This following excerpt is the info Susan, below, refers to from the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) web site. Given the Ontario Women's Directorate is involved, meaning strident feminist ideology (psycho babble) is at play, (male is abuser - woman is benign) you can bet the CAS seems to be putting into the public domain what has been their operational practice for some time. Dads and men don't matter. All of this brought to all men by your own tax dollars. It matters not that women are the single largest abusers of children and in the USA and Australia the largest cohort to kill and maltreat children. Ideology trumps both science and logic.
The list of speakers on the web site will emphasize this conference is not balanced. It is clearly designed to imbue the corporate culture of Children's Aid Societies with the stamp of "officially" being full partners with Feminist ideological constructs based more on quackery than science. This will open them up to both liability and disgrace given, as mentioned previously, the safest place for a child is in a two parent biological family or with their biological dad. See my article here based on USA comprehensive government statistics going back several years. In all cases it shows the most likely person to kill or harm a child is the single mother or the single mother and her boyfriend/new husband. Back links to the government site are provided. If this becomes official it will make for an interesting Human Rights Issue as the agency entrusted to protect children is in legion with the feminist lobby who support the people most likely to perpetrate harm on our youngsters.
We get what we pay for and we get what we deserve with those whom we elected. The current Liberal regime in Ontario have lost their way and the tax supported agencies we support are giving them the middle finger while they criticize them for anticipated budget cuts to CAS' across the Province. They say "don't bite the hand that feeds you" but if CAS' align themselves with feminist ideology, politicians who are mere eunuchs now will be less likely to cut as severe. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and we know who rules in most men's lives.
Those speaking are some of the largest recipients of tax payer dollars for their "so-called" research which relies largely on a pseudo psycho-social feminist dogma not science. Any awards they receive are from those involved in the incestuous closed looped system all focusing on the quackery associated with the Duluth Wheel school of psycho-babble.
Michael J. Murphy
Father, Man, Family and Children's Rights Advocate
Critical Connections: Where Woman Abuse and Child Safety IntersectThe Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in partnership with the Violence Against Women sector, Children’s Aid Societies, the Ontario Coroner’s Office, Child Welfare Secretariat and the Ontario Women’s Directorate invites you and your colleagues to share your knowledge and experience. The Critical Connections Symposium aims to promote increased awareness of the impact of woman abuse as it relates to the safety and well being of children and families; build and showcase collaborative programs and identify trends, new programs and research. This event will feature internationally recognized keynote speakers, highlight collaborative programs in Ontario and launch an “ideas and practice guide” for service providers.
When: March 9-10, 2010
Registration begins in late January. Early registration special rate: $175
Where: Doubletree by Hilton, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto
Who should attend: member agencies management, staff and board members; management and staff from the Violence Against Women sector, government, police, health and education. Professionals working with women and their children experiencing abuse are invited to attend.
By Susan Longley
Please note concerns regarding upcoming Ontario conference. (see OACAS web site).
A frightening trend in North American child welfare practice is the growing alliance between child welfare services and those promoting anti violence against women (i.e. VAW sector).
This alliance has resulted in an increased denigration of male parents and general deterioration in efforts to address the best interests of children. The deeply rooted gender biased ideology of the latter sector remains deeply troubling and in complete contradiction to male parents attempts to engage with child welfare services involved with their children. This concern needs to be urgently addressed, partly to maintain service integrity but also to maintain an ethical stance towards families in general.
Male parents are frequently already marginalized from participating in services for their children. There is now an increased propensity to isolate men even more so from their children's lives. There remains a blatant contradiction between child welfare services who adopt the polemic and platitudes of the VAW sector. The child welfare mandate remains to enhance family life VAW sector is completely contradictory and opposed to such values.
It has become recently popular for child welfare services and VAW services to adopt certain kinds of inter agency protocols. These protocols are an embarrassment to child welfare practice in Canada. Blatantly unprofessional and academically dishonest theses protocols reflect misandric nonsense rather than legitimate protocol. These so called protocols must be abandoned and exposed for what they are. There are least two CASs in the Toronto region (see Peel CAS protocol with VAW sector)) have adopted such protocols. These agencies are allegedly family service agencies with no endorsement to promote such anti male rhetoric.
A review of these protocols disclose an incredulous gender bias which can only be described as sexism of the worst order. These professionally distasteful protocols are written in total sympathy with VAW expectations with no accountability to the general public or their respective agency mandates. They contradict not only good social work practice but remain contradictory to ethical guidelines established by their governing body OASW.
These so-called protocols allege to address issues related to inter agency service provision and cooperation between public agencies but are in fact nothing more than an ideological treatise intended to alienate men further from appropriate child welfare practice.
These protocols refuse to acknowledges domestic violence in families other than that of men against women. Women remain the perpetual victim and men always the perpetrator. Any mention of domestic violence refuses to acknowledge women 's violence against men. Programmes sponsored by child welfare services for children exposed to domestic violence ultimately define the perpetrator as male.
These protocols never hold women accountable for any acts of child abuse or inter personal violence. The identification of child abuse only mentioned in regard to men. Any child welfare programmes delivered to "children exposed to family violence" refer to men only. Women are never identified as initiators of any domestic violence even when a so-called family agency is involved.
The suggestion that women may make false complaints regarding domestic violence in order to gain an upper hand on custody and access matters is not acknowledged. That women may fabricate or even lie is considered anathema. The fact that women account for the majority of child abuse in not even mentioned. That VAW services and child welfare services advocate becoming increasingly involved in controversial custody and access matters remains extremely repugnant. The suggestion that child welfare services become more intrusive regarding access arrangements between children and their fathers is an outright abomination.
Please find a copy of a recent letter sent to Jeanette Lewis, Director of the provincial OACAS (see web site) outlining my concerns regarding an anticipated conference involving Provincial Child Welfare Services and Violence Against Women Services. The purported agenda is to build understanding and cooperation between the two sectors. My cynical view, as previously suggested, indicates an alternate agenda. The VAW sector is given a further opportunity to impose a particular ideological gender politic on child welfare services.
"I notice with trepidation an anticipated 2010 Toronto conference co sponsored by Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies , The Ontario Women's Directorate and various Violence Against Women programmes. The theme of the conference being the "Intersection of Women Abuse and Child Welfare Services."
I was immediately troubled by the tone and wording of the conference details included in the call for papers especially given the propensity for child welfare services in Ontario and in general North America, to adopt a value preference embracing the practice of a certain feminist political and ideological agenda. A social work practice that has increasingly marginalized services to men and boys and a priori assumptions regarding male perpetrators and female victims.
I have outlined a few of my concerns.
As many researchers have pointed out gender feminist theory has its limitations and family service agencies in particular must always be ethically accountable in providing services to both men and women especially where "best interests" of children are involved. One can already anticipate the usual presenters invited to provide discourse at such matters. It would be extremely naive to expect genuine debate or rational presentation between the sectors involved. I will assume the usual feminist rhetoric and platitudes will rule the day.
Some academic integrity needs to be maintained and that the conference must reject any ideological and gender biased, misandric unbalanced research which has tended to place a certain anti male spin on issues related to woman abuse, child custody and other such politically charged issues.
There has been a long term feminist advocacy in this province (highlighted in proposals of the provincial domestic violence death review panel and its recommendations ) to have child welfare services acquiesce to the values and political ideology of the violence against women sector.
This is viewed by many as a regressive and extremely ill advised road to go down. It is appears regressive for child welfare services in general, especially since their services have already become suspect for aligning themselves with principles that reject a family orientation and men in particular. Any child welfare services must be dispensed with fairness and remain gender neutral in practice.
I am concerned that any dialogue between CAS and VAW sectors becomes a mere "smoke screen" for advocating CAS become more feminized in their social work practice at the expense of academic and social work integrity. Not that the two sectors cannot collaborate on occasion and cooperate when appropriate in providing in shared client advocacy.
It seems vital and important to acknowledge the value differences between the two sectors and reject the propensity to gloss over the obvious political and ideological conflicts. It is imperative that these conflicts be clearly acknowledged and identified. This remains especially so in reference to mutual protocols regarding advocacy and support of woman's issues especially those issues related to custody access and the interaction between service providers regarding male clients and families in general . It appears to me that the mandates of the two sectors are severely different and are grounded in often opposed ideological principals. Just a few issues regarding the two sectors come to mind.
Definitions of Abuse and Victimization:
More stringent definition of abuse and victimization in general are required by both sectors. The CAS social workers remain accountable not only to the clients, the best interest of the child but also the court system especially when wards of the court are involved. What is considered abuse in the VAW sector cannot always be validated in the CAS sector.
CAS are obliged to involve male fathers and partners regardless if they have been identified as so called perpetrators or offenders.
The feminist principle of "validating" the "stories" of violence against women and children has always been troublesome for social workers in the CAS sector. Not to deny supportive advocacy for all clients (a basic social work value) CAS social workers have always had to depend on not only "clients narratives" but also collaboration efforts to seek alternate sources of information. The VAW sector do not require such gender neutral language of exploration and context for service. It appears that a higher standard of accountability and transparency is required.
Gender Bias / Male Clients and Partners:
Gender biased practice has been generally the order of the day. Given the long history of feminist advocacy many would argue that CAS have acquiesced far to willingly to certain feminist theory at the expense of gender neutral practice. This must be recognised and the matter dealt with in an honest and forthright manner. Children's best interest require addressing issues with both parents where possible.
CAS social workers when in court regarding children's interests must prove that they have attempted involved both parents (and even other partners as defined as parents ) Fathers and or partners in a parenting role can never be ignored in CAS social work. The issues regarding custody and access assessments during divorce remains a highly contentious one, as do the issues related to counselling of couples where violence has occurred. Protocols regarding children's access to both parents where domestic violence is disputed also remains highly contentious. These issues must be debated within the reality of both male and female experience.
Academic Research and Domestic Violence Findings:
The academic literature regarding domestic violence has and continues to be long dominated by a certain type of feminist ideology and both the CAS and VAW sectors have been very much influenced in their practice by certain political views. This must change. The literature is much more divergent in findings and recommendations for practice than previously acknowledged. This is particularly so when discussing woman abuse and domestic violence. The divergent literature has always been available but to many practitioners who accepted certain dissident views were quickly rejected ostracized or threatened.
A modest appeal to Richard Gelles article January 2007 Family Court Review sums up these concerns regarding academic integrity with succinct clarity. Need I mention Don Dutton's "Rethinking Domestic Violence."
These are some of my concerns regarding the two sectors having authentic dialogue. This can only be achieved with honesty and respect. Some would also claim an appeal to rational discourse mixed with a modicum of intellectual integrity can also help.