Monday, April 06, 2009

Ontario Min. Children and Youth Services Staff on 5-year review of Child and Family Services Act

UPDATE 1: Ministry Staff Chris Shantz responded on Tuesday April 07, 2009 indicating that the Ministry has not yet determined the direction the 5-year review of the CFSA will take and no consultations have been initiated in this regard.

UPDATE 2: Ministry Staff Chris Shantz responded by telephone on Friday April 24, 2009 indicating that the Ministry has not yet determined the direction the 5-year review of the CFSA will take

UPDATE 3: On the 27th of April 2009, a staff member of the Government of Ontario searched the internet for information regarding the 2010 review of the Child and Family Services Act which could indicate the Ministry is getting prepared to review the Act soon. This is evidenced in the following image which is captured from the statistics page of our blog. (Click on the image for larger version)





UPDATE 4: Someone within the Ontario Government has searched the internet for "Section 224" of the Child and Family Services further indicating that the Ministry of Children an Youth Services may be readying to review the CFSA in 2010. I will contact Ministry staff Chris Shantz to get a more recent status on this.



According to Section 224 of Ontario's Child and Family Services Act the Minister (the Hon. Deb Matthews) shall conduct a review of the Act or provisions of it the Minister specifies every five years and the Minister is to inform the public when such a review begins and what provisions of the Act are to be included in the review.

The previous review of the Act was conducted and reported in 2004-05. The 2005 report by the Minister mentioned the fact that the Ministry initiated consultations with certain stakeholders (agencies and community organizations) over the preceding year, however the public were not informed of this review generally until just 30 days before the report was to be made public.

This time, the Foster Care Council of Canada is pro actively contacting the Ministry through Chris Shantz -- Special Assistant to the Minister who was assigned to liaise with us -- on a monthly basis to find out when the Ministry says the consultations have begun so that we can avoid a repeat of the last review of the Act where the Minister only gave the public 30 days to organize and provide input into the Act.

These e-mails will be used to keep track of their behaviour in relation to the five year review of the Act. So far, (April 06, 2009 e-mail enclosed) the Ministry has denied any consultations have taken place in relation to the Act.



Incidentally, the Council has been made aware that the Ministry has sent surveys around to various Children's Aid Societies in Ontario to study the complaints procedures. This may be related to the pending review of the Act in 2010. If so it will appear in the Minister's 2010 review.


The history of communications so-far are included below for your information:


RE: 3RD ATTEMPT: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 3rd Inquiry - Mar 2009‏
From: John Dunn (afterfostercare@hotmail.com)
Sent: April 6, 2009 9:12:09 PM
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca (chris.shantz@ontario.ca); Irwin Elman (irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca); Horwath - QP, Andrea (ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca); Julia Munro (julia.munro@pc.ola.org); Lisa MacLeod (lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org); jim.watson@ontario.ca (jim.watson@ontario.ca); Peter KormosMPP (pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca); GPO E-mail List (gpo-forum@lists.ox.org); GreenParty Candidates E-mail Group (gpocandidates@yahoogroups.ca)
Chris Shantz,
Policy Adviser
Office of the Hon. Deb Matthews
Minister of Children & Youth Services
(416) 212-7458

RE: 3rd attempt at 3rd Inquiry - 2010 5-Year Review of CFSA

On the 20th of March, 2009 I submitted a request (enclosed) to you asking you if the Ministry had initiated any work or consultations regarding the 2010 review of the CFSA and reminded you that I will continue to do so on a monthly basis.

On Tuesday, March 31, 2009 I submitted a 2nd request (enclosed) to you asking the same thing.

As of Monday April 06, 2009 you have not yet responded to my latest inquiry. Therefore I am submitting a 3rd request asking if you could please respond as soon as possible to this request.



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




From: afterfostercare@hotmail.com
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca; irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; julia.munro@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org; jim.watson@ontario.ca; pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca
Subject: RE: 2ND ATTEMPT: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 3rd Inquiry - Mar 2009
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 08:06:20 -0400

Chris Shantz,
Policy Adviser
Office of the Hon. Deb Matthews
Minister of Children & Youth Services
(416) 212-7458

RE: 2nd attempt at 3rd Inquiry - 2010 5-Year Review of CFSA

It is on record that you stated that as of February 23rd, 2009 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Minister have not yet initiated any consultations regarding the upcoming 2010, 5-year review of the Child and Family Services Act.

On the 20th of March, 2009 I submitted a request (enclosed) to you asking you if the Ministry had initiated any work or consultations regarding the 2010 review of the CFSA and reminded you that I will continue to do so on a monthly basis.

As of Tuesday, March 31, 2009 you have not yet responded to my latest inquiry. Can you please respond as soon as possible to this request.


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




From: afterfostercare@hotmail.com
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca; irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; julia.munro@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org; jim.watson@ontario.ca; pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca
Subject: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 3rd Inquiry - Mar 2009
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:49:26 -0400

Chris Shantz,
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

RE: 3rd Inquiry - 2010 5-Year Review of CFSA

As indicated in the enclosed history of e-mails, I am keeping a monthly public record of the ongoing status of the 2010 review of the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) to see exactly when the Minister has initiated any work or consultations regarding the 2010 review of the CFSA. I will continue to do so on a monthly basis.

In your last reply, you asked that I talk to you via the phone instead of e-mail which I assume is to avoid the necessity of having to keep a record of the status of the review. However, I am doing this intentionally to create a record for the public since Section 224.(2) of the Act requires that the Minister shall inform the public when a review under this section begins and what provisions of the Act are included in the review.

Therefore, I would ask that you respond in writing to my request.

It is on record that as of February 23rd, 2009 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Minister have not yet initiated any consultations regarding the upcoming 2010, 5-year review of the Child and Family Services Act.

I have taken the liberty of including those who were initially included in the e-mail since you chose to remove them from your response and to only include Gerard (Gerry) Frenette, MPP Liason of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. I have also added Peter Kormos of the NDP as he has been quite outspoken regarding Children's Services.




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




From: afterfostercare@hotmail.com
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca; irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; julia.munro@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org; jim.watson@ontario.ca; pkormos-qp@ndp.on.ca
Subject: RE: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 2nd Inquiry - Feb 2009
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:31:58 -0500

Chris Shantz,
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Thank-you for your reply. It is on record that as of February 23rd, 2009 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Minister has not yet initiated any consultations regarding the upcoming 2010, 5-year review of the Child and Family Services Act.

I have taken the liberty of including those who were initially included in the e-mail since you chose to remove them from your response and to only include Gerard (Gerry) Frenette, MPP Liason of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. I have also added Peter Kormos of the NDP as he has been quite outspoken regarding Children's Services.



Your response is enclosed


RE: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 2nd Inquiry - Feb 2009‏
From: Shantz, Chris (MCYS) (Chris.Shantz@ontario.ca)
Sent: February 23, 2009 12:18:00 PM
To: John Dunn (afterfostercare@hotmail.com)
Cc: Frenette, Gerard (MCYS) (Gerard.Frenette@ontario.ca)
John,

Thank you very much for the follow-up email. As I indicated in my email of Jan 20, the direction of the review that the Ministry will take has not yet been determined. I am certainly happy to discuss this issue with you over the phone at your convenience.

Sincerely,
Chris

Chris Shantz
Policy Adviser
Office of the Hon. Deb Matthews
Minister of Children & Youth Services
(416) 212-7458











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




From: afterfostercare@hotmail.com
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca; irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; julia.munro@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org; jim.watson@ontario.ca
Subject: RE: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 2nd Inquiry - Feb 2009
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:03:35 -0500

Chris Shantz
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Pursuant to my February 12, 2009 e-mail (enclosed) where I asked if the Minister has further considered the issue of the 5-year review of the CFSA and if any progress has been made, if a decision as to what direction the Minister will take with the review, or if any consultations have begun in relation to the review as of yet, I would like to ask if you could please respond to my request as soon as possible so that the public can be made aware of any such activity at the earliest possible time.

The reason I am making monthly inquiries regarding this matter is because the last time the Act was reviewed by the Ministry, the public were not informed of the fact that a review of the Act was taking place until just 30 days prior to the publication of the report, when we learned from the public report, that there had been consultations with some stakeholders taking place for over a year without public notice of such taking place.

It is my hope that the current Minister will not conduct herself in the same way as the previous Minister who withheld the fact that consultations were being conducted for an entire year before the public were informed, and that the current Minister reports to the public immediately upon the initiation of any consultations regarding the 2010 five year review of the CFSA regardless of whom the Minister consults and that all of Ontario's citizen's who are the true stakeholders of child-welfare services are involved in the process in a transparent and accountable fashion.

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




From: afterfostercare@hotmail.com
To: chris.shantz@ontario.ca; irwin.elman@provincialadvocate.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; julia.munro@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleod@pc.ola.org; jim.watson@ontario.ca
Subject: RE: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA - 2nd Inquiry - Feb 2009
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 11:39:06 -0500

Chris Shantz
Ministry of Children and Youth Services


Chris Shantz,

As a follow-up to my January 19, 2009 inquiry about the 5-year review of the CFSA, and your response dated January 20, 2009, I would like to ask if the Minister has further considered the issue of the 5-year review of the CFSA any further and if any progress has been made, if a decision as to what direction the Minister will take with the review or if any consultations have begun in relation to the review as of yet.


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




Subject: RE: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:47:51 -0500
From: Chris.Shantz@ontario.ca
To: afterfostercare@hotmail.com

John,

I'm happy to chat about this. The Ministry is considering this issue, but has not yet determined what direction it is going it with the review.

Thanks,
Chris

Chris Shantz
Policy Adviser
Office of the Hon. Deb Matthews
Minister of Children & Youth Services
(416) 212-7458

From: John Dunn [mailto:afterfostercare@hotmail.com]
Sent: January 19, 2009 4:31 PM
To: Shantz, Chris (MCYS); Afterfostercare-exec afterfostercare-exec
Subject: 2010 - 5-Year Review of CFSA

Chris Shantz
Ministry of Children and Youth Services,

Chris,

I wanted to ask if the Ministry has initiated any consultation or any other procedures in connection with the up-coming 2010 mandatory five year review of the CFSA



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

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