SECTION IV         ALLEGATIONS              &       INVESTIGATIONS              Online Training "Safeguarding"            ...
WHEN FOSTER FAMILIES ARE  BEING INVESTIGATED,    THEY ARE LIVING        UNDER A      MICROSCOPE”         Online Training "...
Who is likely to make an            ALLEGATION?   Allegation by child.   Allegation by community    member.   Allegatio...
Allegations are generallyinvestigated by the IntakeSocial Worker using theStandards for childprotection cases integratedwi...
SOCIETY‟S INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE   Worker informs Supervisor   Worker completes Serious Occurrence    Report and the Pe...
SOCIETY‟S INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE                     (CONT‟D)   Serious Occurrence meeting is held   Social Worker open...
THE INVESTIGATION   Know your Society‟s policies and procedures for    investigating allegations of abuse;   Follow the ...
THE INVESTIGATION   All children in the    home are interviewed    under the age of 18.   Child is seen within    12 hou...
UNDER INVESTIGATION    WHAT DO I DO NOW ?    Don‟t panic if you are innocent most     allegations are resolved quickly. ...
UNDER INVESTIGATION    WHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d)    Obtain legal advice immediately (cont‟d).        Police have the r...
UNDER INVESTIGATIONWHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d)     Contact a foster parent association support worker      (Communicator)...
UNDER INVESTIGATIONWHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d)     Begin a diary - leave out subjective      things, Keep a written recor...
OUTCOMES   In an average year, there may    be 20 allegations of which less    than one may be substantiated    and/or fo...
OUTCOMES   You could be found guilty and sentenced.   Depending on the province/territory in which you    reside, your n...
OUTCOMES   You may be committed to stand trial on a criminal charge.    You are innocent until proven guilty.   Charges ...
OUTCOMES   The investigation may find no proof for the allegation and    the child, if removed, may be returned to your c...
REACTIONS & FEELINGS     AFTER AN ALLEGATIONSubstantiated abuse by spouse/partner         is especially hurtful.          ...
REACTIONS & FEELINGS         AFTER AN ALLEGATIONPhysically:     Can‟t sleep     Can‟t eat     Can‟t concentrate     Di...
REACTIONS & FEELINGS                AFTER AN ALLEGATION   Trauma - is rooted in the experience of being overwhelmed by a ...
REACTIONS & FEELINGS                 AFTER AN ALLEGATION   Anger - from the feeling of implied guilt. Hostility can occur...
Coping After an Allegation    After an allegation families can be left with a    number of issues that might need to be   ...
Coping After an Allegation   Feeling of severe depression   Loss of sense of self & self esteem   Loss of employment, w...
Commit to children and youcommit to our future.             Please protect yourself and                     your family   ...
THIS BRINGS US TO THE END OF THE TRAINING SESSION           SAFEGUARDING – YOU & YOUR FAMILY.The next few slides outline c...
CASE STUDY    The O‟Neills  Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
THE O’NEILLSThe ONeills have fostered for several years and have many fosterchildren. They are more interested in just “ta...
THE O’NEILLS                            (Cont’d)The ONeills feel it is important to treat all children as “theirown” and a...
THE HUSSONSMrs. Husson is very experienced. She was a Health Care Aid and sheoperated a private day care prior to starting...
THE HUSSONS                              (Cont’d)Mrs. Husson “has her days” when she feels she is a single mother when her...
THE HUSSONS                              (Cont’d)Mrs. Husson is finding her house very busy and never finds time at the en...
THE HUSSONS                               (Cont’d)The court ordered access (twice per week) leaves the childrenupset for o...
Suggested Reading List: "Abuse in Foster Homes, Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child", Emily Jean McFadden National Fos...
Suggested Reading List: "The Caring Response", David Austin and William Halpmin, Journal of Child and Youth Care, Vol.4, N...
Suggested Reading List:  "Foster Care Respite Program"!, Sandra Boelter, in Lasting  Connections: Proceedings of the 6th I...
Suggested Reading List:  "The Sexually Abused Child in Foster Care", Emily Jean McFadden, in  Specialist Foster Care A Nor...
Suggested Reading List:  "To Be On Our Own with No Direction From Home": A Report  on, the, Special Needs of Youth Leaving...
Course CertificateIf you wish to receive a Course Certificate, please do thefollowing:Complete the registration form, test...
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Safeguarding part3

  1. 1. SECTION IV ALLEGATIONS & INVESTIGATIONS Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  2. 2. WHEN FOSTER FAMILIES ARE BEING INVESTIGATED, THEY ARE LIVING UNDER A MICROSCOPE” Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  3. 3. Who is likely to make an ALLEGATION? Allegation by child. Allegation by community member. Allegation made by a relative of the foster family. Allegation made by the bio-family of your foster child. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  4. 4. Allegations are generallyinvestigated by the IntakeSocial Worker using theStandards for childprotection cases integratedwith the Risk AssessmentModel for Child Protectionin Ontario. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  5. 5. SOCIETY‟S INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE Worker informs Supervisor Worker completes Serious Occurrence Report and the People Profile Supervisor reviews Serious Occurrence Report Supervisor informs Director of Services Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  6. 6. SOCIETY‟S INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE (CONT‟D) Serious Occurrence meeting is held Social Worker opens a Protection file If police are involved, criminal charges may be laid Interview (Foster Parent Advocate) Outcome of investigation: founded, unsubstantiated Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  7. 7. THE INVESTIGATION Know your Society‟s policies and procedures for investigating allegations of abuse; Follow the Society‟s guidelines; Should the Society not follow the guidelines, ask for a written reason as to why the delay or change; Should there be any part of the policy or procedure which you do not understand, ask for clarification; Do you have an Advocate/Communicator Program available? Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  8. 8. THE INVESTIGATION All children in the home are interviewed under the age of 18. Child is seen within 12 hours (severe abuse) or seven days (all others). Consultation with Supervisor. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  9. 9. UNDER INVESTIGATION WHAT DO I DO NOW ? Don‟t panic if you are innocent most allegations are resolved quickly. Deny immediately if innocent; then don‟t discuss without your legal counsel present. Obtain legal advice immediately. Dont talk to "anyone! about the particulars of your situation prior to consulting with, or obtaining the services of a lawyer. You can check with your local foster family association to see if they maintain a list of lawyers familiar with child welfare law, or if they can recommend a lawyer. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  10. 10. UNDER INVESTIGATION WHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d) Obtain legal advice immediately (cont‟d).  Police have the right to question you. Their interest is to try and discover the truth.  You have the right not to make any statements without a lawyer present.  Asking to have a lawyer present does not imply guilt. You have a right to have a lawyer present regardless of your innocence or guilt  If you are taken to the police station, ask to have a lawyer present before you make any comments or statements.  Police are not permitted to promise you special treatment or favours in return for your statement; write down any promise of this kind if one is made and advise your lawyer.  Do not sign anything without a lawyer present. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  11. 11. UNDER INVESTIGATIONWHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d)  Contact a foster parent association support worker (Communicator)  Do not make any statements to the Society. Explain to your Society why you will not be making a statement.  Do not contact the child  Be prepared to be put under the microscope –both Defence lawyer and Crown lawyer will do this.  Review the records you received when the child was placed to see if there have been similar allegations. Review your own records to see if there is anything in them that can give you an idea of why this might be happening. Has there been behaviour changes recorded that might indicate abuse had been happening within the foster family? Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  12. 12. UNDER INVESTIGATIONWHAT DO I DO NOW ? (cont‟d)  Begin a diary - leave out subjective things, Keep a written record of all telephone calls, visits, or meetings that take place.  Prepare for immediate rejection – by the people around you and possibly family.  Prepare for frequent absences from the home. (interviews, lawyers etc.)  Accept that this allegation could take years to be resolved. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  13. 13. OUTCOMES In an average year, there may be 20 allegations of which less than one may be substantiated and/or founded. Unsubstantiated means couldn‟t be proven. Founded means established, found to be true. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  14. 14. OUTCOMES You could be found guilty and sentenced. Depending on the province/territory in which you reside, your name may or may not be placed on a child abuse registry or child welfare information system, regardless of outcome. This is not a criminal record, but the information could be used to deny you foster care opportunities in the future. You should request information from your lawyer about having your name removed from a registry Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  15. 15. OUTCOMES You may be committed to stand trial on a criminal charge. You are innocent until proven guilty. Charges can be dropped. There can be an acquittal (not guilty). The charges may be plea-bargained to a lesser charge, or the charges can be unsubstantiated. This does not necessarily mean you can foster again. You will need to get a letter from your Society about your being able to be a foster family again. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  16. 16. OUTCOMES The investigation may find no proof for the allegation and the child, if removed, may be returned to your care. The child may not be returned. Although there has been insufficient proof to proceed ahead with a criminal charge, the foster family/Society may decide that it is in everyones best interests that the child be placed elsewhere, e.g., his/her natural family, etc. It is also possible that the Society will struggle with whether to use you again. You will want to make sure you get a letter outlining the disposition of the case, and a copy of whatever will be placed in your file. Most Society s will have appeal procedures that can be utilized. Make sure you know these. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  17. 17. REACTIONS & FEELINGS AFTER AN ALLEGATIONSubstantiated abuse by spouse/partner is especially hurtful. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  18. 18. REACTIONS & FEELINGS AFTER AN ALLEGATIONPhysically:  Can‟t sleep  Can‟t eat  Can‟t concentrate  Disinterest in sexual relationships Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  19. 19. REACTIONS & FEELINGS AFTER AN ALLEGATION Trauma - is rooted in the experience of being overwhelmed by a sudden, unexpected and overwhelming life event. Many foster parents express shock and disbelief at finding themselves under official investigation without any warning. Betrayed by child & system - feeling betrayed when their prime source of support, social worker, etc. is told not to talk to them. The foster parent might feel embittered, isolated and betrayed Ashamed & embarrassed – being accused of child abuse is a form of degradation. The accused face having their identity and reputation recast in the eyes of the community. Foster parents often report feelings of inadequacy, shame, and a general decline in self-esteem and self-respect. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  20. 20. REACTIONS & FEELINGS AFTER AN ALLEGATION Anger - from the feeling of implied guilt. Hostility can occur. Most foster parents feel angry and defensive. Confusion Worried Paranoid Helpless - feeling of being out of control of one‟s life. Foster parent not always given the opportunity to explain their side of the story. Often not given information regarding the progress of the investigation. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  21. 21. Coping After an Allegation After an allegation families can be left with a number of issues that might need to be addressed: Loss of natural children Reappraisal of fostering Impact on marital state Impact on the children in the home Shift in personal goals and responses High anxiety 4-6 weeks or longer Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  22. 22. Coping After an Allegation Feeling of severe depression Loss of sense of self & self esteem Loss of employment, wages, pension plans etc. Financial burden (e.g. Having to re-mortgage, borrow $) Communication with Society Loss of credibility – community, employer, friends, peers and all members of the foster family should recognize the need to attend to the feelings generated when an allegation occurs. A support group for foster parents who have gone through this process could be helpful. After seeking legal advice on confidentiality, you should seek out appropriate professional help as a family, so that the healing and forgiveness can begin to take place. It may also help your financial planning for the future if you consult an accountant. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  23. 23. Commit to children and youcommit to our future. Please protect yourself and your family Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  24. 24. THIS BRINGS US TO THE END OF THE TRAINING SESSION SAFEGUARDING – YOU & YOUR FAMILY.The next few slides outline case studies. Questions on the case studies areprovided for you to reflect on. They are not part of the test.Following the case studies you will find a link to register and completethe test questions. Successful completion of the test is required in order toobtain a certificate of completion. Registration provides us with your e-mail address & name for the certificate.Privacy:Please note that any and all the information received will be treated as confidentialand used only for statistical purposes only. We will not divulge any names ofparticipants. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  25. 25. CASE STUDY The O‟Neills Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  26. 26. THE O’NEILLSThe ONeills have fostered for several years and have many fosterchildren. They are more interested in just “taking care of children” thanfilling out forms, bothering their worker with phone calls, attendingtraining or keeping logs. They are an active couple. Mr. and Mrs. O‟Neillare involved in their church one or two evenings a week and Mrs. O‟Neillvolunteers every Tuesday evening at the local Women‟s Shelter.They have two girls, ages five and twelve, and a fourteen year old sonwho often baby-sits when his parents are at church meetings. They arecurrently fostering 12 year old Cindy who has been with them for fourmonths. She is young for her age and at the same time, somewhat„street smart‟. She is very loyal to her mother and has told her suchthings as when they went bowling, the clothes the ONeills havepurchased for her, and the time the ONeills‟ 12 year old was so upset shewas sent to her room. She has told her mother how the ONeills havedisciplined her. Mr. O‟Neill takes Cindy to her supervised visits with hermother as it is the same night that Mrs. O‟Neill volunteers at the Shelter. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  27. 27. THE O’NEILLS (Cont’d)The ONeills feel it is important to treat all children as “theirown” and are affectionate and physical with Cindy. Theybelieve that this approach helps her to feel she is part ofthe family. Cindy likes the hugs offered and appears totrust Mr. O‟Neill and is more animated with him. Severaltimes, Cindy has watched their five year old snuggle on herdad‟s lap and she has plunked herself down on his laplooking for the same affectionate hugs. She has started torequest that Mr. O‟Neill kiss her goodnight once she istucked into bed.THINK ABOUT:Question: What are the risk factors for an abuse allegation?Question: What Safety Plan should be put in place? Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  28. 28. THE HUSSONSMrs. Husson is very experienced. She was a Health Care Aid and sheoperated a private day care prior to starting her own family. Mr. Hussonis a truck driver and is away from home Tuesday, Wednesday andThursday nights. They have four children; the eldest being eight yearsold. Their eight year old has been diagnosed with ADHD and requires agreat deal of attention and directing.The Hussons were opened as a foster home for seven months prior togetting their first placement. They had little contact with the Societywhile they awaited their first placement. The contact since they havehad placements has been sporadic. They feel it is important not tobother the extremely busy workers with little things Because they havefostered very young children, they have never used relief and they don‟treel it is fair to send the foster children to relief when their own childrenremain at home. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  29. 29. THE HUSSONS (Cont’d)Mrs. Husson “has her days” when she feels she is a single mother when herhusband is away so much. She doesn‟t think about that as she is too busy.They try to attend cluster but because of Mr. Husson‟s work schedule, theyrarely make the meetings. They have a young busy family and because ofthis, they have taken little training offered by the Society.Although they were opened for infants and toddlers, they have accepted asibling group – a five year old named Scott, and a seven year old, namedSue. Although they received a great deal of information from the Societythey did not call the previous foster parent nor did they come to the officeto read the file on these children prior to accepting the placement. Becauseof the gender and age mix, they have Sue and their eight yearold, Jen, share a bedroom. This can be very disruptive at bedtime as bothchildren seem to need so much attention when “I am often feeling out ofsorts at that time of the day”. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  30. 30. THE HUSSONS (Cont’d)Mrs. Husson is finding her house very busy and never finds time at the endof the day to write her logs for the children.Scott and Sue came from an extremely neglectful and aggressive homewhere boundaries were undefined and hitting and shouting controlledbehaviours. Both children are verbally and physically aggressive with eachother, with peers and with adults. Neither child will take no for an answerand pushes the limits and buttons of adults and peers. Sue has beensuspended from school several times for aggressive behaviour. She alwaysblames someone else as the cause for her aggression. Mrs. Husson foundout from the school that Sue is a “story teller” and has accused teachers ofbeing mean to her. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  31. 31. THE HUSSONS (Cont’d)The court ordered access (twice per week) leaves the childrenupset for one or two days after the visit. Although contact hasbeen minimal, Mrs. Husson feels the mother is angry and islooking for someone to blame. Sue makes the oddcomment/accusation that somehow it is Mrs. Husson‟s faultthat she is not at home with her mother.THINK ABOUT:Question: What are the risk factors for an abuse allegation?Question: What Safety Plan should be put in place? Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  32. 32. Suggested Reading List: "Abuse in Foster Homes, Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child", Emily Jean McFadden National Foster Care Projects, Institute for the Study of Children and Families - presented at the Fifth International Foster Care Organization Conference, Leeds, England, July 1987. "The Abuse of Children in Foster Care": A Study of Incidence, Characteristics, and the Precipitating Factors, Ross Dawson, Toronto: Ontario Association of Childrens Aid Societies n.d. "Abusive Indicators in Children`` Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba Division in People Helping People Vol. 5, October 1990. "Allegations of Abuse in Family Foster Care": "An Examination of the Impact on Foster Families`", Jacob Sprouse Jr., a, King George, Virginia: American Foster Care Resources, Inc, 1989. "Caring for Children and Youth Who Have Been Sexually Abused, Linda Croll, Naturas and the National Youth In Care Network, 1991. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  33. 33. Suggested Reading List: "The Caring Response", David Austin and William Halpmin, Journal of Child and Youth Care, Vol.4, No. 3, 1989. "Consequences of Child Abuse Allegations for- Foster Families", Rosemary Carbino, Editor, and Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin - Madison Health and Human Issues, 1991. "Enhancing Biological and Foster Sibling Interactions", James Piers, in Lasting Connections: Proceedings of the 6th Foster Care Organization Education Conference, ed. Emily Jean McFadden Eastern Michigan University, 1991. "Foster Care Handbook", Childrens Aid Society of London and Middlesex "The Foster Care Research Project Summary and Analysis" Dr. Paul Steinhauer, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 33, August 1988. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  34. 34. Suggested Reading List: "Foster Care Respite Program"!, Sandra Boelter, in Lasting Connections: Proceedings of the 6th International Foster Care Organization Education Conference, ed. Emily Jean McFadden, Eastern Michigan University, 1991. "The Parents Handbook": Systematic Training for Effective Parenting, Dinkmeyer and McKay, American Guidance Service, Random House, 1982 "Preventing Child Abuse and Child Abuse Allegations in Foster Care", Ross Dawson, from Lasting Connections: Proceedings of the 6th International Foster Care Organization Education Conference, ed. Emily Jean - McFadden, 1991. "Prevention of Abuse Allegations": Safeguards for Foster Parents (draft), B. C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations, 1992. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  35. 35. Suggested Reading List: "The Sexually Abused Child in Foster Care", Emily Jean McFadden, in Specialist Foster Care A Normalizing Experience. The Haworth Press, Inc, 1989. "Sharing My Parents Making Fostering a Positive Experience for Birth and Adopted Children of Foster Parents", Becky Richardson, in Lasting connections: Proceeding of the 6th International Foster Care Organization Education Conference, Jean McFadden, ed., Eastern Michigan University, 1991. "Support for Foster Parents Accused of Child Abuse", Stephen Nixon, Carolyn Hicks and Sue Ells, London, England National Foster Care, Association. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  36. 36. Suggested Reading List: "To Be On Our Own with No Direction From Home": A Report on, the, Special Needs of Youth Leaving the Care of the Child Welfare System Brian Raychaba, - Ottawa- National Youth in Care Network, 1988. "We Get A Life Sentence: Young People in Care Speak Out on Child Sexual Abuse", Brian Raychaba, National Youth in Care Network 1989. "When Children Act Out Sexually, A Guide for Parents and Teachers", Jean Napier Hemy, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, 1991. All policies, guidelines and procedure manuals within your agency. Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario
  37. 37. Course CertificateIf you wish to receive a Course Certificate, please do thefollowing:Complete the registration form, test and courseevaluation by clicking below;Submit to us via e-mail;A Course Certificate will be emailed to you uponsuccessful completion of the test. A mark of 90% orhigher is required.Thank-you for your interest in this on line training course Online Training "Safeguarding" Foster Parents Society of Ontario

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