Hi probinprocess. Your questions are a bit general and broad ranging, but I'll take a stab.
Kids go into CAS care sometimes with and sometimes without parental aquiesence. According to practices in Ontario, preference would be given to placing a kid with family, or barring that, an acceptable placement within the families natural circle, ie: acceptable friends or nieghbours. Beyond that, preapproved CAS foster placements are used. Some of these will be designated specialised foster homes, who will deal with more special needs situations. Group homes are more likely to be used where the kids needs can't be met in the above, or just nothing is available anywhere.
Sounds great, doesn't it? In placeng a kid with family, a worker has to do an investigation and full safety on the people. This sounds like a bit of an intrusive way to deal with someones poor granny, but a while back someones poor grannie abused a kid to death. Now the CAS worker was ordered by the Ministry to investigate everyone. Trouble is, they were given zero resources to do this, just like they're given zero resources every time the gov't comes up with something more they want them to do. Foster homes are easier because they are pre -approved as places of safety. Trouble is, most of them are good, some of them suck.
Trouble with CAS's, and I've come to see them up close a fair bit over the years, is that first, the workers are hugely over worked and under resourced, and second, some workers are great and some are power trippers and some are just burned out. Luck of the draw.
There is a also a big difference in group homes, in terms of their specialty, as well as how good they are. I used to work in them starting 30 yers ago, and I'd say things have improved, but that type of care will always be a work in progress.
As far as CAS and that whole world goes, some will have awful stories and some good ones.
How does one get something settled in this country to solve all the problems of the people involved.
As an atheist I'm not into miracles, so you've got me on that one.
[ 05 November 2007: Message edited by: oldgoat ]