Privacy concerns keep people from reporting child abuse: Ont. officials

TORONTO -- Recent inquests into the deaths of Ontario children have failed to shake persistent myths that prevent many people from reporting concerns about kids to child welfare authorities, two provincial offices said Wednesday.

See Full Article

Teachers, police officers and other professionals who deal with children often remain reluctant to share information with children's aid societies due to common misconceptions about privacy, according to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

Though they may mean well, their hesitation is misguided and may put children at risk, the officials said.

"Professionals who are working with children not only may share information that may help protect that child, but in some cases, have a duty to share that information," said the privacy commissioner, Brian Beamish.

A new pamphlet released Wednesday aims to clear up those misunderstandings by laying out those responsibilities.

The 15-page document will be distributed to teachers, health-care practitioners, law enforcement and children's aid societies through professional associations.

The need for greater communication between those who work with and care for children has been at the forefront of several coroner's inquests into the death of children.

Recommendations issued in the Jeffrey Baldwin inquest suggested a public awareness campaign about people's duty to report concerns about child abuse or neglect, and reminders to professionals about their legal duties.

Jeffrey Baldwin was a healthy baby when he and his siblings were placed in the care of their grandparents, but over the next few years the boy fell multiple times through society's safety nets and starved to death.

"There's been some impetus from that inquest, after some pushing, to help people understand more the importance about the duty to report and how serious an obligation it is," said Irwin Elman, Ontario's advocate for children and youth.

However, he said, "I think more can be done."

The issue has also been raised at the inquest into the death of eight-year-old Katelynn Sampson, who died at the hands of her guardians in 2008. The inquest is scheduled to resume Monday.

"There are many times when points of protection fail and our worry is we don't want it to fail because there's some myth out there about sharing information about the needs of a child," Elman said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump administration will press Canada, Mexico to reopen NAFTA: report

    World News CBC News
    The man U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has tapped to reshape the country's trade policy will soon send a letter to Canadian and Mexican officials urging them to reopen NAFTA talks, according to a report. The Globe and Mail says Wilbur Ross will want to discuss country of origin rules and the independent dispute-settlement mechanism that are key features of the 1994 free trade agreement. Source
  • Trump won't evict press corps, says he doesn't like tweeting

    World News CBC News
    U.S. president-elect Donald Trump plans to select the media representatives who are given access to the presidential press briefing room, but will not move the room out of the White House, he said in interview with Fox News broadcast on Wednesday. Source
  • Gunfire reported at private school in Mexican city of Monterrey

    World News CTV News
    MONTERREY, Mexico -- State officials said a student opened fire with a gun at a private school in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey on Wednesday, seriously wounding himself, a teacher and another student. Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Aldo Fasci said a school video showed the 15-year-old male middle-school student shot a teacher, another student, and then pointed the gun at classmates before shooting himself. Source
  • Obama expected to defend Manning decision at final news conference

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to defend his decision to shorten the sentence of convicted leaker Chelsea Manning when he holds his final news conference on Wednesday. Obama plans to answer reporters' questions at the White House, two days before he leaves office. Source
  • Senator wants inquiry into killing after 2nd murder charge stayed

    Canada News CBC News
    A senator is calling for a public inquiry after prosecutors stayed charges against a second woman accused in an Alberta man's killing — in a case that hinged largely on that woman's testimony, which was later deemed "unreliable" by an appeal court. Source
  • B.C. restaurant keeping seal meat on menu, despite death threats

    Canada News CTV News
    The operators of a B.C. restaurant say they have been receiving death threats since adding seal meat to the menu, but they’re not backing down. Edible Canada, a restaurant located on Vancouver’s Granville Island, says it prides itself on serving unique Canadian ingredients in their dishes. Source
  • Justin Trudeau refuses to answer questions in English

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused Tuesday to respond in English to several questions put to him in English in Sherbrooke, Que., telling the town hall meeting that because he was in Quebec he would speak French. Source
  • Justin Trudeau mocked for baffling immigration remark

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    In Dartmouth, N.S., Monday, Justin Trudeau said that because his maternal grandfather was born in Scotland, he understands the immigrant experience. In Kingston, Ont., last week, Trudeau was asked what to do if he got a spot on his tie — and he had a handy tip. Source
  • 'I am the only one that can defeat Trudeau'; Kevin O'Leary to run for Conservative leadership

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Kevin O’Leary has announced he is running for the Conservative leadership, suggesting that as a businessman, he is better qualified that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to work with president-elect Donald Trump. O’Leary said he intended to run in a video posted to his Facebook page Wednesday morning, moments before making the official announcement on CTV. Source
  • More clemency coming after Obama shortens Manning's sentence

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Embracing his clemency powers like never before, U.S. President Barack Obama is planning more commutations in his final days in office after a dramatic move to cut short convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's sentence. Source