Thursday, April 23, 2009

Prescott Russell Foster Parent Unplugs Phones and Blocks Incoming Calls

UPDATE 1: Tuesday April 28, 2009, the youth mentioned below is meeting with the CAS. Details will follow. She is hopefully not going to be threatened not to speak to us any further.

The Council recently posted information regarding a youth in a foster home under the care of the Prescott Russell Services for Children and Adults who had the phone disconnected. The Council has recently communicated directly with the youth who provided us with the phone number of the foster home.

The Council called the number and heard a message from an operator which says "The number you are calling cannot receive incoming calls... this is a recording".

The youth also reported that the phones were physically removed from the home (unplugged and unable to locate them or the power supplies) meaning the previous report was not entirely accurate.

So the phone service is still activated, however the incoming calls are blocked. (preventing the Child and Youth Advocate from calling). This happened after the Advocate called shortly before the line was changed.

Since the report was made public on this News blog, and sent to the Prescott Russell Services for Children and Adults the agency allegedly sent a worker out to the foster home on Monday April 21st during the day while the youth was at school and did not contact the youth to discuss the matter.

The Council will contact the agency again to inform them of the fact that the incoming calls are blocked and that the youth has reported directly to us that the phones have been removed from the plugs and the power cords removed as well.

The Council has asked the youth to talk to the foster mother and ask her why the phones have been removed and why the incoming calls have been blocked. The youth will report to the Council to inform us of the foster mother's response or lack of response.

This will then be reported to the worker and the agency and the local press in order to try and bring attention to this matter.

The Council will also give guidance to the youth on how to use the complaints procedures available to the youth under Section 109 and Section 68 of the Child and Family Services Act.

Complaint Sections Provided Below


Section 109 Internal Complaints


Internal complaints procedure

109.(1)A service provider who provides residential services to children or places children in residential placements shall establish a written procedure, in accordance with the regulations, for hearing and dealing with complaints regarding alleged violations of the rights under this Part of children in care.

Idem

(2)A service provider shall conduct a review or ensure that a review is conducted, in accordance with the procedure established under subsection (1), on the complaint of,

(a) a child in care;

(b) the child’s parent; or

(c) another person representing the child,

and shall seek to resolve the complaint. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 109.

Further review

110.(1)Where a person referred to in subsection 109 (2) who makes a complaint and is not satisfied with the result of the review conducted under that subsection requests in writing that the Minister appoint a person to conduct a further review of the complaint, the Minister shall appoint a person who is not employed by the service provider to do so.

Idem

(2)A person appointed under subsection (1) shall review the complaint in accordance with the regulations and may, but is not required to, do so by holding a hearing.

Procedure

(3)The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply to a hearing held under subsection (2).

Powers of appointed person

(4)A person appointed under subsection (1) has, for the purposes of the review, all the powers of a program supervisor appointed under subsection 5 (2) of Part I (Flexible Services).

Review and report within thirty days

(5)A person appointed under subsection (1) shall, within thirty days after the day of the appointment, complete the review, set out in a report his or her findings and recommendations, including the reasons for not holding a hearing if none was held, and provide copies of the report to,

(a) the person who made the complaint;

(b) the service provider; and

(c) the Minister. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 110.

Minister to advise persons affected of any decision

111.(1)Where the Minister decides to take any action with respect to a complaint after receiving a report under subsection 110 (5), the Minister shall advise the person who made the complaint and the service provider of the decision.

Remedies preserved

(2)The Minister’s decision referred to in subsection (1) does not affect any other remedy that may be available. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 111.



Section 68 Complaints


Complaint to society

68. (1) A person may make a complaint to a society relating to a service sought or received by that person from the society in accordance with the regulations. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Complaint review procedure

(2) Where a society receives a complaint under subsection (1), it shall deal with the complaint in accordance with the complaint review procedure established by regulation, subject to subsection 68.1 (2). 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Available to public

(3) A society shall make information relating to the complaint review procedure available to any person upon request. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Society’s decision

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the decision of a society made upon completion of the complaint review procedure is final. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Application for review by Board

(5) If a complaint relates to one of the following matters, the complainant may apply to the Board in accordance with the regulations for a review of the decision made by the society upon completion of the complaint review procedure:

1. An alleged inaccuracy in the society’s files or records regarding the complainant.

2. A matter described in subsection 68.1 (4).

3. Any other prescribed matter. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Review by Board

(6) Upon receipt of an application under subsection (5), the Board shall give the society notice of the application and conduct a review of the society’s decision. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Composition of Board

(7) The Board shall be composed of members with the prescribed qualifications and prescribed experience. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Hearing optional

(8) The Board may hold a hearing and, if a hearing is held, the Board shall comply with the prescribed practices and procedures. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Non-application

(9) The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply to a hearing under this section. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Board decision

(10) Upon completing its review of a decision by a society in relation to a complaint, the Board may,

(a) in the case of a review of a matter described in paragraph 1 of subsection (5), order that a notice of disagreement be added to the complainant’s file;

(b) in the case of a matter described in subsection 68.1 (4), make any order described in subsection 68.1 (7), as appropriate;

(c) redirect the matter to the society for further review;

(d) confirm the society’s decision; or

(e) make such other order as may be prescribed. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Notice of disagreement

(11) A notice of disagreement referred to in clause (10) (a) shall be in the prescribed form if the regulations so provide. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

No review if matter within purview of court

(12) A society shall not conduct a review of a complaint under this section if the subject of the complaint,

(a) is an issue that has been decided by the court or is before the court; or

(b) is subject to another decision-making process under this Act or the Labour Relations Act, 1995. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Transitional

(13) This section as it read immediately before the day this subsection came into force continues to apply in respect of complaints made to a society before that day and of any reviews requested of the Director before that day. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Complaint to Board

68.1 (1) If a complaint in respect of a service sought or received from a society relates to a matter described in subsection (4), the person who sought or received the service may,

(a) decide not to make the complaint to the society under section 68 and make the complaint directly to the Board under this section; or

(b) where the person first makes the complaint to the society under section 68, submit the complaint to the Board before the society’s complaint review procedure is completed. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Notice to society

(2) If a person submits a complaint to the Board under clause (1) (b) after having brought the complaint to the society under section 68, the Board shall give the society notice of that fact and the society may terminate or stay its review, as it considers appropriate. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Complaint to Board

(3) A complaint to the Board under this section shall be made in accordance with the regulations. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Matters for Board review

(4) The following matters may be reviewed by the Board under this section:

1. Allegations that the society has refused to proceed with a complaint made by the complainant under subsection 68 (1) as required under subsection 68 (2).

2. Allegations that the society has failed to respond to the complainant’s complaint within the timeframe required by regulation.

3. Allegations that the society has failed to comply with the complaint review procedure or with any other procedural requirements under this Act relating to the review of complaints.

4. Allegations that the society has failed to comply with clause 2 (2) (a).

5. Allegations that the society has failed to provide the complainant with reasons for a decision that affects the complainant’s interests.

6. Such other matters as may be prescribed. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Review by Board

(5) Upon receipt of a complaint under this section, the Board shall conduct a review of the matter. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Application

(6) Subsections 68 (7), (8) and (9) apply with necessary modification to a review of a complaint made under this section. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

Board decision

(7) After reviewing the complaint, the Board may,

(a) order the society to proceed with the complaint made by the complainant in accordance with the complaint review procedure established by regulation;

(b) order the society to provide a response to the complainant within a period specified by the Board;

(c) order the society to comply with the complaint review procedure established by regulation or with any other requirements under this Act;

(d) order the society to provide written reasons for a decision to a complainant;

(e) dismiss the complaint; or

(f) make such other order as may be prescribed. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

No review if matter within purview of court

(8) The Board shall not conduct a review of a complaint under this section if the subject of the complaint,

(a) is an issue that has been decided by the court or is before the court; or

(b) is subject to another decision-making process under this Act or the Labour Relations Act, 1995. 2006, c. 5, s. 26.

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