Sunday, December 23, 2007

Windsor A-Channel Contravenes CFSA

Attention A-Channel News Windsor et al,

It has been brought to the attention of the Enforcement Branch of the Foster Care Council of Canada that A-Channel News Windsor has contravened section 45 (8) of the Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-11, (the Act) which prohibits any person or corporation from publishing or making public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is the subject of a Child and Family Services Act proceeding, or the child's foster parent.

In an A-Channel News Windsor news story dated December 19, 2007 titled "Order Of Ontario Recipients Named, Leamington couple fostered 65 children" located on the Internet at the following URL ( http://www.achannel.ca/windsor/news_51652.aspx ) a video clearly identifies by name and by visual medium the foster parents of a child who is the subject of a Child and Family Services Act proceeding, and which also clearly identifies the name and visual identity of a child who has recently been placed by the Society in the home of the afore mentioned foster parents.


The publication of this video is clearly a contravention of section 45 (8) of the Act. A person who contravenes section 45 (8) of the Act or a Director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in such a contravention by the corporation, is guilty of an Offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of up to $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or to both.

I strongly suggest to A-Channel News Windsor that this story be removed from your website and that any further references or coverage of this story be done in a way that does not visually or in any other way identify these foster parents or any of the children under their care who have been subjects of a proceeding under the Act.


The relevant provisions of the Act are included as follows:

45.—(8) No person shall publish or make public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is a witness at or a participant in a hearing or the subject of a proceeding, or the child's parent or foster parent or a member of the child's family.

85.—(3) A person who contravenes subsection 45(8) (publication of identifying information) or an order prohibiting publication made under clause 45(7)(c) or subsection 45(9), and a director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in such a contravention by the corporation, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or to both.



John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
12-1160 Meadowlands Drive East
Ottawa, ON
K2E 6J2



Phone: (613) 228-2178
E-mail: legal@afterfostercare.ca

Saturday, December 22, 2007

News Paper - Chatham-Kent CAS & Complaint Procedure

Children's Aid website to have complaint info; Lack of details criticized by Foster Care director

Posted By ERICA BAJER

Posted 3 days ago

Chatham-Kent Children's Services is changing its website and the new one will include complete information about the complaint process.

Chief executive officer Mike Stephens said while the former website contained information about filing a complaint, there is an additional method that was enacted in 2006 that is not on the website.

The local children's aid society was recently criticized by John Dunn, the executive director of the Foster Care Council of Canada, about the lack of complete complaint information on its website.

"This is something that needs to be addressed immediately to meet the needs of children and youth in care from being harmed either physically, sexually or emotionally," Dunn said in an e-mail to the CKCS, which was forwarded to The Chatham Daily News.

Stephens said the agency responded to Dunn's concerns and explained that the agency is re-vamping its online presence. The website is currently under construction.

"There is no legal obligation for us to have it on our website," Stephens said.

He noted the information is given freely to people dealing with CKCS.

"All of our clients who would be in a position to make a complaint get a hard copy of our complaint process," he said.

Stephens said the information that was not on the website deals with taking a complaint to the Child and Family Service Review Board, an option clients are told about if a complaint is made.

He said CKCS gets a handful of complaints a year.

"Most complaints get resolved in the first phone call," he said.

Dunn, who works out of Ottawa as an advocate for children in care, said he noticed the full complaint information was missing while checking the website for membership details.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Private Prosecutions - Issue on Court Form 106 - Affidavit of Summons

The following is a letter submitted through the web site of Ontario's Attorney General advocating for changes to the back of Summons Form 106.

While pursuing a private prosecution as a citizen of Ontario, under the Provincial Offences Act in Ottawa, I went through the normal procedures of swearing an information then receiving a summons (form 106).

Then I noticed a problem on the back of the Form 106 Summons which is where a person swears that they did in fact serve the summons to the corporation they charged with a provincial offence.

On that form it does not allow a person (Private Prosecutor) who is not a provincial offences officer to swear that they delivered the summons to the defendant.

The back of the form has a blank space for you to write your name but it states "I, a Provincial Offences Officer". If I were to sign this form, I would be swearing false information.

I would like to know if this form could be changed in the future or if there is a body of persons who specifically deal with the design of this and other forms for court use that I could contact to discuss the matter and advocate for this change.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Smoking in Cars

I contacted the RCMP in Wolfville Nova Scotia today to ask if they have any protocol in place to contact a local child welfare authority when an individual is ticketed for smoking with a minor in the car. (person 18 or under in the by-law)

The Officer stated that they do not contact child and family services for these Offences. However, the Province of Nova Scotia and other provinces including Ontario are possibly going to pass provincial legislation regarding smoking in vehicles with children in them and this may become a child protection concern at that time.

We will keep monitoring this situation and update when we can.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chatham-Kent Children's Services Update

Letter to Chatham-Kent Children's Services

Chatham-Kent
Children's Services

Attention: Executive Director and Board of Directors

I contacted the Society previously to inquire as to why the Society has not updated it's web site regarding the new statutory complaint procedure as it was assented to in the Legislature on March 28, 2006 only to be informed that the website company and the Society are on a contract which only allows the company to update the site.

This is something which needs to be addressed immediately to meet the needs of children and youth in care today who may be at risk of physical or emotional harm while in care.

The Society has incredible powers and resources available to them to prevent children and youth in their care from being harmed either physically, sexually or emotionally.

I do not see how the Society can sit back for almost two years and not ensure that this important information is not updated on their website in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the children and youth in their care is ensured.

I am cc'ing the Chatham Daily News on this communication in the hope that action will soon be taken to ensure that the kids in care have access to the latest statutory complaint procedure via their legal guardian's web site.

Sincerely,

John Dunn
Executive Director
The Foster Care Council of Canada
http://www.afterfostercare.ca

This is an update to the following original posting:

Foster Care News: Chatham CAS - Web Site Updates