Sunday, September 8, 2013

Inquest into five-year-old boy’s death to shed light on child welfare system

TORONTO – It has been more than a decade since five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin starved to death at the hands of his grandparents, who were previously convicted of child abuse, in what has been called one of Canada’s worst cases of child neglect.

A coroner’s inquest into the Toronto boy’s death is scheduled to start Monday and it will mark the first real, public examination of the factors involved in the boy’s horrific life and death, said Ontario’s advocate for children and youth.

Some will say, “What’s the point? That was 11 years ago,” said Irwin Elman.

“The way of thinking happens that says, ‘Well, we’ve done a lot of changes since 11 years ago so you can look away.’ I think the important point for the public to understand is this is a chance to learn how today to better protect our children.”

The child welfare system in Ontario has undergone many changes since the Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS) in Toronto placed Jeffrey and his siblings in the care of Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman.  (more...)

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