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  • reporting potential emotional abuse to CAS

    Before taking action, I thought I'd get the opinion of the forum. This past weekend when my 3y old daughter (about to be 4) was with me, all of a sudden and totally out of the blue, she tells me the following (paraphrasing):

    Dad, when mom was in the house, you beat up her a lot.
    I said, when did I do that? She said, when I was in the tummy.
    I said, who told you that? She said, mom told me that.

    I said, no honey, dad did not beat up mom. Dad is nice and mom is nice too.

    After that, we quickly went back to our usual routine and it was completely fine afterwards.

    There was also an incident about 2 months ago, when I picked up my daughter, she said mom slapped me because I was crying for you. I didn't observe any marks but wrote to my ex's lawyer later advising that was unacceptable and warned her not to repeat this or else I would take appropriate action to protect my daughter from any physical or emotional harm.

    As I see it, the situation now is that there's this damaging info that child is being exposed to, and due to her age, doesn't really understand the implications and forgets easily. Hence, I haven't actually seen any damage to our relationship and we're still very attached. I worry that the actual damages are in the future and currently a preventive intervention is needed.

    Upon reviewing CAS website, it states each report will be evaluated to ensure family and child receive the support necessary to keep the child safe.

    Question is if proven, what will CAS actually do? simply advise the mother to stop?

    Below is an excerpt of the CAS website:
    If you see no physical signs of abuse, how do you assess whether children are being exposed to violence?
    We look at whether there are issues of emotional harm, like pervasive threatening, belittling, humiliating ó those kinds of behaviours. They all have an emotional impact on a child. And we have to use the legislation (the Child, Youth and Family Services Act). The behaviour has to meet a threshold of harm. Itís not like we just say there is harm with every comment a parent makes or every time they raise their voice.

    Itís when we see that it has an impact on kids. We look beyond the event, to the relationships and the behaviours the kids have with their parents. Are they afraid, I mean visibly afraid? We look at all their responses and reactions. How are they coping?
    The thing that scares me is if there's an actual investigation and child doesn't repeat this and CAS says there's no actual harm. Then it looks like I'm just making up false things to bolster my custody claims. Worse is if mother is infuriated and punishes the child in some way for disclosing these things or coaches her to throw counter allegations at me.

    To summarize, what is the best course of action for me that ensures safety for my child? Should I involve CAS? If so, what can I expect the CAS to do in this situation?

    I believe the best thing I can do and continue to do, regardless of CAS, is to be involved in my child's life and show her first hand how much I love her and care about her.

  • #2
    Originally posted by seeker101 View Post
    To summarize, what is the best course of action for me that ensures safety for my child? Should I involve CAS? If so, what can I expect the CAS to do in this situation?

    I believe the best thing I can do and continue to do, regardless of CAS, is to be involved in my child's life and show her first hand how much I love her and care about her.
    The best thing for you to do is calm the fuck down and not run off to CAS.

    My daughter is three- and lies like a cheap rug. She told me my mother hit her in the face the other day when they were playing in the living room. She did not. She tells people that I "holler" at her if she doesn't do what I say. I do not. She tells me her dad was mean to her when I pick her up. I'm 99% sure that he was not....toddlers lie at this age.

    They can feel tension and they can start to say things they THINK you want hear.

    Running off and writing letters to her lawyer is just going to make you appear high-conflict. Are you?

    Do you have a lawyer? they should be advising you against this.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would not call them yet. I would keep making notes though. Right now you really do not have enough.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by iona6656 View Post


        They can feel tension and they can start to say things they THINK you want hear.
        I never bring up such things with my daughter so this comment is not applicable here but generally true.

        Originally posted by iona6656 View Post

        Running off and writing letters to her lawyer is just going to make you appear high-conflict. Are you?
        My intention here was to bring it on record. She didn't deny it but just ignored it. But I agree, it's a delicate balance as you don't want to be seen a high conflict person simply throwing mud and instead should offer solutions to rectify the issues.

        Originally posted by iona6656 View Post

        Do you have a lawyer? they should be advising you against this.
        I have a lawyer off the record whom I consult sparingly to be cost effective. I haven't discussed this with my lawyer yet.

        Originally posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
        I would not call them yet. I would keep making notes though. Right now you really do not have enough.
        Fair enough. At the moment, I try to document as much as I can.

        What I have provided here is just a snippet in time and sought advice based on that. It may seen inadequate to some for CAS intervention, which is still valuable to me as it helps me to assess what a neutral party would say. It might mean I need to provide more information and context when I'm in court or my concerns are misplaced and exaggerated.

        Lastly, let's put our prejudices and assumptions and my specific example aside and help me answer the following questions:

        -How should a concerned parent intervene early when it seems the child is being exposed to damaging and/or adult related issues? (I wish it was as simple as telling the other parent to stop). What tools are out there?

        -Is the role of CAS to offer early intervention so problems do not escalate or must there be actual harm before they can do anything.

        -If not CAS, what are other external tools that a parent can utilize to protect the children early on and discourage the other parent from engaging in such behaviour.

        -One poster above pointed out I don't have enough right now and should keep making notes. I respect that opinion but does one have enough when there is actual evidence of child-parent relationship deterioration? Must we wait for that to happen?

        I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone but as a young, inexperienced and separated parent, simply want to know how to navigate this.

        Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

        Comment


        • #5
          reporting potential emotional abuse to CAS

          Originally posted by seeker101 View Post
          -How should a concerned parent intervene early when it seems the child is being exposed to damaging and/or adult related issues? (I wish it was as simple as telling the other parent to stop). What tools are out there?
          Talk to a therapist who specializes in parenting with a difficult ex. Take your kid to one. Take a parenting after divorce class. Redirect. Ignore. Assert that it not their business. For gods sake stop making a big deal out of it. Otherwise they will learn to manipulate you.

          Is the role of CAS to offer early intervention so problems do not escalate or must there be actual harm before they can do anything.
          Hell no. This is an underfunded and overworked organization that works to protect children. What you want is a service that can help you parent after divorce. Unless your child is in serious PHYSICAL danger donít even think of calling CAS.

          If not CAS, what are other external tools that a parent can utilize to protect the children early on and discourage the other parent from engaging in such behaviour.
          Welcome to the ďyou canít fix stupidĒ club. You cannot stop the other parent from being an asshole. You can ignore their behaviour and parent your kid. Get a therapist to help you develop tools and one for your kid.

          One poster above pointed out I don't have enough right now and should keep making notes. I respect that opinion but does one have enough when there is actual evidence of child-parent relationship deterioration? Must we wait for that to happen?
          Are you seeing your child? Does your child love you? Then there is no deterioration. Calm yourself chicken little and get some therapy.

          I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone but as a young, inexperienced and separated parent, simply want to know how to navigate this.

          Parenting after divorce class. Therapy. Calming the eff down.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by seeker101 View Post
            My intention here was to bring it on record. She didn't deny it but just ignored it.
            Your ex was smart to not have said anything in response. You need to be twice as careful if you're sending her emails that have not been reviewed by a lawyer. You have it on record now; that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but don't write any more.

            -Is the role of CAS to offer early intervention so problems do not escalate or must there be actual harm before they can do anything.
            CAS actually has the following roles:
            (1) Grab as many tax dollars as possible for itself.
            (2) Cover its own ass as to the maximum possible extent by, for example, not providing anything to you in writing that could be used to hold it accountable for its own incompetence.
            (3) Present itself as an underfunded and overworked organization to da-masses. This is really working toward objective (1).

            Most child abuse, including in your case, takes place behind closed doors where nobody can do anything about it. Notably CAS cannot do anything about it.

            -One poster above pointed out I don't have enough right now and should keep making notes. I respect that opinion but does one have enough when there is actual evidence of child-parent relationship deterioration? Must we wait for that to happen?
            You are making the classic newbie error of overestimating the strength of your evidence. Hearsay evidence is weak evidence and if too much of your overall case rests on hearsay evidence it will hurt you.

            I agree with the other posters that you need to remain cool and not involve CAS. I am assuming you and your ex are litigating over parenting time. The real deterioration will take place if you fuck up in court and she winds up with primary parenting time.

            It is worth noting that the courts, and not CAS, are the authority that can dictate your parenting time & guardianship rights. Even if CAS did get involved, the court will make an independent evaluation of the evidence. So even in your dream scenario of CAS giving you a report that said, for example, that your daughter was interviewed and CAS thinks she had been coached by her mother to deny the allegations, it still does not prove the abuse or the coaching occurred. The only way I see that you could leverage the abuse for the benefit of your case is if your ex somehow admitted to any of it on record.

            Take notes. The immediate benefit of taking notes is it may help you clear your mind; i.e., "I wrote it down, so no need to ruminate about it any more". If your matter gets as far as an examination for discovery, that is when you should ask her questions based on the notes -> check. If she admits any of it -> check mate.

            Originally posted by rockscan View Post
            Parenting after divorce class. Therapy...
            Take the parenting after separation class. Save the certificate of completion and use it as an exhibit in your case.

            Comment


            • #7
              I went through the same. Once I called caws who did nothing. On the end it backfired on her.

              Comment


              • #8
                CAS do not become involved if the children are still residing with one or the other parent no matter how high the risk to the children! My ex is catastrophically brain damaged and assaulted the children while we were married and living together. Under those circumstances CAS will become involved. Once we separated CAS wrote a letter to the court that my ex needed continued supervised access. As the court case dragged in ( eight years now), CAS withdrew. They were under the impression that the custody assessor does a risk assessment and not them any longer. The custody assessor thought CAS were doing a risk assessment. Short answer: nobody was or would do a risk assessment. CAS then told me they were not there for parents like me who did everything right. They acknowledged that my kids are were at serious risk of harm or worse if my ex ever got unsupervised access but said they could not intervene until he hurt them again as it was before the courts. My ex did irreparable emotional damage to the kids who now all struggle with PTSD.

                CAS are useless. Their mandate is to take children away from BOTH parents. Otherwise they havenít the foggiest idea how to intervene and therefor donít.

                Welcome to family court litigation where all parents are seen and treated as imbeciles, liars and treated with the utmost disrespect by the court. Even if you are correct and your ex is mistreating the children, unless they are hospitalized with a broken neck which your ex admitted to causing ( and even then good luck), CAS will do nothing.
                By reporting your ex to CAS ( even if you are right), you will be seen as a high conflict and unco-operative ex and a poor parent by all the court jesters including the judges, lawyers, OCL, custody assessors , etc.
                Last edited by Stillbreathing; 12-25-2019, 05:37 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Where did she slap your daughter? Corporal punishment is legal, just saying.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Read the Child and Family Services Act in particular Section 95.
                    Then google the Ontario Childe Welfare Eligibility Spectrum.
                    You can call any CAS in Ontario anonymously to make an enquiry. They will often tell you that the incident is reportable but then they will assess if an investigation is warranted.
                    If you are acting reasonably you do not need to worry.
                    But there are side impacts as many people mistakenly believe the CAS are automatic child snatchers and freak out.
                    Maybe address this with the other parent first, tell them you do not want to be alarmist but you have a concern.
                    Ask to see a family counsellor expert in these issues together.
                    And tell them you are only concerned about the well being of your child.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Abba435 View Post
                      Read the Child and Family Services Act in particular Section 95.
                      95 only comes into play after they have apprehended the children and started a proceeding
                      Originally posted by Abba435 View Post
                      Then google the Ontario Childe Welfare Eligibility Spectrum.
                      I agree with this, but if you look at large young families, anything will trigger an investigation, as such it's useless, it's also written by CAS's and not our government.
                      Originally posted by Abba435 View Post
                      You can call any CAS in Ontario anonymously to make an enquiry. They will often tell you that the incident is reportable but then they will assess if an investigation is warranted.
                      If you are acting reasonably you do not need to worry.
                      But there are side impacts as many people mistakenly believe the CAS are automatic child snatchers and freak out.
                      Maybe address this with the other parent first, tell them you do not want to be alarmist but you have a concern.
                      Ask to see a family counsellor expert in these issues together.
                      And tell them you are only concerned about the well being of your child.
                      So many issues with your advice. Being a victim of malicious allegations of abuse. Makes me scratch my head at your advice. Call anonymously. If that's what your suggesting then please don't call.
                      Unless you are so concerned that your willing to give your name, you have no reason to call the CAS.
                      CAS often will turn a family upside down with the minimum of allegations. It was a CAS call that lead to my ex moving out, and her using the CAS in the future as an intimidation tool.
                      Before you call CAS review the caselaw Young v. Bella, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 108, 2006 SCC 3 and as the unreported case law of Larabie vs. Cui
                      https://www.scribd.com/document/2600...ui-and-Larabie

                      Just because you don't give your name doesn't mean your identity is hidden. I personally have tracked down a referral, and successfully sued them for making a damaging allegation of child abuse.

                      If CAS doesn't open a child protection investigation then the call is arguably unreasonable to begin with. And you have opened yourself up to defamation law suits.

                      What you have hear is a 3 year old testing the waters, my children did this all the time. Telling me I'm not allowed to drive down certain roads because it's the way to grandparents or mothers place.

                      While it is emotionally draining, and harmful. Involving CAS is a bad idea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have worked closely with CAS for over 20 years so can give some honest advice about how they would deal with this. They will not do anything about the he said/she said that is being relayed by children unless it is physical harm. People call anonymously all the time. Probably half their calls are anon. They ask many questions about the situation, family, children, evidence of abuse. They also take into consideration family dynamics and know all too well the game between between ex's. All of a sudden there is an allegation now that the parents are no longer together and a custody issue is a huge red flag. An obvious one for anybody to see. They will do home visits and interview children and get police involved if the physical/sexual abuse is at all criminal. A slap to a child who discloses this may get a home visit and some parenting classes but CAS use the least intrusive measure and if there is no previous file and the allegation is minor, the file will be open and shut within hours.If there is an going open file with your family or previous history they will spend more time. Save your breath and just ignore your daughter's banter about what her mom is telling her. You can't dictate how another adult can act or what comes out of their mouth. Your ex may believe what she believes and sees things differently. Just enjoy your daughter and your response to her was perfect. Don't spend too much time on it as little kids pick up on the dynamics and the reason for questions better than we give them credit for. A quick 30 seconds and shut it down and move onto fun kid stuff like what she wants for her birthday, christmas etc etc.
                        The above poster stated he sued for allegations. This is NEVER done. Defamation is almost never seen in court unless you have lost millions due to a false allegation.Proving an allegation false is hard. The court would never hear of it due to the fact that just because a child doesn't make a disclosure doesn't mean it didn't happen. They never close a file with the term "false" allegation. Same reason sex assaults complainants aren't sued when they make an allegation even if it is false. False is hard to prove unless they openly admit they lied. They can be termed unfounded but just means the evidence doesn't support a charge before the court system. If people were sued for defamation for a sex assault allegation or child abuse allegation that can't be proven this would deter victims from coming forward and fear of not being believed or sued because of lack of evidence. Never done!!! CAS doesn't seem to be the route to take right now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by backinthesaddle View Post
                          I have worked closely with CAS for over 20 years so can give some honest advice about how they would deal with this. They will not do anything about the he said/she said that is being relayed by children unless it is physical harm. People call anonymously all the time. Probably half their calls are anon. They ask many questions about the situation, family, children, evidence of abuse. They also take into consideration family dynamics and know all too well the game between between ex's. All of a sudden there is an allegation now that the parents are no longer together and a custody issue is a huge red flag. An obvious one for anybody to see. They will do home visits and interview children and get police involved if the physical/sexual abuse is at all criminal. A slap to a child who discloses this may get a home visit and some parenting classes but CAS use the least intrusive measure and if there is no previous file and the allegation is minor, the file will be open and shut within hours.If there is an going open file with your family or previous history they will spend more time. Save your breath and just ignore your daughter's banter about what her mom is telling her. You can't dictate how another adult can act or what comes out of their mouth. Your ex may believe what she believes and sees things differently. Just enjoy your daughter and your response to her was perfect. Don't spend too much time on it as little kids pick up on the dynamics and the reason for questions better than we give them credit for. A quick 30 seconds and shut it down and move onto fun kid stuff like what she wants for her birthday, christmas etc etc.
                          The above poster stated he sued for allegations. This is NEVER done. Defamation is almost never seen in court unless you have lost millions due to a false allegation.Proving an allegation false is hard. The court would never hear of it due to the fact that just because a child doesn't make a disclosure doesn't mean it didn't happen. They never close a file with the term "false" allegation. Same reason sex assaults complainants aren't sued when they make an allegation even if it is false. False is hard to prove unless they openly admit they lied. They can be termed unfounded but just means the evidence doesn't support a charge before the court system. If people were sued for defamation for a sex assault allegation or child abuse allegation that can't be proven this would deter victims from coming forward and fear of not being believed or sued because of lack of evidence. Never done!!! CAS doesn't seem to be the route to take right now.
                          Every family lawyer should be required to read this and be educated and inform the parents
                          Brilliant to hear this from an experienced and knowledgeable poster
                          Thank you!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you all for the advice. I have not reached out to CAS and to be honest, didn't expect them to magically fix the issue as well.

                            What I was expecting is an independent third party to corroborate the fact that ex is saying damaging stuff to the child. It seems that CAS is not the way to do it, perhaps OCL would be the way to go (there's other evidence of access interference and badmouthing as well).

                            I wonder how significant it would be if the child would reaffirm statements like mom said dad beat her, mom said dad would kill her, etc etc to the OCL and how it would impact custody and access arrangements.

                            I think my case is a classic example of where one parent by themselves is a capable parent as she meets the child's physical needs. I question the impact of her parenting on child's emotional health as she lacks the understanding or has ulterior motives to keep the other parent out of the child's life.





                            Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am not an expert but have had some direct experience and my advice is to carefully document everything, be aware, trust your gut without being alarmist.
                              Section 95 is the criteria to decide if anyone should be calling in CAS and the word reasonable is critical. The CAS Eligibility Spectrum is much more detailed in providing a reference of what circumstances and events would cause a reasonable person to believe that a child is in need of CAS intervention.
                              So often a vert grey area and combined with separation and divorce the waters are very muddy, emotions are high and the impact on the children must be considered. This can also appear to be manipulative making the definition of reasonable more nebulous. CAS will never confirm in a report that anyone was not in contravention of the statute and if there was no finding of abuse, concern or need for protection expect opposing counsel to weaponize and make allegations of malice.

                              Comment

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