The Ottawa Citizen, January 14, 2012, by Lee Greenberg
TORONTO — Ontario’s controversial Family Responsibility Office has been overbilling 1,700 parents, mostly fathers, for as long as 13 years, the province admitted Friday.
The 1,700 parents were overbilled by an average $75 each month, after the agency wrongly applied a cost of living adjustment that was eliminated in 1997.
Those who were overpaid will not be forced to give the money back.
Instead, taxpayers will foot the $5.3 million bill for the agency’s mistake.
“This error’s been found and it’s being corrected,” said Liberal cabinet minister John Milloy. “We’re going to be reaching out to those individuals (who were overbilled) and talking to them about their situation, formally alerting them.”
The Family Responsibility Office, or FRO, is responsible for ensuring court-ordered child support payments are made. More than 97 per cent of all payers overseen by the office are male.
Milloy said the agency discovered the problem at some point in 2011. No one will be fired for the mistakes, he added.
“I see this as something very serious,” he said in an interview. “I’m not trying to minimize it, but … there’s been lots of action taken to reform FRO, to update computer systems, to update customer relations and it’s on a much firmer footing.”
The billing mistake is only the latest controversy to engulf FRO. More..
Boys raised in traditional families are more likely to perform well at school and avoid suspension than those brought up by single mothers, it has emerged.
The Telegraph, UK, By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, 03 January 2012
Boys brought up by single mothers are more likely to struggle, according to the report by the University of Chicago.
In a major study, researchers said family structures had a much more significant effect on boys’ early education than school type or even the gender of teachers.
It found that boys were much more likely to misbehave, be excluded from school and go on to achieve low grades after rebelling against “emotionally distant” parents.
The pattern is particularly marked in single-parent families where mothers “invest disproportionately less in their sons or feel less warm toward them” than daughters.
The disclosure comes amid continuing concern over the gender gap at the heart of the education system. More..
Peter Mazereeuw, National Post Staff, September 13, 2012
Eva Carter is going online to find the father she has never met, turning to Kijiji after struggling for years with family members who refuse to reveal his identity.
“My name is Eva. I am searching for my biological father or any relatives or any one with information [about] him. My mother is Suzanne Watson you would have met her when she was in Toronto in 1988,” wrote Ms. Carter in an ad she re-posts on the site every few months.
The 23-year-old Ottawa woman turned to Kijiji after consulting non-profits, lawyers and even the Toronto police without finding a clue to her father’s identity.
She isn’t alone: Ads seeking a biological parent fill a significant chunk of the “long lost relationships” section of the Quebec-based classified website’s Ottawa-Gatineau page.
Several specialized websites are devoted to reuniting parents and children separated at birth, especially for those who were adopted. Canadianadoption.com, Canada Adoption Registry, the Canadian Children’s Rights Council, and Parent Finders of Canada are just some of the sites that offer help or information for those seeking to find parents or children. More...