C6 parenting children and youthPresentation Transcript
Children’s Aid Society & New Comer Parent Child Protection Services, Education, and Prevention Workshop
What is a Children’s Aid Society in Ontario?
A non-profit community agency
Legislated under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA)
Legally mandated to protect children under 16 from abuse and neglect
Funded by the Government of Ontario (Ministry of Children and Youth Services)
The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA)
Promotes best interests, protection, and
well-being of children
Promotes early action
Promotes access to information for Children’s Aid Societies
Emphasizes the duty to report
Promotes early permanency planning
What is Child Abuse?
It is against the law when a child is hurt intentionally, or when a parent or caregiver fails to protect a child in their care.
If the CAS believes that a child has been physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected, they must tell the police.
When the police becomes involved, there will be a criminal investigation. Police will look to see if the parent committed any criminal acts defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.
The Criminal Code of Canada is a federal law that applies across the country. It prohibits child abuse and neglect.
If there is evidence that the parent has committed a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada, the parent will be charged and tried in court.
Types of Abuse and Neglect
What is Physical Abuse?
Physical abuse is any deliberate physical force or action (usually by a parent or caregiver) that results, or could result, in injury to a child.
It can include spanking, punching, slapping, beating, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, throwing a child or using an object to discipline a child. Physical abuse is stronger than what is considered to be reasonable discipline.
What Does The Law Say About Spanking?
The Criminal Code of Canada, Section 43, defines Corporal Punishment as:
Every school teacher, parent or persons standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his/her care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.
2004 – Parameters placed on ‘reasonable’
Children under 2 years of age should never be hit
Children over 12 years of age should never be hit
No hitting in the neck/head region
No use of objects (belts, spoons, etc)
Risks Associated with Hitting Children
Marks in the shape of objects or hand prints
Human bite marks
Fractures (broken bones) of the skull, arms, legs, fingers, ribs
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used for the sexual gratification of an adult or an older child.
Coercion (physical, psychological or emotional) is intrinsic to sexual abuse. This is what distinguishes it from consensual play with peers.
What is Sexual Abuse cont’d
It is illegal to:
Touch a child in a sexual way
Encourage or force a child to touch another person in a sexual way
Encourage or force a child to participate in any sexual activity
Tell a child to touch him or herself for an adult’s or older child’s sexual purposes
Examples of Sexual Abuse
Exposing a child’s genitals
Indecent phone calls
Fondling for sexual purposes
Watching a child undress for sexual pleasure
Allowing a child to look at/perform in pornographic pictures/prostitution
What is Emotional Abuse?
A pattern of behaviour that attacks a child’s emotional development and sense of self worth.
It includes excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that place expectations on a child beyond his or her capacity.
Examples of Emotional Abuse
What is Neglect?
Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, sleep, medical attention, education, and protection from harm. This can occur when parents do not know about appropriate care for children, or when they are not able to plan ahead
A young child should never be left unattended
CANADIAN STATISTICS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Effect on children:
Children are present and witness the abuse in 80% of domestic
Boys who witness domestic violence against their mothers are five times more likely to grow up to be abusers while girls who witness violence are five times more likely to grow up to be victims of abuse.
Children and adolescents who see their mother being abused experience emotional and behavioural problems similar to children who are physically abused.
Children who witness woman abuse frequently experience post traumatic stress disorder.
Approximately 40% of wife assault incidents begin during a woman’s first pregnancy.
Source: Nova Vita
Children of Domestic Violence
Who Are Our Families
Families who are experiencing stresses that decrease parenting capacity and child safety
Child abuse happens across all cultural, racial, religious and socioeconomic lines
Who Reports Cases of Child Abuse & Neglect?
Your Duty to Report Suspected Abuse/Neglect
Every individual is obligated to report suspected abuse/neglect
Reports should be based on reasonable suspicion
Reasonable Grounds: based on honest judgment
Obligation is ongoing
Duty cannot be delegated
Role of Settlement Workers
Role and responsibility as service provider & role of inter-agency relationship
Protocol of your agency
Making a Referral
Check your own personal values and biases. For example what is the basis for your concerns? Are you making assumptions and being judgemental?
Recognize that you are in a position of power and depending on your values, level of cultural sensitivity will greatly impact the support to the Family
Recognize your comfort level
Be aware of your skill level, responsibilities and boundaries
Advocacy for the family
Information sessions on the Children’s Aid
What Happens When the Children’s Aid Society Investigates?
Medical exam if needed
Interview suspected abuser
Interview parents/non-offending parent
Interview siblings/other relevant people
Close the file with no further service
Offer voluntary service
Place children in Kinship care
Temporary Care Agreement
Service in home or in foster care
Bringing A Child Into Care
Brought into foster care or Kinship care immediately
Brought into foster care or Kindship care after investigation
Children’s Aid Societies have 12 hours or seven days to investigate
30 days to complete investigation
Children’s Aid Societies have five days to appear before court
Kinship Caregiver &/or Foster Parents
When there are serious concerns about the care a child is receiving at home, he or she may need to be placed in a Kinship placement or foster home.
Kinship caregivers and/or Foster parents provide a temporary home for children who are in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. They encourage a child’s growth and development through the stability of a caring home and family environment. Kinship Foster parents play an important role in the child’s daily life.
Kinship caregivers and/or Foster parents work with CAS staff as part of a team to develop a plan for each child in care. The ideal plan is to remove all safety concerns in a home in order to reunite the child with their family. Where this is not possible, the plan may include adoption or long-term foster care.
Parents have the right to have a family member, advocate, or friend present
To ask questions
To ask for answers in writing
To get the social worker’s name, work phone number & address
To be informed what actions the child protection authorities may take
To tell their story
To get information about services available
To get legal advice and be represented in court
Parents and children can visit
Parents help plan child’s care
What is Reasonable Discipline?
We believe physical punishment is an unsuitable means of discipline because children should be free from all forms of violence
The law presently allows parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children. What is reasonable depends on the situation, but many forms of physical punishment that were acceptable in the past are no longer permitted, such as tying or locking children up.
Any form of physical discipline that requires medical attention, or results in bruising, welts or broken skin, is not considered reasonable discipline
What is Reasonable Discipline cont’d
Using belts, electrical cords or other objects to discipline a child can cause serious harm
Handling babies roughly – whether in anger or playfulness – is extremely dangerous. Shaking can cause serious injury, including brain damage, blindness and even death.
Physical punishment can also lead to physical abuse when parents or caregivers lose control and strike their children in anger.
The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment
To promote self-discipline (control).
To empower the child to be better able to engage in appropriate acceptable behaviour.
Future appropriate behaviour.
Attitude of Adult
Love and concern, respect, nurturing and supportive