Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Foster Care Council of Canada

Wednessday evening is the CAS Ottawa's Annual General Meeting. Be there, the public are invited. Learn about membership, and get a copy of the Annual Report from the CAS.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Community Paper Article

Read the July Issue of the Nepean Weekly which contains a story about us:

Official Complaints Against CAS Launched


Part I 19 Pages.

Part II 7 Pages.

CWLC Silences Voice Of CAS Clients

August 16-19, 2004


At the age of 33, John Dunn, a former foster child, who was shuffled through thirteen foster homes by the time he was eighteen years of age, has embarked upon a mission to form an organization which will be made up of people whose lives have been directly affected by foster care, providing support to others who are currently involved with child welfare.
When Mr. Dunn heard of a four-day conference being held at the University of Ottawa, which focuses on Resiliency of children in foster care, he made a request to the conference organizers, the Child Welfare League of Canada, to attend as an exhibitor table in order to promote his organization. Due to his low-income status, Mr. Dunn requested permission to waive the regular $100.00 fee.

Initially, Nanci Morrison, a staff member of the Child Welfare League of Canada’s agreed to waive the exhibitor fee and let him attend. She invited Mr. Dunn to come down and sign a terms of agreement form.

The next morning, Mr. Dunn received an email from Mrs. Morrison stating that the invite was no longer in effect, and offered no explanation. Upon calling the Child Welfare League of Canada, Mr. Dunn was informed that the Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of Canada, Peter Dudding had made the decision not to allow Mr. Dunn entry to the conference as an exhibitor because “it would not be beneficial to the conference”.

Invited or not, the Foster Care Council of Canada will attend this conference, outside, to let the hundreds of attendees of this conference know of its’ existence. For more immediate please contact:

John DunnPhone: (613)786-1487

Web Site: www.afterfostercare.com

(Preferred communication)
Email: council "at" afterfostercare.com
On Site at U of Ottawa 16th – 19th, August, 2004
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Promoting Resilient Development in Children Receiving Care, August 16-19, 2004I would like to clarify to anyone in attendance at this conference, just why I was there with my display board about The Foster Care Council of Canada.

John Dunn's Response to the conference

To begin with, I am sure that when you attend a conference of this nature, you are almost expecting a few angry birth parents to be protesting or something like this. But I was not there as a protest. I was simply there to raise awareness of a new initiative. After being refused permission to attend as an exhibitor table by Peter Dudding, (CWLC Exec. Dir.) it is now a protest.

A protest of the fact that as a former foster child, who is now trying to join with people affected by foster care and other concerned professionals to do what social work had originally set out to do, which is to empower people to improve their lives etc, a protest to show how militantly Nanci Morrison and Peter Dudding of the Child Welfare League of Canada are willing to go in order to keep a voice of the client silenced.

I have no criminal record, I live in poverty and have ever since 1988 when I "aged out" at 18, after sixteen years in foster care as a crown ward, I have never exhibited violent behavior, and have not even been verbally aggressive. As a matter of fact, I offered to talk to Nanci while she passed me and she simply ignored me saying she was busy, and that we can talk after the conference.

You may have also witnessed her telling the conference staff during Victor Malarek's Banquet talk, to make my friend Jane Scharf and I leave the property, and even forced us to stand on the actual street, when the whole time, all we did was sit silently, holding a sign to let people know about the Foster Care Council of Canada, so that if there were people interested in what we are doing, they could educate themselves through our web site. But Nanci would not have any part of that.

I just wanted to say that this is extremely oppressive behavior on behalf of the Child Welfare League of Canada, and I would hope that you call and register a complaint with them, because I did nothing wrong, other than to be of a lower income bracket, and to be a former Crown ward. Possibly a crime in the eyes of the Child Welfare League of Canada.

I see no reason, and neither should you, for not allowing possibly the only person who could not afford to go, who dropped his pride enough to ask for a fee waiver, to attend as a silent, talk only when spoken to, exhibitor space at a conference of extremely high entrance fees. A conference of such importance, and yet only those who have the money to attend, or connections to get the money could attend, which is not inline with Anti-Oppressive Social Work theory. (like Gary Dumbrill of McMaster teaches)

Thank you for your support to those who approached me, and asked me what I was doing, and to those who would have liked to know, but found out through other means, I appreciate it. And remember, we are not AGAINST child welfare. We are simply for positive changes. And I think we can work together to a certain degree to make that change happen... but it takes people... people with knowlege, experience from both ends.

To register your complaint, or comments on this subject, please contact the Child Welfare League of Canada (small office of only a few including Nanci and Peter.
Telephone: (613)235-4412 Fax: (613)235-7616 E-mail address: info@cwlc.ca

Open Letter to the Child Welfare League of Canada

Ms. Nanci J. Morrison Director of Finance & Administration Child Welfare League of Canada
Dear Ms. Morrison:

This letter is to inform you that the Black and Red Flying Squad is organizing to picket your upcoming conference, Promoting Resilient Development in Children Receiving Care, August 16-19, 2004. The reason we are taking this action is because of the callous and dishonest way that the Child Welfare League of Canada has treated our friend and ally, John Dunn of the Foster Care Council of Canada.

We are aware that on July 20th you agreed to allow John to set up an exhibitor table at your conference, only to have the Child Welfare League's Executive Director, Peter Dudding, force you to break your agreement with him two days later. After initially not even giving Mr. Dunn an explanation for the change of heart by email, over the phone you offered up the excuses that the Foster Care Council of Canada is not a national organization, and that their mission is not beneficial to the subject matter of the conference. You then asserted that the decision to exclude Mr. Dunn from the conference was not debatable. We, at the Black and Red Flying Squad would beg to differ.

The Black and Red Flying Squad formed in 2003 with the purpose of offering solidarity to striking and locked-out workers through picket line support. Although we formed mainly to support labour struggles in the Ottawa-Outaouais region, we are also quite willing to intervene in other cases of oppression and injustice that occur within our communities. Many of us in the flying squad know John Dunn, and are willing to picket your conference on behalf of him and the Foster Care Council of Canada.

If you do not want your conference disturbed in this way, there is a very easy solution. Simply inform Mr. Dunn by no later than noon on Friday, August 13th, that you will honour your original agreement to allow the Foster Care Council of Canada to display an exhibitor table at your Promoting Resilient Development in Children Receiving Care conference, and we will call off our actions. If not, you will be seeing us at your conference next week.

Mr. Dunn can be reached at john@afterfostercare.com or by phone at (613) 228-1352.
Sincerely,The Black and Red Flying Squad
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