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2015 in review

2015 in review | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog.  I am hoping to finish at least one more substantive article before the year ends.  My writing, of late, has been very neglected and I have to change that.  In closing the year it appears I may have my own hour long…
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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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Alberta government accused of kidnapping children | Windspeaker - AMMSA

Alberta government accused of kidnapping children | Windspeaker - AMMSA | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Alberta government accused of kidnapping children



Alberta Sweetgrass




Author:


By Shari Narine Sweetgrass Contributing Editor EDMONTON


Volume:


24


Issue:


4


Year:


2016

May 2, 2016.

A class action law suit, that claims from 1985 to 2009 the province took thousands of children and then illegally retained them, is a step away from certification.

“You can’t take somebody’s child without following the law, whether you’re a neighbour, a stranger or the government,” said lawyer Robert Lee, whose firm began the class action. “The only way (Alberta) child welfare can take a child away from the parent is if they follow the law and if they take a child from a parent without following the law, to me, that’s kidnapping.”

At the core of the matter is the claim that the government did not follow its own legislation after apprehending children. From 1985-2004, the Child Welfare Act required social workers to prepare and file service plans in court within 30 days of apprehending a child. In 2004, the Child Welfare Act was replaced by the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act, which did away with the requirement of filing service plans in court, instead requiring social workers to develop concurrent planning within 42 days of apprehending a child. Concurrent planning meant establishing a service plan to reunite child with family, or, failing that, a service plan to find alternate care for the child. In 2008, the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act was amended removing the obligation to prepare concurrent plans. The Child Welfare Service Plan Class Action claims that the government failed to follow its own legislation by allowing temporary guardianship orders, under which the children were initially claimed, to expire but still holding on to the children without court orders.

“If the TGO has expired, especially by reason of the Department failing to follow legislated procedures, it is certainly arguable that children were kept in government care without lawful authority,” said Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Robert A. Graesser in his 76-page ruling released on March 14.

The issue surfaced, says Lee, following two Alberta Court of Appeal cases in 2002. In both, the central issue was the failure to file a plan for care under the Child Welfare Act. Lee says he was contacted by multiple families after those cases and, because handling each matter individually was impossible, he decided to proceed with a class action.

In his decision, Graesser called attention to a March 8, 2002, email sent by Darryl Bertch, acting manager of child welfare resources of the Ministry of Children’s Services, in which he requested a list of non-compliant TGOs. He was told 539 TGOs were invalid, impacting 332 families.

Lee says it’s reasonable to assume that figure of 539 is a fair representation for every year from 1985, when the act was brought in, to 2002, representing the number of children whose service plans were not filed in court. That means as many as 8,000 children could have been impacted. The government has not yet supplied figures up to 2009, says Lee, but if that stands at 500 each year, as well, that could be another 3,500 to 4,000.

The Child Welfare Service Plan Class Action also seeks compensation for the parents, who had their children illegally retained by the province.

Lee has no specific numbers as to how many Aboriginal children or families could be impacted, but as of March 2016, 69 per cent of all children in provincial care were Aboriginal.

“I’d say at least that and probably higher because of just how poorly the system treats Aboriginal families,” said Lee.

Lee is only now starting to collect names. He says it is difficult for children and parents/guardians to find out on their own if a service plan was filed or concurrent plans developed. He is directing people to his website (victimsrightslaw.ca) to fill out a questionnaire giving him permission to seek records in order to determine whether or not they are part of the class action.

Graesser has noted a number of next steps “before there can be any formal certification order,” including the province and Lee determining the common issues. Graesser says those who do not fall within the parameters of the claim – people pre-dating the Child Welfare Act and after 2009, and those affected by orders other than TGOs during that same time frame – must be notified.

Lee says talking compensation is still “far away.”

“One of the big problems of it, to me, is how it makes these families and these children feel like second-class citizens. ‘The government doesn’t have to follow the law. The law doesn’t protect me….’ That makes a person feel like a second-hand citizen which really affects their self-esteem. And that to me is so important,” said Lee.

Spokesperson for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General says the process is in its early stages and the department would be offering no comments at this point.
.- See more at: http://www.ammsa.com/publications/alberta-sweetgrass/alberta-government-accused-kidnapping-children#sthash.0KCInsi8.dpuf
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Wanted sexual offender expected to be in Fort St. John area - Energeticcity.ca

Wanted sexual offender expected to be in Fort St. John area - Energeticcity.ca | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Fort St. John RCMP is warning the public of a wanted sexual offender who may be in the Fort St. John area. 23 yea
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Sign the petition: Reform the Adoption Industry in the United States

The adoption industry is less regulated than the real estate industry. Place more, logical regulations on the adoption industry to weed out ongoing, current corruption.
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Living with Dignity

Living with Dignity | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
“One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” ― Michael J. Fox This week the Canadian Parliament will be dealing with Bill C-14, an amendment of the Criminal Code focused on medical assistance in dying.  The topic of "death with dignity" has been raging…
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Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt suspended from Wildrose caucus over ‘unacceptable’ social media comment

Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt suspended from Wildrose caucus over ‘unacceptable’ social media comment | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt had been suspended from the Wildrose caucus. The move was taken after an "unacceptable comment" on social media, party leader Brian Jean announced late Friday night.
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Velvet Martin's comment, May 29, 8:58 PM
Derek Fildebrandt ‏@Dfildebrandt · May 27

I feel terrible at the thought that anyone in the LGTBQ community thought even for one second that I shared those views. #ableg #abpoli





30 retweets 53 likes



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Money only first step in addressing wrongs done to those in government care | Windspeaker - AMMSA

Money only first step in addressing wrongs done to those in government care | Windspeaker - AMMSA | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Velvet Martin's comment, May 29, 7:38 PM
>:( They cannot even get the first step right!
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Legally Kidnapped: Elderly Quebec couple sentenced for sexually abusing foster kids

Legally Kidnapped: Elderly Quebec couple sentenced for sexually abusing foster kids | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A 59-year-old woman cried in a Quebec courtroom on Thursday as she recalled the sexual, psychological and physical abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her foster parents and their friends.
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Group concerned over spike in deaths of children in Alberta welfare system

Group concerned over spike in deaths of children in Alberta welfare system | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services.
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Reading Children's Books: A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services. More ch...

Reading Children's Books: A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services. More ch... | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Group concerned over spike in deaths of children in Alberta welfare system

Group concerned over spike in deaths of children in Alberta welfare system | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services.
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If You Have One Of These Old VHS Tapes It May Be Worth Over $1000

If You Have One Of These Old VHS Tapes It May Be Worth Over $1000 | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Got VHS tapes collecting dust on a shelf somewhere? Maybe you already reclaimed the space and they're sitting in an attic long-forgotten. Hopefully you didn't throw them out, though, as it turns out there might be quite the market for some old tapes. Modern directorial practice for movie r
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Perpetrators of Child Abuse & Neglect - Child Welfare Information Gateway

Perpetrators of Child Abuse & Neglect - Child Welfare Information Gateway | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Find research on characteristics of perpetrators, including those who commit certain types of abuse or neglect.
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Open letter to mother of boy who fell into gorilla enclosure

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Simple Ways to Help Your Child with Autism Learn Flexible Thinking - Autism Parenting Magazine

Simple Ways to Help Your Child with Autism Learn Flexible Thinking - Autism Parenting Magazine | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Children with autism are often frustrated with changes in their daily schedule, or the unexpected actions of another person.  Parents and teachers often find themselves responding to the behavioral outcome of the stress and anxiety involved with this “inflexible thinking,” rather than teaching flexible thinking in a systematic way. Here are five tips that may …
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Australian child psychiatrist faces child porn charges in Edmonton

Australian child psychiatrist faces child porn charges in Edmonton | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
An Australian man facing child pornography charges after an incident involving a young boy in West Edmonton Mall is a practising child psychiatrist.
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Canadian Judicial Council, Conduct of Federal Judges and Grounds for Complaint

Canadian Judicial Council, Conduct of Federal Judges and Grounds for Complaint | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it

Canadian Judicial Council,

Conduct of Federal Judges and Grounds for Complaint


https://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/english/contactus_en.asp


Contact us Questions and comments about the Council can be sent by e-mail at info@cjc-ccm.gc.ca or by mail to: Canadian Judicial Council Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0W8 tel. (613) 288-1566; fax (613) 288-1575


Principles of judicial conduct Below is an introduction to some general principles of judicial conduct that may give you some added insight into the very high standards to which judges strive. Perhaps the most important qualification of a judge is the ability to make independent and impartial decisions. Indeed, an independent judiciary is the right of every Canadian and is carefully protected. Judges strive to reject any outside influence that may impact on their ability to make independent decisions. Judges should, at all times, exhibit and promote high standards of conduct so as to reinforce public confidence. Judges should strive to conduct themselves in a way that will sustain and contribute to public respect and confidence in their integrity, impartiality and good judgment. Judges should perform their duties with diligence while treating everyone before the court with courtesy and equality, being careful to avoid stereotyping or discrimination. Judges should avoid comments, expressions, gestures or behaviour which may be interpreted as showing insensitivity or disrespect. In making their decisions, judges must be and must appear to be impartial at all times. Judges must be mindful of how inappropriate comments, improper remarks or unjustified reprimands can undermine the appearance of impartiality and actively work to avoid them. Visitors are encouraged to refer to Ethical Principles for Judges for a more detailed discussion on these general principles. We expect judges to maintain a high standard of conduct, both inside and outside the courtroom. When someone believes that a judge’s behaviour (not their decision) is of concern, or that a judge is not fit to sit on the Bench, a complaint can be made to the Canadian Judicial Council. In very serious cases, Parliament can remove a judge from office. What kind of complaint does CJC receive? Below are some examples of the kinds of complaints we receive. Each complaint is unique and is carefully reviewed by members of the Canadian Judicial Council’s Judicial Conduct Committee. Complaints are sometimes made based on articles in the media which suggest a judge’s comments were insensitive or inappropriate. In reviewing these complaints, the entirety of a judge’s comments are reviewed - not just the bits reprinted in the media reports. At times, the characterization of a judge’s comments can be misleading. Complaints are sometimes made to raise concern about a judge’s tone of voice and body language appearing to be harsh or angry. A key function of judge is to control proceedings with a firm, decisive and authoritative manner. A judge may, at times, use strong language to ensure a full understanding by all parties. Complaints are sometimes made when people feel that a judge has made negative comments about someone’s moral character and integrity. A judge is sometimes required to comment on the behaviour, mental health status and personal history of the individuals appearing before him. A judge also has the duty to assess the credibility and truthfulness of witnesses. Complaints are sometimes made by people who go to court without a lawyer (self-represented litigants) who believe the judge should give them extra help given their lack of knowledge of the law or of legal procedures. While judges ensure that self-represented litigants are provided with fair access and equal treatment in the courts, they cannot answer legal questions on how to proceed. They cannot give legal advice or provide recommendations about what people should do. While all complaints are reviewed carefully, some allegations are based on mere speculation and conjecture. In cases where complaints are deemed to be clearly without substance, irrational or an obvious abuse of the complaints process, Council will dismiss the complaint.



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LEARNING TOOLS

Welcome to the Council’s portal to helpful educational resources on the web. Through these links, you can learn more about judges, lawyers, and our court system; as well as obtain helpful educational material and information on such topics as how to find a lawyer, self-representation, and alternatives to going to court. The links are organized by topic:
For teachers and students
Justice information
Finding a lawyer
Judgments, statutes and codes

For teachers and students
The Parliament of Canada offers professional development, classroom activities, and background resources for teachers.
Supreme Court of Canada (educational portal) is a good information resource.
Try Judging is an interactive multimedia educational program for high school social studies, civics and law courses, and designed for integration into Canadian school curricula. Developed by the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association.
Pursuit of Justice Quiz from the Department of Justice (Canada) covers topics such as legal definitions, lawlore, history, and governance.
The Virtual Courtroom explains Canada’s criminal justice system.
Virtual court tours help you understand the courtroom setup.
The Law Connection A site where teachers can learn to incorporate legal concepts and principles into their classroom teaching, and students can access information about the law.
Éducaloi’s youth zone offers tons of information about the legal system and the obligations of adolescents.
The Cradleboard Teaching Project, developed by Buffy St. Marie, provides public education and resources about Native American culture.
Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) provides extensive resources and information to support justice education activities.
Access to Justice Network (ACJNet) Law FAQs site provides a list of "frequently asked questions" and their answers for students.

Justice information
The Department of Justice helps the federal government develop policy and reform laws. It also acts as the government’s law firm.
The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs (FJA) safeguards the independence of the judiciary and puts federally appointed judges at arm’s length from the Department of Justice. Its mandate is to promote better administration of justice and provide support to the federal judiciary.
The Constitution Act sets out the role of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
Access to Justice Network (ACJNet) has information and educational resources on justice and legal issues of interest to Canadians.
LexUM provides links to information and educational resources on justice and legal issues of interest to Canadians.
Educaloi
Legal Canadian FAQs Questions and answers developed by the Legal Studies Program at the University of Alberta.
Provincial and territorial law societies oversee and govern lawyers in their jurisdictions.
Find the definition of common legal terms

Finding a lawyer
The Canadian Bar Association is the advocate and voice of all members of the legal profession. The Canadian Bar Association branch in your province or territory may be able to help you find a lawyer.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may qualify for government funded Legal Aid. Use this Legal Aid link to locate the office in your province or territory to find out if you are eligible for legal services.
If you do not qualify for government funded legal aid, you may be able to obtain free legal information or advice from lawyers who have volunteered to provide assistance. Find out about free (pro bono) legal clinics

Judgments, statutes and codes
A database of federal and provincial legislation and court decisions can be found through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII).
Federal statutes and regulations and related information can be found on the federal Department of Justice’s website.
The full text of the entire Criminal Code is accessible through this link. The page also provides links to the text of other laws.

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Calgary girl run over by father backing out of driveway

Calgary girl run over by father backing out of driveway | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Seven-year-old in hospital in critical, life-threatening condition
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'No remorse in his eyes', says victim's sister of Mr. Jetz, sentenced to 15 years in prison

'No remorse in his eyes', says victim's sister of Mr. Jetz, sentenced to 15 years in prison | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A man found guilty of running a prostitution ring with underage girls and making child pornography has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
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Money not claimed in Alberta Child Welfare settlement will not be used for healing services | Windspeaker - AMMSA

Money not claimed in Alberta Child Welfare settlement will not be used for healing services | Windspeaker - AMMSA | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
"Money remaining in the alternate criteria fund will revert back to the province, says Sabrina Lombardi, lawyer with the Ontario-based firm." - See more at: http://www.ammsa.com/publications/alberta-sweetgrass/money-not-claimed-settlement-will-not-be-used-healing-services
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Halifax mother who lost daughter to depression

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Reading Children's Books: A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services. More ch...

Reading Children's Books: A Calgary-based parent advocacy group wants action from Alberta to address the increase in deaths of children in provincial care, or receiving protective services. More ch... | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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New Toronto shelter gives LGBT youth a place to feel safe and loved

New Toronto shelter gives LGBT youth a place to feel safe and loved | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
According to Egale’s executive director, Helen Kennedy, close to 23 per cent of the homeless population of Toronto identifies as LGBTQ2S
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"White Rabbit" Goes P!nk - Hear Her Thrilling Take On The Jefferson Airplane Classic

"White Rabbit" Goes P!nk - Hear Her Thrilling Take On The Jefferson Airplane Classic | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
"Go Ask Alice, I Think She'll Know..."
This week marks the release of Alice Through The Looking Glass, the sequel to Tim Burton's 2010 blockbuster Alice In Wonderland and as we all know, nothing screams Alice In Wonderland quite like Jefferson Airplane's iconic "White
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Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Notice of Settlement Approval - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Notice of Settlement Approval - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Wildrose MLA suspended after saying he was ‘proud’ of constituent who made homophobic slur about Wynne

Wildrose MLA suspended after saying he was ‘proud’ of constituent who made homophobic slur about Wynne | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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