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Old 07 Feb 2005, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default some of my writing...

yes i pimping myself out cuz i'm a writer too but have fun reading the reality of the world.

From The Inside:

The worker comes to the place you have always called home
and tells you that you have a new place to live. The Children's Aid
Society has decided for whatever reasons, one's because of your age
you may not understand that you cannot live with your parents
anymore and you have to be taken into custody for the time being.
This is every mother and child's nightmare and all too often harsh
reality. Many children are either temporary or crown wards of the
various Children's Aid societies in Canada. I grew up in the system,
as did many friends of mine and we are still searching for answers.
Maybe in this paper I can answer some of them.

Youth are in crisis at the point of admission to any residential
environment. They need help managing this experience and integrating
into unfamiliar environments. How children are integrated into a
residential setting will influence how they cope within that
program(Voices, . Many workers that I had just moved me because of
my young age. I have been a part of the system since 1984 when it
was decided by my biological father that I was too uncontrollable to
stay at home. Meanwhile this man is a convicted pedophile that had
been abusing me and my sisters for years, myself physically and
mentally, my sisters sexually. But I was the problem wasn't I?

When I entered the system I was scared to death the first place I
lived was Sacred Heart child and family services, a catholic group
home in scarborough operated by nuns. I was put into a catholic
public school against my will, forced to cut my long hair and dress
in clothes that were hand me downs from the group homes because my
clothing was deemed unacceptable by the school. Many times if I
wore what I wanted I was grounded or put into holding (behavioral
Knowledge of rights varies widely in the system, most youth
know some of their rights and are able to identify what they are.
Some youth are not aware of their rights any many learn within the
system. I did not know at the time that I had a right to my own
religion which at the time was Protestant. I was forced to become a
good little catholic, didn't work too well. I think this is one of
the main reasons I was at one time in my life a Satanist and the
reason I now practice wicca. I was ignorant of a great many of my
rights. When I started to learn my rights I was made to feel that
they were privileges more than my rights. One of my favorite sayings
as a child was "I'm a group home kid, I ain't got no right's." I
was put into holding more than was necessary, and many basic needs
were ignored.

Effective safeguards against abusive behaviors are lacking, because
many are afraid to report abuses for fear of reprisals, the
ineffectiveness of existing safe guards continues unadressed.
(Voices, 13) Twice while I was at sacred heart and once at Haydon
youth services I had unfortunate accidents in a holding setting. I
have had my arm broken twice in 2 separate incidents and my head
busted open once by child care workers. Many ways that children
retaliate to abuse are retaliating, hurting themselves, running
away or doing nothing .(Voices, 15)I was so afraid of the staff that
I thought if I said something I'd just get my ass kicked again so I
kept quite when I went to see the doctor or my worker.

It wasn't all psychical abuse either. I was made to feel
like nothing by the staff . verbal abuse was quite common by the
staff at both group homes and the schools I attended. "I was stupid,
why couldn't I just behave?" Many of these I was told. I started
running away and living on the streets at twelve when I was moved
from Sacred Heart to Haydon house in Oshawa. It only got worse there.

Behavioral controls were applied anytime I would talk back or do
something I wasn't supposed to. The time my skull got busted open I
was caught smoking in my room and I was put into a holding position
in where my head was facing the worker and he had his body on my
legs, one hand on my arms holding them crossed, and one hand on my
head. When I tried to bite he slammed my head against the paved
floor hard. This should have been unacceptable. Behavioral controls
need to be applied judiciously and only in unsafe situations, after
all other forms of de-escalation have been attempted.(voices,17) I
think that destroying my cigarettes would have appropriate

Things needed in a healthy relationship with caregivers are mutual
trust, consistent caring, unconditional acceptance, communication
and interaction, commitment, few or pre-planned seperations,
promotion of self esteem, absence of trauma and protection.(voices,
33) Sadly many of these things are not present even in the system
today. Residential programs, depend on building relationships with
children and youth in there care. Youth conditioned to protect
themselves from loss and rejection pose a serious challenge to the
ability of youth workers to effectively engage them. Youth may
resist or sabotage efforts at relationship building. Many will re-
enact past rejections by caregivers as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Many youth describe multiple placements in the children's service
sector.(voices,34) I can attest to this as I went to two group
homes and one residential school in Hamilton before I was 16 and
struck out on my own. I think this is why I live a nomadic lifestyle
today and I don't care where I go because I've never put down roots
anywhere. I lived in so many cities that it doesn't matter, as long
as I have a roof over my head. Many kids get lost in the system as
they pass through jurisdictions and may have one or more workers
that handle their case. Sometimes in this instance you will have a
child referred to a place that is not appropriate to their
situation. In example, I was referred first to a group home run by
my psychiatrist after Sacred Heart, small conflict of interest there
you would think especially after the fact that he dealt with my
pedophile father and manic depressive step-mother. He said that my
mother was unfit, tied us up in court for years.
After Haydon I was again referred to a place that I could live with
my mom, but I had to go to this special school called Cornerstone.
Its a school for adolescents with psychiatric and extreme emotional
problems. I don't think that I have ever fit either category. Of my
friends from school at Cornerstone, only one is in college, one is a
whore that works the street, 3 have had children of there own, one
had a child and had it taken away by Hamilton's children's aid, a
few are living on the street, and at least one is dead. 2 OF a class
of 25, pretty good odds you would think. Definitely a case of wrong
referral, I think that going to that school and Haydon's isolated
classes contribute to the fact that I never got my high school
diploma, as all you have to do in these classes is behave and not be
out of control. It doesn't matter if you listen to the radio, draw
pictures, pass notes to your friends etc. The emphasis is to behave

The Child and Youth Advocate of Toronto has suggested a few
recommendations that could possibly improve the system they are as
care system journey
acknowledging the impact of multiple placements and the need for
stable and consistent care givers, the children's service sector
must make stability for children in care the priority.
i. the government should develop a computerized tracking system to
monitor movement of youth across all residential service sectors. A
computerized tracking system will, reduce the movement young people
in care, enhance safe guards, help to determine the efficacy of
existing programs and reinforce accountability.
ii. Establish a threshold indicator at which a child's movement
will be reviewed. This indicator must begin tracking at the point of
service activation.(Voices.44)
iii. ensure that the first out of home intervention is decisive,
and is of sufficient intensity to meet identified needs of child and
iv. the treatment plan for an out of home intervention is
derived from a comprehensive need and risk assessment that is
holistic and accountable to the child's community.
v. the children's service sector and ministries providing
service to children to children must develop clear guidelines for
supportive admission processes to any residential setting and
recognize that an admission is a crisis to the child.
vi. a single case manager should be assigned to follow each
child from point of entry into the system to discharge, regardless
of the program, service sector or ministry involved.
vii. child welfare agencies must honor their obligation to
investigate allegations of excessive force in the management use of
force in the management of children under the age of 16 in Ontario's
care system.
viii. the Ministry of Community and Social Services must take the
lead in the development of new methods for the restraint of children
and conduct research to determine which youth are amenable to
certain psychical restraint methods. Any form of physical restraint
needs to be viewed as a serious occurrence with all implications
this entails.
ix. a clear standardized definition of isolation needs to be
developed. The administration of this intrusive measure needs to be
regulated across service sectors.
x. the Ministry of Community and Social Services should
conduct research to determine the psychological impact of isolation
on children to determine what is appropriate.
xi. Training and supervision in de-escalation strategies must be
provided to all front line staff. Intrusive measures should be used
only in response to verified security needs and therapeutic purposes.
xii. all ministries serving children should improve the culture
experienced in care by reducing harsh and disrespectful treatment
and reinforcing the establishment of meaningful relationships.
xiii. transitional age youth should be eligible for child welfare
care. (voices,47) I feel that this last one is a major need because
if you are a crown ward until you are 16/18 depending on
jurisdiction most times you are cut loose without knowing most of
the support systems in place.

While I have not addressed all of the recommendations or everything
that goes on in this system I believe I have focused on some of the
extreme factors in the field and the steps that could, should and
are being done in the field. I believe that the book I have taken
many of my notes from is a valuable addition to any child youth
workers library, as well I believe that it should be part of any
training class
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Old 08 Feb 2005, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A growing problem in society today is the growing number of street kids in large urban centers such as Toronto, London, and Vancouver etc. According to Angel Femia Director of Lovecry in Toronto there are about 15,000 street kids in the downtown core of Toronto alone. Remember not all of these kids are on the street panning (panhandling). Some may be working the alleyways in Regent Park and Boys-town (Wellesley and church area), or some may just be at a safe house hiding from police and social service agencies. Most of these kids have many problems that are unbearable at home such as sexual, psychical and mental abuse. Others are kicked out because they did not live up to their parent's expectations, such as finishing school etc. Many end up on the streets after being in custody of social agencies and once they are a certain age they are cut off from the support of these agencies and left to fend for themselves.
It is important to understand that typical street kids have not gone unnoticed by the institutional systems of rescue and care. Rather most have been through the system, they are known to social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and police. Some seem as much the children of paid professionals as they are their own parents. (Webber, 180)
Psychical and sexual abuse in group or foster homes occurs more frequently than in the general population. Forty percent of confirmed sexual abuse victims were age six or younger. Recent research estimates 45 percent of female and 10 percent of males are sexually abused before age 17. Among street kids this rate of abuse is significantly higher. 38 percent of male street kids and 73 percent of females had been sexually abused in some way according to an 84 statistic.

In a study done of Victoria street involved youth, it was found that Most street youth have at some time experienced physical or sexual abuse, and most have run away or been kicked out of home, the study found. About half of the youth say they have an addiction problem, and about 25% are involved in the sex trade. Risky behaviors often began at an early age, even before the youth became a teenager. The study shows that troubled youth from smaller centers tend to migrate to the cities, adding to the number of youth on the street in Vancouver and Victoria. In the cities, most street youth live in shelters or abandoned buildings ("squats"). Yet not all street youth are literally homeless, the report states. Suburban and non-urban communities also have sizable populations of youth who are involved in high risk behaviors on the street, but these youth tend to be younger and are more likely to live with parents or guardians at least part of the time. Other key study findings include:
_ Over 1/4 of street youth have attempted suicide in the past year.

_ although most street youth have been expelled or suspended from school at some time, about 2/3 say they are currently attending school.
_ Nearly 2/3 of street youth in Vancouver and 1/3 in Victoria come from other provinces. (
_ Over 1/3 have been in government care, including foster care or group homes, and nearly 1/2 have spent time in a custody center.

Mentally and emotionally disturbed street youth do not have a fair chance to get treatment. Doctors do not have a sound understanding of there problems. Students studying to become shrinks usually specialize in other areas. Schools are not stressing the needs of adolescents. Many of these kids have no idea how to take care of simple things like money matters, basic needs etc. Out on their own it’s easier to fall into a trap of sex, drugs and alcohol. Many kids on the street are addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol.
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. Once having tried cocaine, an individual cannot predict or control the extent to which he or she will continue to use the drug.
The major routes of administration of cocaine are sniffing or snorting, injecting, and smoking (including free-base and crack cocaine). Snorting is the process of inhaling cocaine powder through the nose where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Injecting is the act of using a needle to release the drug directly into the bloodstream. Smoking involves inhaling cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs where absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid as by injection.

"Crack" is the street name given to cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking. Rather than requiring the more volatile method of processing cocaine-using ether, crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water and heated to remove the hydrochloride, thus producing a form of cocaine that can be smoked. The term "crack" refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked (heated), presumably from the sodium bicarbonate. There is great risk whether cocaine is ingested by inhalation (snorting), injection, or smoking. It appears that compulsive cocaine use may develop even more rapidly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted. Smoking allows extremely high doses of cocaine to reach the brain very quickly and brings an intense and immediate high. The injecting drug user is at risk for transmitting or acquiring HIV infection/AIDS if needles or other injection equipment are shared. (
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug, and is abused more than any other opiate. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as "black tar heroin." Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment. (
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:

- Craving--A strong need, or urge, to drink.
- Loss of control--Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
- Physical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
- Tolerance--The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."

The expression street kid seems odd since the street expunges all trace of childishness, whether related to age, inclination or immaturity. However street kid captures a concept: young, homeless and trapped. Canadian streets destroy kids! Some are casualties of pimp, trick and dealer violence, most are poisoned by drugs. All of them die a little each day from despair and broken hearts in a community where friends are just dudes... Who haven't hurt you yet?
Life on the streets is a scavenger’s existence, a restless hunt for cash or for anything that can be converted into cash or a bed or a meal or drugs to sustain him or her for the day. (Webber, 210)

Often upon the streets many kids believe the only way out and off of the streets is the grave, but most don't realize this until it is too late. Suicide is quite prevalent among street kids, most street kids know at least one person who has either tried or has committed suicide.
At first it seems easy you can look the way that you want, you can do what you want, and you can have and practice whatever sexual orientation you may be. But the drawbacks are many.
The street offers no privacy, no individual space, and no stability. The only constants are danger, disease, despair and the desperation of life on the edge. Most street kids stay clear of professionals, because they fear they may try to force them to go home or into institutions.
With increasing numbers of kids coming and going first come (old school of the streets) have to fight for their territory (i.e. panning spots, squats etc.). The younger groups keep moving until they can find a place where they can find some semblance of territory. (Webber, 140)
Most street kids have some sort of talent such as musical or artistic skill but usually don’t get the chance to fully utilize it. Most times any thing that you own of any kind of value, leather jacket guitar etc. you will have it stolen from you. Some terms used on the street include TWINKIES: Kids who squeegee for kicks during the summer and then go home when the weather gets cold.
THE BEATS: Getting beat up. HEAT SCORES: The small minority of squeegee kids who get wrecked and cause trouble for the rest. PUNKED-OFF: Usually gang related, it's when you get kicked out of a street territory and are not allowed to return

Each street kid is an original with individual persona, miseries, memories, and dreams. Most street kids share certain traits, such as: betrayal, Cocky on the outside but inside rock bottom self esteem, mistrust of almost everyone feelings of guilt etc.
Where can these people go when they want to leave the streets? They need rent geared to income housing for youth all over Canada. They cannot afford rents and therefore have to stay on the streets to supplement their income.
One of the most significant barriers to getting off of the streets is the fact that most social services agencies will not issue a welfare cherub unless someone has a permanent address. For many street kids who pan just enough to eat, saving enough coin for first and last on an apartment is impossible.
Street kids tend to fall back into familiar behaviors. One step forward sometimes precedes two steps back, (Webber, 160)
I know from personal experience I have watched friends and clients get a place of their own and lose everything in it due to theft, addictions or personal crises, I could give you a million examples of this from street kids I know and from case files.

Most of these street kids have a low life expectancy. My friend Junior (or Shawn Keegan) was killed in 96 when the guy that had been killing the gay prostitutes in the Wesley area shot him. He had HIV but he was only 18 years old. Most of these kids Depending on their age do not believe they will make it to age 18, 19, or 21 and once they reach these ages feel as if they are dinosaurs of the streets. Remember most street kids are 12 or 13 when they hit the streets for the first time, looking to run away from their problems, most kids have the street mentality that they are nothing and will never be anything. It takes a lot to change these kids way of thinking to let them know that they are not what they have been told all of there lives.
Even though at the heart of it all these kids really want is their own place, a home to call their own, their own family and someone to unconditionally care about them, but familiar patterns set it in and the lure of the streets is easy to succumb to. Most kids will be transient and go home or get there own apartment but sustaining it with the street being an easier alternative is a trap many of these kids fall into.
That's how easy it is to fall into the trap of the streets and why so many kids keep returning to the streets after getting off. It only takes one thing for a street kid to give up and go back to a place where other than constant survival no one expects anything from you. You can be a failure cause no one cares.
THE streets are not to be glorified by any means, if you are having problems of any type at home tell some one and if they don't listen tell someone else. The streets are not something you want to become a part of because the abuse out on the streets stays with you forever.
I just wish more members of the establishment would take some time to care about the street kids and maybe quit telling them that we are nothing when we ask for spare change Its the way that they survive. Maybe if this world was perfect and parents never abused their kids and every kid had parents you wouldn't see so many of them on the streets.
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Old 08 Feb 2005, 12:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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WHY I WANT TO BE A CHILD YOUTH WORKER (and a children's social

I want to be a child and youth worker for a variety of reasons, Some
of which include: my life experiences, my personality, and the need
I have to help others. Before I tell you my motivation for this
career I think that it is appropriate that I tell you a little of my

From the ages of 8 to about 16 I was under C.A.S care, The majority
of that time a crown ward. Because of problems at home I.E. abuse
poverty etc. I was placed into custody. I was shuttled to 2 group
homes over a period of 8 years. The first one was a catholic run
group home that felt like a prison. Its out of business now.(wonder
why?) It was a very terrifying place for a young child to be. Most
of the rooms were equipped with 2 way mirrors to monitor everything
taking place.

As well we had only limited opportunities to interact with the
community, and we were always kept on a short leash. School was in a
catholic high school, and you had to fight with the home to even be
intergrated into one real classroom. It was a very strict place to
be. You had to dress and act a certain way and if you did not you
would be punished. Sounds easy right? Remember this is a group home
full of 8 to 13 year olds who had been sexually, physically, and
emotionally beaten. As well most of these kids had severe
psychological and behavioral problems. The punishment was usually
isolation in a room with nothing in it. You would be allowed to eat
your meal in there and you would have to stay in there until it was
bedtime. You couldn't fall asleep there because their was a staff
member watching you at all times.

Sounds prehistoric and cruel doesn't it? This is only ten years ago.
It is one of the reasons I want to go into C.Y.S. I don't want to
see kids treated like criminals just because they live in a group
home. I think that also if I had been shown some care and felt that
someone actually cared about me there I wouldn't have felt like just
another paycheck for the group home. Many of the kids I lived with
there felt the same way.

The isolation retards your social skills considerably, I hadn't even
talked to anyone outside of Sacred Heart for over the 5 years I had
lived there, except for my C.A.S. worker at the time. Not good for
coping with life.

I was then moved to Hayden Youth services in Oshawa. I thought that
it may have been an improvement over S.H. but it had problems all
its own. I was dealing at age 13 with a majority of older peers who
had not been so isolated from an early age. Again I had very little
interaction with the outside world. Anyone that tells you that there
is no abuse by other kids in a group home is a liar. I witnessed a
lot of sexual and psychical abuse in this group home that could have
been stopped if the staff at the time had been supervising. (Funny I
went from a place where I was watched 24-7 to a place wear abuse was
rampant because as long as the staff knew that u were in the home
they really didn't care what you did).

This group home had a part time shrink on their board who was also
some kind of employee at the time of Whitby psychiatric hospital. I
guess he had a quota because he tried to have 5 of the kids I was
living with transferred to Whitby in one year. Sometimes he was
able to convince their workers that they were not mentally stable or
mentally able to deal with the world. I couldn't understand why this
was because some of those kids were my friends and knew as much of
the world as I did, sometimes they even knew more than I did. I
realized that the shrink had an ulterior motive when he misdiagnosed
my learning disability as paranoid schizophrenia. I have been to
many shrinks since and none of them has been able to tell me
something to confirm that diagnosis.

But his signature saying I was a raving lunatic was almost enough to
have me placed in a psychiatric hospital. My worker didn't bite
however. She didn't believe that I was that troubled. She was right.

These are a few more reasons why I want to become a child and youth
worker, 1st I would like to see in the home style residences like
Hayden perhaps a bit more interaction between staff and kids, not
the staff acting like a highly paid baby-sitter. That is the way I
believe I would act towards the kids. It might help the kids to know
that they have friends in the staff such as me that actually do care
about them and don't treat them like just a paycheck they might open
up and say something if they are being abused by other residents OF
the group home.

As well I truly believe if there is an interactionalist approach
towards these kids and they become close with the staff, The staff
can figure out what might be wrong with some of these kids.
Misdiagnoses by doctors about a grouphome kids mental state would
probably decrease if staff were more involved with the

Remember most of
these kids have little or no family that cares about them and have
been abused both psychically and sexually.

The worst crime committed by Group homes is the practice of turning
them loose after they turn 16 or 18 depending on the C.A.S.
wardship. Many of these kids have no place to go and usually end up
on the streets. I was placed in a school for phycologicly
problematic teens around the spring before my 16th birthday. It was
one of the worst experiences of my life. Many of my peers here were
suicidal and manic depressive and had already lived on the streets
or had been in jail or major psychiatric institutions. Only a few of
us even lived at home.

I had been living with my mom at the time and had started to date in
my social circle, which was the girls at school. The first one I
dated I was deeply in love with and she had been sexually abused and
was now abusing herself by cutting (scaring oneself with
razorblades) and doing drugs and booze. No one seemed to care about
her except me. I felt like I was the only person in the school that
was helping her cope with life.
I eventually started getting depressed over my own problems and
began cutting and delving deeper into drugs and booze.

Here again I would notice that someone was having problems and try
to discuss it with them instead of having an apathetic view like the
staff did their. They thought that if they want to destroy
themselves on their time let them do it. I can't tell you how many
times I tried to overdose while out on the weekly afternoon bowling
games. Many times I would just swallow a bunch of ritalin and no one
would notice. A good child youth worker has to notice something like
that or else they are not doing their job right.

Many staff abuse the kids as well and nothing is said because it is
kept and disciplined inside of the institution. One of my ex-
girlfriends was raped by a male staff member while living at a
grouphome in Hamilton. Nothing was ever done except until I came to
see her one day and she told me and I threatened to rip his head off
(Thats putting what I wanted to do nicely). The view that it can be
dealt with inside the institution is bullshit, If another staff
member knows about abuse they should report it immediately to both
the institutions heads and the police.

The C.A.S. should not just let these kids out on the streets to fend
for their own. Many of the kids I have lived with or went to school
with are on the streets, dead, or working as prostitutes. most of my
street friends had at one time or another been in some form of
children's aid. Remember these are people who have already been
abused by someone and they go to the streets and are abused more.
Many of these so-called agencies are just breeding grounds for pimps
and dealers.

The problem is many of the workers in these street outreach programs
are volunteers and very little experience and are told what to do by
higher ups. A place like the evergreen in Toronto is run by a church
and hires mostly former streetkids as volunteer workers. That in
itself is not a problem but it doesn't ask for the skills required
so many of these volunteers work for pimps and dealers to locate new
blood to work the streets.

As the C.A.S. has no jurisdiction here it is imperative that things
in these outreach programs be changed, I would want to work in an
environment like this only if I knew that my coworkers were not
their to exploit the kids. If I caught someone trying to exploit the
strretkids I would immediately report them to the police.

If I could just get through to a kid once and make him realize that
he isn't just something on this earth worth nothing and make him
know that he can achieve something with his life that would be my
ultimate goal as a C.Y.S. worker.

That in a nutshell is why I want to become a child and youth worker.
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Manufacturing Street Youth
Social Systems Theory indicates that ôhuman need cannot be
considered apart from the larger systems in which humans function.
These larger systems include the family, the small group; the
community; and various social institutions; such as the school, the
church and the social agency. All people belong to several larger
systems, which often make conflicting demands. These systems are a
part of each individualÆs environmentö, (, Johnson, McClelland,
<st1:City><st1 lace>Austin</st1 lace></st1:City> p. 12). When a social system fails to provide the services in
which they have set out to provide for the individual member, the
social system becomes counter productive to society. ôFor a social
system to be able to maintain itself and fulfill its function, the
subsystems or parts (individuals and groups of individuals) must make
adjustments in the own function to meet the needs of the larger
systems. When these adjustments are supportive of the need
fulfillment of individuals no problem exists. However, often this is
not the caseö, (Johnson, McClelland, Austin, 13.) In current
Canadian society, many social institutions that are mandated to
support street youth are counter productive to Canadian society by
failing to meet the individual needs of the street youth,.
Specifically, youth drop-in centers are counter productive to
Canadian society by failing to meet the individual needs of the
street youth that participate in this system. The Liberal paradigm
states ôSociety should use the welfare state to guarantee a minimum
income to purchase the basic necessities of life and to ensure that
everyone has access to basic (minimum) levels or standards of health
care, housing, and education.ö, (Mullaly, 59).

Youth Drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the
minimum interventions, health care or housing necessary to function
adequately in Canadian society.

Youth Drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the
minimum interventions necessary to function adequately in Canadian
Society. Youth can spend up to 12 hours a day doing virtually
nothing. They are having their basic needs met in terms of shelter,
food, clothing, hygiene, and so on, but there was no expectation that
the kids would or should contribute to the services of which they
were making use. There is even less of an expectation placed on these
kids to engage in the resolution of whatever psychological trauma
they had experienced in their homes and now experiencing in their
daily lives on the street. I wondered about the perceptions of these
youth when they were expected to do nothing, to contribute nothing,
to be nothing. (Mayers, 21)
Youth hang out at drop in centers, food banks and overnight shelters
often because they have little else to do and no other places to go.
These places are often overcrowded and are poorly staffed. Many of
the places that these youth go to hang out in serve the need of the
community rather than the needs of the youth.

Downtown service to youth seems to be a band-aid solution to getting
kids off the street so that the merchants in the area can feel safer
about conducting their business. These services often have nothing
to do with psychological health and well-being or the goal of
restoring it. (Mayers, 22)
Many drop-innÆs and overnight shelters for youth do not serve much
more of a purpose than to house our transient youth in <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region>. The
<st1:Street><st1:address>Young street</st1:address></st1:Street> strip in <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City> is a prime example of this. Most
organizations in <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City> house our wayward and transient youth rather
than actually helping them with intervention and helping with the
individualÆs issues

The shelters are overcrowded. They are not safe places. For
example, when a shelter runs out of floor mats, people end up
sleeping on a concrete floor, shoulder to shoulder, with others who
are coughing and hacking in a large room with only one toilet for
sixty people. Not surprisingly, some homeless people prefer to take
their chances sleeping outside, even in sub-freezing temperatures.
(Carniol, 2)
Often the services available to youth and the homeless are
interchangeable and many times the services cannot handle the demand
of the amount of youth and older people trying to use their services.

Youth Drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the minimum
interventions necessary to function adequately in Canadian Society.
Most of the time the prevailing attitude is to get the youth off of
the street so they arenÆt around to be the type of person that you
cross the street to avoid. Youth workers are often volunteers, and
college/university students on field placements. Many of these staff
while good intentioned may have not had the necessary skills taught
to them to have the ability to deal with the diverse needs of the
street youth population.

The food being offered to these youth is often substandard, leftovers
from another organization or a community food drive. This does not
make for a healthy diet. One of the problems servicing clients with
hot and healthy meals is that youth drop in at different times of the
day and night. Some organizations prefer to have a meal available at
any time for these youth, but a better idea would be to have a set
meal time where a hot fresh meal is prepared. If the youth come in
after that time they could reheat the leftovers or have prepared
sandwiches given to them to sustain themselves.
Homelessness has given rise to what has been called the 'homelessness
industry to the spectrum of mostly private agencies - especially
hostels, food banks, and soup kitchens - that sprouted up in the
1980s after the first food bank opened in Edmonton in 1981. Most
commentators on and even directors of these new-age charities admit
that agencies that were supposedly set up to deal with a specific
emergency have become institutionalized fixtures of the welfare
system. In protest over government's failure to feed people who
cannot feed themselves, and in a bid to force the state to assume its
responsibility, various food banks have deliberately closed, while
others have announced their intention to close. 48 Other food banks,
dependent on the already overtaxed generosity of volunteer staff and
private-citizen donations, cannot keep abreast of soaring hunger. By
the summer of 1990, Metro Toronto's hunger-relief system, which feeds
more, than 80,000 people a month, found itself close to collapse. It
is little wonder that the system has been strained to the breaking-
point. According to Canada-wide data accumulated by the Canadian
Association of Food Banks (CAFB), the number of centralized, regional
food distribution clearing-houses across the country has climbed to
159.s░ Each clearing-house distributes foodstuffs to member agencies =

in its own area. These outlets, in turn, directly provide meals or
groceries to <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region>'s hungry. The CAFB estimates that almost 400,000
people (not including repeat users) across the country are now fed
each month. Forty per cent are children, Across Canada, the working
poor comprise 6 per cent of food- bank users; in Metro Toronto, 17
per cent of people dependent on emergency food have jobs. The city's
Daily Bread Food Bank has documented that customer families living in
private rental housing have an average of $23 a week to live on after
rent. In <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region>'s biggest, richest City of the Dome, 84,000 people
could not afford to feed themselves in 1989. The known numbers of
hungry people, however, only hint at the real extent of need, because
many proud people go without any food or without regular meals for
days, even weeks, before resorting to the public display that charity
entails. More than half the people who show up at <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City> food depots
haven't eaten for a day or more. In a study of runaways conducted by
the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, most of 127 respondents
reported that, out of pride or out of fear of being caught by police,
they never asked for food. Nor do numbers say anything about the
nutritional insult of meals eaten by food-bank and soup-kitchen
dependents. Charity food is poor food. Heavy on starches and sugars
from tinned, processed, and packaged foods, and light on protein,
minerals, and vitamins from fresh produce, the public soup makes a
mockery of <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region>'s food guide. (Webber, 161)

Street kids avoid hostels and food banks if they can, relying on park
benches and "burger runs,' referring to the cold, desiccated
hamburgers they rescue from dumpsters behind McDonald's and similar
chains that discard food after it has staled under heat lamps. These
street kids do live rough and to feed themselves which most often
means eating rarely and poorly - cold and hunger eventually force
most homeless kids into public beds and public kitchens. (Webber,
165) Often street youth will panhandle enough food to get a meal each
day if they are lucky or have a generous person buy them a meal.
There are many factors that can influence this though. The choice of
spot to panhandle, the fact that they may not make any or little
money asking for change and being chased away by authorities are all
issues that street kids face daily. Depending on the weather a youth
may not be able to panhandle because of lack of acceptable clothing,
the weather may be so bad that a youth would rather stay at a drop-in
or shelter instead of going out in the bitter cold.

Youth drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the
minimum health care necessary to function adequately in Canadian
Society. One of a street youthÆs biggest problemÆs on the street is
the youth being able to take care of his or herÆs health. Fights with
enforcers or "johns", or among teenagers commonly result in bruises,
lacerations, missing teeth, broken fingers and broken noses. Although
street kids may downplay their risks of STDs, they rank physical
violence as being extremely likely to affect them. Many injuries are
patched up in hospital emergency rooms or cared for with crude
bandaging. The degree of scarring is frequently worse than it could
have been with proper attention, and there is often delay in
detecting internal injuries. No matter how excellent the facilities
for providing care, they are of absolutely no value unless they are
used. Patients need to be aware that services exist. This may seem
self-evident, but teenagers are frequently unaware of appropriate
places to obtain medical care, especially if they decide not to use
their family physician. Adolescents who end up on the street often
come from families where there is no model of appropriate use of
medical services. A survey in <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City> shows that juvenile prostitutes
feel that the best place to seek medical attention is the Emergency
Room of a hospital. This is inappropriate, as these facilities are
not designed to provide time and personnel to best deal with street
kids. In addition, the at-risk teenager needs to use the available
services, and it is unrealistic to expect most of them to do this of
their own accord. Outreach programs can be successful in encouraging
street kids to use health care facilities. Forced attendance for a
visit to a health centre, perhaps as part of a job training program,
of a housing location program, or the court system may seem less than
ideal, but it is surprising how often the teenager will return of
their own volition. The experience must be pleasant; time must be
taken to explain the process, attempts made to make them feel that
they are being treated as an individual, and that encounters are
confidential. (Michuad, 60)
These youth mistrust most authority and see doctorÆs as the most
successful authority out there. Most of these youth would rather risk
long term scarring and disability than go to a doctor for some thing
they consider minor.

Also at stake with these youth is their long term mental health. They
may have gender/sexuality issues and be at risk for suicide. Many
organizations that are frontline for youth are funded by pseudo
Christian organizations like the <st1:Street><st1:address>United Way</st1:address></st1:Street> or run by churches
themselves. For example the <st1:Street><st1:address>Yonge Street</st1:address></st1:Street> mission in <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City>. Often
they do not have staff trained to deal with sexuality issues and the
staff may have bias against homosexuals classifying them as deviants.
This may act as a detriment to counseling or an antecedent to more
dangerous behaviors. When these youth are told at home that they
cannot be gay, bi-sexual, transgender etc. to get the same attitude
from a youth worker or drop in staff who is supposedly helping them
may give the youth that everyone thinks there is something wrong with
them and lead to suicide or falling back onto old familiar behaviors.

Youth Drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the
minimum housing requirements necessary to function adequately in
Canadian Society. Housing is inadequate and often is day by day when
what these youth need is a stable environment to live in. these kids
may have been moved around a lot when they did live at home and being
transient youth may continue in this habit, shuffling from town to
town. An overnight shelter or overnight drop-in is not a home for
these kids. Better assistance should be given to these youth. It may
mean helping these youth again and again as these youth constantly
fail until the one time that they may get it right. In terms of
their background characteristics, street youth were older than the
high school students and more likely to be male. They also came from
poorer class backgrounds" surplus population" families, had grown up
in homes with at least one biological parent absent; they had also
been exposed to more coercive terms of parental control. Street youth
had also responded less favorably to school than those still at home.
They were less likely to have done their homework, acknowledged more
conflictual relationships with teachers, and had lower occupational
ambitions. While living at home, street kids were more delinquent
than the high school students and were more likely to have friends
who had been arrested. (Tanner, 150)
These kids often have little education and have trouble fending for
themselves, sometimes knowing appropriate social skills can be a
struggle for these kids if the social support at the original home
was not properly displayed. Keeping and maintaining an apartment can
be a challenge for these youth. They need special services and
support that youth workers, child advocates, some professionals, and
the kids themselves have been demanding for a decade. Safe houses top
the list. To prevent new runaways who don't already live in the inner
city from migrating to dangerous downtowns, these sanctuaries must be
located in the kids' home neighborhoods. They must be truly welcoming
places - not warehouses - small and intimate, acceptable to
residents, and staffed by counselors kids trust. Safe houses can only
succeed in helping distraught teens (and preteens) make realistic
plans for independent living, for family substitutes, or for family
reconciliation if they have access to community resources that
neither judge nor coerce kids. These resources include medical and
mental-health services, such as hassle-free all-night clinics, and
drug and alcohol rehab programs designed specifically for
adolescents. Counseling and support services, both material and
moral, must extend over the long haul until young people gain control
over their chaotic lives. Troubled, delinquent kids need diversion
instead of detention. They need teaching in alternative-education
programs and student welfare rates that undercut the necessity for
them to sell their bodies for supplemental income. They need to
graduate into jobs with living wages and housing with affordable
rents. (Webber, 240)Youth drop-In Centers do not provide homeless
youth the minimum housing requirements necessary to function
adequately in Canadian Society.

In current Canadian society, many social institutions that
are mandated to support street youth are counter productive to
Canadian society by failing to meet the individual needs of the
street youth,. Specifically, youth drop-in centers are counter
productive to Canadian society by failing to meet the individual
needs of the street youth that participate in this system. The
Liberal paradigm states ôSociety should use the welfare state to
guarantee a minimum income to purchase the basic necessities of life
and to ensure that everyone has access to basic (minimum) levels or
standards of health care, housing, and education.ö, ( Mullaly, 59).
Youth Drop-In Centers do not provide homeless youth with the minimum
interventions, health care or housing necessary to function
adequately in Canadian society.
Better checks and balances might maintain a safer environment for
these troubled youth. Better services outside of the downtown core
where these youth migrate to would be helpful as well. If these
children (and remember even as tough as they are they are children,
only hardened by the street) can lead productive lives and be useful
members of society it may be possible to one day have better services
in place so that homeless kids is less of a problem on CanadaÆs

Works Cited:

Mullaly, B. (1997) Structural Social Work
Don mills, <st1:State><st1 lace>Ontario</st1 lace></st1:State>
<st1:City><st1 lace>Oxford</st1 lace></st1:City> university Press

Johnson L McClelland R. Austin C.(2000) Social Work Practice
Prentice Hall Canada inc. Scarborough Ont.

Mayers, M (2001) Street Kids and Streetscapes
Peter Lang Publishing, New York

Carniol, B (1987,1990,1995,2000) Case Critical
Between the Lines, Toronto

Michuad, M (198 Dead End: Homeless Teenagers a Multi-service
Detselig Enterprises, Calgary, Alberta

Webber, M (1991) Street Kids: The Tragedy of CanadaÆs Runaways
University of Toronto press, Toronto Buffalo London
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Man In the Box

Looking in the mirror, I know that I can do anything I put my mind’s eye to. I am a very stubborn person, when I set goals I have the patience to achieve them no matter what the cost. I have proven myself that when I attaempt a goal I get it done. It may take me a little while longer than most people because of my learning disabilities but I have learned to adapt. I have dealt with a lot harder things in my life than dealing with attending university I know this. I spent most of my childhood in the children’s aid system, and not in foster care. because of behavioral difficulties I was placed in group homes. I had an abusive biological father who I will never ever call dad. I spent most of my formative years in substandard segregated school situations. I feel that the reason I dropped out in the one year of normal high school was because I was not able to handle the pressures of being normal. In both care and when I left care there was so much stuff happening in my life that school was just another pressure that I could not handle.

I have never used my learning disabilities as a crutch like I have seen some people do. I succeed in spite of them, but sometimes it’s hard. I still have trouble reading and my writing skills have improved and I fancy myself a poet or a writer as I know from friends and family that I have the talent to do something with my writing skills. Appartley I have a way with words. I have severe problems with math and structuring concepts. I think a lot of it has to do with my upbringing and that I did not get much formal education within the system, I was passed thru grades so that I would be the same age as everyone else when I left the system. I think that did more damage than good. I do not belive my actual learning disabilities were diagnosed until 1997 when I returned to fanshawe college for two years of upgrading. School is a struggle for me I will not deny that. I struggle with deadlines and knowing everything in my classes.

Sometimes I feel I am not as smart as the other classmates because I have trouble grasping certain concepts and ideas. I get very angry with myself over simple things I should understand. I have completed college with a child and youth worker degree, I have survived the streets of Toronto with my sanity, why am I having so much trouble with university. Have I reached my academic peak? This question weighs heavily on my mind.

When working on even simple things like this scholarship application or studying I tend to get huge headaches because of using big words or reading them. I usually use coping strategies like doing something different for a while like studying or drawing to distract my mind till the headache goes away.
My reading disabilities annoy me the most because I like reading but sometimes it is very hard for me to read for extended periods. I feel no one else understands the things I see because it’s so hard for to explain my problems academicly. I have gotten help at the college level and the university level with some of my disabilities but I am a very independent person I do not want assistance in doing something I can do by myself.

I often feel like a man in a box and there is no way out. My learning disabilities feel like a prison and there is no way out. i have things I want to say and it’s very hard to express them because sometimes they come out wrong or I talk too much. Sometimes I think it would be much easier to quit school and get a job and quit persueing my goals, but that would be admitting I’m a failure but unlike my biological father I am not a failure. I am still an angry young man with goals to persue and dreams to achieve. I am a person that goes back to people I knew as a child and shows them that they were wrong. I have so much left to do in this world and so much left to learn. It’s funny because of all the things I have done in my life, learning seems to be the biggest struggle. Some classes and exams seem like brick walls that I cannot run away from. I know in my heart if I failed at least I have done my best.
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Runaways and vagrant children have always had a place in Canadian society. Children where emigrated from England to Canada to help populate areas in the 1800’s, the younger children were usually adopted while older children would be taken care of in exchange for menial labor on farms and households. These boys and girls, in turn were the late nineteenth century beneficiaries of a practice of transporting dependent children to the colonies. (Sutherland)<o ></o >

Street kids today litter <st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City>’s streets but most of them in the modern era choose to live independently. Often in the 1800’s the young children of <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region> had no one to take care of them but themselves. Accounts of the youthful newcomers indicate that they lived mostly in small farmers homes, in necessarily intimate, if not always association with the families they were placed.(Sutherland) Some of these children were treated as servants and hired help. They may have been given their independence once their usefulness to the farmer or the family had been over.<o ></o >

<o > </o >

Once a child was in Canada the child first went to a distributing home or a local orphanage, from these establishments the women promptly gave the children to Canadian families willing to adopt them (Sutherland). While a young child may have been a blessing to a childless couple one assumes an older child that the child had not raised would soon prove to be a burden and the child would only be taken for as long as he/she had some sort of usefulness. The main job of the foster parent was to take the children and drill them into usefulness. Children between nine and eighteen were put out under a contract of indenture until they were 18. In return for their general work, girls up to fifteen were clothed and taught, those from 15-17, now no longer in school were paid three dollars a month and at 17 and 18 four dollars a month. Boys were paid by the year on a scale commencing at 30 dollars a year and rising every year until it rose to 70 or eighty dollars. (Sutherland) taking a child for adoption or taking a child as a servant was a practice done by many families in <st1:country-region><st1 lace>Canada</st1 lace></st1:country-region>. These children could help to till the soil, clean the house and assist in the harvest. “Adoption, Sir is when folks get a girl to work without wages” (Sutherland)<o ></o >

<o > </o >

<st1:City><st1 lace>Toronto</st1 lace></st1:City> would be a place for children dissatisfied with their living conditions to find shelter, charity and possibly employment. Newsboys, bootblacks, messenger boys and other odd jobbers who subsisted on the fringes of capitalist enterprise were the most immediate objects of concern (<st1:City><st1 lace>Houston</st1 lace></st1:City>). While these children should have been sitting in a classroom being educated these kids were instead learning a trade the hard way, on their feet, in the streets and the alleyways. We have all seen the photographs of the young Victorian boy shining the businessman’s shoes for a nickel, but has anyone ever wondered why the shoeshine boy is there? Is it the adoptive father that beats him if he comes home with empty pockets? Is he a homeless waif simply looking for a hot meal and a warm bed for the night, or maybe he is just trying to save some money and improve his lot in life.<o ></o >

<o > </o >

In the opinion of most respectable Canadians, children who disregarded the authority of family and society were headed for a life of crime (<st1:City><st1 lace>Houston</st1 lace></st1:City>). Many incorrigible children were sent to reform or industrial schools. The children may have needed a more stable environment and lifestyle that a foster parent could provide. These children may have looked at an industrial school as a place were they would at least have been fed everyday and have a warm bed to sleep in at night. The industrial school should be for those who cannot afford to send their children to a boarding school. People who are well off send their unruly children to good boarding schools. The industrial school is the boarding school for the poor (<st1:City><st1 lace>Houston</st1 lace></st1:City>). A child deemed a delinquent could be kept under court authority until the teenager was 21. <o ></o >

<o > </o >

Young girls in the depression could be seen begging door to door, prostituting their young bodies, or being forced to by both parents and foster parents. Court and training school authorities constantly lamented the shortage of foster parents for teenage girls; unless they were going to do domestic work fostering was seen as a source of potential trouble (Sangster). These young children rejected by natural family and sometimes by foster care had reason to be anti social. Though children certainly found lave and care in foster homes, they were sometimes abused. The outward responsibility of foster parents impressed children’s aid workers, who later admitted that children were not even given enough to eat (Sangster). As well as being used as servants some of these kids were used as sexual objects, foster parents would hit children as well as raping, sodomizing, and impregnating the young innocents. The social workers faith in foster parents’ religiosity as a sign of good parenting was tragically displayed when one OTSG ward became pregnant by a well respected church fundamentalist foster father who also admitted hitting the girl. Even though the father acknowledged the blame for the pregnancy, children’s aid decided not to prosecute (Sangster). The child welfare organizations put in place did not prosecute this foster father because of the fourteen years olds supposed sexual delinquency. One is left to wonder if this girl was even removed from the foster home and placed back in a training school or a home for young unwed mothers.<o ></o >

<o > </o >

Abuse is certainly not a new part of human sociology and it seems that the last hundred years we have not changed much of the policies that deal with abuse. Far too often in the 1800’s, 1900’s and today parents, foster parents and authority figures are let off with a slap to the wrist for abusing a child whether it be physically, neglect or sexually.<o ></o >

<o > </o >

A girl’s sexual behavior could make here criminal. Girls were forced to submit to gynecological exams to the status of their virginity. If the doctor proclaimed she was not a virgin the need for reform was especially urgent (Sangster). About 12 percent of girls that had been examined in the OTSG files claimed incest, and other told psychiatrists of ill treatment or shocking sexual experiences suggesting the number may have been higher. <o ></o >

Abuse was downplayed in explanations for delinquency as it was thought that the girl was as much to blame for being incorrigible as the father was for abusing her. Some authorities would continue to abuse these children by using their authoritarian powers to commit young people. Continued effort has been made to limit the number of boys committed to the jails for temporary punishment or to await transfer to another institution. Whatever is the reason, all experience show that every time a young boy goes to jail a chronic criminal is created (Kelso). Children in jail are taught simpler and more effective ways of breaking the law and avoiding arrest. A child that goes into incarceration knowing little and having few skills will undoubtedly learn a few while inside a jail or training school but they will not be ones desired by the authorities or the rest of society. <o ></o >

Yet some constables and magistrates still continue to commit boys when simpler and more effacious means might be used. Some officials hold that the purposes of punishment the jail is the proper place, and one might also call it a policy of revenge for boyish pranks, forgetting in the process a young life is likely to be ruined (Kelso).<o ></o >

Training school generally assisted a child in calming his wayward ways and behaviors but some children would return to incarnation time and time again because of bad behavior and poor supervision.<o ></o >

<o > </o >

Often there were too many delinquent children for authorities to deal with and children were institutionalized for not having anywhere else to go. It was thought by limiting their freedom they would learn better how to be respectable citizens.<o ></o >
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1905-The record of work for
Neglected and Dependent Children.

In an effort to protect and improve children and young person’s lives many thing’s were implemented in the report such as recognizing the importance of the Children’s Aid Societies and foster homes instead of refuge homes and reformatories. There was a widespread interest in child saving in 1905, although some communities did not have a Children’s Aid Society almost all had access to assistance from the superintendent. Even back in the early 1900's it was thought that sending a young man or boy to jail would result in the child becoming a better criminal. Alternatives were eagerly sought after.

Of the 13 years the societies had been incorporated, there had been a marked improvement in home lives of children. Things like underage homeless children and children begging in the streets were simply not tolerated. This is a marked difference to attitudes of today’s society and politicians, especially when it come’s to Toronto’s young homeless and poor.
Children were cared for mostly in foster homes and in 1905 there were more available foster homes than there was need for them by foster children. Children were provided with foster homes by the Children’s Aid’s Societies if there own home life was inadequate or they had been victims of neglect.

Children were regularly visited by the representatives of the superintendents office and notes in the reports were compiled by Mrs. Harvie and Mr. O’Connor. Other sources of information included community and Children’s Aid Societies statistics. Some special investigations were undertaken on behalf of individual children in need. Letters and independent reports by the officers of the superintendent dominate a large section of the report.

These of course being independent case studies on different children in foster care and other services. There are many first hand accounts of abuse, alcoholism, and neglect often reported by the children themselves.

The is a section reporting on infant care in Toronto, quite short it was submitted by the inspector of maternity and baby homes for the year 1905. It included death statistics for children under five years of age in the Toronto area. The Toronto bylaw on public morals was included to show how toronto was dealing with it’s social issues and to suggest to other communities how to improve their social policies.

An article submitted to the report included reports on childrens work abroad, in pacticular the U.S.A. president Theodore Roosevelt’s views on child welfare and the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Some statistics were given for New York city. More than 50 towns, cities and communities in Ontario had Children’s Aid Societies by 1905, including Toronto, Hamilton, Owen sound, Chatham, Ottawa, Guelph, Sarnia, Brantford, Barrie, Berlin (now the Kitchener-Waterloo area), Kingston, St. Catherines and many others.Each society had a small report showing financial expenditure, the number of children brought into the individual societies care and a listing of officers and board of directors.

Much attention was paid to the improvements of at the 4 ontario industrial schools. Victoria industrial school had 190 boys in it’s care in 1905 and statistics were given for how many came from each city or community. Victoria was located in Mimico Ontario. There were statistics for boys committed to the school, paroled from the school, transferred to other institutions such as prison, escaped and interestingly how many died while in care. It is listed that 1 died in 1905 at Victoria industrial school and that 2 drowned in their care. I wonder how they made a official difference in designation.
Drowning is still a death. Teaching and trades were taught at the industrial schools in the hope that the children would have better opportunities when done at the industrial schools and either returned home or better able to function on their own in society.
Similar reports came from St. Johns industrial school, Alexandria school for wayward girls and St. Mary’s industrial school.

In the early 1900's many children emigrating to canada were without parents or acceptable care as a result of immigration, sickness or neglect. Statistics were given for immigrant children . These statistics were given by the Ontario Immigrant Distributing homes for children.
Homes were given to immigrant children and foster children at farms and in the cities so that children would have better opportunities to grow up and a greater chance at a successful and positive adult life.

It seems JJ Kelso’s ideals for improving care for young people and children was a successful as it could have been at the end of 1905, as there was a great public support and insistence on helping the less fortunate of society especially the children. Many issues were dealt with. Children were dealt with in positive ways instead of locking delinquent and disturbed children away in jails and mental institutions. The Children’s Aid Societies were the first to realize that children are not inherently evil and environment shapes children. Thus providing a nurturing environment is healthier for a child than an unhealthy one.

I wonder what JJ Kelso and his contemparies of 1905 would think of the current child welfare system in Ontario and of major area such as Toronto where we have many homeless children begging on street corners. There have been improvements in 100 years but there has also been cutbacks. I don’t think mr. Kelso would be pleased with the current state of child welfare.
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