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

  • Russia providing mood music for House impeachment drama

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- For all the talk about Ukraine in the House impeachment inquiry, there's a character standing just off-stage with a dominant role in this tale of international intrigue: Russia. As has so often been the case since U.S> President Donald Trump took office, Moscow provides the mood music for the unfolding political drama. Source
  • Rowing Canada, UVic investigating coach for harassment, abuse

    Canada News CBC News
    Lily Copeland felt she had found her purpose in life when she joined the University of Victoria rowing team. As a coxswain, she steered the boat and co-ordinated the rhythm of the team, applying her love of helping others to a competitive sport. Source
  • Winnipeg teen who encouraged thousands to vote, dies after battle with cancer

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg teen who – during her fight with terminal cancer – challenged thousands of Canadians everywhere to vote, has died. The family of 18-year-old Maddison Yetman announced on Twitter Sunday morning that Yetman had died after a battle with cancer. Source
  • Iraqi protester killed amid fresh clashes on Baghdad bridge

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- An anti-government protester in Iraq was killed Sunday by a direct hit to the head from a tear gas cannister amid fresh clashes on a strategic Baghdad bridge, security and medical officials said. Source
  • Flooded Venice records 3rd exceptional tide as other parts of Italy hit with rain, snow

    World News CBC News
    Venice was hit Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in the same week while other parts of Italy struggled with a series of weather woes, from rain-swollen rivers to high winds to an out-of-season avalanche. Source
  • Winnipeg ties all-time record with 41st homicide of the year

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO – The shooting death of a 21-year-old man has pushed the number of homicides in Winnipeg this year into a tie with the city's all-time record. Police said Saturday that the body of Dustin Cree Baker had been found in a townhouse in the city's North End neighbourhood three days earlier. Source
  • Iraqi anti-government protester killed amid fresh clashes on Baghdad bridge

    World News CBC News
    An anti-government protester in Iraq was killed Sunday by a direct hit to the head from a tear gas canister amid fresh clashes on a strategic Baghdad bridge, security and medical officials said. At least 32 others were wounded in violent clashes with security forces just hours after protesters retook control of half of Ahrar Bridge. Source
  • Freeland's imprint on foreign affairs remains even if she's shuffled: analysts

    Canada News CBC News
    Whether or not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffles her to a new cabinet post on Wednesday, Chrystia Freeland's imprint on Canada's foreign policy will remain visible for some time to come, analysts suggest. That will be especially true in how Canada pushes forward with its top priority: getting the new North American trade deal ratified and reinforcing the crucial economic bond with its key ally, the United States. Source
  • Maddison Yetman, the terminally ill 18-year-old who urged Canadians to vote, has died

    Canada News CBC News
    An 18-year-old Winnipeg woman who made a viral video urging people to vote in October's federal election has died. In early October, Maddison Yetman was diagnosed with an advanced form of sarcoma and told she had between a few days and a few weeks to live. Source
  • U.K. media calls Prince Andrew's sexual misconduct rebuttal a PR disaster

    World News CBC News
    British media on Sunday slammed Prince Andrew's effort to rebut claims that he had sex with a teenager who says she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, branding his televised interview a complete public relations disaster. In a rare interview with BBC Newsnight that was broadcast late Saturday, Andrew categorically denied having sex with the woman, Virginia Giuffre. Source