2013: In leaked memo, Peel CAS staff asked to keep cases open to retain funding.

2013: In leaked memo, Peel CAS staff asked to keep cases open to retain funding.
Posted on February 15, 2019 | Derek Flegg | Written on February 15, 2019
Letter type:
Blog Post

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Regulation of child protection workers by Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers: CUPE responds Please send or adapt any of the following letters to the Executive Director of your CAS.


2013: Nancy Simone, a president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local representing 275 workers at the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, argued child protection workers already have levels of oversight that include unregistered unqualified workplace supervisors, family court judges, coroners’ inquests and annual case audits by the ministry and the union representing child protection workers is firmly opposed to ethical oversight from a professional college, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, which regulates and funds child protection, is so far staying out of the fight.. Nancy Simone says, “Our work is already regulated to death.”



Marketization of law making is a process that enables the elites to operate as market oriented firms by changing the legal environment in which they operate in.
It is not necessary to be certain that a child is or may be in need of protection. The role of the Children’s Aid Societies is to investigate calls made by the public using a professional and standardized process. The Children’s Aid alone will determine if there is a sufficient basis to warrant further assessment of the concerns about the child.
“Reasonable grounds” refers to the information that an average person, using normal and honest judgment, would need in order to decide to report. This standard has been recognized by courts in Ontario as establishing a lower threshold for reporting.
A document called “Yes, You Can. Dispelling the Myths About Sharing Information with Children’s Aid Societies” was jointly released by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Advocate.
The document, targeted at professionals who work with children, is a critical reminder that a call to Children’s Aid is not a privacy violation when it concerns the safety of a child. In fact, professionals who work with children have a special responsibility, as stated in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, to protect the safety and well-being of children.
The Children’s Aid alone without judicial oversight will determine if there is a sufficient basis to warrant further assessment of the concerns about the child. 
Fascism's theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately-controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would theoretically represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of labor contracts and the like.
One of the 14 characteristics of fascism is -
Corporate Power is Protected.
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
The people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights and procedural protections can be ignored in certain cases because of special need.
Regulation of child protection workers by Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers: CUPE responds.
2013: In leaked memo, Peel CAS staff asked to keep cases open to retain funding.
March is the end of the fiscal year for the agency and in the memo staff are instructed to complete as many investigations as possible (no fewer than 1,000), transfer as many cases as possible to “ongoing services,” and not close any ongoing cases during March.
Back in 2013 the children's aid society claimed there was a province wide funding shortfall of $67 million dollars and decided the best way to deal with that was to act in bad faith and defraud the government out of the taxpayers money by adding as many cases to ongoing services as they could, up to 1000 if possible (per society?)
The internal memo, signed by seven senior service managers, instructs staff to complete as many investigations as possible (no fewer than 1,000), transfer as many cases as possible to “ongoing services,” and not close any ongoing cases before the end of the fiscal year, March 31.
The memo indicated that these "unethical strategies" were necessary to reduce the society’s current deficit and secure future funding from the province.
Between 2011 and 2013 the 46 separate societies opened a combined total of 42 000 files or about 14 000 files per year, in 2014 - after the Peel memo leak (see link above) - and after reopening 20 000 previously closed files the societies opened a combined total of over 82 000 files to meet their funding goals as reported by the Toronto Star.

“Wrongly opening or leaving files open can have a damaging impact on children's’ lives."

"No one should be surprised that agencies like Peel CAS are taking extreme steps to ensure they have the funding necessary to fulfill their legislated mandates to protect children,” said Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, 2013 Chair of the CUPE Ontario Social Services sector. "
"No one should be surprised?" - With the society's reputation HAS a truer thing ever been said? (might be the only true thing CUPE has ever said) but it is probably the first time anyone has gotten away with attempted fraud by called it just an extreme step.
Gene Colman, a Toronto family lawyer who handles cases involving CAS, said his office has been puzzled by the substantial increase in people calling because of CAS intervention in their families.
“I thought, ‘What’s going on, why are we getting so many calls?’ I wonder if it’s related. I don’t know,” he said not looking a gift horse in the mouth.
By Gene C. Colman of Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre posted in Child Welfare on Thursday, January 1, 2015.
It should not be a matter of "win" or "lose" when it comes to Ontario child welfare law yet it isn't actually about the actual condition of the child or the child's welfare. It's about accusations, Cosmo quiz style parental risk assessments and fake experts and every time the society decides your a risk they get paid.
Ontario's Child and Family Services Act tells us that the paramount purpose is to "promote the best interests, protection and well being of children." One might note the glaring lack of any reference to family. In fact, there is a paucity of references to family throughout the entire CFSA even though many judges recognize the importance of maintaining family whenever possible.
I had a recent experience with CAS counsel at court when representing a family unjustly caught up in the system. Our office had prepared a very persuasive and comprehensive response to the Society's Application. We attended at the mandated five day hearing that follows apprehensions from parental care. The CAS certainly had not expected such forcefulness; normally parents are so overwhelmed at this early stage that they are unable to mount an effective defence. Generally, the court will rubber stamp the CAS requests. We did not agree to just stand idly by at the first appearance and CAS counsel was surprised by our aggressive (yet fair) approach.
Our written material seemed to have persuaded the judge. He instructed the lawyers to prepare a consent endorsement along the lines that we were seeking (which of course included an immediate return of the children to parental care). As we were returning to the courtroom after preparing the consent, the experienced and respected CAS counsel turned to me and my clients and remarked: "This is the third time your lawyer has beaten me."
The CAS counsel's comment was made innocently enough and indeed was intended to be complimentary. But still I was shocked (but probably should not have been). Why was I so shocked?
CAS managers charged more than $106,000 in 'unreasonable’ expenses By SANDRO CONTENTA News Thu., Nov. 10, 2016
The CEO of the York Region Children's Aid Society, Colette Prevost, has spent 30 years working in the social services and mental health sectors. She worked at the Sudbury society from 2008 to early 2015 and managed $36.2 million in provincial funding in the 2014-15 fiscal year. (TORONTO STAR)
The audit of senior manager expenses describes accounting and spending problems throughout the Sudbury society.
From April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2015, the society was not addressing, or complying with, 21 mandatory provincial government directives that govern how records are kept, expenses are approved and contracts awarded.
Record keeping was so bad that auditors couldn’t rule on an additional $290,000 worth of expenses on corporate cards, partly because they could not figure out which senior manager charged them.
That suggests the problems could go deeper than those found in the $203,400 worth of expenses they were able to review.
The audit also found more than $240,000 worth of contracts awarded in ways that violated minimum procurement policies, including failure to seek multiple quotes.
In a statement, the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin said it has launched an internal forensic audit to “identify all the expenses that can be recovered” from Prévost.
In response to a request for comment from The Star, Prévost, who has not seen the report, said,“I do not take this lightly. I worked very diligently for Sudbury CAS. Sudbury CAS and I agreed late last year to reimbursement of expenses that were viewed as potentially outside agency policy.”
The York society’s chair, Barb Gray, said in an email that Prévost “is on a personal leave of absence.”
A review of spending at the London and Middlesex Children’s Aid Society, kept under wraps for months, revealed nearly two dozen executives made more than $100,000 and the agency shelled out thousands of dollars for taxis and iPads.
London’s child welfare agency squandered money on costly office renovations and highly paid, bloated management ranks, a just-released report by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services states.
The ministry put the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex under review in late 2013 because the agency that cares for vulnerable children was running a deficit.
Layoffs At Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society BY ADELLE LOISELLE SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society is laying off eight administrative support and preventative services workers.
Interim Executive Director Terry Johnson says the layoffs will not affect workers on the frontline and should not affect the quality of care received by children in their custody.
She says the problem is the budget. The province is reviewing the funding formula, so the agency does not know how much money it will get this year.
“We don’t know our budget for the year, and we’re five months into our year,” she says.
While the number of children in Children’s Aid custody has remained relatively consistent, Johnson says more kids require more complex care, and that is costly.
The most expensive babysitters on earth...
“On average that’s $310 a day, but when you bring some kids in it costs $500 to $1,000 a day,” says Johnson. “It has a huge impact on the budget.”
The average family of four on welfare might get a $1000 a month in Ontario.
The agency came up short $1.4-million, but thanks to surpluses in years past, it was able to whittle that down to $300,000 or $400,000. Children’s Aid is not allowed to carry over a deficit, so it has to find ways to mitigate the shortfall.
Once it hears back from the province, Johnson says it is possible those workers will be recalled.
Because of bumping rights in the workers’ collective agreement, the layoffs are not expected to take effect until mid-October at the earliest.
Children's Aid gets $4.3 million cash boost from province
The local Children's Aid Society is out of the red after the province agreed to "mitigate" the agency's $4.3 million deficit in time for its April 1 fiscal year start.
The local Children’s Aid Society is out of the red after the province agreed to give the agency an extra $4.3 million to erase its deficit and balances its books in time for its April 1 fiscal year start.
But whether that extra money will help reverse a decision to layoff 18 casual employees is hard to say, said Bill Bevan, director of the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society.
“There won’t be any quick decisions in the next few weeks,” Bevan said on Monday, adding that the cash boost will help balance the 2012-2013 budget, but he has yet to get a clear picture of what the province will provide for the 2013-2014 budget, since it has introduced a new funding model.
Last week, the CAS announced it would layoff 18 casual case workers due to budgetary deficits.
“There may be a need for those staff down the road, but not immediately,” Bevan said on Monday. It all depends on the volume of work in the coming months as well as how WECAS manages to reorganize itself, he said, adding that the layoffs are not child protection workers or full-time staff.
The cutbacks are forced by a $70-million provincial funding shortfall across Ontario. WECAS not only had a $4.3 million deficit, it is also juggling $1.6 million in historic debt.
When the people who have power in our society can have an influence in law making, the laws that get created will not maintain the appearance of equality and the elites in society can lobby and eventually criminalize (demonize) the poor.
The laws will start to benefit the big corporations (elites). This is well illustrated in Stan Cohen’s concept of the moral panic. A moral panic refers to the reaction of a group within society (elite) to the activities of a non elite group. The targeted group is seen as a threat to society also referred to as the folk devil.
Here we can see here how child welfare law is not applied equally to everyone. In this particular instance the child welfare law is benefiting the people with means.
Comack states; “While the pivotal point in the rule of law is ‘equality of all before the law’, the provision of formal equality in the legal sphere does not extend to the economic sphere. Thus, the law maintains only the appearance of equality because, it never calls into question the unequal and exploitative relationship between capital and labour.” This statement implies that the law is in place to be neutral. Therefore, the law would apply equally to everyone, including both the working and elite class. It can be said that in today’s society we have the marketization of law making.
The Motherisk Commission details years of rights infringements by courts. "If the same problems were identified in criminal court, there would be a huge public outcry." Tammy Law.
::: Tammy Law's delusional thoughts, excuses, rationalizations and justifications for using the Motherisk test to justify denying parents due process and circumventing the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and the principles of fundamental Justice behind the closed doors of Ontario's family courts. :::
I want to be clear about what I think some of the fundamental problems are and how I think we can start to change this system. Because I am first and foremost a lawyer, my thoughts naturally focus on the role of lawyers in this mess. My thoughts are summarized as follows:
As lawyers, we need to recognize that good intentions are not enough. It is really easy to hide behind “the best interests of the child” and agree or acquiesce to all types of infringements of our clients’ basic human and Charter rights. This needs to stop. Lawyers need to start seeing their role in the context of defending our clients’ very real rights to human dignity and security of the person.
The culture of cooperation has gone too far. While I agree that it is very very important to work with the Children’s Aid Society to address their concerns, a line must be drawn when they demand cooperation that crosses the line. As a state agent, the Society has an obligation to ensure that it works in the most minimally intrusive way possible – respecting the client’s right to individual freedom while trying to ensure that its clients are served. This is a difficult job. Lawyers and courts should be there to ensure that the fine line is respected.
Society counsel need to understand that they have a public interest role. They should be providing advice to their clients in the context of being a public interest litigant. They have a duty to the court to be fair. This means that if unreliable evidence is being tendered (and there were many signs of this with respect to the Motherisk testing), they should be advising their clients about the unfairness of relying on it. Lawyers are and should be gatekeepers of evidence as much as courts are.
We need to be more vigilant. As noted in the report, our role as advocates is to raise every defense possible for our clients.
Our clients are often extremely vulnerable, having lived lives that were challenged by multiple obstacles.
Many have made admirable attempts to parent their children. We need to be fearless in our advocacy for them. As a lawyer, I have experienced and seen derisive, sarcastic, or rude comments directed at myself and other lawyers who attempt to defend their clients. This needs to stop. It’s our client’s right – their children’s right – that they have a full defence.
2016: Report shines light on poverty’s role on kids in CAS system.
The effect of provincial policies on struggling families was especially apparent in the late 1990s, when the conservative government slashed welfare payments and social service funding at the same time it introduced in child protection the notion of maltreatment by “omission,” including not having enough food in the home. The number of children taken into care spiked.
A new report cites poverty as a key factor in families who come into contact with the child protection system.
“We’re able to tell a story of maltreatment, but we have not done a very good job in telling a story about poverty,” Goodman said, referring to Ontario’s 47 privately run children’s aid societies.
Goodman suggests silence suited the provincial government more than it suited the society's funding goals, in particular the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, which regulates child protection and funds societies with $1.5 billion annually.
On average, 15,625 Ontario children were in foster or group-home care in 2014-15. The latest figures indicate if your still willing to blindly take the society's word for it that only 2 percent of children are removed from their home due to sexual abuse and 13 percent for physical abuse. The rest are removed because of neglect, emotional maltreatment and exposure to violence between their parents or caregivers.
“The ministry has been pretty clear with us that advocacy is not part of our mandate,” Goodman said. “It’s not like they’re asking for the (poverty) data. They’re not.”

Social assistance cuts likely to get worse

The poverty removal rates were extracted from the government-funded Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, compiled in 2013. A team of researchers examined a representative sample of 4,961 child protection investigations conducted by 17 children’s aid societies. The cases involved children up to 14.
Co-author Kofi Antwi-Boasiako, a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s faculty of social work, will be expanding the report into a full-fledged study.
Goodman credited the report with revealing “the elephant in the room.” Children’s aid societies have long witnessed the grinding effect of poverty on families but have rarely spoken out about it or pressured policy makers.
The GONE theory holds that Greed, Opportunity, Need and the Expectation of not being caught are what lay the groundwork for fraud. Greed and/or need provides the motive.
Former Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian wrote:
“I am disheartened by the complete lack of action to ensure transparency and accountability by these organizations that received significant public funding. As part of the modernization of the Acts, I call on the government to finally address this glaring omission and ensure that Children’s Aid Societies are added to the list of institutions covered.”
The only oversight for the province’s children’s aid agencies comes from Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
"As the law stands now clients of the Ontario Children's Aid Society under Wynne's liberals are routinely denied a timely (often heavily censored) file disclosure before the court begins making decisions and the clients can not request files/disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act nor can censored information reviewed by the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario or the federal counterpart."
In her 2004 annual report, which was released on June 22, 2005, the Commissioner called for amendments that would bring virtually all organizations that are primarily funded by government dollars under FOI for the purposes of transparency and accountability: This would include the various children’s aid agencies in the Province of Ontario. Many parents and families complain about how difficult it is, if not impossible, to obtain information from children’s aid agencies. Many citizens complain that CAS agencies appear to operate under a veil of secrecy. Unlicensed and untrained CAS workers are making decisions which are literally destroying families, yet there is little or no accountability for their actions short of a lawsuit after the damage has been done.
In her annual report for 2013 released on June 17 there is just one paragraph on children's aid on page 12:
In my 2004, 2009, and 2012 Annual Reports I recommended that Children’s Aid Societies, which provide services for some of our most vulnerable citizens – children and youth in government care, be brought under FIPPA. I am disheartened by the complete lack of action to ensure transparency and accountability by these organizations that received significant public funding. As part of the modernization of the Acts, I call on the government to finally address this glaring omission and ensure that Children’s Aid Societies are added to the list of institutions covered.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed by and reports to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and is independent of the government of the day. The Commissioner's mandate includes overseeing the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, and commenting on other access and privacy issues.
“Hundreds of organizations that are recipients of large transfer payments from the government are not subject to the provincial or municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Acts,” said the Commissioner, “which means they are not subject to public scrutiny.” Among the examples she cites are hospitals and Children’s Aid Societies. “Openness and transparency of all publicly funded bodies is essential – they should be publicly accountable.”
Motherisk hair test evidence tossed out of Colorado court 2 decades before questions raised in Canada.
For more than two decades, Motherisk performed flawed hair-strand tests on thousands of vulnerable families across Canada, influencing decisions in child protection cases that separated parents from their children and sometimes children from their siblings. (CBC)
A Motherisk expert testified for the defence in a Colorado murder case. The judge mocked the lab’s processes. But the case remained virtually unknown in Ontario until now.
Silenced, discredited, stripped of powers of moral appeal, and deprived of the interpersonal conditions necessary for maintaining self-respect and labeled "disgruntled" many people suffer from serious but subtle forms of oppression involving neither physical violence nor the use of law.
The GONE theory holds that Greed, Opportunity, Need and the Expectation of not being caught are what lay the groundwork for fraud. Greed and/or need provides the motive.
Judge rejects proposed class-action over Motherisk drug-testing scandal.
By RACHEL MENDLESON Investigative Reporter. Thu., Nov. 2, 2017.
Parents lose second bid to launch class-action suit against Motherisk over flawed hair tests.
By RACHEL MENDLESON Investigative Reporter. Tues., Nov. 27, 2018.
Despite the “knee-jerk denials” of Motherisk experts and the Hospital for Sick Children, it wouldn’t be hard to prove in court that the lab’s drug and alcohol hair tests were broadly unreliable. However, establishing this fact wouldn't advance individual cases enough to make a national class-action lawsuit the right approach for thousands of families seeking compensation.
Civilized Oppression and Moral Relations: Victims, Fallibility, and the Moral Community.
In Civilized Oppression J.Harvey forcefully argues for the crucial role of morally distorted relationships in such oppression. While uncovering a set of underlying moral principles that account for the immorality of civilized oppression, Harvey's analyses provide frameworks for identifying morally problematic situations and relationships, criteria for evaluating them, and guidelines for appropriate responses. This book will be essential for both graduates and undergraduates in ethics, social theory, theory of justice, and feminist and race studies.
This book discusses how civilized oppression (the oppression that involves neither violence nor the law) can be overcome by re-examining our participation in it. Moral community, solidarity and education are offered as vibrant strategies to overcome the hurt and marginalization that stem from civilized oppression.
We all want to believe that nonprofit corporations like the children's aid society are full of hard-working people committed to improving society. But even the most well-meaning nonprofits can get into financial hot water.
Unfortunately the temptation to cover up financial problems can be particularly seductive for nonprofit CAS managers who have spent money like politicians with an expense account and no spending oversight for decades.
“There are lots of kids in group homes all over Ontario and they are not doing well — and everybody knows it,” says Kiaras Gharabaghi, a member of a government-appointed panel that examined the residential care system in 2016.
A scathing report from Ontario’s coroner presses the provincial government to reform a child protection system that “repeatedly fails year after year.
The report describes a fragmented system with no means of monitoring quality of care, ministry oversight is inadequate, caregivers lack training, and children are poorly supervised. 2018.
276 recommendations and 2 inquests into the deaths of children in care and MARY BALLANTYNE, CEO of OACAS says "Don’t ‘blow up’ Ontario’s child welfare system."
Those who call for the overhaul of Ontario's children's aid societies fail to understand the many ways in which our system excels.
The inquest into Jeffrey Baldwin's death was supposed to shed light on the child welfare system and prevent more needless child deaths. Baldwin's inquest jury made 103 recommendations. Sep 06, 2013.
Nearly six months after the inquest into the death of Katelynn Sampson began, jurors delivered another 173 recommendations. APRIL 29, 2016.
The basic principle behind cell organization is simple: By dividing the greater organization into many multi-person groups and compartmentalizing and concealing information inside each cell as needed, the greater organization is more likely to survive unchanged if one of its components is compromised and as such, they are remarkably difficult to penetrate and hold accountable in the same way the mafia families or terrorist organizations and Ontario's children's aid societies are.
DEFINITION of 'Protected Cell Company (PCC)
A corporate structure in which a single legal entity is comprised of a core and several cells that have separate assets and liabilities. The protected cell company, or PCC, has a similar design to a hub and spoke, with the central core organization linked to individual cells. Each cell is independent of each other and of the company’s core, but the entire unit is still a single legal entity.
BREAKING DOWN 'Protected Cell Company (PCC)
A protected cell company operates with two distinct groups: a single core company and an unlimited number of cells. It is governed by a single board of directors, which is responsible for the management of the PCC as a whole. Each cell is managed by a committee or similar group, with authority to the committee being granted by the PCC board of directors. A PCC files a single annual return to regulators, though business and operational plans of each cell may still require individual review and approval by regulators.
Cells within the PCC are formed under the authority of the board of directors, who are typically able to create new cells as business needs arise. The articles of incorporation provide the guidelines that the directors must follow.
The ministry is not contemplating amalgamation, said MacCharles, and is instead choosing to focus on a shared services approach.
The current hierarchical corporate structures that dominate our economies have been in place for over 200 years and were notably supported and defined by Max Weber during the 1800s. Even though Weber was considered a champion of bureaucracy, he understood and articulated the dangers of bureaucratic organisations as stifling, impersonal, formal, protectionist and a threat to individual freedom, equality and cultural vitality.
CAS actions are shrouded in secrecy, and media investigations are chilled by CAS (a multi-billion dollar private corporation) lawyers, who claim to be protecting the privacy rights of all involved.
The GONE theory holds that Greed, Opportunity, Need and the Expectation of not being caught are what lay the groundwork for fraud. Greed and/or need provides the motive.

About The Author

Advocates for family preservation against unwarranted intervention by government funded non profit agencies and is a growing union for families and other advocates speaking out against the children's aid society's... More