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Local couple pushes for ombudsman oversight Children's Aid Societies

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Sat, 08/11/2012 - 15:28
Fight Child Protection Department Corruption: 
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Sudbury residents Neil and Tabatha Haskett are fighting for ombudsman oversight of a number of publicly-funded organizations. They belong to a group called the Ontario Coalition for Accountability. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

2,539 complaints not investigated last year

A Sudbury couple are on a mission to bring independent oversight to Ontario municipalities, universities, school boards and hospitals, known collectively as the MUSH sector.

The same kind of oversight is also needed for children's aid societies, long-term care facilities and the police, say Neil and Tabatha Haskett, who lead the Sudbury chapter of the Ontario Coalition for Accountability.

The group, which often holds rallies in the Greater Sudbury area, is pushing for Ontario ombudsman André Marin to have the right to investigate complaints in these areas.

“I know some amazing foster parents, I know some good doctors, and all my experiences in the hospital have been outstanding,” Neil said.

“We know these front-line people do provide some great services, but every once in a while, somebody does make a mistake. Management, more often than not, doesn't seem willing to allow that to be dealt with properly, if at all.”

That's where Marin should come in, he said.

In his yearly report, published in June, the ombudsman himself dedicates several pages to stressing the importance of being able to investigate the publicly-funded organizations listed above.

Marin said he turned down a record 2,539 complaints in these sectors in 2011-2012, up from 1,963 in the previous year.

“Unfortunately, there are many organizations that provide direct and vital public services to Ontarians, without the important check and balance of ombudsman oversight,” Marin wrote in his report.

“I have followed my ombudsman predecessors in repeatedly calling for modernization of my mandate to include the MUSH sector. The reason is simple. MUSH organizations have a profound and immediate impact on the lives and welfare of individual citizens.

“They impact Ontarians where they work, live and play, and when they are at their most vulnerable.”

The only area of the MUSH sector the ombudsman is allowed to investigate is closed-door municipal council meetings.

He's also allowed to oversee the special investigations unit (SIU), an organization which investigates events involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.
Ontario has the least independent oversight of any province when it comes to these areas, Marin said.

While he isn't allowed to investigate complaints about any of these organizations, ombudsmen in other provinces are allowed to investigate at least some of them.

The Hasketts said most of their advocacy has ended up focusing on long-term care facilities and hospitals.

“With children's aid, people are on the verge of losing their children,” Neil said.

“If people are losing their children for something they didn't do, what else can these people do? Most of them can't afford the legal fees that are associated with a child protection case. Some of them can cost upwards of $200,000 to $300,000.”

When it comes to hospitals and long-term care facilities, basically the only thing people can do is complain to the organizations' board of directors, Neil said.

“They're battling a corporate machine that's well-oiled, and has dealt with people like them in the past.”

The recent death of a four-month-old prematurely born baby boy, who was under the care of foster parents selected by the local children's aid society, prompted the Ontario Coalition for Accountability to hold a rally in downtown Sudbury.

While the death is under investigation by the coroner, police and the children's aid society, the ombudsman should also be allowed to investigate such cases, Tabatha said.

“He'll be able to find those cracks and follow the paper trails,” she said.

In terms of ongoing problems at Health Sciences North related to the ALC situation, Neil said Marin could act as an advocate for patients, and provide recommendations for how things could be done better.

Neil said he was also interested to hear that Hamilton Health Sciences CEO Murray Martin will conduct a peer review of Health Sciences North.

The peer review will focus on ways of dealing with the hospital's deficit and its ALC challenges, among other areas.

“Why are we putting these things in place when we have an investigator that everybody trusts, that does a fantastic job?” Neil said. “He sees through the BS. He sees the substantiated complaints.”

While Marin is unable to investigate complaints in these sectors right now, Tabatha encourages the public to contact him anyway, as a record is kept of all complaints.

For more information about the Ontario Coalition for Accountability, visit www.ontariocfa.com. To contact the ombudsman's office, visit www.ombudsman.on.ca.

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

Comments

Docile's picture

I am aware that a former foster child joined Neil Haskett group and posted about the group homes and Dave Fagon. He accused Dave and Karen Fagon of some serious allegations. I would like the truth to come out and be reported. 

Docile's picture

I am aware that a former foster child joined Neil Haskett group on Facebook and spoke out about his experinces in the system. He spoke about Dave Fagon. A few months later the Sudbury Star published a story about Dave Fagon a group home worker. 

 

Dave Fagon was a soical worker for 15 years. 

 

 

Docile's picture

I am aware that even former foster kids also join this group.

 

On January 21, 2011, a former foster joined the group and spoke out about Dave Fagon, and the Sudbury group homes and other predators. 

 

here in the group:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stopcasgroup/permalink/595201317163862/

KARMAGOODORBAD's picture

On January 21, 2013, a former foster child joined Neil Haskett group and posted about his abuse in the CAS and Dave and Karen Fagon and Kent Perras and others. 

 

On March 15, 2013, Sudbury Star publishes a story about Dave Fagon. 

 

 

 

KARMAGOODORBAD's picture

A city man has been given a suspended sentence concerning an incident involving a female coworker at a Copper Cliff group home almost five years ago.

Dave Fagon, who had been charged with sexual assault in the 2008 incident and had been scheduled for a one-day trial in the Ontario Court of Justice on Thursday, opted to plead to the lesser charge of assault.

Judge Melanie Dunn accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence lawyer John Recoskie that Fagon, 40, receive a suspended sentence and one year probation. The probation order includes a condition that Fagon have no contact with the victim.

"I would be loathe to interfere when counsel came to me with a submission," Dunn told the court. "It's a plea, not an early one, but it is indicative of remorse. It is not lost on me the predicament you have already received with the suspension of your career."

The court heard Fagon and a female co-worker were working the night shift at a group home in Copper Cliff sometime from 5 to 6 a.m. Oct. 19 when Fagon, who was on a couch in the living room, went over to the other couch where the woman was lying and laid on top of her.

Fagon fondled the woman, touched her breasts and kissed her for a few minutes before he was pushed off.

The woman immediately reported the incident to the employer and it was dealt with internally. Fagon was fired.

The incident was not reported to Greater Sudbury Police until the spring of 2012. Fagon was then charged with sexual assault.

Fagon, who had no prior record, did not address the court.

Recoskie told the court Fagon, who is originally from Jamaica, has two degrees, has two children with joint shared custody, and had worked in the social work field for 15 years.

"As a result of the charge, that career has come to an end," said the lawyer. "He will almost certainly never be employed in the social work field again. This conviction, of itself, is very serious to him ... This has been a very serious life-altering event for him."

Recoskie said Fagon now works in the restaurant sector.

KARMAGOODORBAD's picture
KARMAGOODORBAD's picture

 I lived in CAS care for about 6 years, during which time I had no say in a number of matters, some of which I still feel were very abusive. 
I was forced to take medication against my consent, many times. Physically restrained in order to force medication down my throat, threatened with jail time, etc..
I am still very angry for being forced to take drugs such as ritalin, dexadrin, etc.., furthermore during times of emotional angst i was held pressed against the floor with 2, sometimes 3 staff on top of me. their way of dealing with you when your sad is to force your face against the ground and push hard while they sit on you.

recently, asking for a file on my medical issues shows that the cas workers used reports to falsify events related to a medical device which was painful and which I had out grown to the point where a very apologetic staff told me I did not have to wear it anymore, yet in this report, on file, it is claimed that I refused to wear the medical brace, no mention of circumstance or reasons , in my mind it was a blatent lie to mis-represent the situation this way, likely for accountability later for the childrens aid itself.. I am confident the full file contains alot more examples where they re-wrote situations for their legal advantage 
there were alot of very scary situations where children were made into victims by the childrens aid, I have suffered some of them. 

here are some names of abusive childrens aid workers, some of which i do not resent entirely, but would like to see accounting for their actions, faced by a real life adult whom they have abused.

Tom Sutton: has been restraining to force medicate children against their will, if you have a prescription you have no choice, "swallow it or we swallow it for you", used police style intimidation tactics/composure, 
Kathy Sutton: same as above, also will open face slap children because shes unhappy. Can be confirmed by a staff named Cindy who worked for northern lights programs 
Karenjeet sidhu Fagen (now married to Richard Garneau, supervisor of sudbury manitoulin cas) sexually mollested or traded sex for money with group home boys,, supplied shane with enough money to nearly ruin his life with chrystal meth
karen had nicknames for us all:
I was the "fat boy"
Michael Langlois (now deceased, cocaine) was "your boy with all the problems"
Patrick was "the gay kid"
Kent Perras(group home owner) can confirm about Karen, Shane is still alive and so can he.

Richard Garneau( karens new husband) was a case worker but he ignored every request made for vocational materials, athletic meterials, medication changes, etc.. no compromise, which to youth can be crushing. no bikes, no computers, you can have some clothes, but that`s about it. while he was my case worker he was having an affair with Karen, whom was sleeping with shane(shane was one of the youth in these homes) Karen had a strong dislike for me and blocked me from having any say at any plan of care meetings, he was mostly friendly if he was not around Karen, But i had to watch other youth get bikes and football gear and other things which I was not allowed to have

Dave Fagan, called me fat boy, used to turn my room upside down while i was in school and would lock me in my room untill it was cleaned, sometimes he would do this several times a week.he would claim he was looking for drugs but would never find any, he would also drill holes into the walls, not clean up after himself, still force me into the room untill it was cleaned. His wife at that time was Karen , whom he may or may not have known was having two affairs at once.
there was alot of punishment for no reason at this time in my life and it seemed many staff did not like me because I wasnt cool enough. I was dealing with chronic depression the entire time and most of the staff were unkind. there were few nice staff, many innocent staff that had nothing to do with any of this, but who did witness the goings on and did not say anything.

when I attended an event in quebec "which was fun" staff members organised a competition where youth would race to finish a plate of disgusting foods, one of the items on the plate was a large squeeze of toothepaste, which is highly toxic .. of course this competition was optional, toxic items should not be considered foods. 

Perry and tracy "house parents" disciplined me for reporting an assault in which another house mate threw sand into my eyes, I was sent to my room to spend the day because they "don`t like taddletales" the entire time living under their care I was treated with dirty looks and dis interest, they adopted the sand throwing child because he was their favorite, and they quit being houseparents .

 

 

link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stopcasgroup/permalink/595201317163862/

 

 

KARMAGOODORBAD's picture

Those managers should be charged also. 

Unprofessional, rude & out of order, kudos to the young lady for speaking out. 

I hope Neil Haskett and his group does some good work in the future and exposes these sick predators. 

KARMAGOODORBAD's picture

Residents of a Minnow Lake neighbourhood are fed up. 
    Fed up with years of alleged vandalism, verbal abuse, breakins to cars and homes and threats. Now, they have sent the city a petition calling for what they say is the cause of all these incidents -- a nearby group home -- to be shut down immediately. 
    

 

link

 

http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/12/12/residents-tired-of-group-home