Childrens Aid Society-Parental Nightmare
CAS(Children’s Aid Society) was established around 1912, and it’s mandate is the promotion of child welfare issues, government relations, advocacy, policy development, communications, research and special projects, member support, quality assurance in child welfare practice, and training for all protection workers. For the purpose of this article we will just concentrate on the the promotion of child welfare issues, which basically means keeping children safe.
This is a very important agency and unfortunately there is a need for it, and they can and have saved many children from abusive or neglectful circumstances. On the down side it is also used by vindictive people with a grudge to cause problems and stress for innocent families. If you have serious concerns about the welfare and/or safety of a child then you should call and let them decide if any action is needed. Common sense dictates that if you see something in public that causes you concern then what happens in private could be even more disconcerting. That being said calling CAS to report concerns that are not valid or “trumped-up” is not something that most people would consider doing, but it does happen.
Case in point. A family was contacted by CAS to tell them that a call was received about their children not being supervised and that the parents had “alcohol issues”. When the shock and confusion subsided, replaced by anger, now wondering why someone would/could report such a thing when it was clearly untrue. The parents never let their children out of their sight for very long, and they were never left in the house alone when they went out. Ever. At odd times the kids were allowed outside without the parents to go ask friends to come out to play or see who was outside playing, but the parents were never far behind them, after all it is a very small complex and there has never been any reason to not allow them this small privilege.
CAS was told (anonymously) that the children were never supervised and they feared for their safety.
Now as to the second part of the accusations refers to some type of alcohol problem, and when embellished on were accused of drinking all day, everyday. Now they are the first to admit to having a beer or two and the end of the day but certainly at not the level of consumption the caller was speaking of. Obviously there were would be other signs of that type of addiction. DUI, noise complaints, fighting, arguing, spousal abuse, neglect, kids not going to school, or even seen intoxicated in public, that sort of thing. Needless to say that none of those things have happened.
To illustrate the level of deceit the person making the call was willing to go to, just to cause problems, will be evident by the following statements.
One day when the wife was out the Dad let his youngest out alone to go next door and ask her friend to come out and play. She was told to come right back inside if the answer was no. After a few minutes, possibly 10, the husband was getting ready to go out and check where she was when the wife returned. She asked where the youngest was and while Daddy was explaining both of them went out to see what she was up to. Well, she was not out front, not out back, not in the friends house, not at her other friends house, and in fact not anywhere to be seen. So without going in to great detail about what happened (you can see that here) the child was found hiding in the Master bedroom under the covers. She had heard Mommy and Daddy calling for her and was hiding.
“What the caller said to CAS“
The police were called to the home because both of the children had been reported missing, one was found hiding in the closet and the other was found in a garbage dumpster. And this is what caused her concern about the supervision.
So while the CAS person was informing the parents of the allegations needless to say they were aghast at the blatant fabrication that was so different of the truth. The parents signed consent so he could get a copy of the police report and that would pretty much end concerns CAS had about the parents. However, they still wanted to speak to the children and ask them all sorts of questions. The parents were not were not very happy about that.
Think to yourself, and your own family, and ask yourself this,
How would you feel if CAS received a call about you, or your spouse, or both of you. You’ve been accused of neglecting your children, that you do not supervise them properly, they have been told that you are an excessive drinker, that in fact you drink all day, everyday. Anyone that has an issue or problem (argument) with you can call and report you for something completely untrue, and there is nothing you can do about it. These Parents have had 2 such calls about them in the same month, saying exactly the same thing. And there is nothing they can do to the person calling. Nada. They have contacted the police and asked about harrasment charges but have been told that it is not possible. CAS is not obligated to share the files with the police and CAS has no interest in pursuing such a course of action.
That’s not right and something needs to be changed about the way calls are assigned, and even perhaps more screening of reports. It is very important not to discourage people calling at all. They do a lot of good and have helped many children, but when it’s abused it can cause damage as well.
Not acting when the signs of abuse are present can pro-long the suffering, fail to save a child being abused or one that is in grave danger, and you should not hesitate to call especially if you have a “don’t get involved” type mentality. That can not be stressed enough. However, it is the people that abuse the system and use it for personal reasons is what causes problems, wasted resources and unnecessary investigations.