Friday, December 17, 2010

Huron-Perth CAS Policy & Procedures Manual Obtained via FIPPA

The Huron-Perth Children's Aid Society's board of Directors decided to close their doors for funding related issues. Immediately and effective October 13, 2010, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services inserted or "appointed" a "Supervisor" to operate and manage the Society in place of the Board of Directors until the Ministry either get things in order and obtains a new Board of Directors to run it again privately, or shuts it down entirely, or amalgamates it with a nearby CAS which the Ministry has already taken steps to do in the case of other CASs.

When the Ministry does this, it is called a "Take-Over" according to Section 22 of Ontario's Child and Family Services Act. Section 22 of the Act lists several reasons why the Ministry can take-over a CAS or revoke its license. (Read them in a new window by clicking here)

Take-Over = Government Agency
A take-over effectively makes that particular CAS a "government agency" during the time that the Supervisor has been appointed to operate and manage the Society. The statute says that the Ministry take-over can not last more than one year without the Society's consent or that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may extend the period from time to time. It appears in this case however that no consent or extension is required since the Board of the CAS voted to close their own doors prior to the Government take-over.

Government Agency = Subject to Privacy Legislation
Shortly after the Ministry take-over, John Dunn, the volunteer executive director of the Foster Care Council of Canada contacted the executive director's office of the Huron Perth Children's Aid Society to request a copy of their "Policy and Procedures Manual" using the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Executive Assistant of CAS = Ministry Supervisor's Assistant
The executive assistant to the executive director answered the phone calling herself by her new title "Ministry Supervisor's Office" and refused to knowledge the fact that they were now covered by the privacy legislation. When asked for her name, she also refused to provide it. Listen to the call by clicking here.

However, after requesting the Huron-Perth CAS Policy and Procedures Manual via a FIPPA request, Dunn was able to obtain the documents and, after proving "financial hardship" if he had to pay the associated fees due to the fact that he only earned just over 2,000 dollars that year, he was also granted a waiver of the fees associated with the request (except the original five dollars which is not subject to waiver.

The Policy and Procedures Manual will be posted here shortly once able and this will give people an idea as to similar policies at other CAS agencies and how they operate.

Read the original post and related correspondence with the Ministry at this link.

To ensure you read the latest version of this post, please visit http://www.fostercarenews.blogspot.com as this post may have been modified since being sent out.

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