Monday, March 20, 2006

Kids in Care

Here are some images of crown wards who are up for adoption. If you know any of them, and why they are in care, please comment publicly below or contact me at afterfostercare@hotmail.com

See them here
http://www.fosteradoptwinningkids.com/English/Adoption/Children_Youth.htm

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

2009 CFSA Review

I called the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to request information as to when the last CFSA review was initiated according to Section 224(2) of the Act and when the next review will be initiated. I spoke to someone within the Ministry and she is looking for information so she can have someone call me with the response of which I will post as soon as possible.


Relevant Section of the Act:
Section 224

Beginning of review

(2)The Minister shall inform the public when a review under this section begins and what provisions of this Act are included in the review.

(5)Each subsequent review shall be completed and the report made available to the public within five years after the day the report on the previous review has been made available to the public. 1999, c. 2, s. 34.

Letter to the Ombudsman - Ministry refusing to investigate complaints

I am inquiring as to whether the following is an issue which can or should be looked into with regard to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services practice of avoiding it's delegated discretionary powers to look into individual cases upon notification of an issue.

I have recieved a letter from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in the past which states that the Ministry does not get involved in "individual cases".

If this is a "policy" it goes against the discretionary power which has been delegated to it by the Legislature to consider a case and to make a discretionary decision to investigate or not based on the merits of the case or other criteria, and to provide an explanation to the complainant of the reason for the Ministry's refusal to investigate if it decided not to do so.

I am writing to inquire if this matter is worthy of putting a call out to the public asking them to come forward with complaints regarding this matter or not.

----
THIS SECTION ADDED LATER:
----
This is the section of the CFSA I was referring to. When people ask for the Ministry to investigate a CAS due to infractions of this Part of the Act.

(Link)
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90c11_e.htm#BK28
(/Link)

Powers of Minister

22.?(1)?Where the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that,

(a) an approved agency is not providing services in accordance with this Act or the regulations or in accordance with any term or condition imposed on the approval under subsection 8 (1) or 9 (1) or, in the case of a society, on the designation under subsection 15 (2);

(b) a director, officer or employee of an approved agency has contravened or knowingly permitted any person under his or her control and direction to contravene any provision of this Act or the regulations or any term or condition imposed on the approval under subsection 8 (1) or 9 (1) or, in the case of a society, on the designation under subsection 15 (2);

(c) approval of the agency under subsection 8 (1) or of the premises under subsection 9 (1) would be refused if it were being applied for in the first instance; or

(d) in the case of a society, the society,

(i) is not able to or fails to perform any or all of its functions under section 15,

(ii) fails to perform any or all of its functions in any part of its territorial jurisdiction, or

(iii) fails to follow a directive issued under section 20.1,

the Minister may,

(e) revoke or suspend the approval; or

(f) in the case of a society,

(i) revoke or suspend the designation under subsection 15 (2),

(ii) remove any or all of the members of the board of directors and appoint others in their place, or

(iii) operate and manage the society in the place of the board of directors. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 22 (1); 1999, c. 2, s. 7.

Notice of proposal

(2)?Where the Minister proposes to act under clause (1) (e) or (f), the Minister shall serve notice of the proposal and written reasons for it on the approved agency, unless the agency has requested that the Minister so act or has consented to the Minister’s proposal.

Request for hearing

(3)?A notice under subsection (2) shall inform the agency that it is entitled to a hearing under this section if the agency mails or delivers to the Minister, within sixty days after the notice under subsection (2) is served, a written request for a hearing.

Where agency does not request hearing

(4)?Where the agency does not require a hearing under subsection (3), the Minister may carry out the proposal stated in the Minister’s notice under subsection (2) without a hearing.

Hearing

(5)?Where the agency requires a hearing under subsection (3),

(a) if the Minister proposes to act under clause (1) (e) only, the Minister; and

(b) in all other cases, the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

shall appoint one or more persons not employed by the Ministry to hear the matter and recommend whether the Minister should carry out the proposal.

Procedure

(6)?Sections 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act do not apply to a hearing under this section.

Report to Minister

(7)?The person or persons appointed under subsection (5) shall hold a hearing and make a report to the Minister setting out,

(a) recommendations as to the carrying out of the proposal; and

(b) the findings of fact, any information or knowledge used in making the recommendations and any conclusions of law arrived at that are relevant to the recommendations,

and shall provide a copy of the report to the agency.

Minister’s decision

(8)?After considering a report made under this section, the Minister may carry out the proposal and shall give notice of the Minister’s decision to the agency with reasons.

Provisional suspension

(9)?Despite subsection (2), the Minister, by notice to the agency and without a hearing, may provisionally exercise any of the powers set out in clauses (1) (e) and (f) where it is necessary to do so, in the Minister’s opinion, to avert 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 (3) to (8) apply with necessary modifications. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 22 (2-9).

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.

Minister has powers of board

24.?(1)?Where the Minister operates and manages a society under subclause 22 (1) (f) (iii), the Minister has all the powers of its board of directors.

Idem

(2)?Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), where the Minister operates and manages a society under subclause 22 (1) (f) (iii), the Minister may,

(a) carry on the society’s business;

(b) enter into contracts on the society’s behalf;

(c) arrange for bank accounts to be opened in the society’s name, and authorize persons to sign cheques and other documents on the society’s behalf;

(d) appoint or dismiss employees of the society; and

(e) make by-laws. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 24 (1, 2).

Occupation and operation of premises

(3)?Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), where the Minister operates and manages a society under subclause 22 (1) (f) (iii), the Minister may,

(a) despite sections 25 and 41 of the Expropriations Act, immediately occupy and operate, or arrange for the occupation and operation by a person or organization designated by the Minister, of any premises occupied or used by the society for the provision of approved services; or

(b) apply without notice to the Superior Court of Justice for an order directing the sheriff to assist the Minister as may be necessary in occupying the premises. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 24 (3); 1999, c. 2, s. 35.

Maximum period

(4)?The Minister shall not occupy and operate premises under subsection (3) for a period exceeding one year without the society’s consent, but the Lieutenant Governor in Council may extend the period from time to time. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 24 (4).

Offences

Offence

25.?A person who knowingly,

(a) fails to furnish a report required by the Minister under subsection 5 (5);

(b) contravenes subsection 6 (2) or (3) (obstructing program supervisor, etc.); or

(c) furnishes false information in an application under this Part or in a report or return required under this Part or the regulations,

and a director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in such a contravention or furnishing by the corporation, is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than $2,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 25.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Letter To Minister - Regulations & Web Site

Dear Hon. Mary Anne Chambers,
Minister of Children and Youth Services

I noticed that on February 06, 2006, you or your Ministry filed a new Regulation -- O. Reg. 21/06 -- amending O. Reg. 206/00, Procedures, Practices and Standards of Services for Child Protection Cases, online < http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Source/Regs/English/2006/R06021_e.htm > as posted on Ontario's E-Laws web site.

I also noticed that there is no notice of the recent filing of O. Reg. 21/06 posted on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services web site.

I, on behalf of all child welfare stakeholders (which always includes children and youth in care) and the citizen's of Ontario, would like to request from you that either the Ministry and/or the Minister of Children and Youth Services make an extra effort, above and beyond the standard public notice of publishing filed Regulations on the Ontario E-Laws web site inform the public through a notice on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services' web site of the fact that child welfare related Regulations have been filed upon the official filing date or as soon after the official filing date as is practicable.

The reason I am making this request is because of the fact that the general public and child welfare stakeholders are mostly unaware of the E-Laws web site and often do not become aware of such regulations until they are actively involved in a child welfare matter, which is often too late to allow them to become familiar with these regulations. Although E-Laws is accessible to the general public who have internet access and who have been made aware of this resource, not everyone is aware of it.

Could you please respond to this letter by answering the two questions listed below.

1. Will you ensure that notices of all newly filed Regulations under the Child and Family Serices Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 11 are published on the home page of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services web site in an obvious and easy to locate manner.

2. If you will not or can not do this, will you ensure that the home page of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services' web site contain a permanent link to the Ontario E-Laws web site with a short explanation of the relevance of the E-Laws web site to child welfare stakeholders in plain English or French accordingly.

Sincerely,

John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
http://www.afterfostercare.ca
(613)228-2178
afterfostercare@hotmail.com

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ministry creates 1st Regulations for 2006 (Bill 210)

An Act, such as the Child and Family Services Act can have "rules" attached to it which are created by the Minister responsible for that Act. In other words, a portion of the Child and Family Services Act may deal with the complaints procedure of a Children's Aid Society. That section of the Act may say "each Society must have a written complaint procedure as prescribed".

This means that the Ministry can then create a list of details as to exactly how that portion of the Act is to be put into practice. It allows for more detail and much easier changes to the legislation if the Ministry has the will to do so. The Ministry can create these detailed "rules" at any time without having to go through the legislative assembly. This can be either a curse or a blessing in disguise. It is up to us, the public and the press to use this "loophole" to our advantage.

For one thing, if the regulations are not being applied equally or are being applied inappropriately, they can be held up in court by an applicant (person taking the offender to court) since they hold as much weight, equal weight as the Act it is subservient to (the Child and Family Services Act in this case)


With that said, I will now make this latest announcement


The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has created its first amendment to the "Procedures, Practices and Standards of Service for Child Protection Cases" Regulation. These regulations were published before Bill 210 was given Royal Assent or Proclaimed. (Click title for a copy of the Regulation amendment)

Wards of the Crown - Documentary

"Wards of the Crown"
A documentary created by former foster child, Andrée Cazabon - Filmmaker

Order a copy from the National Film Board at 1-800-267-7710.

Preview the documentary by clicking [ http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/program_070306.html ]

Send your feedback / reactions to CBC at [ http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/contact.html ]

Contact producer Andrée Cazabon:
(613) 230-8945 ext. 4

casabon@youthincare.ca

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Letters To Minister

The following letters were sent to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services on Friday March 3rd 2006 via her web site. A response was requested. I will post the response on this web site.

LETTER 1
--------

Dear Hon. Mary Anne Chambers,

I would like to request from you that I be added to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services stakeholder consultation list with regard to child welfare matters which require or involve public or stakeholder input or feedback. I am a child welfare stakeholder since I grew up in foster care for sixteen years, and currently work with people who are involved with, have been involved with and who are at risk of becoming involved with a Children's Aid Society.

If you have a list for this purpose, I would like to be added to that list. If you do not currently have such a list, I would like to request that you consult with me any time that you require public, or stakeholder input on child welfare matters such as during the drafting of regulations or Bills, (such as 210) and other matters of importance to anyone affected by the Child and Family Services Act.

Specifically could you answer the following two questions as clearly and directly as would be deemed a fair and reasonable response according to the standard of a judicial review proceeding.

1. Could you please inform me whether or not you will contact me in the same manner and at the same time that you or your Ministry solicits input or feedback from Children's Aid Societies and other child welfare related agencies? If not, please explain why not and what I would have to do in order to meet the criteria to be consulted for such matters.

2. Could you please inform me if you ever consult with members of the public or with child welfare stakeholders while drafting regulations and if so, by what process or criteria do you select whom you consult or inform?


Sincerely

John Dunn



LETTER 2
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Dear Hon. Mary Anne Chambers,

Does the Ministry of Children and Youth Services have a policy of not getting involved with individual child welfare related matters or cases?

If so, could you please provide me with a copy of the policy which states that the Ministry does not get involved with individual cases.

If not please clarify the Ministry's position and your own position on the question of whether the Ministry is able to get involved with individual cases.

Sincerely

John Dunn

Letter 3
--------
Date: March 13, 2006

Dear Hon. Mary Anne Chambers,
Minister of Children and Youth Services

I noticed that on February 06, 2006, you or your Ministry filed a new Regulation -- O. Reg. 21/06 -- amending O. Reg. 206/00, Procedures, Practices and Standards of Services for Child Protection Cases, online < http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Source/Regs/English/2006/R06021_e.htm > as posted on Ontario's E-Laws web site.

I also noticed that there is no notice of the recent filing of O. Reg. 21/06 posted on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services web site.

I, on behalf of all child welfare stakeholders (which always includes children and youth in care) and the citizen's of Ontario, would like to request from you that either the Ministry and/or the Minister of Children and Youth Services make an extra effort, above and beyond the standard public notice of publishing filed Regulations on the Ontario E-Laws web site inform the public through a notice on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services' web site of the fact that child welfare related Regulations have been filed upon the official filing date or as soon after the official filing date as is practicable.

The reason I am making this request is because of the fact that the general public and child welfare stakeholders are mostly unaware of the E-Laws web site and often do not become aware of such regulations until they are actively involved in a child welfare matter, which is often too late to allow them to become familiar with these regulations. Although E-Laws is accessible to the general public who have internet access and who have been made aware of this resource, not everyone is aware of it.

Could you please respond to this letter by answering the two questions listed below.

1. Will you ensure that notices of all newly filed Regulations under the Child and Family Serices Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 11 are published on the home page of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services web site in an obvious and easy to locate manner.

2. If you will not or can not do this, will you ensure that the home page of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services' web site contain a permanent link to the Ontario E-Laws web site with a short explanation of the relevance of the E-Laws web site to child welfare stakeholders in plain English or French accordingly.

Sincerely,

John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
http://www.afterfostercare.ca
(613)228-2178
afterfostercare@hotmail.com