FULL INTERVIEW with director of service for Family and Children's Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville

"Three cops and a social worker.. How a pocket dial almost ruined lives"
This video was in response to my complaint letter. Background info, including the audio of the police call that started it all can be found here.. unpublishedottawa.com/letter/48049/three-cops-and-social-wor

The following letter is in response to my recent interview with Intake
Manager, Erin-Lee Marcotte, and Kim Morrow, Director of Service for
Family and Children's Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville (FCSLLG)
on Feb. 3, 2016.

Feb. 19, 2016

Dear Ms. Morrow, Director of Service, FCSLLG

Following our interview on Feb. 3 2016, I am writing to highlight my
concerns of that interview and suggest some actions the agency may take
for addressing these concerns.

my original complaint letter, (Jan. 26, 2016) I express that a push to
meet child protection Ministry standards took precedent over my
children's best interest, in my case. I had written that I felt my
matter was brought to court to rush the investigation. During our
interview, you confirmed this, saying that a push to meet standards had
taken place recently, (10m15s) and you also referred to bringing me to
court as a means to “speed up the process,” (36m10s). You also refer to
the court as the “complaint process” (1h26m11s) for parents. Court is
for decision making, not complaint or investigation processes. I believe
that the agency is putting Ministry standards and its own best
interest, ahead of children's best interests and that service quality is
diminishing because of this. The end result is hurting children,
breaking up families and costing tax-payers a lot of money in
unnecessary court motions and orders.

I still have concerns in regards to being threatened with child
apprehension in front of my kids. I do not believe the worker's threat
was said in order to be "transparent," (2m30s) as your service manager
explained during our interview. I believe the worker said it in an
attempt to intimidate me into complying with her demands. This is
considered extortion in the Criminal Code of Canada. It is also very
concerning that this is a typical practice, condoned by FCSLLG.

I do believe an affidavit should be a verbatim account of what happened,
despite you saying it shouldn't during our interview (22m22s). I do not
believe an affidavit should only "embody the spirit and intent,"
(22m27s) of the worker at the time, as you explained. I believe this is a
very dangerous practice and way of thinking, indicative of a complete
disregard for judicial processes. I believe an affidavit should state
the facts of what occurred, not what the worker intended to occur. I
still believe your workers lied in their affidavits, which is a criminal
offence, and I am very disappointed that FCSLLG condones this practice
as well.

I am also extremely concerned with you telling me that my affidavit was
"buried," (42m58s) and that is why none of my sworn and served
responding materials were acknowledged until I brought my copy to the
interview, long after the fact. You told me in our interview that "there
was no record," (36m56s) of the agency receiving my documents, despite
them being served upon FCSLLG on Aug. 13, 2015, and despite one worker,
Mary-Beth Zeeman, acknowledging their existence in court, however not
responding to them. This worker also said on video, that she does not
"have anything to do with legal papers." This is very concerning, and as
a typical practice is extremely dangerous. "Buried" documents may
result in decisions that actually hurt children. FCSLLG's tolerance of
ignoring/burying court documents submitted by parents is very alarming.

during our interview, I brought up how I tried to work cooperatively
and frequently you tell me you “saw no evidence of that,” (33m34s). When
I respond and show you ample evidence of that, FCSLLG blames worker
negligence on "bumps along the way," (1h8m17s) and understaffing. Every
one of my communications and requests with FCSLLG hit a "bump along the
way," and I believe that having that many "bumps along the way"
indicates a clear and consistent pattern of negligence within your
agency and your complacent, minimizing attitude about the impacts of
this, is concerning. These "bumps" hurt my kids, and is likely hurting
other kids receiving your services. You frequently deny reading letters
and case notes, then later recant this in the interview. These
contradictory statements only heightened my distrust of FCSLLG.

I also have concerns about the funding priorities of the agency. During
my involvement with FCSLLG, a form of mediation was offered, but not
given. You told me during the interview that Alternative Dispute
Resolution was likely not pursued in my case because its “funding had
been used up,” (47m12s). This mediation may have saved FCSLLG, and my
family, a lot of valuable time and money. Not having consistent funding
for Alternative Dispute Resolution is dangerous, as no other form of
mediation for parents dealing with FCSLLG exists. You also told me that
the agency was understaffed during the same time-period, referring to
"vacancy management" (1h44m21s) as a means to save money in the budget
by not filling positions right away. Understaffing and lack of mediation
were both cited by you during the interview as contributing factors to
my objectional experience with FCSLLG.

I believe a serious re-evaluation of FCSLLG practices, ethics and human
rights training for staff is necessary. I was completely ignored and my
concerns were dismissed or challenged throughout my entire experience,
(including our interview.) This tells me that those "bumps along the
way" my family experienced are not only typical, but are intentional, I
believe for the agency to protect its best interest, (Ministry
standards, funding goals and client obedience.) This is hurting
vulnerable families. I believe when working with children, that the
highest ethical standards should apply, which should also include
workers' registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and
Social Service Workers. You told me that FCSLLG had decided that it
wouldn't require its workers to register with the College, (1h24m36s)
and that if it did, such a decision would not be agency initiated. I
found this to be concerning as well.

Going forward, I would like to work with the agency on creating
client-feedback surveys. I believe the best way to measure and improve
service is by listening to the people you serve. I would also like an
opportunity to meet with your Board of Directors as well as have the
internal review panel look over my case. I am also concerned with where
the focus of the agency is heading and I do not believe it is in
children's best interest. I believe that children's best interest should
always come first. That may not always mean following standards and
refusing to look at the bigger picture. FCSLLG seems more concerned with
protecting its best interest, than advocating for family rights when
this occurs. I speak for many concerned families in this area.


Kelley Denham, RSSW



By: space-coyote (18.40)

Tags: smiths falls, CAS, Family and Children's Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, accountability, police, social worker

Location: New York, United States