Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ontario Min. Children and Youth Services attempts to defer question

The Foster Care Council of Canada's John Dunn sent a letter to the Ministry to ask if the Ministry has ever been involved in the formation of protocols between various police services in Ontario and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The Ministry responded by attempting to defer their answer to a separate and distinctly different FIPPA request which would not in any way answer the question posed to them.

The latest correspondence is included below.

Millissa J. Hogg

I am in receipt of your e-mail dated Thursday June 18th, 2009, wherein you stated the following.

"Thank you for your e-mail to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services regarding protocols between the police and the ministry. I appreciate the time you have taken to write. I understand that you have submitted a similar request to the ministry under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act. I have forwarded a copy of your e-mail to their office and they will be responding directly to you."

I wanted to clarify however that my request is different than that of the FIPPA request I had previously submitted to the Ministry. In my previously, and separately submitted FIPPA request, I requested specifically the following in item 2 of my FIPPA request.

"2. A copy of any protocols as submitted to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services between the Hamilton Wentworth Children's Aid Society and the Hamilton Police Service regarding the protection of children who have been involved with or had contact with the police in any way."

In my letter to the Ministry that you have responded to -- a letter which was not a FIPPA request but instead simply a letter asking for a reply -- I asked the following, which is quite different than the request I made in my FIPPA request.

"I wanted to ask you if the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has been involved in any way in the formation of protocols between the various police forces in Ontario and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the protection of Ontario's children and youth who become involved with the Police as a result of suspected or substantiated abuse or neglect."

To further clarify,

My Letter Asks:
The letter I wrote asks if the Ministry has been involved in any way in the formation of protocols between the various police forces in Ontario and the Ministry.

My FIPPA Asks:
The FIPPA request simply asks for a copy of any protocols that were submitted to the Ministry regarding a single police force (Hamilton Police)

Once again, and just for clarification, the letter you responded to asks the following. I will bold and underline the parts which are to be focused upon as I know staff at the Ministry are busy and may have confused the two separate and completely different issues.

I have also copied the Ombudsman to ensure he has a copy of this letter in case it is required in the near future.

RESUBMITTED CLARIFIED QUESTION
I wanted to ask you if the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has been involved in any way in the formation of protocols between the various police forces in Ontario and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the protection of Ontario's children and youth who become involved with the Police as a result of suspected or substantiated abuse or neglect.

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

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