Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Peel CAS Foster Child Appeals for Help - CAS Refuses to Cooperate

A youth in foster care has been attempting to contact her legal parent, the Peel Children's Aid Society in order to request that her concerns regarding abuse and neglect in the foster home she lives in are dealt with.

The youth has claimed that she asked her worker to deal with the issues before and that her worker did not resolve the issues. This time the youth is asking that the issues be dealt with in writing so that she can ensure each issue is appropriately and thoroughly dealt with.

She is also requesting that if she does agree to meet in person with the Society, that this time she be allowed to record her meeting to ensure she has an accurate record of what was said during those meetings.

To date the Society's response is to attempt to force her to meet in person, not to allow her to record the meeting, and refusing to communicate further on the issue in writing.

The Peel Children's Aid Society's Frank Kennedy, B.S.W., M.S.W., Supervisor Long Term Care Unit who is the supervisor of the youth's worker wrote the following statements in his last e-mail to her as opposed to accommodating the youths need to ensure she has an accurate record of the events.

Frank confirmed the Society is aware of the youth's concerns when he wrote "We have been in receipt of your emails as you have been in receipt of our responses" and "Emails are not the standard means of communication to engage our children and youth in care"

Frank also puts his fist of authority down with the following statement"This will be the final email on this subject as all subsequent communication will have to be done by telephone or face to face with Angela. As a youth in care we do not intend to create a new mode of communication at this time because we do not feel this is the way to manage your case".

Frank also states "you can write your own notes of the process and we will also have minutes taken and you will be able to get a copy"

The youth has been very clear in stating that she wanted the matters to be dealt with in writing, with written responses from the Society to each of her complaints and that she be able to record the meeting to ensure she has a full and accurate record of the meeting not just notes and minutes which are not a full transcript of the meeting.

Try to imagine a court transcript being only made up of "notes" and "minutes" being used as an accurate record of a hearing. This is completely unfair to this youth who is attempting to ensure she has an accurate record of the meeting. It appears the CAS, through its supervisor Frank Kennedy is in support of such a practice of power imbalance.

Referring to the youth's request that the issues be dealt with by e-mail he closes the matter by saying "As a youth in care we do not intend to create a new mode of communication at this time because we do not feel this is the way to manage your case".

Throughout Frank's 'final e-mail' he keeps on attempting to have the youth attend in person at the Society in what appears to be the Society's attempt at keeping the full details of the matters "off the record".

The Foster Care Council of Canada has drafted a press release in relation to this matter for the CAS to review to ensure its accuracy prior to sending it out to the media.

[See Draft Press Release]

See full e-mails at http://fosterchildspeaksout.wetpaint.com/page/1LettertoCAS

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