Attn Public Relations Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto.
To whom it may concern.
Hello there, I was reading the CCAS's financial statements and read the section labeled as "Contingencies".
In this section, it mentioned the fact that the Society had been named as a defendant in claims for damages related to it's mandated work and that any loss not covered by insurance will be expensed in the year of settlement.
As a member of the public, I would like clarification on two points.
1. If the agency were to make a settlement in the future, or lose a claim against it where can the public look to see and calculate the financial losses resulting from such claims against the Society even if those losses are covered by insurance. What section of an annual report or financial statement would give that financial breakdown.
2. If the expenses of a claim against the Society were not covered by insurance, where could we find out the amount of the losses from such claims and in what section of the annual report or financial documents would those losses be reported.
Attn: Barb Myland Disclosure Services Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
Feb 22nd 2005
As discussed during our in person meeting Thursday February 17th 2005, I wanted to request that the following items be expanded upon in the form of a letter to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board using your records within the agency such as Serious Occurance Reports, my files, family members files and / or Incident Reports and Social Workers notes etc. (Basically use all that you have available to you to verify these claims were ever possible).
I do not know how much of these actual incidents you have on file, but please try to find them if we did ever report in detail. You might also get further information from Myron Klymko if required and from his notes. (He took us from the group home)
I will start by listing the events I submitted to the CICB in my claim to assist you in obtaining the correct or related information.
NOTE: When writing your letter, please include my case file numbers in relation to the dates of incidents which are as follows.
(1979) Trout Creek Incidents - [ CICB File Number 0105-26904 ] (1987) Picton Ontario - [ CICB File Number 0105-26905 ]
1. During the years I lived in Trout Creek, Ontario with Bernard and Cecelia Rick (Foster Parents) (1975-79?) my brother and I were both abused physically and emotionally. I had the following things happen to me while I was there.
a) Between the ages of 6-9 years of age, I had my head pushed and flushed down the toilette by Bernard Rick because I had a large bowel movement and it flooded the toilette. I thought I was going to drown while the water roared around my head and I held my breath.
b) Between the ages of 6-9 years of age, I had Bernard Rick place a cold pair of plyers on my penis as the crouched in front of me threatening me to crush it if I continued to wet the bed.
c) Between the ages of 6-9 years of age, I had Bernard Rick repeatedly take me downstairs in the morning after I had wet my bed, and I was sat down on top of the furnace (Wood Burning Stove) to the point where my pjamas would sizzle from the heat. One morning he opened the door and pushed me head first into the wood burning stove with the coals burning and I thought I was going to die. I remember screaming and trying to stop myself from going into the furnace/stove by grabbing the edges of the furnace/stove and pushing back.
d) I remember watching Ron (my brother) get thrown over the couch after an argument he had with Bernard Rick about the proper way to make a peanut butter sandwich, injuring his back.
e) I remember listening to Ron getting in trouble downstairs, and feeling completely useless to help him while I stood in the living room upstairs.
f) I was made to go out to the whole family (extended family was visiting) in a diaper to say goodnight to everyone and to hug each and every one as a means of humiliating me out of bedwetting as well. This was devastating to do in front of everyone I knew and felt close to.
2. During the years I lived in Picton, Ontario with Paul and Pauline Kennedy (Group Home Foster Parents) (1983-87?) I was both physically and emotionally abused by Paul Kennedy. I had the following things happen to me while I was there.
a) Paul Kennedy became extremely and aggressive violent with me one day in the winter while all of us were out in his Garage and he was working on his trailor or something. He was using a metal grinder with sparks flying and because of my previous abuses and subsequent fear of fire, I stood far away from the flying sparks. Paul noticed this and came at me with his frozen work gloves on and started calling me a wimp, and a pussy, and grabbed me by the face, pushing me back while scrubbing his hands violently all over my face, and calling me names. He kept doing this for a minute and I was crying and stepping backwards from the force of his pushing/scrubbing. He asked me what I was crying about, and why I would not join the others who were closer to him etc.. and I just kept crying and told him I was scared of tools and sparks etc. He kept laughing at me and calling me names, and rubbing my face until I noticed my lip was bleeding. After a while of doing this to me and making me feel like crap, he finally stopped and left me there crying.
b) Paul Kennedy one day was angry at me for something which I can not remember at this moment, but he took me down the hall of the house by my ear, then at the bedroom door, he lifted me from under my arms, and threw me across the room so I landed on my side on my bed hitting my head on the head board.
c) Generally Paul Kennedy was always telling us were were "just foster kids" and that nobody wanted us etc.. and made us feel like crap most of the time. Years of verbal abuse and emotional abuse was endured by all of us from him.
3. I wanted to ask also for a description of the effects of moving a child from foster home to foster home as I did mention this is the claim. Point out that my sixteen years of foster care being moved through thirteen different locations and several schools also had a detrimental affect on my functioning in society as an adult for the past sixteen years since I left the foster care system.
As is stated in the Elligibility Spectrum under Serious Emotional Harm, moving a child from home to home to home is enough grounds for intervention in a child's life by child protection authorities. Further evidence that backs up my claim that my life in foster care has been emotionally and / or psycologically damaging to me.
I wanted to thank you for working on this case with me and request that a copy of your letter to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board be mailed to me as well to the following address please and thank-you.
John Dunn The Foster Care Council of Canada 503-1218 Meadowlands Drive East Ottawa, ON K2E 6K1
and a copy to
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board 439 University Avenue, 4th Floor Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Y8 Toll-Free: 1-800-372-7463 Toronto Calling Area: 416-326-2900
CCAS Submitted Their Letter May 3rd 2005
The CCAS's Barb Myland submitted a letter confirming incidents of violence to the CICB and now I await confirmation of the Board's Decision to extend my time line ..
The Government site on Crown Corporations Review states the following.
Good governance requires transparency and accountability. Together, transparency and accountability build trust. No institution, no matter its size or mandate, can remain viable for very long if the bonds of trust are broken by the failure or perceived unwillingness to disclose information, explain decisions, and justify actions.
Indeed, transparency is what makes accountability possible—not least because trust depends as much on being seen to be accountable by operating in a transparent manner as it does on meeting specific accountability requirements—whatever form they may take.
In democratic societies, the people—whose interests institutions have been created to serve—possess not only the right but also the responsibility to access institutions, to analyze their information responsibly, and to participate in purposeful processes with these institutions.
Dear Barb Myland, Disclosure Services Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
On Thursday February 17th 2005 at 1:30pm, I am going to meet with you for our scheduled and agreed upon appointment to view my foster care records regarding my sixteen years in foster care with the Catholic Children's Aid Society.
I am requesting permission from you, or from the Catholic Children's Aid Society to allow me to take the photo-copies of my files which have third party information already removed from them home with me after I am finished viewing them.
I would like to have your written response to my request of allowing me to take home copies of my files. As I will not be available to receive mail after today I wish to pick up any adverse response to my request to have a copy of my file.
I will PICKUP at the CCAS front desk at 26 maitland Avenue in Toronto by Thursday February 17th at 1:30pm.
NOTE: DO NOT MAIL YOUR WRITTEN REPONSE - LEAVE YOUR WRITTEN RESPONSE TO MY REQUEST AT THE FRONT DESK OF THE CATHOLIC CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO FOR PICK-UP BY ME BY 1:00PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 17TH 2005.
I will accept no response from you in writing as an agreement on your behalf and on behalf of the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto allowing me to remove the copies of my files once I have finished reading them on Thursday February 17th 2005.
John Dunn The Foster Care Council of Canada http://afterfostercare.blogspot.com
To: Councilor Kyle Rae (Ward 27) 100 Queen Street West, Suite A5 Toronto, M5H 2N2 Phone: 416-392-7903 Fax: 416-696-4300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Councilor Rae,
Hello Councilor Rae, my name is John Dunn. I currently live in Ottawa, and will be visiting with the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto at 26 Maitland Avenue on Thursday, February 17th at 1:30pm until approx. 3pm.
The reason for this visit is because I am a former Crown Ward (Foster Child) of that agency, and for the past four years, I have been trying to obtain copies of my life records from them which are about my life in care. As a foster child who was moved through thirteen foster homes in the sixteen years I was in foster care, as you can imagine, these files are the only thing I could obtain which would act as some kind of connection to my past. Similar to the feeling one gets from going through their own family photo-album.
The only problem is that I have been fighting with them (CCAS) for the past four years to obtain copies of my files to no avail. I went through their internal complaint procedure, from my disclosure worker, Barb Myland, to her supervisor Margaret O'Rielly, to a three hour meeting with the Executive Director (Mary McConville), to the Board of Directors, to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Issues Co-ordinator, all to no avail.
There is no law requiring the agency to keep my files away from myself. I was not adopted, so there is no issue with confidentiality as only adoptees have actual legislation in the Child and Family Services Act regulating the access of personal files.
The CCAS claim they are keeping my files confidential due to their own responsibility to maintain confidentiality of third parties. This would be fine exept for the fact that over the past four years, I have had two visits to the CCAS offices to view my life records on their property already. What they have done is photo-copy my records, (112+ pages) then liquid papered all third party names such as my doctors, dentists, teachers, foster parents and social workers, then, photo-copied those files again, to let me view them on their property, not allowing me to take them home with me.
As I mentioned, the copies I request are already doctored to exclude all third party names. So the real issue in my opinion is not one of third party confidentiality, but rather one of maintaining secrecy of child abuse which is regularly inflicted on children in foster care by not allowing them to take the copies of their own files off the property.
What I would like to know is if you, or someone from your office could please attend with me during my visit on Thursday at 1:30pm to witness this action of denial from the Catholic CAS and to attempt to work out a deal with them to allow me to take my own life home with me.
I will be attending a press conference at Queens Park to speak about the Child and Family Services Act as a member of the Advisory Committee for Child and Youth Services, a group of family rights and community groups who have come together to address issues with the Child Welfare system in Ontario.
Read more about the Queens Park Rally at http://www.unitedfamilies.tk
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
John Dunn ( I do not have a phone number in Toronto while I am there, but can be reached at my home in Ottawa before Monday night at (613) 228-2178 or by email at email@example.com )
From: "John Dunn" Date: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:12 am Subject: Pierre Viger Case Status
Marlene Zagdanski Complaints Committee Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers RE: Pierre Viger, Director of Professional Standards - Ottawa CAS
I wanted to appologize for the two or three complaints I launched a year ago with respect to the Ottawa Children's Aid Society. I had just learned about the College and did not follow proper protocol in those complaints. I did recieve the judgements, which closed the cases without resolution due to my lack of commitment to the files.
I am writing to inquire as to the status of the Pierre Viger Case of the Ottawa Children's Aid Society. In the rules for the College it states that a result should be approximately 120 days, and sometimes longer. Since this complaint was launched in June 22nd, 2004 I am assuming that you are very busy at the College and I just wanted to know if you are able to give me an approximate time frame for a resolution to this case. At the moment, it has been approximately seven months or approximately 210 days since the complaint was launched.
If your affected by the Children's Aid Society in any way, or feel you might be, please examine, print and study these documents very well. You might need them one day.
And having knowlege of each and every one of these can help you to defend yourself and your child, or yourself if you are a child.
For example. I learned by reading these documents that a Society must offer counselling to a child or parent with regard to an adoption before they can sign a child off to an adoptive family if the child is over seven years of age.
Read all of them here.
The United Nations estimates the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami has left more than five million people homeless, including about 1.5 million children, most of whom may be orphaned.
Since the disaster, adoption agencies around the world have been fielding phone calls from well-meaning families wanting to adopt a child from one of the countries hit.
Adoption experts say the best thing people can do is to donate money to causes that directly help the children. They say it's wrong to take a traumatized child away from the environment that they have grown up in.
"Adoptions, especially inter-country ones, are inappropriate during the emergency phase as children are better placed being cared for by their wider families and the communities they know," said the charity Save the Children in a statement released Jan. 6, 2005.
"The last thing they need to do is be rushed away to some foreign land," said Cory Barron of Children's Hope International, an American adoption agency. "We have to think of the child first."