Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Toronto Children's Aid - Confused About Internal Policies

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.

For over three years, a client of the Toronto Children's Aid Society has been attempting to obtain a copy of the Society's 'Client Access to Records Policy'.

The client contacted the Foster Care Council of Canada the first time on this issue in September of 2009 to ask if we could request the policy because she had asked the Society for it and was told the policy is under review and therefore not available.

We contacted the Society to ask for a copy by e-mail on September 9, 2009 and never received a response.

The same client contacted us again in 2012 seeking help because the Society had again told her that the policy is under review and therefore not available.

Subsequently we sent two e-mails to the Society seeking copies of the policy and did not receive any response. On August 28, 2012 we called the Society and were put through to Andrea Reetham-Clayton of the Society's Disclosure Services department, and were told quite clearly that the Society does not have a written policy on client access to records.

After stating our surprise that a company that is over 100 years old does not have a written policy on client access to records, Reetham-Clayton stated that she did not want to lead me astray, that there may be a very old policy somewhere, and that she would speak with her supervisor.

Coming back to the phone she informed me that the Society's lawyer Kristine Reitmeir x2152 was spear-heading the policy project of "putting it to paper".

We then asked the Reetham-Clayton if the Society has an overall Policy and Procedures Manual in the executive office which may contain the policies on client access to records and she put me through to Lisa Yusko of the executive office at x2103.

When asked about the Society's Policy and Procedures Manual and if it contains a policy on client's access to records, she stated that Carolyn Ussher, Manager of Client Services would have more information on this and asked us to wait approximately an hour for her to get back to us after a meeting.

We are currently awaiting the call back and will update this post as soon as we get it.