[imc-ontario] Children's Aid Society Records
afterfostercare at hotmail.com
Tue May 10 09:12:56 PDT 2005
I have contacted the Ministry regarding the Catholic Children's Aid Society
refusing to give copies of my own life records to me about my life in foster
care as a former Crown Ward and was referred to you by Darlene Janeiro,
A/Manager, Correspondence Unit, Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
The reason I wanted to contact the Ministry's Child and Family Services
Review Board is because of it's mandate to provide an appeal mechanism
regarding the refusal to disclosure of records information.
I was a Crown Ward of the Catholic Children's Aid Society for a total of
sixteen years of my childhood. During that time, I was moved through
thirteen different placements, separated from my siblings and located
throughout the province of Ontario.
As an adult former client of the Catholic Children's Aid Society, I
requested copies of my own life records from their disclosure department and
I lodged a complaint with the Society, (26 Maitland) and followed that
complaint through to the Ministry level. This process included me talking to
my disclosure worker Barb Myland, then her supervisor, (Margaret O'Rielly),
then the Executive Director (Mary McConville) who I had a three hour meeting
with along with her Chief Legal Advisor, and then proceeded to the Board of
Directors level, all unsuccessful.
I proceded to contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Issues
Co-Ordinator a few years ago in 2002, and was given no reply. I have since
met with the Deputy Minister of Children and Youth Services to be told they
have no jurisdiction over the CCAS and their records.
I have walked to the East Coast from Toronto in protest of their actions,
have been interviewed by CBC Radio in Charlottetown twice, the New Ro (TV)
in Ottawa, and have contacted the Ombudsman of Ontario, to no avail.
I have been asked why I want my own life records many times and why this is
so important to me. I can only tell you that as a foster child who has had
his entire life fragmented and scattered across the province, that these
records and hand written notes are the only connection I have to my own life
in the sense of almost proving that yes, in fact, I did exist.
Most people have the luxury of being able to listen to their family stories
of how they acted as a child, or what they did, the funning things they
said, how they progressed through life, and all of these small, yet
incredibly powerful bits of information which provide a person with an
identity and knowlege of who they are as a human being.
As former Crown Wards, we are denied that chance by not having copies of our
own records. The CCAS argues that they fear that the information will get
into the hands of the public, or that they will be exposing third party
I can in fact prove that these are not the truth, in that they have let me
go onto their property and view the files without allowing me to take them
home with me. This in and of itself is proof that they are not trying to
protect confidentiality for me, nor for anyone else as they have allowed me
to view the files already.
I have given permission for them to blank out third party names, which they
have already done in the copies they have let me read on their property.
Names such as my social workers, dentists, doctors, therapists, foster
parents, family members, teachers and so on.
Nor have they made an effort, even after my repeated requests to contact the
individuals in the records for permission to reveal that information to me
as they are supposed to do. This in itself is not an issue for me, rather it
is just background information for you to use in your decision/investigation
if you decide to pursue this case.
Again, although they have allowed me to view the files on their property, I
have requested to have those very same photo-copies with third party names
blacked out given to me for my own life book at home and for reminising
purposes. As anyone else can look at their photo-album to reminice, I would
like to be able to look at the hand written notes to reminice as well, like
any other citizen of this province.
Today, I am asking your review team to please look into my case and inform
me of my options.
Thank you very much.
The Foster Care Council of Canada
Scan and help eliminate destructive viruses from your inbound and outbound
e-mail and attachments.
Start enjoying all the benefits of MSN® Premium right now and get the
first two months FREE*.
More information about the imc-ontario