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Shortage of foster parents send foster kids out of community | Pahrump Valley Times

Shortage of foster parents send foster kids out of community | Pahrump Valley Times | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
By Charlene Dean Since January, the state of Nevada has been calling for urgently needed, potential foster parents to attend training classes and get their...
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Family-Centred Care Practice
Dedicated to battling injustice of any form against children, youth, persons with disability and the elderly. Family-Centred Care Practice is the most ethically viable and cost-effective approach of service delivery.
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Bully only stopped attack when someone said 'leave her, I think she's dead'

Bully only stopped attack when someone said 'leave her, I think she's dead' | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A teenager has spoken about a brutal attack that only stopped when someone was heard saying 'leave her, I think she's dead'. Emily O'Reilly was knocked out and left i
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Ontario judge rebuked for ending day early as delays pile up - The Globe and Mail

Ontario judge rebuked for ending day early as delays pile up - The Globe and Mail | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The criticism of Ontario Court Justice Rick Libman – chair of the court’s rules committee – comes in a published decision by Justice Michael Code of the Ontario Superior Court
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Ontario judge rebuked for ending day early as delays pile up

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An Ontario judge has been rebuked by a higher court for contributing to the “culture of complacency” besetting Canada’s criminal-justice system, after breaking for the day at 4 in the afternoon, two days in a row, while two witnesses waited in the hallway to testify.

ISTOCKPHOTO/ISTOCKPHOTO
SEAN FINE
JUSTICE WRITER
19 HOURS AGO
FEBRUARY 17, 2017





An Ontario judge has been rebuked by a higher court for contributing to the "culture of complacency" besetting Canada's criminal-justice system, after breaking for the day at 4 in the afternoon, two days in a row, while two witnesses waited in the hallway to testify. The two witnesses eventually testified for roughly a half-hour in total – at a cost of two months and five days of delay in finding another court date when the prosecution and defence lawyers were available.

The criticism of Ontario Court Justice Rick Libman – chair of the court's rules committee – comes in a published decision by Justice Michael Code of the Ontario Superior Court. Justice Code had been asked for a stay of proceedings over unreasonable delay by two men accused of cocaine trafficking, under new rules set by the Supreme Court of Canada last July.

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The Supreme Court said a "culture of complacency" has afflicted the criminal-justice system for years. It established time limits of 18 months from the laying of a charge to the completion of a trial in provincial court, and 30 months in superior court.

Related: Lawyers want to toss hundreds of criminal cases for unreasonable delays

Related: Charges thrown out due to trial delays a growing problem in justice system

Read more: Supreme Court updates guidelines on ensuring right to timely trial

Since that ruling, criminal defence lawyers have applied to have more than 800 cases thrown out of Canadian courts over delay, a Globe and Mail review has found. Two first-degree murder charges have been thrown out in Alberta and Ontario over delay. (Both rulings are under appeal.)

The rebuke of Justice Libman shows that, while judges are in some ways leading the push to keep cases moving through a clogged system, they are not immune to criticism.

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"This two-month period of delay would have been completely unnecessary if the Court had adopted a more appropriate sitting schedule," Justice Code said in his ruling last month in a case known as R v. Brissett. "In my view, it is not acceptable to adjourn court at 4:00 p.m. on two consecutive days when brief witnesses have been waiting out in the court hallways and are available to testify. The approach taken by the Court during this period of delay is emblematic of the 'culture of complacency' described in R. v. Jordan."

In the end, Justice Code did not stay the charges against the men. Their cases had taken 36 months to come to trial, with an expectation the trial would end within the month. Justice Code subtracted five months for delay caused by the defence, and four months for exceptional circumstances (caused in part by the Pan American Games in Toronto taking up the time of a police witness). That brought the delay down to an acceptable 27 months.

Justice Libman declined to comment, through a spokesperson for the Ontario Court of Justice.

Anthony Moustacalis, president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association, described Justice Libman as a good, hard-working, smart judge. He said part of the function of higher-court judges is to criticize the conduct of other judges, but added, "they should be careful. They can't have a dialogue to find out what happened or why. There may be reasons that are not on the record." He said some judges are not as diligent as Justice Libman, and "there should be a peer-review mechanism in place to capture those situations."

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In some jurisdictions in the province, courts begin at 9:30 a.m., and in others, at 10, and they generally sit to 4:30 or 5 p.m., Mr. Moustacalis said. "I've never had a problem if I say, 'Look, I've got a witness from out of town, can we sit until 5 or 5:30?' The only time it doesn't happen is if someone has child-care issues."

Justice Libman is a former Crown attorney who has been a judge since 1996. He has a doctorate in law from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School. He is an adjunct professor at Osgoode, and a frequent legal author whose works include Regulatory Offences in Canada and Criminal Trial Rules in Provincial Courts in Canada.

"Everything I know about Justice Libman is that he is a committed, fair, knowledgeable, hard-working Justice," Toronto lawyer John Allen, who co-authored Handling Provincial Offence Cases in Ontario 2016 with Justice Libman, told The Globe in an e-mail.

A Toronto judge who asked not to be named said judges generally rely on decisions by others, especially lawyers, and thus have little control over sitting hours. In some circumstances, this judge said he has deliberately adjourned early for the day – for instance, if an accused begins to testify and is not going to finish that day, the law society restricts the type of contact his lawyer can have with him. "Especially if the accused is under cross-examination, counsel may barely speak to him overnight. So rather than get into that position, I might well break early so that counsel isn't put into that position."

Justice Libman is not the first respected participant in the justice system to be accused of complacency toward delay. Last September, the Ontario Court of Appeal called Crown attorney Dallas Mack's conduct of the trial of George Kenny "a poster child for the culture of complacency towards delay," saying he had "a leisurely approach to disclosure" and failed to pay "any real heed" to Mr. Kenny's right to a timely trial, despite concerns raised by Mr. Kenny's lawyer. The court threw out Mr. Kenny's conviction for assault causing bodily harm for taking part in a fatal beating, and stayed the charge against him. Mr. Mack is the winner of an Excelsior Award for public service from the Attorney-General's Ministry, and prosecutor of the year from International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators.


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Judge apologizes to parents of girl left in ‘limbo’ for years after flawed Motherisk drug test | Toronto Star

Judge apologizes to parents of girl left in ‘limbo’ for years after flawed Motherisk drug test | Toronto Star | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A 10-year-old girl has been in “legal limbo” for nearly half her life after she was “wrongly apprehended” from her mother who had failed a flawed drug test from the Sick Kids’ Motherisk laboratory.
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Judge apologizes to parents of girl left in ‘limbo’ for years after flawed Motherisk drug test
A 10-year-old girl has been in “legal limbo” for nearly half her life after she was “wrongly apprehended” from her mother who had failed a flawed drug test from the Sick Kids’ Motherisk laboratory.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Grant A. Campbell reveals how reliance on discredited hair testing from the Hospital for Sick Children’s Motherisk laboratory contributed to a "perfect storm" of "errors, incompetence . . . and mistakes."
Ontario Superior Court Justice Grant A. Campbell reveals how reliance on discredited hair testing from the Hospital for Sick Children’s Motherisk laboratory contributed to a "perfect storm" of "errors, incompetence . . . and mistakes." (NAKITA KRUCKER / TORONTO STAR)
By RACHEL MENDLESONNews reporter
Fri., Feb. 17, 2017
A 10-year-old girl has been in “legal limbo” for nearly half her life after she was “wrongly apprehended” from her mother who had failed a flawed drug test.

She wants to be adopted by her foster mother but “hopes and prays” for contact with her parents.

Her foster mother is ready to adopt, but not if there is contact with the parents, who have been “consumed and trampled” by the child welfare system yet continue to fight for the right to see their daughter.

This is the heart-rending dilemma depicted in a scathing Ontario Superior Court ruling that delivers a broad indictment of a “broken” child welfare system. Justice Grant A. Campbell reveals how reliance on discredited hair testing from the Hospital for Sick Children’s Motherisk laboratory contributed to a “perfect storm” of “errors, incompetence . . . and mistakes.” Throughout, the parents were “ignored, demeaned and disbelieved,” while their child was shuffled between placements.

So significant was the damage that Campbell included an unqualified apology to the parents in his ruling, which he delivered orally in a Kitchener court last week.

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“It should not have happened. You should have been treated better,” he said to the mother and father, identified by their initials, C.T. and J.B. “It did and you weren’t, and for that, on behalf of the very system that perpetrated this upon you, I apologize to you both.”

From apprehension to appeal, his ruling outlines the “failures of the court process,” including a Children’s Aid Society that ignored the mother’s claims of native heritage, which should have triggered special considerations for her daughter’s placement; “incompetent” trial lawyers who neglected to challenge the Motherisk tests; and a trial judge that held her decision in reserve for nine months.

Privacy laws that shroud child protection proceedings make it difficult to answer many questions about this case. But the broad facts, laid out in judgments and other publicly available court documents, trace a complex family history marked by long-standing involvement with children’s aid, dating back to when the mother was a child herself.

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Her daughter, born in 2007, was deemed to be in need of protection by children’s aid in spring 2012. The concerns children’s aid cited included: the mother’s history of drug abuse, admitted marijuana use and involvement in prostitution; incidents of domestic violence between the parents; the father’s recovery from opioid addiction; and both parents’ mental health struggles. The girl, then 5, was placed with her mother, under the supervision of children’s aid.

That changed in fall 2012 when a hair-strand test performed on the mother by Sick Kids’ Motherisk lab came back positive for cocaine.

“(The child) was immediately apprehended based entirely on that now totally discredited drug testing conducted by Motherisk,” Campbell said.

After the mother failed another hair test for cocaine, children’s aid applied for Crown wardship. The case dragged on for three-and-a-half years until December 2015 — a passage of time Campbell said “is reprehensible and cannot be justified or excused on any credible basis.”

At the same time, big problems emerged at the Motherisk lab. The controversy started in late 2014 after the Star exposed questions about the reliability of the lab’s hair-strand testing. The lab was Ontario’s most trusted provider of drug and alcohol hair tests for use in child protection proceedings. But by the time the Kitchener trial ended in March 2015, the concerns raised by an ongoing provincial review and an internal probe prompted the hospital to suspend testing at Motherisk. Sick Kids shut down the lab the following month.

Despite the mother’s “repeated” claims that Motherisk results were wrong, her lawyer “ignored those assertions and took no steps whatsoever to bring any motion before the court, or to get competing drug tests to challenge the Motherisk drug tests,” Campbell said. (The mother’s marijuana use was previously known to children’s aid and not in dispute.)

Drug use was among many concerns children’s aid raised during the trial. But “extensive attention” was given “to the circumstances and unreliability of the Motherisk testing,” Campbell said. Yet there is “no evidence” that any of the lawyers for the parents or the child, who was represented by the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, made a motion to have the child returned to the mother, or for any other placement, he said.

“Basically, once Motherisk tests were received in and accepted, the agency took the . . . position that the only reasonable result was for Crown wardship and it passively acquiesced to the delays that ensued and to which court contributed and exacerbated.

“The status quo created by the delays eventually dictated a reality that all participants recognized, acknowledged and accepted,” he said.

In her decision, released Dec. 15, 2015, the trial judge sided with children’s aid, issuing a “final order” to make the child a Crown ward with no access.

Justice Susan Lang found the lab fell "woefully short of internationally recognized forensic standards," and operated without sufficient hospital oversight.
Justice Susan Lang found the lab fell "woefully short of internationally recognized forensic standards," and operated without sufficient hospital oversight. (RICHARD LAUTENS)
She considered the Motherisk controversy and the independent review that was underway, making reference to several hair-strand drug tests the lab performed in this case. Because of “the concerns raised by the investigation,” the judge said she could not rely on the tests “to establish on their own the presence or absence of any drugs.” But she also noted that when the child was taken, the mother had “not sought a screen from a different laboratory” to challenge the Motherisk findings.

“It is not known what the ultimate findings by the independent review will be,” she said.

That same day, Justice Susan Lang submitted her report on Motherisk to the attorney general, who released it Dec. 17. Lang found the lab fell “woefully short of internationally recognized forensic standards,” and operated without sufficient hospital oversight. It produced results that were “inadequate” and “unreliable” for use in child and child custody cases, which has “serious implications for the fairness of those proceedings,” she said.

The Kitchener case is among more than 500 “high-priority” child protection files that have been reviewed by the Motherisk commission, which was established on Lang’s recommendation to determine whether the flawed hair tests were a key factor in the outcomes in individual cases.

In April 2016, commissioner Judith Beaman informed the mother that after a “detailed examination” of the child’s court file, she found “no reasonable basis related to the Motherisk hair testing to question the legal process or the existing status quo of the child.”

The mother was among three women who applied for a judicial review of the commission’s decisions, claiming the process lacked transparency and denied the parents an opportunity to participate. A divisional court dismissed her application as premature, because she had not applied to the commission for reconsideration of its decision.

Commission lawyer Lorne Glass said the commission stands by its decision.

“There were many, many reasons why that child was in care and was made a Crown ward,” he said. “What the Motherisk commission said was that the Motherisk test results weren’t overly relied upon by the court.”

The mother’s new lawyer, Julie Kirkpatrick, who represented her in the appeal, said she will not seek reconsideration of the commission’s decision because her client “did not find the commission’s involvement to be helpful in her case.”

After the trial judge’s ruling, the parents, who have not been able to see their daughter in more than a year, initially sought to quash the decision, but they abandoned their fight for custody, concluding it was in their daughter’s best interests to stay with her foster mother.

In his decision, Justice Campbell expressed deep regret for what the family endured, while upholding the trial judge’s Crown wardship order.

“As any informed observer of this entire unfortunate court process would conclude, my conscience is shocked by the abuse of process and the lack of procedural fairness,” he said. “But to set aside the decision and remit the matter to another trial . . . would damage and threaten the child’s stability even more.”

Campbell agreed that adoption is in the child’s best interests. But he also found that contact with the parents, who share indigenous heritage, would be both meaningful and beneficial to the child and overturned the “no access” order.

Yet he said he is faced with a problematic reality: the foster mother has “unequivocally” stated that she will not proceed with adoption if there is contact. At the suggestion of the lawyers, he has made an openness order but has stayed its enforcement, so that the parents, the child and the foster mother may participate in a hearing, which he set to start in May.

The “pathway” proposed by the lawyers “would appear to offer (the child) a chance, (albeit a slim one) to extract herself from this confusion, and move towards permanency,” he said.

Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region, the children’s aid that handled the case, declined to comment on the specifics.

But she said the society will “take to heart all the considerations that the court made about our role as a child welfare agency,” particularly as it relates to First Nations families, which she acknowledged “is a large area of development for us.”

CAS v C T and J B - Final as Published Oral With Warning Feb 15 by torontostar on Scribd
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Advance costs awarded in Alberta child welfare class action

Advance costs awarded in Alberta child welfare class action | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
http://canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/3682/advanced-costs-awarded-in-alberta-child-welfare-class-action.html
image1.PNG


Advance costs awarded in Alberta child welfare class action
Written by Mallory Hendry
Wednesday, 15 February 2017

In a rare move, advance costs have been awarded in a class action against the Government of Alberta and Métis Settlements Child and Family Services.

Robert Lee, counsel for the plaintiffs, says he’s happy about the decision, but he anticipates the government will launch an appeal.
Robert Lee, counsel for the plaintiffs, says he’s happy about the decision, but he anticipates the government will launch an appeal.
“On the merits, I thought this was one of the strongest cases that could be put forward for advance costs,” says Robert Lee, a victims’ rights lawyer at Robert P. Lee PC in Edmonton and counsel for the plaintiffs in the class action. “I anticipated we would win, but you never know. It was pretty stressful when I received the decision because the stakes were so tremendously high.”

On Feb. 10, the decision in LC v. Alberta was released, the latest in a string of cases dealing with claims that the government in that province — in particular, its child services branch — failed to file care plans in a timely way or, in some cases, at all for children in government care under temporary guardianship orders.

Lee says his reaction to the decision is mixed.

“On the one hand, I’m happy, but on the other hand, this has gone on already so long that it’s so tiring. It’s not finished. I expect that there will be an appeal and that’s the whole problem with this case — the huge disadvantage that the plaintiffs face against a government.”

Justice Robert Graesser wrote in the decision that he had “provisionally certified this as a class action proceeding” and that the class action was split into classes — the child class and the parent/guardian class. Advance costs were awarded in this decision to the child class.

Lee is already facing an appeal by the government on the class action certification, calling the string of cases an ongoing war.

“I started suing child welfare in 1998,” he says, noting that he’s not even a class action lawyer — he’s a sole practitioner who took on a few cases that ended up turning into class actions. “I might retire before this case is finished. That’s the reality. And that’s why advance costs are so important — the governments can drag these things out forever and ever and ever. The lawyers need to be able to fund themselves while the case goes on.”

Lee adds that if the government is essentially paying for the case once an advance costs order is made, it “totally changes the dynamics of the lawsuit.”

“Now they don’t have the financial advantage anymore,” he says. “They can’t grind the plaintiff into the ground.”

Lee says this is one of the first times advance costs have been awarded in a class action setting, and it’s an important decision because he sees a rise in class action lawyers turning to litigation funding companies and, “frankly, from my perspective, I don’t think that’s a healthy alternative for our legal system and for plaintiffs.” He argues that advance costs mean the well-funded defendant loses the economic advantage that causes a procedural advantage.

“Advance costs is a proper remedy where a litigant can’t get a lawyer to do the case, because these defendants go into this scorched-earth approach where they throw all their resources into trying to stop the case from proceeding,” Lee says.

Advance costs is a remedy that exists in our legal system, he says, and the application has to meet three tests as laid out by the Supreme Court of Canada. In British Columbia (Ministry of Forests) v. Okanagan Indian Band the court held that “the power to order interim costs is inherent in the nature of the equitable jurisdiction as to costs, in the exercise of which the court may determine at its discretion when and by whom costs are to be paid.”

Later, in Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium v. Canada (Commissioner of Customs & Revenue Agency) and in R. v. Caron, the SCC spelled out the three requirements needed for advance costs to be ordered. In this case, Graesser wrote out the three-prong test:
The party seeking interim costs genuinely cannot afford to pay for the litigation, and no other realistic option exists for bringing the issues to trial — in short, the litigation would be unable to proceed if the order were not made.
The claim to be adjudicated is prima facie meritorious; that is, the claim is at least of sufficient merit that it is contrary to the interests of justice for the opportunity to pursue the case to be fortified just because the litigant lacks financial means.
The issues raised transcend the individual interests of the particular litigant, are of public importance and have not been resolved in previous cases: Okanagan at para. 40.

Though the case law calls advancecosts “an extraordinary remedy” and necessitates “sufficiently special” cases in order to apply, Lee says the courts generally use it in trust cases or in matrimonial cases where there’s kind of a spousal fiduciary duty, and he argues that child welfare should be viewed similarly as a special category since the government owes the children a fiduciary duty.

“Advance costs are appropriate in almost every child welfare case and I’m confident in almost any case you will find the criteria set by the SCC in Okanagan and Little Sisters — it’s met.”

While Graesser approved the advance costs, he did not set an amount. “The amount … will be determined upon receiving additional submissions,” he wrote in the decision. Lee had sought coverage for his budget of $1,774,537.50, but he says the judge said he was “not prepared to approve a budget in that magnitude.”

Lee says that even though he has the costs order, and “as a lawyer, academically, professionally, I’m so proud of this decision,” which he calls precedent-setting, he’s been fighting this battle for so many years and the piece of paper doesn’t help him pay his staff or his rent.

“In the decision, the judge says maybe we might have to wait for certification appeal,” he says, noting they just filed their factum on that appeal and he’s currently working on his response to that. “Until I see something from it, it’s just kind of more of the same — a lot of fighting against the government where they can just fight and fight.”


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Letter Regarding the Appeal of Alberta's Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit

Letter Regarding the Appeal of Alberta's Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Beautiful, powerful sentiments regarding the Appeal of Alberta's Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit:

"Mr. Lee And Mr. Garber,

Thank-you! Thank-you very much for Your commitments to the Class Members and to Me as A Class Representative in this, Our Appeals Application Process.

Gentlemen, You truly are both quite unique as Councillors and very extraordinary practitioners of The Law indeed. You both have displyed to Me some very rare and distinguishing characteristics all kinds and I did not even have to look to see these. I have witnessed first hand Your empathy, compassion, and Your commitment to doing the right things for so many and to serve those who otherwise would perhaps remain a long list of voices unheard and Victimized forever.

Your emphasis Mr. Lee and Mr. Garber on Professionalism, honesty and in seeking what is right for so many of Us, for all of Us who suffesuffered continuously and grievously for so long, for so many years as Victims "in care" and in so many ways and all unimaginable to most..
All of Us shares a common thread as Victims which fuels people like Yourselves forward and that is that as Victims! As Victims We were most if not the most vulnerable in society as Infants, Baby's, Toddler's, Pre-Schoolers, Children, Pre-Teenagers, Teenagers and so on and We continue to be these most vulnerable Victims. These is My opinion as Your Client and as a witness to Your commitment to so many who suffered so horribly and Mr. Lee this is a distinguising characteristic in My Opinion of Your honesty and I have the utmost respect for You Mr. Lee and Mr. Garber and this respect I know is shared by so many that You are serving. Your dedication unparalleled efforts, hard work, determination is so refreshing. In a world where all of Your Clients have suffered life times it must be so hard for You to see All of Us? I just tell Myself and I am telling My Class Membes, "One more day! Just one more, come on hold on and hold the line soon We will have JUSTICE and then We can begin to heal and move forward.

Thank-you for giving so much of Yourselves so that We all might begin to pick up all of the pieces so broken and one day reasonably assemble these and take a look in that mirror.

~ Ron Thiessen
& Members"
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stand up for your family and don't give in

stand up for your family and don't give in | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
and even if you are small you can be large in your courage don't think that failing is permanent instead see every step as part of
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http://readingchildrensbooks.blogspot.ca/2017/02/stand-up-for-your-family-and-dont-give.html


Thursday, February 9, 2017
stand up for your family and don't give in
and even if you are small
you can be large
in your courage

don't think that failing is permanent
instead see every step
as part of a journey that is interesting

believe in yourself
trust in your investigations into darkness
stand up for your family and don't give in


year after year work in a room
and keep going
because we are all on the same side

we work for the most vulnerable citizens
we don't take the spin
we see the future clearly and we decide on action


decade after decade
Ruth Adria has spoken but we have not listened
now we are in the place of abuse and non-compliances


we stand up for our families
we will not be silenced and intimidated
you can take us to court and yet we will still be defiant


these are most defenceless citizens
who cannot speak for themselves
who are you to tell us we cannot give them a voice?

we are doing it






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Fucking AB Tory Hypocrites who hid 685 child deaths

Fucking AB Tory Hypocrites who hid 685 child deaths | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Progressive Conservative Week in Review
February 10th, 2017
Yesterday, the all-party Child Intervention Panel met again to continue its examination of the child welfare system. The Panel heard from a range of experts and involved agencies, from the Chief Medical Examiner and law enforcement to Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate. What was evident in each presentation is how passionate these public servants are about improving Alberta’s child intervention system and reforming existing processes. Their dedication to Alberta’s children is nothing short of inspiring and we thank them for their thoughtful input and service to our province.

We were also heartened to see the Minister of Children’s Services reverse her previous decision and permit an audio live-stream of the Panel proceedings going forward. The Progressive Conservative caucus believes that these public meetings should have been made truly public from the start, meaning that video, audio and transcripts are made available to all interested Albertans. This is why we chose to live-stream the first two meetings on our Facebook page and why we will continue to provide Albertans with a live video feed of all future meetings. To view an archive of these videos, or to access additional information about the Panel, visit our website. Throughout this process, we will be posting our thoughts on the Panel’s work, along with background information to help Albertans understand the complexity of the child intervention system.

As always, we welcome thoughts, comments and feedback. If you have any input on the Panel’s work, or would like Ric McIver to ask a question on your behalf, please don’t hesitate to contact us at pccaucus@assembly.ab.ca.

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Proposed Bill would end custody for care

http://c-hit.org/2017/02/07/proposed-bill-would-end-custody-for-care/

Proposed Bill Would End ‘Custody For Care’
By Lisa Chedekel February 7, 2017

State officials and parent advocates gave different versions Tuesday of how often, and why, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) takes custody of children with severe behavioral health problems – and whether the practice should continue.

Advocates, including a group of adoptive parents, told the legislature’s Committee on Children that a proposed bill that would prohibit DCF from “requesting, recommending or requiring” that parents relinquish their custodial rights when seeking mental health treatment for their children is needed to stop a practice known as ‘trading custody for care.’ The bill, drafted by state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, was prompted by an October C-HIT story that described DCF’s use of “uncared for” custody petitions against parents who could not manage their children at home and insisted on specialized residential care.

In testimony Tuesday, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said the agency resorts to taking over custody only in rare cases in which parents refuse to take their children home from inpatient settings or “will not cooperate” with clinician-recommended in-home or community-based treatment services.

DCF Deputy Commissioner Kristina Stevens and DCF Commissioner Joette Katz testify at hearing before the Committee on Children.
Christine Stuart Photo.
DCF Deputy Commissioner Kristina Stevens and DCF Commissioner Joette Katz testify at hearing before the Committee on Children.
“We disagree with the notion that DCF requires parents to completely relinquish custody of their children” to receive suitable behavioral health care, Katz said. She acknowledged that the agency has sharply reduced the number of children it places in residential treatment.

Maureen O’Neill-Davis, leader of a parents’ group called Family Forward Advocacy CT that is lobbying for the proposed bill, said parents seeking intensive residential care should not have to give up rights to their children. She and other parents described being told by DCF and court workers that the only way to access specialized out-of-home care was to relinquish custody. Most of the parents said they had exhausted in-home services provided through DCF and were left on their own to manage children who were a threat to the safety of siblings and other family members.

“We don’t want to give up our children,” said O’Neill-Davis, of Torrington. “(But) we are told that if you forfeit custody, they will get your child the care they need.”

O’Neill-Davis said DCF has a responsibility to provide high-level mental health care to unstable children that should remain separate from its role as a child-protection agency. The parents’ group has alleged that financial considerations are prompting the custody-for-care pressure, as DCF reduces funding for children not legally in its care and limits residential placements. DCF officials have denied that funding plays any role.

DCF has said that “uncared for/specialized needs” petitions removing parents’ custody are used only as a last resort, in cases where parents cannot provide appropriate care for their children.

Judicial department data show the state has used the petitions to take custody of more than 860 children over five years – or an average of three children a week.

Steven Hernandez, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, said the agency has heard from parents who have been “coerced into giving up their parental rights” in order to secure residential mental health care. He urged the committee not to buy into “mythologies” that difficult parents were to blame.

“Sometimes it is expedient to have a family that is asking too many questions out of the way” of decision-making, he said. “There are many causes that could lead down that expedient road.”

Several parents who support the proposed bill said a key problem underlying the custody issue is that DCF’s in-home treatment services are not sufficient to help severely troubled children. Tracy E. Schulz, a retired state Capitol police officer from Manchester, said she and her husband were unable to access appropriate services for their grandson through DCF’s Voluntary Services program, which provides mental health services. The program offered “many meetings that were fruitless, visits to our home that were unnecessary, as our grandson was in a sub-acute care facility, and no offer of services that we were asking for,” she said.

Rep. Diana Urban, committee co-chair.
Christine Stuart Photo.
Rep. Diana Urban, committee co-chair.
Katz said DCF provides an array of mental health services to thousands of children not in state custody and is abiding by “national best practices” in relying on in-home and community-based care. The department approves facility-based care for a “small number of children” in the Voluntary Services program, she said.

DCF lawyer Barbara Clare insisted that the agency would never require parents to fully terminate their parental rights in order to secure care. She said the custody issue was usually triggered by parents, who, “because of their own issues… they simply want the child put someplace and not to come home until they’re fixed. . . That’s not how treatment works,” she added.

Custody only comes into play in a “tiny, tiny percentage of cases where there is disagreement” over whether the child needs outpatient or residential treatment, she said.

State Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said her office supports the proposed bill as a way to prevent the filing of custody petitions “due solely to the child’s specialized mental health or disability support needs.” She noted that state law specifically provides that “commitment to… (DCF) shall not be a condition for receipt of services or benefits” from the agency.

“It is imperative that state systems do not inadvertently require children and families to submit to juvenile court proceedings where there are no concerns of parental unfitness or medical neglect,” Eagan said. “Urgent solutions need to be found so that parents can appropriately access needed mental health and developmental support services.”

State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda, R-Durham, said she was concerned that connecting custody to care, in any way, would “deter people who really do need help, but don’t want to give up custody of their children.”
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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, February 13, 3:08 AM

Lord God we ask for your forgiveness of all our sins. Lord God we SK you to move in the middle of it all. Lord God forgive our government and its employeesl across the world of their smwrong and harm done to any and all children and Parents Guardians an Caregivers with NY and all forms of mental illnesses of all kinds and Lord God we Thank you for every individual with an we ask you to bless them to no be ashamed and to with your help thru and by you to live a full, life enjoying life to the fullest covered in the blood of Jesus. Lord God we ask you Lord God to make mental illness diagnosises all not some trainings on how to not only know them all but how to work with and offer assistance,how to approach individuals in a manner that is not harmful or shaming or sense demeaning the individuals and their families, how not to trigger individual mental illness to use as an disadvantage against them. Those that target too harm those with mental illness Lord God let your system of Justice be done for all with mental illness. In Jesus name Amen.


 

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Child Intervention Panel

Child Intervention Panel | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it

Ministerial panel will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system.

Velvet Martin's insight:

https://www.alberta.ca/child-intervention-panel.aspx#toc-3


Child Intervention Panel Ministerial panel will explore ways to improve Alberta’s child intervention system. On this page What the panel will do Reporting Panel meetings Make a submission Panel members An all-party Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention has been appointed to explore ways to improve Alberta’s child death review system and strengthen the intervention system. More than 10,000 children and youth currently receive child intervention services across Alberta. What the panel will do In the next 8-10 weeks the panel will outline immediate recommendations to improve the child death review process. This work will: •identify recommendations to streamline and strengthen the child death review process, including receiving updates on the status of all internal reviews •identify which agency should have primary authority for conducting these reviews •examine internal communications protocols to ensure timely access to information for relevant agencies •develop possible criteria for which deaths would be reviewed. This could include all children, all children in care, all children receiving child intervention services or some combination of the above •make recommendations for legislative changes Following this initial study, the panel will review legislation, policies, current practices, literature, relevant data, and past recommendations, including those from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and the Auditor General of Alberta. It will also solicit feedback from subject matter experts and frontline staff. The panel’s aim is to strengthen Alberta’s child intervention system by recommending improvements to the child death review process, proposing actions to strengthen the system as a whole, and exploring the systemic issues that lead to children coming into government care. Read the Terms of Reference Reporting The panel will submit a final report this year addressing: •the root causes and factors that contribute to child and family involvement in the child intervention system •current funding and resource levels for the child intervention system as well as an assessment of workplace culture and staff morale •existing supports for families, including supports for kinship caregivers, foster parents, and families at-risk of needing child intervention services •opportunities and concrete actions to improve the child intervention system, address over-representation of Indigenous children in intervention system and improve outcomes for all children receiving child intervention services •identifying recommendations of past studies, prioritizing them and discussing implementation timelines and oversight Panel meetings Panel meetings will be open to the public whenever possible. A detailed list of all upcoming meetings will be posted as soon as dates, times and locations are confirmed. Next meeting: February 9 Windsor Room, Federal Building 9820 107 Street NW Edmonton 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Following every meeting, the panel will provide a summary outlining what was discussed. •February 1 meeting summary (0.40 MB) Make a submission The panel understands that many individuals and organizations have experiences and suggestions. During its early meetings the panel will determine how it can best consider this information. Until these decisions are made, you’re encouraged to attend a panel meeting or make a written submission. Email the panel The information you provide is being collected to assist and may be used to inform the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s work to make recommendations to improve the child death review process and strengthen the child intervention system. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provide the Authority to collect, use and disclose information. The aforementioned Acts apply to all records collected by the Panel from any sources, including but not limited to meeting notes, presentations, submissions, and reports; and, any document created by the Panel in the course of fulfilling its work. If you have any questions please contact CIPanel.submissions@gov.ab.ca. Panel members The 13-member Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention includes representatives from all parties: •Debbie Jabbour, Panel Chair, Deputy Speaker, MLA for Peace River •Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East •Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs •Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw •Heather Sweet, Deputy Chair of Committees, MLA for Edmonton-Manning •Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane •Jason Nixon, Wildrose caucus, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre •Ric McIver, Interim Leader, Progressive Conservative caucus, MLA for Calgary-Hays •Dr. David Swann, Leader, Alberta Liberal caucus, MLA for Calgary Mountain View •Greg Clark, Leader, Alberta Party caucus, MLA for Calgary-Elbow •Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services and MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, will sit as an ex-officio member. Three leading Alberta experts on child intervention and Indigenous issues will also sit on the panel: Dr. Peter Choate, MSW, PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Mount Royal University Dr. Peter Choate is a Registered Social Worker and Member of the Clinical Registry, Approved Clinical Supervisor for the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers. He holds a PhD in Addictions and a Master of Social Work. He is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Choate has been engaged in clinical private counseling and an assessment practice with an emphasis on addictions, domestic violence and child protection matters. He has been qualified as an expert witness on many occasions in the Provincial Court of Alberta (Family and Youth Division) in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton as well as the Court of Queen’s Bench (Calgary and Medicine Hat). Dr. Choate provides services to Alberta Child Welfare, Youth Probation Services (Calgary) and as a qualified Substance Abuse Professional for the U.S. National Transportation and Highway Safety Act. He is a Continuing Education Instructor at the University of Calgary. His particular emphasis is on child and adolescent mental health including maltreatment, neglect and abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) and these issues within family systems. He has presented nationally and internationally at various conferences and as a trainer for organizations in these areas. Bruce MacLaurin, MSW Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work Bruce MacLaurin’s research interests include child maltreatment, child welfare policy and service delivery, foster care outcomes, street youth and youth at risk. He is currently the primary investigator on Service Outcomes for Children and Youth Referred to Out-Of-Home Care, a three-year study for the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. He is a co-investigator on three other major studies, including Telling: Examining Cross-Cultural Patterns of Maltreatment Disclosures of Adolescents and Evidence-Based Management in Child Welfare, both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Grant in Homelessness, Housing and Health, funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Professor MacLaurin teaches classes on child maltreatment, social work evaluation, research, social work policy related to child and family issues, and at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2007, he was nominated by the Graduate Students’ Association for a teaching excellence award. Before coming to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work in 2002, he was a research associate at the University of Toronto’s Bell Canada Child Welfare Research Unit. Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, PhD Director of Research and Evaluation, Native Counseling Services of Alberta Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family and Community Resilience. She was the recipient of the two top Canadian social sciences doctoral awards: The Pierre Elliot Trudeau Scholarship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship. Patti has worked for Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for 21 years and is currently the Director of Research, Training and Communication, providing leadership for research teams undertaking community-based, applied research. Patti also is executive producer and principle investigator for BearPaw Communications, BearPaw Media video productions and BearPaw Legal Education publications and oversees the development and implementation of the historic trauma healing programs for NCSA. Dr. LaBoucane-Benson is also a mentor and lecturer for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, a lecturer for the University of Alberta Executive Education, and provides Historic Trauma-Informed Service delivery training for Legal Aid Alberta, The Edmonton Police Service and REACH Edmonton. In 2015, Patti’s first novel was published by House of Anansi Press. Based on her PhD research, The Outside Circle is a work of creative non-fiction about healing and reconciliation for an inner-city Aboriginal family struggling with poverty, gang affiliation and hopelessness. The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books and was named a CBC “Best Books of 2015”, an Outstanding International Books 2016 by the United States Board on Books for Young People, winner of the Red Deer Reads competition and long-listed for the Canada Reads competition. Patti has been awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Education; the Legal Aid Access to Justice Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

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‪Inquiry into 2007 foster care death gets underway amidst provincial review of children-in-care 

‪Inquiry into 2007 foster care death gets underway amidst provincial review of children-in-care  | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
‪Inquiry into 2007 foster care death gets underway amidst provincial review of children-in-care http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/inquiry-into-2007-foster-care-death-gets-underway-amidst-provincial-review-of-children-in-care/
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Velvet Martin's comment, February 21, 6:12 PM
Kawliga is the little boy who died 3 weeks after my daughter Samantha. The minister of human services at the time Janis Tarchuk had the gall to announce on television that the child's death in the system was a rare exception. Lying to the Public when acutely informed!
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Appeal of the Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit

Appeal of the Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
*An Appeal of the Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Lawsuit will be heard at the Edmonton Courthouse, Queen's Bench on February 22, 2017 at 9:30 am. All interested parties should attend.

Notice provided by lawyer, Robert Lee:

AN APPLICATION WAS FILED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2017 FOR PERMISSION TO APPEAL THE ALBERTA CHILD WELFARE CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

A Class Member, initials RT, has filed an Application for permission to Appeal the Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Settlement that was approved in Court on November 13, 2015.

Some of the grounds for the Application include allegations that:

1. The settlement provides no net benefit to the Class Members, as a group,
2. That all or almost all of the settlement monies that are paid by Alberta Child Welfare will go to McKenzie Lake Lawyers as legal fees,
3. The Class Members did not have a reasonable opportunity to obtain the materials that were submitted to the Court and to respond,
4. The Class Members did not get the opportunity to question Sabrina Lombardi, the lawyer for McKenzie Lake Lawyers who filed an Affidavit in support of the settlement on November 9,
5. Some of the materials were filed in Court on November 9, some were submitted to the Court on November 10 and some were submitted to the Court after November 10, but not filed with the Court, yet the Class Members had to respond in writing to the materials by November 10, 2015, which RT argues is unreasonable,
6. The Representative Plaintiffs were not asked if they would agree to give the Class Members more time to respond to the materials,
7. McKenzie Lake Lawyers claimed that the Class Action was only about making applications to victims of crime, when there were actually 5 Class Action common issues,
7. A Representative Plaintiff swore her Affidavit in support of the settlement with a lawyer who worked at the Government's law firm, and
8. The Representative Plaintiffs support the Appeal.

The following documents were filed in Court:

1. Application
2. Memorandum Volume 1
3. Memorandum Volume 2
4. Memorandum Volume 3
5. Affidavit #1 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
6. Affidavit #2 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
7. Affidavit #3 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
8. Affidavit of RM (Representative Plaintiff)
9. Affidavit of JS (Representative Plaintiff)
10. Affidavit of DVM (Class Member)

The Affidavits that have been filed in Court include materials that show that McKenzie Lake Lawyers warned Mr. RT, that if he loses the Appeal that "we will seek costs". However, the Affidavit of RM, the Representative Plaintiff, indicates that she does not wish to seek costs against Mr. RT.

None of the allegations in the Court documents have been proven. The hearing is scheduled for February 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM in the Court of Appeal.

This Appeal will likely decide an important question. Who decides if the Class Counsel opposes the Appeal? Do the Representative Plaintiffs, who were victims of Alberta Child Welfare, decide or do the lawyers from Ontario decide? Earlier in the Class Action, the Representative Plaintiffs were not permitted by the Court to choose their own lawyer and the Court chose the lawyers for the Representative Plaintiffs, against their wishes.

If you are a Class Member and if you support the Appeal or if you would like copies of the Court of Appeal documents, you may wish to contact McKenzie Lake Lawyers, who are the official counsel of record at:

McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP
140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800
London, Ontario N6A 5P2
1 800 261 4844
albertachildwelfare@mckenzielake.com
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First Nation chief calls for charges against lawyer who overcharged residential school survivors

First Nation chief calls for charges against lawyer who overcharged residential school survivors | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The chief of a Manitoba First Nation says the lawyer who misappropriated nearly a million dollars from some of the community’s most vulnerable and traumatized people should face criminal prosecution.
Velvet Martin's insight:
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/manitoba/lawyer-misappropriation-residential-school-survivors-1.3986085


"
First Nation chief calls for charges against lawyer who overcharged residential school survivors
Manitoba lawyer was disbarred after he took nearly $1 million from 55 survivors

CBC Investigates
Katie Nicholson • Katie Pedersen • CBC News
February 17, 2017
Cyril Desjarlais
Residential school survivor Cyril Desjarlais said he was happy to learn his lawyer, who was disbarred for overcharging his clients, was being investigated by police. (Jaison Empson/CBC)
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The chief of a Manitoba First Nation says the lawyer who misappropriated nearly a million dollars from some of the community's most vulnerable and traumatized people should face criminal prosecution.

"I think he should be charged," Sandy Bay Chief Lance Roulette said of disbarred Winnipeg lawyer Howard Tennenhouse.

Tennenhouse misappropriated $960,000 from 55 residential school survivors he represented, the Law Society of Manitoba ruled in 2012. The regulatory body said many of the victims were unaware he had charged excess fees.

Tennenhouse is one of 10 lawyers disbarred in Manitoba over the past six years for financial misconduct whose cases were turned over to Winnipeg police for review. No charges have been laid against any of them, and Winnipeg police won't say why.

Lance Roulette
'I think he should be charged,' Sandy Bay First Nation Chief Lance Roulette said of disbarred Winnipeg lawyer Howard Tennenhouse. (Jaison Empson/CBC)
A CBC News investigation found 220 lawyers across Canada were disciplined by law societies from 2010 to 2015 for misappropriating about $160 million of their clients' money.

Lawyers were punished for a variety of infractions, including helping themselves to clients' trust funds, keeping money that belonged to a deceased client's estate, mishandling of client funds, charging for services not provided and charging fees that were so unreasonable that they constituted misconduct.

But CBC could find evidence of criminal charges against just 19 lawyers during that time period.

10 Manitoba lawyers misappropriated nearly $2M but face no criminal charges
​Although police were given his file in 2012, Tennenhouse said he wasn't called in for questioning until the end of 2016.

He said he isn't guilty of any crime.

"I don't want to pick a fight with someone who has no law degree and has no experience as a Crown attorney," Tennenhouse said of the Sandy Bay chief.

"There was a dispute between me and them about what I could charge based on legal advice given to me. There was confusion at that time. But I'm a big boy and I took my lumps and it's gone. It's over. To phone me back five and six years later and say the police are investigating, of course it sounds frightening."

Tennenhouse said he doesn't expect charges to be laid.

Howard Tennenhouse
Howard Tennenhouse was disbarred in 2012 but says he was not contacted by police until the end of 2016. He said he does not expect charges to be laid. (CBC)
Chief Roulette said there were rules that laid out what lawyers could charge to help residential school survivors with their paperwork.

"He is an educated man, and he understood that if he was under the Independent Assessment Process, he was able to charge 15 per cent, and that's all he should have charged," Roulette said.

The Independent Assessment Process was set up in 2007 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement reached by the government of Canada, churches and Indigenous Canadians who attended residential schools. It allowed residential school survivors to settle out of court.

As part of the arrangement, there were set rates for lawyers who helped claimants with paperwork.

The Law Society of Manitoba said Tennenhouse charged excess fees even when those had been disallowed by the claims adjudicator.

Clients' money refunded

The society refunded his clients' money and later recouped the full amount from Tennenhouse.

The misconduct ended his legal career.

Tennenhouse had already moved on to another business venture by the time he was disbarred. He invested in condos in what he described to the Winnipeg Jewish Review as "the Napa Valley of Israel."

In Cyril Desjarlais' Sandy Bay home, the flooring is ripped to shreds, the walls are down to the studs in places and the bathroom door is a curtain.

Desjarlais, who has lost most of his limbs to diabetes as well as his sight in one eye, has a fairly clear recollection of Tennenhouse.

Cyril Desjarlais with Elizabeth Richard
'How could somebody do that to another person?' asked former Tennenhouse client Cyril Desjarlais, translated from Ojibway by elder Elizabeth Richard. (Jaison Empson/CBC)
The residential school survivor speaks very little English but, with the help of an elder acting as an interpreter, he said in Ojibway that he trusted Tennenhouse because the lawyer gave him a cigar the first and only time they met.

Desjarlais hadn't originally wanted to apply for the money, his interpreter said.

"Before all the diabetes got a hold of him, he was able to hunt for himself and provide for his family, whereas now he couldn't do that anymore. So he knew that he would get some help from there if he applied," she translated.

Watch the fifth estate on CBC-TV Friday at 9 p.m.: "Betrayal of Trust"
Law Society questioned over slow response in disbarring lawyer
Desjarlais said he doesn't remember what fees Tennenhouse charged him and his wife — their documents were destroyed in a fire — but he remembers he was happy when he learned the lawyer was being investigated.

"He's wondering, how could somebody do that to another person?" his interpreter said. "They should have gone to court and faced charges, just like everybody else. I don't think he's any different."

Chief Roulette said he's worried the lack of criminal consequences might embolden other lawyers to take advantage of vulnerable clients.

"What it says to the rest of the profession is that this guy can get away with it, so can the other firms," he said. "And that opens up a whole can of worms for other legal firms to try to take advantage of anybody that has either suffered long-term effects, whether that be residential school, or else even other sources of trauma."

Distrustful of outsiders

​He said many in the community on the western shore of Lake Manitoba were already distrustful of outsiders, and Tennenhouse's conduct made it worse.

"We don't need to close ourselves like that just as a result of one bad apple."

Lawyers misappropriated millions from clients' funds but few faced criminal charges
Sandy Bay First Nation isn't the only community where a lawyer's dealings with residential school survivors have come under question, said Dan Shapiro, the chief adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process.

"The vast majority of lawyers who work in the IAP serve their clients well," he wrote in an email to CBC News. "Unfortunately, a small minority of legal counsel have engaged in practices that effectively deprive claimants of the benefits they are entitled to under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement."

Got a tip for the CBC News I-Team? Email iteam@cbc.ca or call the confidential tip line at 204-788-3744.

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More Than One In Four Foster Kids Miss Required Checkups

More Than One In Four Foster Kids Miss Required Checkups | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
More Than One In Four Foster Kids Miss Required Checkups By Julie Appleby March 2, 2015 Twenty-nine percent of children taken from their families and placed in foster care failed to receive at least one required medical checkup, the Health and Human Services Department Office of the Inspector General said in a report out today. Such screenings can help spot health problems, including troubles with vision, hearing, development and mental health issues. Those exams are particularly important for children in foster care because some have suffered neglect, abuse and other problems that could affect their health. This KHN story can be republished for free (details). States set their own requirements, with many mandating that children be screened by medical staff within 24 hours of their placement in foster care – and again periodically under specific schedules that vary with age. But the report — which looked at medical records in California, Illinois, New York and Texas — found that 12 percent of foster children didn’t get their initial checkup and another 17 percent did not get one or more of the periodic assessments required. “Missing or late screenings may prevent children’s mental health needs, physical health needs, and developmental needs from being identified and treated,” OIG spokesman Mary M. Kahn said in a written statement. The reviewed records were from July 2011 to June 2012. The report does not break out the specific failure rate in each state. Most children in foster care qualify for Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor. In fiscal year 2011, Medicaid paid more than $5.3 billion for care provided to children in foster care. Categories: Medicaid, States, Syndicate jappleby@kff.org | @Julie_Appleby
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Prominent Edmonton lawyer disbarred for taking money from trust accounts

Prominent Edmonton lawyer disbarred for taking money from trust accounts | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A disgraced Edmonton lawyer who rose to prominence with a successful legal practice, after graduating at the top of his law school class and becoming a university instructor, saw his accolades crushed on Wednesday when he was disbarred from the legal profession.
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 Letter From Heather Workman to the Premier of Alberta

 Letter From Heather Workman to the Premier of Alberta | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
February 14, 2017 to the Premier of Alberta cc: Party Leaders

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very dismayed at the on going issues brought forward by Velvet Martin. Issues that remain unresolved are heart breaking and have serious consequences for families involved. Some who may not even vote during elections.

Transparency is not a strong point of children services and I want it to be known I have seen first hand how mismanagement/confusion with in departments have lead to the lives of innocent children being lost.

The privilege to serve children is not being taken very seriously and so far as I can see punitive measures are taken to silence those who are
demanding accountability for systemic error.

Although each of you have spent hours serving in a public capacity I do not see the support or consideration being granted to children that are or have been under the control of government. We have a historical problem with doing the right thing when is come to children in Canada.

I understand when children loose their lives while in government care there are fatality inquiries that drag family into courtrooms for months on end to listen and wait to find out what happened to their kids.

I'd like to know if children who are or have been in government care are treated in the same way while in care in the manner fatality inquiries are conducted?

Have any of you ever experience being processed through a Children's Services department?

If inquiries include those who work with children why on earth is their more concern and government money spent on preserving unacceptable intervention practices in our courtrooms? There appears to be more funds designated for CS spent in legal fees that pull children into CS that could be put to better use to elevate the quality of life for children.

GLI could be a reasonable solution if only all levels of government could get on the same page.

In other words tax payers would most likely prefer services for children and families rather than funds needing to be spent on fatality inquires and wasteful legal fees.

I am wondering if there has been any studies done on the longterm effects of health and stress on families impacted by error of CS in Alberta which could be further reason to review CS practices.

It must be said that Canadian children who have died in government care often if not always have no legal representation in Alberta courtrooms. Why?

In closing, there is no privilege in being a Canadian if innocent children are continuing to be harmed/exploited by our associations, colleges, and societies."



Heather Workman
www.heatherworkman.ca
Twitter@HeatherWorkman

Edmonton Ward 8 Candidate 2017
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Remember the TRUE victim, Tim McLean, 22

Remember the TRUE victim, Tim McLean, 22 | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
http://jamesbezan.com/

MP Bezan Disappointed by Absolute Discharge for Vince Li
February 10, 2017
Following the news that the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board has granted Vince Li, now known as Will Baker, an absolute discharge, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, James Bezan, issued the following statement:
“I am severely disappointed in the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board’s decision to grant Mr. Will Baker’s (Vince Li’s) request. Will Baker, regardless of the name that he goes by, still beheaded and cannibalized Tim McLean. An absolute discharge is the lowest-level adult sentence that an offender can get. The Criminal Code Review Board never considered the rights of Tim Mclean’s family.
“The board should have moved slower and granted incremental freedom from the care and monitoring of Li. To allow a murderer to be released without any conviction or conditions is simply wrong.
“There has been no justice for the family of Tim McLean who still considers Vince Li a threat to public safety. The board did not properly weigh the threat to public safety, the victims’ rights, and Li’s freedom in this absolute discharge decision.
“With no parole conditions, there can be no certainty that Vince Li will continue to take his medications and continue his treatment with medical professionals. Who is ultimately responsible if he violently reoffends?”
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Proposed Connecticut bill would end DCF ‘custody for care’

Proposed Connecticut bill would end DCF ‘custody for care’ | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
State officials and parent advocates gave different versions Tuesday of how often, and why, the Department of Children and Families takes custody of children with severe behavioral health problems — and whether the practice should continue.
Velvet Martin's insight:
http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170207/proposed-connecticut-bill-would-end-dcf-custody-for-care

http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170207/proposed-connecticut-bill-would-end-dcf-custody-for-care

Proposed Connecticut bill would end DCF ‘custody for care’

By: Lisa Chedekel Conn. Health I-Team Writer

POSTED: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 - 9:38 p.m.
UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO


Kristina Stevens, of the Department of Children and Families, left, and DCF Commissioner Joette Katz. (Christine Stuart — CTNEWSJUNKIE)
State officials and parent advocates gave different versions Tuesday of how often, and why, the Department of Children and Families takes custody of children with severe behavioral health problems - and whether the practice should continue.

Advocates, including a group of adoptive parents, told the legislature's Committee on Children a proposed bill that would prohibit DCF from "requesting, recommending or requiring" that parents relinquish their custodial rights when seeking mental health treatment for their children is needed to stop a practice known as "trading custody for care." The bill, drafted by state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, was prompted by an October C-HIT story that described DCF's use of "uncared for" custody petitions against parents who could not manage their children at home and insisted on specialized residential care.

In testimony Tuesday, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said the agency resorts to taking over custody only in rare cases in which parents refuse to take their children home from inpatient settings or "will not cooperate" with clinician-recommended in-home or community-based treatment services.

"We disagree with the notion that DCF requires parents to completely relinquish custody of their children" to receive suitable behavioral health care, Katz said. She acknowledged that the agency has sharply reduced the number of children it places in residential treatment.

Maureen O'Neill-Davis, leader of a parents' group called Family Forward Advocacy CT that is lobbying for the proposed bill, said parents seeking intensive residential care should not have to give up rights to their children. She and other parents described being told by DCF and court workers that the only way to access specialized out-of-home care was to relinquish custody. Most of the parents said they had exhausted in-home services provided through DCF and were left on their own to manage children who were a threat to the safety of siblings and other family members.

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"We don't want to give up our children," said O'Neill-Davis, of Torrington. "(But) we are told that if you forfeit custody, they will get your child the care they need."

O'Neill-Davis said DCF has a responsibility to provide high-level mental health care to unstable children that should remain separate from its role as a child-protection agency. The parents' group has alleged that financial considerations are prompting the custody-for-care pressure, as DCF reduces funding for children not legally in its care and limits residential placements. DCF officials have denied that funding plays any role.

DCF has said that "uncared for/specialized needs" petitions removing parents' custody are used only as a last resort, in cases where parents cannot provide appropriate care for their children.

Judicial department data show the state has used the petitions to take custody of more than 860 children over five years - or an average of three children a week.

Steven Hernandez, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, said the agency has heard from parents who have been "coerced into giving up their parental rights" in order to secure residential mental health care. He urged the committee not to buy into "mythologies" that difficult parents were to blame.

"Sometimes it is expedient to have a family that is asking too many questions out of the way" of decision-making, he said. "There are many causes that could lead down that expedient road."

Several parents who support the proposed bill said a key problem underlying the custody issue is that DCF's in-home treatment services are not sufficient to help severely troubled children. Tracy E. Schulz, a retired state Capitol police officer from Manchester, said she and her husband were unable to access appropriate services for their grandson through DCF's Voluntary Services program, which provides mental health services. The program offered "many meetings that were fruitless, visits to our home that were unnecessary, as our grandson was in a sub-acute care facility, and no offer of services that we were asking for," she said.

Katz said DCF provides an array of mental health services to thousands of children not in state custody and is abiding by "national best practices" in relying on in-home and community-based care. The department approves facility-based care for a "small number of children" in the Voluntary Services program, she said.

DCF lawyer Barbara Clare insisted that the agency would never require parents to fully terminate their parental rights in order to secure care. She said the custody issue was usually triggered by parents, who, "because of their own issues ... they simply want the child put someplace and not to come home until they're fixed. ... That's not how treatment works," she added.

Custody only comes into play in a "tiny, tiny percentage of cases where there is disagreement" over whether the child needs outpatient or residential treatment, she said.

State Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said her office supports the proposed bill as a way to prevent the filing of custody petitions "due solely to the child's specialized mental health or disability support needs." She noted that state law specifically provides that "commitment to ... (DCF) shall not be a condition for receipt of services or benefits" from the agency.

"It is imperative that state systems do not inadvertently require children and families to submit to juvenile court proceedings where there are no concerns of parental unfitness or medical neglect," Eagan said. "Urgent solutions need to be found so that parents can appropriately access needed mental health and developmental support services."

State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda, R-Durham, said she was concerned that connecting custody to care, in any way, would "deter people who really do need help, but don't want to give up custody of their children."

This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).


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Alberta Government Hiding Behind Child Welfare Confidentiality in Legal Matter

Keeping you informed of children and youth services related matters in Canada
Velvet Martin's insight:
http://fostercarenews.blogspot.ca/2010/01/government-hiding-behind-child-welfare.html

Foster Care News Foster Care News, Keeping you informed of children & youth services related matters in Canada, including enforcement issues, legislative updates, public campaigns and more. If you are looking for a good cause to support, consider contacting us. 613-709-3866 Good for MPP, MLA, Ministers, Lawyers, Legal Staff, Advocates, Families, children and youth.

Friday, January 08, 2010 Alberta Government Hiding Behind Child Welfare Confidentiality in Legal Matter In Short. Lawyer in Alberta initiates class action lawsuit against Alberta Government on behalf of foster children who suffered damages while in foster care. Government tries to say kids in care want their privacy respected and won't give names and addresses to lawyer to join the suit because they will not want to reveal their personal information to a lawyer and the lawyer needs all the support he can get in the form of former and current foster kids swearing affidavits that say otherwise. We want to hear from you, if you are a current or former ward or foster child, and if you would help our fellow foster brothers and sisters in that province by simply swearing an affidavit stating that you as a current or former foster child would have no problem giving your identifying information and address to the class action lawyer and to the court so that you could possibly win financial or other awards if your case were won. DOn't let this particular government hide behind legislation that was put in place to protect kids in care, not to provide a wall for officials to hide behind. Spread the word about this post to everyone you know. We need as many affidavits signed as possible. IF you want to contact John Dunn 613-220-1039 johndunn@afterfostercare.ca afterfostercare at 5:11 PM Share 19 comments: AnonymousFriday, February 05, 2010 You have our support in forwarding this post. We know all too well the abuses from the children's services in Alberta. We are looking forward to nailing their collective asses with a huge lawsuit! Reply AnonymousTuesday, February 09, 2010 Mr Lyons My name is Lorraine Cyr and I am involved with Mr. Robert Lee. I too, have had to deal with child welfare and I feel that they screwd up my life with their incompetence. Im so glad that Mr. Lee and you are taking our cases and listening to us. I have been abused physically, emotionally as well as other ways all while I was in the care of child welfare and they continue to get away with it today. I don't see why child welfare doesn't go after the parents and people who do these things to children. Charge these people with crimes against children. Reply Replies sheinaTuesday, September 23, 2014 I am/was also Robert Lees client but now I have been advised that he is not physically or mentally competent to take my case any longer .I am now desperately looking for another Edmonton Attorney to take over my case Reply AnonymousWednesday, February 10, 2010 If child welfare had of been doing their job in the first place, (when the system was first put in place) they may not be having these charges against them to begin with. Why were all these children abused while they were in the system. And, why did child welfare not have these abusers charged for the different abuses they did to these kids. Child welfare is just as guilty. All these so called child welfare workers weather they are social workers, ministers of child welfare, etc. are more concerned about how much money they make, they don't care about the children. Everyone knows that. Reply AnonymousThursday, July 08, 2010 WRITTEN IN 2 PARTS This is yet another CONServative run BULL SH*T department that is filled with NOTHING but SECRECY. One only has to look at the fact that the mother of the little one who sustained permanent brain damage has yet to have many of her questions answered about what happened that day. This little boy's brain injury requires specialized care and he is going to need 24/7 nursing care for the rest of his life. Janis Tarchuk, the youth minister at the time, ordered a special case review to examine supports provided to the boy. That was more than a YEAR AGO!!!NOTHING has ever been publicly provided as PROMISED!!! Good ol' Heather Forsyth, Janis Tarchuk, and NOW Yvonne Fritz have ALL made public statements similar to, ' . . . . the foster care system in Alberta is the best in Canada . . .' Isn't it ironic that their propaganda filled bag of LIES always CONtradicts what is really happening in our Foster Care System. 'Some foster children have been mentally, sexually and/or physically abused,' states a 2008 government-ordered review of Alberta foster care. Gee and then what does the government turn around and do because of a completely INADEQUATE assessment process??? They continue to place these children in Foster homes where, as Ms Dwyer stated, she was FURTHER, '. . . mentally and emotionally abused. . . ' and '. . . needs ignored.' Most recently the little babe that was MURDERED in Morinville had numerous relatives that asked to care for her - that infamous CONServative government's kinship care program and the propaganda BULL SH*T that is presented to the public states that this program is ALWAYS given 1st consideration. Funny but EVERYONE of her family members were denied. I don't believe that for one millisecond that they were ALL incapable or unfit to offer the little one a stable and loving home!!! If this doesn't bring you to tears NOTHING will!!!! WATCH and READ COMMENTS!!! www.youtube.com FOSTER CHILD'S DEATH SHOULD NOT BE IN VAIN WATCH and READ COMMENTS!!! www.youtube.com FOSTER PARENT MORINVILLE SAYS MAKE PARENTS PAY TO HAVE THEIR KIDSIN FOSTER CARE The province and CONtracted PRIVATELY owned foster agencies claim they are selective about who they choose as parents!!! More propaganda BULL SH*T!!! NDP MLA Rachel NOTLEY, who believes the government, refuses to admit there are chronic problems in the department, lacks any and all credibility, as well as the turn coat Heather FORSYTH. Neither one of them have a right to be critical of the CONServative's or the Foster Care program. They BOTH were FAXED more than ample tangible and concrete evidence that Foster Parent martin edmond DUROCHER of Airdrie had committed numerous CRIMINAL ACTS and that BOTH the investigator for the province and his ex-cop buddies in Comical Crimes Unit had LIED and DENIED that DUROCHER had committed FRAUD as well as the numerous other CRIMINAL CODE of CANADA offenses. The Calgary cops even REFUSED EVIDENCE and what happened with THAT evidence? One cop who claimed I was out to destroy DUROCHER (normally what you do with the criminal element) and that it was too bad I was only severely disabled and not a senior as there would be more they could do for me - claims it’s lost and he’s not about to go searching for it!!! Reply AnonymousThursday, July 08, 2010 PART 2 Martin Edmond DUROCHER of Airdrie liked to go around posing as a phony licensed prepaid CONtractor, passing out phony business cards for a phony CONtracting company, 'DIRECT CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS INC.' and DEFRAUDING a severely physically disabled widow out of more than $39,000.00+ leaving her home a 'DEATH TRAP.'DUROCHER was allowed to keep the $14,370.00 that by LAW was to be returned in 14 days. Not only was a blind eye been turned surrounding ALL of the CRIMINAL ACTS committed by DUROCHER, Heather FORSYTH even allowed DUROCHER to bring 2 FOSTER CHILDREN along with him [great role model!!!] and then had the audacity to name DUROCHER 'FOSTER (family) PARENT YEAR' and they have ALL allow him to continue to be President of the Calgary and Area Foster Parent Association. Or better yet there is Garry Prokopishin another 'FOSTER PARENT of the YEAR' who has been accused of being a Pedophile in Calgary who only took in BOYS. He's a DIRECTOR on the Calgary and Area Foster Parent Association board with DUROCHER!!! www.youtube.com FOSTER PARENT OF THE YEAR (NO GIRLS, ONLY BOYS) GARRY PROKOPISHIN The Minister and the department's line that they, ' . . . .can't talk about it. . . ' sighting privacy issues is just more CONServative propaganda BULL SH*T. The only thing that THIS protects are the asses of the system, the ministry, the department and those who have been allowed to be Foster Parents. Foster Parents receive $1,380 per month per child and additional $$ for such things as the cost of babysitting and recreation. That greased CONServative propaganda machine claims, 'It's not an income.' More BULL SH*T!!! both DUROCHER'S claimed it as income on their publicly filed bankruptcy documents. Do the math $1,380 X 5+ foster children equates to$69900.00+ per month!!! AND who do you think helped maintain that illustrious ESTATE home the DUROCHER'S own in Jensen Estates in Airdrie when they claimed they didn't have enough $$ to meet their financial obligations on their signed under oath public bankruptcy docs. HIM for the 2nd time!!! This according to the CONServative government propaganda should have also prevented the DUROCHER'S from being Foster Parents. Being able to meet ALL your financial obligations is a MAJOR requirement for being a Foster Parent. Believe me when I say I have EVIDENCE to back up EVERYTHING I have stated including taped phone conversations. I would NOT be posting this if I didn’t nor writing comments about this in both the Herald and the Edmonton Journal. Reply AnonymousWednesday, July 14, 2010 Child welfare is nothing but a big joke there are so many kids (now adults) living with mental problems, living on the streets, into drugs and alcohol etc, because of an ignorant bunch of jerks who work for this child welfare system. I don't see how these people look at themselves in the mirror everyday knowing full well of the lives that they have screwed up because of their incompetence and stupid policies. I have had social workers laugh in my face and saying nasty things to me, so I know full well what a joke this whole system is. And this Iris Evans who used to be the minister of child welfare was nothing but a joke as well. Years ago I had a social worker named melanie judge, and I don't ever remember her coming to the foster home and checking on me to see how I was doing or to even ask why I was so sad. She just totally ignored me, meanwhile, I was being abused physically, sexually and emotionally. Reply AnonymousFriday, July 23, 2010 Of course the child welfare system is messed up, its people running it thats why. Its hard for these people to understand what someone else is going threw, when they themselves are not. They just follow their stupid policies and ignore the child and his symptoms. And these ministers of child welfare? A joke is what they are. I am so upset with child welfare ruining my life, that I can't see straight. And they wonder why there is crime out there, well maybe these "criminals were abused to" Reply AnonymousMonday, July 26, 2010 Alot of these "child welfare workers" are just in it for the paycheck not for the benefit of others. They are not there to help better the lives of children, if they were, then there wouldn't be so many messed up people today. Furthermore, the government thinks that we should be scared of them, why? I am not. They don't want us to fight for our rights otherwise they (government) would loose control over the rest of us. They think we are a bunch of dummies who can be pushed around as children, then, be cowards when we are adults. They (government) doesn't know who they are dealing with, a bunch of angry victims thats who, and we have rights and we are going to continue to fight for our rights. There is power in numbers and the more of us that get involved, the smaller the government looks. WE ARE NOT SCARED OF YOU........ (this could be written by anyone, thats why I use anoymous) not because I am scared of retaliation, I am not. Reply AnonymousTuesday, July 27, 2010 i would like to say how this has affected me and my life, first i was born to a couple who never wanted me in the first place. i was beaten, ignored, starved among other things, then i was placed in and out of foster homes where in some cases the same things would happen to me. my schooling was affected due to the fact i would be moved from one place to another, have to change schools, try to make new friends, and try to pick up where i left off in my school work. After awhile, i just gave up, i couldn't keep up, couldn'd make new friends, etc, so like i said i just gave up and started to get into trouble with the law, then i ended up in juvenile hall in edmonton, among other places. when i look back on all this trouble i got into, i now know it was just a cry for help which i never got. when my child welfare file closed when i was about 17, that was it, i was on my own to fend for myself. i have lived on the streets, got pregnant by different men, gave up my children, and have just survived by my wits. I am still trying to finish my schooling so i don't have to struggle anymore. How does this all make me feel, very angry, bitter, hostile towards any authority, and very anxious and depressed. so i feel that something needs to be done to wake up child welfare, and like one of these writers have stated up above, go after the abusers and charge them. It seems that they are getting away with everything. Reply AnonymousSaturday, August 28, 2010 Recently the government issued a statement saying that they would make it nescesary for CCW workers to enforce criminal background checks and that those with any violent crime must be rejected. I was floored.It was a hard pill to swallow since I was placed in foster care when I was 3 (at the time I lived Montreal). I was in the governments "care" until I was 7, during that short time I was put in 3 different homes, the first two were horrid... I was often beaten and left without food. However I was lucky with my third home, they were very good people who took extremely good care of me, loved me and gave me many of the good values that have made me who I am today.There are times I wish I could have stayed with them instead of going back to my birth-mother who despite her best efforts simply wasn't mother material. There are thousands of children who need good homes and only a fraction of homes to be had, sadly it is only a fraction of those homes who deserve to take care of these children.Now I am grown with children of my own and when the time is right my husband and I will become foster parents. We were lucky and we may not have alot but what we have we will share. Mine and others suffering should not be in vain... We need to stand up and say enough is enough Reply lorelieTuesday, September 14, 2010 this is typical of government, god forbid if you don't pay your taxes or revenue canada will hound you, they don't care that you lost your job or are having problems in your life. But when it comes to the government paying for THIER mistakes, they lie, avoid, or try to push the problems under the carpet. The government won't forgive us, so why should we forgive them. i say, this lawsuit is a godsend. fight the government till the bitter end. lorelie Reply AnonymousFriday, September 24, 2010 When the "government" tried to have Robert Lee disbarred from doing his job, this just proves how corrupt government is. This so called system uses scare tactics against others for speaking out against it. Do not trust government at all. This is also the reason so many people slip threw the cracks and continue to do so today. Don't be afraid of government, keep exposing these monsters. Reply L. CThursday, September 30, 2010 I was reading an article about how the alberta government was trying to appeal this class action lawsuit against child welfare saying that "it is too late for most of these cases to go to court". Well, I want to know this, what is the difference between the residential school lawsuit and this lawsuit against childwelfare? Alot of the residential school survivors cases go as far back as the 1940's and 1950's, and these people are being compensated for it now, my case goes back to the 1960's and 1970's. So what kind of bs is the government trying to pull saying that. Don't you realize that no matter how long ago the abuse happenend, it still affects alot of us TODAY. Reply AnonymousTuesday, October 05, 2010 Why is it so hard for children to get justice in this world? And yet Jean Chretien gets a pie in the face and the guy is charged, for getting a lousy pie in the face. Another incident, Ralph Klein the big mouth premier of Alberta, another one who gets a pie in the face for shooting off his big mouth, again, he gets justice. And a kid can't even get justice for more serious crimes done to them, like abuse of every kind. Something is really wrong here. Reply AnonymousSunday, October 31, 2010 Its not just kids in fostercare being abused by children services I was assu;ted by an investigator here in Edmonton Alberta and when I went to lay charges the police wouldnt charge her even though she out right admitted to grabbing me on the arm. This investigator left marks on my arm that were there for ovr 7 hours ... They seem to have rights to assult parents . This assult happened right in the court room . Her name is Denna Fairley and worked through Leduc services . The child services put my daughter in an unsafe place and she was sexually abused for over 6 months . This girl is now 16 years old and and so screwed up with life . This happened when she was 13. Another one of my daughters ( she was 5 at the time ) was removed from me and given to her dad .. I left him because of abuse to myself and the children . This we call revengefull exs. All this because he couldnt stand thinking he would have to pay child support . Now that child welfare is out of the picture Im left to fight for visitation and guardianship of my little girl. Again FALSE alligations !!!!! I am now going in to launch a law suite against child services for aii they have done to my children . I believe that they have over stepped their boundries in parents lives . Reply AnonymousSaturday, November 27, 2010 I am currently dealing with children services for almost a year...Now I believe that these caseworkers are full of $%^#^..because the more children under their care, the more incentives they can get..more money to make it short.. Anybody who can help me..??? My children 7 months old and 2 years old are in foster home...2 times during the last few months..my 2 years old had bitemarks on his arms.The reason..."there is a biter in the foster home..another 2 year old child is being aggressive." Not only that..3 weeks ago, a deep scratch was seen on my son's right cheek close to his eyes. I asked the foster parents..why? And she replied on our communication book.."We didn't see the scratch on his face.." I have documented every single visit of my children in writing. To see my son with a bruise, a scratch, bitemarks, smelly breath, is something that is so devastating to me as their mother. And one more thing...I requested for a church visit...for an hour every Sunday.., Childrens Services refused once again..their reason is..the church will not help the children in their developmental stage. Anyone..who is concern, who can share stories..., who can give me advice..please email me.. Take note also,, no drugs, no alcohol involve in my case. Domestic conflict is the reason. We are resolving the conflict by attending couple's counselling. It has been almost 5 months..I don't have my babies with me. If they do really care about building the family together...then they should care about the parents of the children also.. Please advise...please... email address: aivill74@yahoo.com Thank you Reply AnonymousSunday, February 13, 2011 how to find more info on the president of foster care, fraud?? Reply survivorsofgrouphomeWednesday, March 25, 2015 I was abused prior to and while in foster care too. My name is Jesse Larabee Reply

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child welfare class action; alberta 2009

1 Post with tag "child welfare class action; alberta;"

The Government has chosen not to appeal to the SCC
Oct 23, 2009 Posted By: Jenni Bige 4 comments Tags: child welfare class action; alberta;
There was an article on this in the Edmonton Journal...

Alberta Lawsuit

May 18, 2009

A lawsuit against the Alberta foster care system has passed a court obstacle. The province held things up for nearly four years to determine whether it is a proper subject for class action.

Alberta court clears way for foster-care lawsuit

By Karen Kleiss, Canwest News ServiceMay 17, 2009

Edmonton — The provincial government has failed in its attempt to quash a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Alberta foster children.

In a decision released Friday, Alberta’s highest court dismissed an appeal by the Director of Child Welfare and the Public Trustee’s Office, which argued that a lower-court judge made legal mistakes in his decision to certify the class action in February last year.

The Court of Appeal upheld the lower-court ruling, and said the class action can go ahead.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of more than 400 one-time foster children, claims the government should have taken legal action to get financial compensation for children who suffered injuries before or after they became wards of the state.

The plaintiffs were all subject to temporary and permanent guardianship orders between July 1966 and February 2004, which means the government was acting as their parent at some point during that time.

The plaintiffs are not claiming that child welfare authorities didn’t react properly to injury or abuse. However, they claim that before or after they were taken into care they suffered injuries that entitled them to civil damages or victims of crime compensation, but child welfare authorities failed to pursue those claims. It is a class-action lawsuit about lawsuits.

For example one woman, now 28, was just seven weeks old when her mother and stepfather physically assaulted her so violently she was hospitalized for more than a month. Her parents were jailed and she was taken into care, but child welfare authorities never sought compensation for her under victims-of-crime laws.

Another lead plaintiff was five years old when he was placed in a foster home where he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the son of his foster parents. His abuser was charged and pleaded guilty, but again, child welfare authorities never sought compensation.

Both plaintiffs claim the government should pay compensation now.

The Public Trustee’s Office is named in the suit because it is the government body that should be advancing claims on behalf of children in care.

In its appeal, the government argued in part that it is too late for many of the claims to go to court, and that the remaining claims are too different to be lumped together into one class action lawsuit. The Court of Appeal rejected those arguments.

Vancouver-based class action lawyer David Klein and local lawyers Mark Freeman and Robert P. Lee are leading the action. Lee estimates roughly 20,000 Albertans are in a position to join.

“This lawsuit is important is because it creates accountability. Our system has had problems for decades, and it hasn’t improved much, or at all, or maybe it has gotten worse,” Lee said.

“Now the government has to account for its mistakes. That is how things will change in the child welfare system — only with accountability. When it starts to affect the government in the pocketbook, I think that is when we will start to see changes in the child welfare system.”

Lee said the government can still appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

However, if the government chooses not to appeal, lawyers will begin the process of notifying other Albertans who may wish to join the class action.

A spokesperson for the government could not immediately be reached for comment.

The suit was launched in 2005, and since then Alberta Children’s Services has implemented a referral process to address the legal interests of the roughly 6,500 children who are in the care of the province.

Source: Edmonton Journal on canada.com



To make this clearer for those just reading...

Child Welfare Class Action

Docken & Company is actively involved in claims against the Alberta government for abuse suffered by children who were in custody of Alberta Child Welfare.

Many children were abused by foster parents, and then placed back in the same home with the same foster parents.

The Alberta government is responsible for this systematic abuse of children. If you have a claim against the government for abuse suffered while in foster care, contact Docken and Company immediately.

In seeking the Edmonton Sun Link, I found this on Utube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGZxHn6RVN0

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Tell Christy Clark: Fire the Minister of Children and Family Development

Tell Christy Clark: Fire the Minister of Children and Family Development | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it

Stephanie Cadieux is the Minister of Children and Family Development in British Columbia, the longest serving Minister in the Cabinet of Premier Christy Clark. She oversees a file that is extremely important to the province, as it governs ensuring the well-being of BC children, responding to signs of abuse, and helping families in crisis. On every level, Minister Cadieux has failed her mandate - many times over, in fact.

You need only Google "Stephanie Cadieux" and "abuse" and yo

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ALBERTA MINISTERIAL PANEL ON CHILD INTERVENTION MEETING SUMMARY

MINISTERIAL PANEL ON CHILD INTERVENTION MEETING SUMMARY 1 | Page Wednesday February 1, 2017 – 9:00am to 4:00pm Introduction The initial meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention was held at Government House on traditional Treaty 6 territory. Elder Francis Whiskeyjack provided the opening prayer and focused on the panel’s work to support the improvement of the system and honor the stories and histories of those who have experience with child intervention. The initial agenda for the panel was largely focused on process and how the panel will work together to develop concrete actions focused on improving the health, safety and well-being of children, youth and their families and communities. Presentations were also provided regarding privacy legislation, an overview of the child intervention system and an introduction to the child death review process used by Children’s Services following death of a child who is receiving services. Panel Members Present: Chair Deborah Jabbour, NDP MLA for Peace River Annie McKitrick, MLA for Sherwood Park (alternate for Maria Fitzpatrick) Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane Jason Nixon, Wildrose caucus, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Ric McIver, Interim Leader, Progressive Conservative caucus, MLA for Calgary-Hays Dr. David Swann, Leader, Alberta Liberal caucus, MLA for Calgary-Mountain View Greg Clark, Leader, Alberta Party caucus, MLA for Calgary-Elbow Dr. Peter Choate, MSW, PhD, Mount Royal University Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, PhD, Native Counselling Services of Alberta Bruce MacLaurin, MSW, University of Calgary Honourable Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services and MLA for Lesser Slave Lake MINISTERIAL PANEL ON CHILD INTERVENTION MEETING SUMMARY 2 | Page Key Panel Decisions The panel engaged in discussions regarding the terms of reference. There was discussion to clarify that this is a review of internal and external processes and includes the engagement of other ministries, as appropriate. The consensus model for decision making was reviewed and agreed upon by all members; the final report will clearly note when consensus was not reached. Decisions to have in camera discussions will not be made lightly, as all panel members agree that the open and transparent nature of the panel is necessary. Privacy requirements are governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act; and the panel as a public body has a duty to protect the information received according to the legislation. Summary minutes will be reviewed by panel members and posted publicly within 48 hours of the meeting. Much of the discussion was on the nature of the summary and the intent for the information to be a fair and open representation of the discussion. There was considerable discussion about the methods and level of detail required to meet the commitment to “be public and on the record”. Engagement of the public, Indigenous leadership and communities and stakeholders was discussed with the agreement that authentic engagement of children, youth and families with lived experience was necessary to support the panel’s understanding of how the system works. The process for online submissions and written submissions was reviewed with the understanding that the members of the panel would have access to the public input. Presentations Privacy and the legislation: Everett Speidel, Information Privacy Office Panel members confirmed that plain language consents for public engagement will need to be created to support clear and informed consent to release information and that consents may need to be tailored for youth, who may be currently engaged with the system. Child Intervention Overview: Mark Hattori and Joni Brodziak, Child Intervention The panel members were provided the legislative mandate to provide intervention under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act as well as the “matters to be considered” that drive MINISTERIAL PANEL ON CHILD INTERVENTION MEETING SUMMARY 3 | Page principled decision making. The distinction that receiving services includes everything from an intake to an open file on a child who may or may not be in care, as well as a young adult up to the age of 24, was reviewed as well as average yearly activities and caseload analysis. A brief overview of the delegation matrix and workforce currently providing services was provided along with current quality assurance processes. The datasets that are available to the public were also discussed http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/abuse-bullying/17395.html. A number of areas were identified requiring a more in-depth presentation on child intervention to support Phase 2 of the panel’s work (improvements to the child intervention system). Including an understanding of the definition of neglect and emotional abuse, orders and agreements under the legislation, staffing allocations and caseload analysis, training requirements and cultural competency training specifically related to historical trauma, child intervention Standards measures (including face to face as reported by the Office of the Auditor General), screening requirements and comparison of kinship and foster care, court delays and the impact on children, the role of community agencies and support to focus on leading practice. Internal Child Death and Serious Incident Review process: Robert Hopkins, Office of the Statutory Director The current internal quality assurance process for reviewing the death of a child who was receiving services was provided as well as an overview of the 73 reported deaths between April 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016. All 73 deaths have been/or are under review and 11 of these deaths have been identified for a statutory review. Four of these statutory reviews have been initiated. Additional questions related to the child death review processes in Alberta will be deferred to the next meeting. Next Steps The next meeting date will be Thursday, February 9 in the Windsor Room of the Federal Building. The dates and times of all Panel meetings will be posted on the public website. The next meeting will focus on the current child death review processes in Alberta, including material from Justice and Solicitor General, Health and the Office and the Chief Medical Officer. The website childinterventionpanel.alberta.ca and e-mail CIPanel.submissions@gov.ab.ca are available for the public to get information and/or make submissions to the Panel.
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Velvet Martin's comment, February 7, 5:15 PM
Panel members

The 13-member Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention includes representatives from all parties:
•Debbie Jabbour, Panel Chair, Deputy Speaker, MLA for Peace River
•Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East
•Nicole Goehring, MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs
•Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw
•Heather Sweet, Deputy Chair of Committees, MLA for Edmonton-Manning
•Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane
•Jason Nixon, Wildrose caucus, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
•Ric McIver, Interim Leader, Progressive Conservative caucus, MLA for Calgary-Hays
•Dr. David Swann, Leader, Alberta Liberal caucus, MLA for Calgary Mountain View
•Greg Clark, Leader, Alberta Party caucus, MLA for Calgary-Elbow
•Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services and MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, will sit as an ex-officio member.
Velvet Martin's comment, February 7, 5:16 PM
Three leading Alberta experts on child intervention and Indigenous issues will also sit on the panel:

Dr. Peter Choate, MSW, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Mount Royal University

Dr. Peter Choate is a Registered Social Worker and Member of the Clinical Registry, Approved Clinical Supervisor for the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers. He holds a PhD in Addictions and a Master of Social Work. He is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

Dr. Choate has been engaged in clinical private counseling and an assessment practice with an emphasis on addictions, domestic violence and child protection matters. He has been qualified as an expert witness on many occasions in the Provincial Court of Alberta (Family and Youth Division) in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton as well as the Court of Queen’s Bench (Calgary and Medicine Hat).

Dr. Choate provides services to Alberta Child Welfare, Youth Probation Services (Calgary) and as a qualified Substance Abuse Professional for the U.S. National Transportation and Highway Safety Act. He is a Continuing Education Instructor at the University of Calgary. His particular emphasis is on child and adolescent mental health including maltreatment, neglect and abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) and these issues within family systems. He has presented nationally and internationally at various conferences and as a trainer for organizations in these areas.

Bruce MacLaurin, MSW

Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work

Bruce MacLaurin’s research interests include child maltreatment, child welfare policy and service delivery, foster care outcomes, street youth and youth at risk. He is currently the primary investigator on Service Outcomes for Children and Youth Referred to Out-Of-Home Care, a three-year study for the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research.

He is a co-investigator on three other major studies, including Telling: Examining Cross-Cultural Patterns of Maltreatment Disclosures of Adolescents and Evidence-Based Management in Child Welfare, both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Grant in Homelessness, Housing and Health, funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Professor MacLaurin teaches classes on child maltreatment, social work evaluation, research, social work policy related to child and family issues, and at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2007, he was nominated by the Graduate Students’ Association for a teaching excellence award. Before coming to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work in 2002, he was a research associate at the University of Toronto’s Bell Canada Child Welfare Research Unit.

Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, PhD

Director of Research and Evaluation, Native Counseling Services of Alberta

Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family and Community Resilience. She was the recipient of the two top Canadian social sciences doctoral awards: The Pierre Elliot Trudeau Scholarship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship.

Patti has worked for Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for 21 years and is currently the Director of Research, Training and Communication, providing leadership for research teams undertaking community-based, applied research. Patti also is executive producer and principle investigator for BearPaw Communications, BearPaw Media video productions and BearPaw Legal Education publications and oversees the development and implementation of the historic trauma healing programs for NCSA.

Dr. LaBoucane-Benson is also a mentor and lecturer for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, a lecturer for the University of Alberta Executive Education, and provides Historic Trauma-Informed Service delivery training for Legal Aid Alberta, The Edmonton Police Service and REACH Edmonton.

In 2015, Patti’s first novel was published by House of Anansi Press. Based on her PhD research, The Outside Circle is a work of creative non-fiction about healing and reconciliation for an inner-city Aboriginal family struggling with poverty, gang affiliation and hopelessness. The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books and was named a CBC “Best Books of 2015”, an Outstanding International Books 2016 by the United States Board on Books for Young People, winner of the Red Deer Reads competition and long-listed for the Canada Reads competition.

Patti has been awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Education; the Legal Aid Access to Justice Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
Velvet Martin's comment, February 7, 5:17 PM
Panel meetings

Panel meetings will be open to the public whenever possible. A detailed list of all upcoming meetings will be posted as soon as dates, times and locations are confirmed.

Next meeting:

February 9
Windsor Room, Federal Building
9820 107 Street NW
Edmonton
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.