Yet Another Children's Aid Society?

Newspaper headline (front page)

Peel group urges release of race data on kids in care

Toronto Star website

Peel group calls for GTA African-Canadian children's aid society

A black community group in Peel recommends mandatory collection and sharing of race-based data on Ontario kids in care.

Nineteen-year-old Nancy, left, formerly a child in care, participates in The Village, a program for black youth in care run by the Peel Children's Aid Society.

Nineteen-year-old Nancy, left, formerly a child in care, participates in The Village, a program for black youth in care run by the Peel Children's Aid Society.

The Toronto Star, By: Jim Rankin, Feature reporter, Sandro Contenta News, Wed Dec 09 2015

The Ontario government should make it mandatory for all children's aid societies to collect and make public race-based data on kids in their care.

The recommendation - along with a call for an African-Canadian society to support Toronto-area black families - is included in a position paper by the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel. It will be released Wednesday morning at a Brampton conference of Peel community leaders and children's aid society officials.

"The collection and dissemination of that data is critical to be able to assess whether the kinds of services that we have available are effective, to hold some of these agencies accountable for the kinds of services they are delivering," Dr. Julian Hasford, the paper's author and a community psychologist, said in an interview.

"I don't think that we're going to be able to make informed and effective decisions with respect to system change without that information."

The group also wants the Peel Children's Aid Society to follow the lead of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and report publicly on the proportion of children in care - and the number of families involved with the society - who are black.

The Toronto society took the step earlier this year after the Toronto Star revealed last December that 41 per cent of children in care are black. The city's under-18 black youth population, meanwhile, is 8.2 per cent.

Rav Bains, CEO of the Peel society, is scheduled to speak at Wednesday's launch of the report.

The report, which examined what little is known about the over-representation of black children and society-involved families in Ontario, also recommends:

  • The Peel society establish a committee aimed at reducing the over-representation of black children in care and the number of black families involved with the society.
  • Identifying an agency that can serve, by the end of 2016, as an "initial point of contact or referral" for black children and families identified as at "risk of child welfare involvement."
  • The Peel society, Peel police, Peel District School Board, Region of Peel government and service agencies adopt an "anti-oppression/anti-racism" approach that includes an "explicit anti-black-racism lens" for responding to racial disparities.
  • More investment at all levels of government in programs that support vulnerable families of all backgrounds.

The report also says the new African-Canadian agency "should adopt an Afrocentric approach and focus on supporting strong and healthy families, rather than removing children from the home."

"It's important that we create settings that are culturally responsive," Hasford told the Star, "and it's very clear that a lot of families that have been involved in the child welfare system, including a lot of racialized staff who also work within the system, feel that those kinds of settings aren't necessarily sensitive to the community's needs.

"Having said that, we recognize that mainstream staff within mainstream agencies do a lot of hard work. There are families that have benefitted from those services."

The report highlights an existing program at Peel children's aid, called The Village, which connects black youth in care and those who have recently left care with black mentor workers, as an example of much-needed and successful intervention programs - and calls for Read More it.

That program involved Kike Ojo, the Peel society's diversity and anti-oppression manager, who is now on leave and working with the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies to develop a provincial guidebook for societies to follow when dealing with black children and families.

Sophia Brown Ramsay, BCAN's program manager, acknowledged there is frustration in the community with the lack of movement in the child protection system but said that the paper and recommendations are not about assigning blame.

The Star found poverty and issues of neglect were driving factors for all children who come into care. With black families, racial bias and cultural misunderstanding on the part society workers and those doing the referring - schools and police being two of the largest - are also part of equation, say advocates and black leaders.

42% The proportion of children in the care of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto in 2013 who were black or have one parent who is black.

8% The proportion of people under 18 in Toronto who are black.

47% The proportion of black children in the care of the Toronto society with parents born in Caribbean countries.

20% The proportion of black children in the care of the Toronto society with parents born in Africa.

45% The proportion of black children who spent more than 12 months in the care of the Toronto society in the 2008 fiscal year.

20% The proportion of white children who spent more than 12 months in the Toronto society's care.


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father's death.

Some psychiatrists call it Parental Alienation Syndrome and they say that's why the son killed Doctor Rick Lohstroh last summer. The syndrome is basically caused by a bitter parent who poisons a child against the other parent, usually in cases of divorce.

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association
Dating Violence Statistics in the United States

Nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys say they have been raped or experienced some other form of abusive violence on a date, according to a study released Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Teen depression on the increase in U.K.- teen suicide statistics

Teen depression on the increase

More and More teens are becoming depressed. The numbers of young people suffering from depression in the last 10 years has risen worryingly, an expert says.

BBC, UK, August 3, 2004

Government statistics suggest one in eight adolescents now has depression.

Unless doctors recognise the problem, Read More ..uld slip through the net, says Professor Tim Kendall of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

Guidelines on treating childhood depression will be published next year. Professor Kendall says a lot Read More ..eds to be done to treat the illness.

Associated Press logo

Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.