keep in touch with their families if they wish to.

5. I have been invited to a conference. See invite here:
Also, I am pleased to let you know that we are inviting you to attend the conference and the invitational "Think Tank" being held the following day. Please refer to the invitation below for details.

If you accept the invitation, I will need contact information - address, and phone # where you can be reached at.

Also, I can book a flight from Ottawa to Toronto for you and arrange transportation to Kitchener, where you can stay for 2 nights at the Walper Terrace Hotel - August 26th and 27th (www.walper.com) - all free of charge.
You will need photo ID to pick your airline ticket - I hope this is not a problem.

I should also mention that there will be a very diverse group of people attending the conference and the Think Tank - that is, many front line service providers, managers, directors, researchers, community people (the public), and policy makers. We hope the days will be opportunties to learn from our many diverse experiences, values, and opinions, with only minimal levels of conflict. Our research suggests that there are powerful emotions and strongly held beliefs related to child welfare and children's mental health. We hope both days will be an opportunity to listen to each other with respect and try to work together on developing ideas for the future in child welfare and children's mental health.

Here is your "official invitation":

Dear John,

The Partnerships for Children and Families Project cordially invites you to participate in a one-day, invitational Think Tank that follows the ‘Finding a Fit: Family Realities and Service Responses’ conference that is taking place on August 27 at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.

On August 28, the Think Tank will bring together key community, front line, policy makers, and researchers for an in-depth discussion of common patterns, priority issues, and future directions emanating from the ‘Finding a Fit’ conference. Discussions will focus on the implications and interpretations of the Partnerships for Children and Families Project’s research as well as priorities for innovations in child welfare and children’s mental health services. We would like to extend a personal invitation to you, to attend this timely event.

The Partnerships for Children and Families Project is a five-year Community University Research Alliance funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We are located at the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Our research focuses on understanding the lives and experiences of families and children who are served by children's aid societies and children's mental health services. Our research also illustrates what it is like to work in these settings.

The purpose for the ‘Finding a Fit’ conference is to foster dialogue and emphasize priorities for innovations in child welfare and children’s mental health. Through a combination of large group presentations and smaller group discussions, presenters from the Partnerships Project will share the results from nine of our most recent research projects.

Your participation in the Think Tank following the ‘Finding a Fit’ conference will involve:
1. Reviewing summaries of the nine projects prior to the event (we will provide the written summaries - probably 3-4 weeks prior to the event)
2. Attending the ‘Finding a Fit’ conference on August 27
3. Participation in an in-depth discussion at the Think Tank on Aug 28

Included in your participation at the Think Tank is:
* Free registration for the ‘Finding a Fit’ conference on August 27, including lunch and coffee breaks.
* Round trip airfare from Ottawa to Toronto
* shuttle from Toronto to Kitchener
* Hotel accommodations for the night of August 26 and 27 at the Walper Terrace Hotel in Kitchener (a 10-15 minute bus ride to Wilfrid Laurier campus)
*Breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks will be provided during the Think Tank proceedings on August 28.

To accept your invitation to the Think Tank, or for more information, please RSVP to Sandy Hoy at shoy@wlu.ca or (519) 884-0710 ext. 2086.

Please RSVP as soon as possible, as the conference is now full. We are holding places for people invited to the Think Tank - but we are also now running a wait list - so if you cannot attend, please let me know.

I will send you other details when I hear from you again.

Have a good weekend John.

Sincerely,

Sandy Hoy
Research Coordinator
Partnerships for Children and Families Project
Faculty of Social Work
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 2086
519-888-9732 (fax)
shoy@wlu.ca

Thursday, July 03, 2003

I am presently in a town called Norwood Ontario near Peterborough. I am helping a friend move into their new house and have been for the past week.

I will be returning to Ottawa soon, and then will get back to work on foster care radio. At the moment I am not on the net much as today is the first day I have been on in over a week!

I will write more later when I get back to Ottawa