Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Monday, March 22, 2004
The Foster Care Council Of Canada
326 Nepean Street, Ottawa, ON, K1R 5G6
The Honourable Landon Pearson
The Senate of Canada
Room 210, East Block
Greetings Honourable Landon Pearson.
With your obvious love for children, and your dedication to the implimentation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, I thought you might like to know about the following case. I am sad to bring you this news, but time is of the essence as this case is before the courts at this very moment.
Following, you will read a letter of complaint to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services concerning a nine year old girl, who has pleaded to maintain visits with her natural mother, grandmother, and extended family members, and siblings, while being adopted into her present loving foster home.
To: Kathy Neff:
Ministry Of Children and Youth Services
10 Rideau Street
Dear Kathy Neff,
In your letter dated February 25 2004, which was your reply to my original letter where I requested a date for the Ministerrial review of the C.F.S. Act, you stated that according to section 224 (1) (2) of the Child and Family Services Act, it is required that a review of this Act be initiated periodically and that the public be advised when a review under this section begins, and what provisions of this Act are included in the review.
I would like to know if you could inform me as to what method and medium is normally, or will be used to inform the public of this impending review, so that we can activly monitor it, and publish the notice on our web site for the public when it becomes available.
Also in your letter, with respect to my very detailed report of child abuse being perpetrated by Barbarah Mackinnon against nine year old Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, a child under her care, you stated that "It is not appropriate for the Minister of Community and Social Services - Ministry of Children's Services (Now Children and Youth Services) to become involved in the individual case management of a children's aid society."
When in fact, section 23 (1) (2) (3) of the Act state:
Minister's order to cease activity
23. (1) Where the Minister is of the opinion, upon reasonable grounds, that an activity carried on, or the manner of carrying on an activity, in the course of the provision of an approved service is causing or is likely to cause harm to a person's health, safety or welfare, the Minister may by order require the service provider to suspend or cease the activity and may take such other action as the Minister deems to be in the best interests of the persons receiving the approved service.
Notice of proposal
(2) Where the Minister proposes to make an order requiring the suspension or cessation of an activity under subsection (1), the Minister shall serve notice of the proposal and written reasons for it on the service provider, and subsections 22 (3) to (8), except clause (5) (b), apply with necessary modifications.
Where order may be made immediately
(3) Despite subsection (2), the Minister, by notice to the service provider and without a hearing, may require that the service provider immediately suspend or cease the activity where the continuation of the activity is, in the Minister's opinion, an immediate threat to the public interest or to a person's health, safety or welfare and the Minister so states in the notice, with reasons, and thereafter the Minister shall cause a hearing to be held and subsections 22 (3) to (8), except clause (5) (b), apply with necessary modifications. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 23.
I want to know, why the Ministry insists on letting this abuse continue by not taking the approprite course of action to invoke Section 23 of the Act in order to protect this child from further abuse. There is no doubt that this child is suffering as it is clearly stated in legally binding affidavits that Ned Jackson, a staff of the C.A.S. caused her to be visibly upset, and to cry when telling her she was not going to see her mother anymore.
We have repeatedly informed both yourself, and the Minister of Children and Family Services Dr. Marie Bountrogianni that the C.A.S. has documentation from their own access supervisors which state how important and beneficial the relationship between the mother and the daughter is to Xxxxxx Xxxxxx as they are already both emotionally bonded to each other.
By invoking Section 23 of the Act, the Ministry could obtain access to those records and all supporting materials.
In your letter, you also stated that we should report our allegations of abuse to the Children's Aid Society, the perpetrators of the abuse, with full knowlege of the fact that it is the very same Children's Aid Society's Executive Director, Barbarah Mackinnon who is ordering this abuse to continue, placeing all subordinate staff at that agency in a position of duress to continue the abuse.
The Ministry is presently in a position of intentional breach of fudiciary duty by not invoking section 23 of the CFS Act, as all levels of the Ministry have been repeatedly informed of this child abuse, and as of yet, have not acted upon these reports.
Further more, the Ministry has been informed of the fact that the Child's Lawyer has also not been representing the best interests of the child, his client, Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx, who has clearly and consistantly stated her wishes to remain in contact with her mother, grandmother and extended family members.
Be advised that this letter is going to be widely distributed throughout all levels of government, all legal clinics, printed and delivered to judges, police officers, and to the public at large if no action is taken by March 24 9:00am
Sincerely seeking the best interests of the child,
The Foster Care Council Of Canada
Saturday, March 20, 2004
I would like to know if the web site could expand it's Child and Family Services Advocacy Office web page to include email addresses of contacts within the Advocacy Department.
The reason being, that sometimes a child feels intimidated to make a call in front of staff in the group home, or other people who might be present.
Using the internet, and having access to an advocate via email is another way for a child to contact the advocate when they find a moment of privacy online.
Adding this email address to the web site, would show your willingness to provide easy acccess to advocacy services when ever it is deemed necessary for the children's personal and emotional safety.
So my question is:
Will you put either a list of email addresses of various child advocates on the web site. Or will you put at least one email address to increase accessability in the best interests of the children under your care.
The reply I recieved was that they have forwarded the request to the appropriate person in the appropriate department. Nothing has been posted yet (May 30 2005)
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Well, funny thing is, I honestly don't remember praying as a child. I do remember that we went to church in most of the homes because I was with the Catholic CAS, but it was all just so procedure. I never got excited by the singing, I was only embarrased by it. I could never understand what all these people were singing about. (I am talking about when I was around six and up) before that I don't remember much of anything.
So when I put myself back into that little boy's body, and look through my eyes of the day, I just remember feeling nothing really when I was in church. It was as if I were at school. Just .. a taller building. No anger, or hate, or anything, just .. procedural.
I was an alterboy as well. The mom, Cecelia Rick, was the woman who went to the front of the church, and stood there "conducting" the oranist? Or maybe the whole church even with her arms waving about like a conductor.
But it all just never meant anything to me at all. I remember being fascinated with the crucifix story, and how a man could bear so much pain, and how mean people were to this man who did nothing to them, except be good to people and to help others. I remember that. And I remember being fascinated with the whole physical part of nailing someone to a cross. (I am a very scientific person) I would think about how his weight would not tear him off the cross and things like that.
Remember, I am using the eyes and my memory of a child here. This is me at the age of six to nine I am referring to.
So, to me, it was all just very everyday like. Very .. non-awe striking. When I would read lines like "fear god" and all that, I just couldn't fear someone I did not know. It all made no sense to me. This God guy, who was so loving and great, and gave life etc, yet he was to be feared? I was so confused by this. It was just not logical. (Spock ha haha)
When I was an alterboy, maybe age 7-9? I remember only one moment or two now... hm.. just had a flashback... .. but I remember and have always remembered kneeling behind the big desk with the priest talking to the crowd, saying the same thing he said last week, holding up the bread, and saying his schpeal (pleae don't take offense, i am actually in my childhood boy mind here ok? ) and I was so bored. I have always hated repetition. It drives me mad. Even the music I love best is industrial and electronice and electro-acoustic and abstract because it is always changing.. so anyhow, I remember kneeling back there with the little bells in my hand, ready to ring them after such and such a line... then again when he said "x" or "y" I would ring them again.
But I never felt anything inside me that was uplifting. I just knew my knees were sore, and I was embarrased kneeling beside this complete stranger, ringing bells in front of pepole in the church. Everyone was lookkng at me too in this girly white robe. Just thinks like that were going through my head.
I also was baptised by this family when I was seven. Another humiliating experience. There were several people around, probably their extended family, and of course them too, a priest I think, and me in front of what looked like a bird bath. A tall, ceramic podium kind of thing with water in it like a bird bath. I don't rememebr much except him slowly pushing my head down into it, and him pouring water over my four head, and I just thought it was embarassing, and stupid, and kind of felt forced into it. Again, it did not mean anything to me in my soul. It was just a strange and bizzaar experience and I did not feel I had any choice in the matter.
So, those are my early church memories anyhow. I don't remember praying except for that day in my photo, where I was about four or five (see it here) http://www.afterfostercare.com/brothers.html ) when my brother said before they take the picture, pray that we get to go home and live with mom again. So I did the pray symbol clasping the hands, and the picture was taken but that was it. It was more or less just a funny gesture to me when I did it. That is all I can remember feeling was that I was posing for a picture.
I am trying to think if I ever did pray... and I at the moment, I can't remember it. Although I have a sneaking sus... well actually it is a memory I think, ... of kneeling and saying prayer before bed sometimes? But again, only because I ws told to. And it was always Our Father. I had a cool glow in the dark rosary I remember that after I was ten.. but even with that, I remember just counting the beads, hoping to get done. I know this all sounds like me, being cold and mean, but I am actually more emotional today as an adult than I was as a child. I think I was just "off".
I always was good at making friends... you have to be when you move around a lot as you know, but maybe it was because I was so "turned off" or "shut down" that I did not feel or I did not acknowlege my pain even though it was there, .... so maybe because I did not physically feel the pain I was suffering so I did not feel a need to "reach out" to anyone for solace?
This is actually interesting to me and I am kind of just rambling with where ever my brain is taking me here... so maybe because I thought I was not suffering, or I had convinced myself that I was not suffering, as an instinctive protection, (survival skill) maybe that is why I never had those questions of "why"? Or "why me?" And when you have those questions, you hope that someone is listening to you. (don't want to think of yourself as a loonie talking to yourself) so you kind of have this hope that there is someone there to hear you asking "why" or "why me".
I have been thinking again ahead of myself and thought that what I was doing, was only hurting in intervals. After each move, I would hurt after it, but not wanting to hurt, I would shut down. So my yearning or suffering was short lived... sure it was all building up inside me like a shaken pop bottle... but at the time, I just ... made it go away. This in turn, made me think i was not suffering, and I would have to move on with the daily grind of getting to know the rules here, shedules, chores, how to get to know the others guys in the house, who to trust, who not to trust, and how to not get into trouble by breaking any rules by accident such as walking too loud, or what ever.. anyhow that is another issue..
So .. oh hum.. :) I maybe have just answered my own questions of why I have never had a faith of any kind. I was never angry at God, he just did not exist to me.t Because I never said "why me". To me, my life was just moment by moment.. second by second. I never planned ahead, This is where "Hope" come in. To me, Hope is faith as well. You hope that there is a God, or you hope that there is an after life. Without hope, There is no faith.
With my programming of myself, I just never put hope into the equation. It's not like I remember actually saying, "I don't have hope".. it was just not a part of my brain, or my thought pattern. I never... I honestly can't remember, planning ahead. Dreaming about becoming this or that. This sounds so sad to me now when I look back ... (Yes Tracy I am crying now) .... because I see that little boy and I feel so bad for him. But at the time, I did not suffer. I did not KNOW I was suffering I guess I should say. I started in the system at 18 months, so I guess I learned young to just adapt. And don't make plans.
But relating hope to God, I think that if you have hope, you can have God. So to me, it .. they... were both plain and simply non-existant. Sort of like trying to imagine what it would feel like to have a third arm, or a world with eight suns... it is just ... not existant, so I don't know how to feel it.
To me, this is probably why I had no faith in life. Then you add to that the physical world, with nobody ever telling you they love you, or taking time to ask you about yourself, you feelings... it just did not happen. I merely functioned in life. I remember I had problems later in a group home, with a mean father figure guy there, who systematically broke you down over the years (4) and I cried a lot living there, but I think I remember the last time I cried until my twenties.. which signals to me another major shut down.
I remember being in the shower... I was feeling quite alone.. actually before I got into the shower, I was undressing and noticed myself in the mirror.. I think I had just been in trouble for something and was told to have a shower, or it was just my turn, but I remember looking at myself in the mirror, and suddently noticing that I had lighter hair then the rest of my family. (I had met my mom and two sisters when I was ten) and I was also recently separated from my brother who had been with me my whole life.... I remember, thinking that maybe I was not even a part of my own family... maybe the CAS mixed up and matched me up with a family other than my family. Or maybe they just put me into this family... I was sort of numb... and that hollow feeling started to appear in my chest.. then as I got into the shower, and the water was pouring.... I remember just crying my eyes out.
My heart exploded and I cried so hard in the shower where nobody would see me and make fun of me.. or hear me.. that I collapsed into the tub, and just lay on my side, crying in a fetal position.. the water pouring over me...
I lay there, feeling my whole essence slipping out of me..and I just cried and cried and cried until I was so sore, I coudl not cry anymore... and that was the last time I cried for many years...
I think I am finished for now, but will continue to talk later..
(Note to C.A.S.Ottawa Staff / Director) You are doing this exact same thing to Mellissa: Use the College Of Social Workers Code of Ethics Book to advocate for positive change and hurry up..
Friday, March 12, 2004
They have gone as far as to intimidate the foster family into thinking they will lose custody of the child because they tell them that Tracy is fighting the adoption. When in reality, she is not fighting the adoption, she is fighting to keep access visits and to have the McEcherins adopt the little girl because they supported open adoption.
The CAS is very sick in what they are doing,... actually Barbara MacKinnon is the one ordering all of this so please if you know the McEcherins in the Ottawa area, tell them that Tracy is fighting for a chance to let them adopt, and the judge even sees the benefit, yet the CAS is trying to maintain status quoe and keep costs down through standardization.
Acting totally independantly on this message board.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Hello, I'm John Dunn, the Executive Director of The Foster Care Council of Canada. The reason Im giving this announcement today, is because this Friday, March 12th, at 9:30 in the morning, a mother named Tracy will be fighting the C.A.S. simply to ensure that her nine-year old daughter has the chance to be adopted by the loving foster home she's lived in for approximately four years, and to maintain access visits with her.
Almost everyone in this little girl's community support the foster family adopting this little girl. The daughter herself wants to be adopted by this foster family, the foster family wants to adopt her while maintaining access visits, EVEN the access supervisors at the Children's Aid Society have given nothing but positive reports which clearly state how important the relationship between the mother and the daughter is to this little girl.
The Children's Aid Society's Executive Director Barbara Mackinnon, has even rejected, on three different occasions, this foster family's applications to adopt Tracy's daughter, claiming that they are "Too emotionally involved".
The Children's Aid Society's Executive Director, Barbara MacKinnon on the other hand, has to maintain the status quoe, reduce costs associated with maintaining access visits, and, at the same time, fight against a loss of funding from the Ministry should the adoption take place.
The result of Barbara MacKinnon's dilligent efforts in keeping the best interests of the corporation in mind unfortunately conflict with what is in the best interests of the child in this case.
Tracy is fighting against the C.A.S. all on her own without a lawyer present, so please come down and show her your support. If you are wondering what you can do I will explain.
All you have to do, so go to the court at 161 Elgin Street, walk in and find what looks like a bookstore, and ask where Tracy Cain's case is being heard. Then come and meet us in front of that court room before 9:30am. We will wait until the doors open to begin the court case, and together we will all enter the court and sit until the judge enters the room.
The Children's Aid Society Lawyer will probably stand up and request that we all be removed, and the judge will respectfully ask that we all leave the court room as the Act requires that the confidentiality of the child be maintained.
We then quietly, and respectfullly get up, bow or nod to the judge on the way out, and leave quietly.
This is how we show support for Tracy, a mom who is simply fighting for the best interests of her child, against cost saving protocols of a multi-million dollar coroporate giant, the Children's Aid Society.
Once again, that is this Friday morning, the 12th of March 2004, 9:30 am, at 161 Elgin Street, for Tracy Cain. Come in, meet the others, and show some support.
The last court session in February, we had a small crowd of supporters show up which consisted of some very brave people as they feared retaliation from the children's aid society in their own cases, yet it was quite successfull.
Thanks for your time, and come on out to meet the rest of us!
I'm John Dunn, thanks for listening.
Friday, March 05, 2004
I will keep you up to date on this as it progresses.