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  • FRO - Any Cases/Information Online?

    Hi folks,

    I am trying to locate information regarding the downfalls of the Family Responsibility Office.

    My husband and I are in the process of discussing with the support recipient possible withdrawal from the program, however she would like some "evidence" that proves it is better to withdraw from the program than to remain with their services (corupt services, if you ask me!)

    Does anyone know of any cases, sites, or information that we could obtain to help support our cause?

    Thank you kindly for your help in advance!

  • #2
    not sure if this helps but it may give you a starting point.


    "Let me introduce myself. I am Renate Diorio, founder of FAD. (Families Against Deadbeats) in Brampton. I read your reports (on the FRO meetings) and we have had similar meetings here."

    "We have well over 500 members that have dealings with the FRO and not one has a good story or word to say."

    She makes the point that the legislation is good, but the enforcer is not. "I believe that says it all."

    She cites one case in which the father has been paying but $6,000 has gone missing. "She has been told to be patient. You cannot ask a child to wait! (For food and clothing.)

    "Failure to provide the necessities of life (for children) is a criminal offense." In this case, it's the FRO that is failing.

    "We need the media to keep on top of stories like this to make taxpayers aware their money is not being spent wisely. There is no need for Ms. von Son to travel across the country searching for answers. They are in her own back yard."

    Dave Brown is the Citizen's senior editor. His e-mail address is .

    Read previous Dave Brown columns at Ottawa Citizen - Breaking News, Ontario, Canadian News & Multimedia


    • #3
      Thanks SOTS. It's unfortunate that the beginning of that Dave Brown article starts off speaking so positively about FRO, about all the wonderful changes they are making and how so many people are pleased with their services.

      We have forwarded our request to my stepson's mom, along with our personal reasons and the reasons based on the information we have gathered. She has indicated that she will review our request and do her own research in order to come to an informed decision regarding our request to withdraw from FRO.

      So now, we wait.

      If any of you have any suggestions that may be useful to our cause, I'm all ears... errr, eyes!


      • #4
        you would think that as long as you guys have a track record of paying on time etc that she would want to cut out the middleman.


        • #5
          Originally posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
          you would think that as long as you guys have a track record of paying on time etc that she would want to cut out the middleman.
          You would think that, wouldn't you? Any reasonable person would think that. My husband has ALWAYS paid on time - she has even admitted to this. He has also ALWAYS paid according to the guidelines - this she doesn't agree with because she claims his support payments were "measly" during the time he was a full-time student and only worked part-time, and during the brief period when he lost his job. (Though his payments were still in accordance with the guidelines.) She indicated that her fear is that should my husband decide to return to school full-time (for what reason, I do not know) or lose his job, that he would unilaterally decide to stop paying child support or decide to pay a reduced amount, and she could do nothing about it. She claims that FRO gives her the guarantee that no matter what circumstance may arise in our life, she would continue to receive her monthly child support in the amount that suits her most (i.e. the amount based on my husband's full-time income at $45,000+).

          This is the reasoning we are up against right now. Any suggestions?


          • #6
            An interesting report with respect to the FRO can be found at the Ontario Ombudsman website here:




            • #7
              Thanks LV! That's a perfect example. And it's one that speak of how the recipient was affected by FRO's lack of... of everything needed for it to run properly! This is exactly the type of information I'm looking for. Thank you!


              • #8
                Hi #1StepMom

                I hope that you are able to find more than I was able to offer. I have found it hard to get people to talk publicly ???? Mostly the reasons that I think are fear of reprisals and just feeling so defeated in the face of what FRO does.

                I know you have and I hope many others here have checked out my spouse's blog. We have spoken to so many government officals on many occasions. If others have got the response that we have it is no wonder. "Oh we cant get involved etc etc. McGuinty's letter said that one the best. Like my spouse thought who made it back to fight another day I wonder how many others poor guys are out there with absolutely nothing left.

                Please if you do find others that are willing to share their stories forward them to me. I will try to do the same.



                • #9
                  Thanks AtALoss.

                  We directed my stepson's mom to your husband's blog, and we also forwarded her the link to the article Logival Velocity posted. We also drafted a private "domestic agreement" for child support that we sent to her as a type of guarantee of my husband's proposal.

                  As it stands now, she will "consider" our request but will need to do her own research into the pros and cons of FRO, more specifically how they affect her as a recipient and whether withdrawing from the program is worth it to her. (Of course, the close to $1,000 of my husbands money that seems to have vanished into thin air... the problem's he's having with Revenue Canada... the answers he isn't getting from FRO... all that doesn't quite matter, as it doesn't directly affect her, right? *Roll Eyes*)

                  So we're keeping our fingers crossed. Hopefully, even as a recipient, she will be able to see how corupt the program is.


                  • #10
                    For those of you who are interested... here is some information I came across over the past few days doing a simple google search:

                    Big Disappointment Ombudsman Says of Family Support Payments Office

                    TORONTO -- Ontario Ombudsman Clare Lewis calls Ontario's Family Responsibility Office one of the greatest disappointments of his five year term.

                    At the end of the 2003/04 fiscal year the FRO had the same amount of arrears in the collection of support payments as it had in the previous year. The FRO has still not implemented a more efficient computer system nor had it improved its service delivery by the Ministry of Community Services and on the Adult Correctional and Young Person facilities now operated by the Ministry of Children and Youth-Services.

                    Although the FRO dealt with $1.3 billion in support arrears the agency still remains one of the top three government organizations about which there are the most complaints, 1,147 in 2003/04.

                    Ontario's Family Responsibility Office Dropped the Ball in Collecting Delinquent Child Support

                    "The Family Responsibility Office was content just to sit back and lead the support recipient on. It neglected its fiduciary responsibility and displayed a cavalier attitude towards an individual it was duty-bound to serve," remarked Mr. Marin. "It is no answer to the complaint that ineffective policies and procedures were followed."

                    "One does not have to be rehearsed in the law of government fiduciary obligations to know that this kind of attitude and behaviour is malodorous." Mr. Marin commented "Those charged with the enforcement of support orders must accept that they have a duty to act in the best interest of those who the support was intended for.

                    "It is evident to me that a cultural change is required in the way the Family Responsibility Office views its role. Its passive "hands off" approach must be replaced by a proactive, common sense, and good faith attitude towards support recipients."

                    System Called a Nightmare

                    "The FRO continually ranks in the top three complaints of my constituents and it is extremely frustrating for my staff," Kormos said. The difficulty citizens have with the office stem from underfunding, a small and inexperienced staff and a mindset that refuses to recognize there are problems with the system, said Kormos. "The problems are gross mismanagement and a complete refusal to acknowledge their mistakes," he said. "These guys couldn't organize a drunk-up in a brewery."

                    Problems Plague Family Responsibility Office, Forcing Families Onto Welfare

                    Failures by Ontario's Family Responsibility Office to properly enforce court-ordered support payments are pushing some single parents and their children onto welfare, Ombudsman Clare Lewis reported Thursday.
                    However, Lewis said the FRO runs ''an equal opportunity error-prone program,'' noting many men who've been meeting their court-ordered obligations have trouble getting the FRO to stop taking payments when it's supposed to.
                    Lewis blames most of the problems at the FRO on the fact the agency still doesn't have a computer system able to support the payment program and case management, a problem he said the government promised to fix as far back as 2001.
                    Lewis said the Ombudsman's office received 1,467 complaints against the problem-plagued FRO last year, second only to corrections, which had 7,727 complaints, most from jail inmates.

                    Father Says He's Treated Like A Criminal

                    "The FRO was making me look like a deadbeat dad," Stinson told The Whig-Standard. "They act like I'm a criminal and I have done nothing wrong." Stinson's government file shows payments have been made regularly, with the exception of a three-month period after he was laid off from his job. An agency-generated computer printout shows Stinson has overpaid his account, yet the agency has been chasing the man for payments on an account they say is in arrears.

                    NPD Calls for Audit of Family Responsibility Office

                    “The McGuinty government has been ignoring problems at the Family Responsibility Office for three years – now it′s grown into a billion dollar mess, “ said Prue. “It′s time for a full and complete audit of the FRO to investigate if there are other cases like the ones the Ombudsman addressed today.”

                    Family Responsibility Office - Complaints - Support Payers and Support Recipients

                    The FRO (formerly the Family Support Plan) has been taken to court on contempt when they have failed to pay money as ordered by the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. The lawyer for the FRO lied to the Halton Region judge of the Superior Court of Justice and stated that the Writ of Sale and Seizure had been lifted against the property of one of the parties. It hadn't been.

                    We have documented proof of a case in which the Superior Court of Justice ordered the FRO to provide the court with a statement of the monthly payments and amounts received and they refused in contravention of the court order saying they don't have to comply with the court order.

                    Scathing Report Skewers Ont. Gov't. Bureaucrats For Failing You

                    Marin claims to have exposed similar delusions at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corportation, the Family Responsibility Office and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. He concludes they've been presenting a proud public face for years while callously ignoring the suffering of the very people they were supposed to be serving.

                    Family Responsibility Office of Ontario: Welcome to one of the most corrupt institutions in Ontario

                    Office of the Auditor General - Report on FRO

                    The FRO Solution
                    A lawyer who specializes in helping payors and recipients deal with the many problems they experience with FRO. (The simple fact that such specific legal services exist says a lot about FRO's operations.)

                    Ombudsman of Ontario - Annual Report 2006-2007 (Includes Info on FRO)

                    Ombudsman of Ontario - Annual Report 2002-2003 (Includes Info on FRO)

                    Legislative Assembly of Ontario

                    If there's anybody who is a stranger to the facts around here, Minister, you are. This concerns some of the most vulnerable children and women in this province. The Provincial Auditor has said over and over again that they are not well served by the Family Responsibility Office. The Provincial Auditor has said that this office needs more staff, better trained staff, more experienced staff, and what do we see? One hundred and twenty staff there are getting layoff notices. So tell those women and children who already wait, in some cases seven months for action on their child support payment files, how laying off another 120 staff is going to --


                    • #11
                      Thank you once again There were one or two that I did not have.


                      • #12
                        Truly amazing... my husband got a new support order (a reduction based on his job loss) in February, retroactive to January '09 (despite having lost his job in October '08). It is now June. FRO has still not changed the support order, despite claiming they received the new one in April, and continues to withdraw the original amount of CS - almost twice what my husband is ordered to pay. And at the same time, instead of calculating the overpayment into his arrears, the money is vanashing into thin air, while FRO claims he still owes hundreds of dollars when in fact he owes less than $20! Thieves!


                        • #13
                          It is amazing the lengths they go to. My new spouse had overpaid by $6.45 (not alot) but the point being he was. Filed his Motion to vary at that same time. Had the unfortuneate luck of getting up against 2 of their malicious lawyers. That was in 2003-04. They case was finally settled he won in this past Dec. The court ruled that FRO had no Jurisdiction since 2002 and as a result nothing was owing. Meanwhile in 2005 they still continued and took everything from him and reduced him to being homeless. Finally FRO is acknowledging that they have done wrong. It has been worse than pulling teeth to get them to do anything to help rebuild his life. I think it is an extreme embarassment to Canada that they have an agency such as FRO that can do this to people and a government who has no desire to see that programs such as this are administered properly.


                          • #14

                            My personal experience as a FRO recipient is not good at all.

                            I have found that those that work at FRO are probably the rudest people I've ever had the occasion to speak to. I've also found that they have little to no common sense whatsoever. There isn't any "reasoning" with them, they do what they want despite!

                            Example - Statement of arrears sent back by TWO different Financial Officers at FRO. Two completely different reasons for sending it back, and they contradict each other.

                            I took 6 telephone messages, two faxes, a fax to the supervisor and a call to my MPP's office to just get FRO to return my call. When she finally did, she stated she left me a message on my voicemail at home and I "need to stop assuming people there don't do their jobs because it's annoying". When I advised her that I didn't HAVE voicemail on my home phone, I got "Well, exactly why is it FRO's fault that you don't have voicemail". When I replied with "Well, it isn't - however, you just stated you left a message on voicemail"....she just got ruder.


                            • #15
                              How long does it take for FRO to process the paperwork and start passing the CS on(providing ex pays up)?


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