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DiManno: Powerful child welfare authorities must be called to account
From a Toronto Star column:
When Elaine Campione was on trial for murdering her two young daughters, the prosecution deliberately declined to call child welfare authorities to the stand.
In a strategic gambit to secure conviction -- which did, in fact, result -- the Crown attorney avoided diluting the case by spreading the blame to anyone other than the accused.
Yet the defendant's own parents, and her estranged husband, had expressed their urgent concerns about Campione's mental problems to the local Children's Aid Society, long before the woman drowned her children in the bathtub in a horrific act of spousal vengeance. The CAS has never been held to account for its decision to return those kids to their mom following her psychiatric hospitalization.
Child welfare authorities in Ontario have immense powers yet are accountable to no one.
The incidents where a member of the CAS or the Catholic Children's Aid Society or the Jewish Family and Child Service have been charged criminally in cases of youngsters dying or suffering unspeakable abuse while under their supervision can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
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