Kids must be placed first

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Editor’s note: This is an open letter to Chatham-Kent Children’s Services

Sir: It’s with a broken heart that I share my horrifying experience as a foster parent in the past 19 months with CKCS.

When we began fostering five years ago, we were trained from the beginning to work with families with the ultimate goal of having the children returned to their family. I believed in what I was taught, and tried to work within that framework, but recent events have proven that, in fact, this is just not the case.

As a result, two little boys were not with their family Christmas Eve or Christmas morning due to decisions made by the family service worker and her supervisor – decisions I wholeheartedly disagreed with.

After months of advocating with the agency, on behalf of the boys, it has been made apparently clear, sadly, that the best interests of the boys were NOT the top priority.

It was also abundantly clear that strongly advocating for the children in my care “crossed a line,” and it resulted in the closing of our foster home at a time when they are desperately needed.

I guess my crossing the line was when I started to question what appeared to be an injustice to a father who is trying desperately, with the support of family and outside agencies, to better himself for the future of himself and his boys.

My question now is when the Ministry of Community and Social Services provides $25 million to the agency to protect children, who is going to protect the children from their decisions?

Jessie MacMillan

Former Foster Parent

Chatham

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