Welcome. Below you will learn a little bit about those who sit on our board of directors and our volunteer executive director.
John Dunn - Volunteer Executive Director (Former Crown Ward)
John Dunn is the founder and volunteer executive director of the Foster Care Council of Canada. As a child, John was taken from his family at the age of 18 months and lived in foster care for the next 16 years. During his time in foster care, John was moved 13 times. In 1988 when John was 18 years of age he chose to leave foster care and live on his own. Approximately 13 years later, in 2001 when he contacted the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) to try and obtain copies of his own life records from them, he learned that Children's Aid Societies generally -- as a matter of practice -- do not provide copies of life records. John exhausted all complaint procedures available to him only to have the Society remain steadfast to this day on withholding them. His discovery of how former foster children are treated by the Societies in which they were raised -- amoung other relevant discoveries -- are what led to the formation of the Foster Care Council of Canada.
Gary Curtis - Board Member (Former Crown Ward)
Gary Curtis: DirectorGary Curtis (Former Ward) Gary Curtis of Winchester,Ontario (South of Ottawa) was a Crown Ward for his entire childhood up to the age of 18. Gary lived in 6 different foster homes, an orphanage, and the Ottawa Children's Village, plus a couple of temporary homes all by his 8th birthday. In 2003 Gary started out by requesting a copy of his file from the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and after several complaints and getting the Ministry involved, was finally able to receive about 60% of it. During Gary's search, he discovered the Foster Care Council of Canada and is now actively involved in various aspects of its work where he takes a special interest in Disclosure and Information (Records)
Visit Gary's website at www.fostercarerecords.wetpaint.com
Alice Daniels - Board Member (Supporter)
Alice Daniels has been doing poverty law advocacy for approximately 13 years. She is based in Revelstoke British Columbia, but has worked on cases in almost every province of Canada. Her specialties are child welfare-services and family law issues, although over the years she has been and continues to get involved in advocating for other issues. Alice works under a supervising lawyer and has done so for over ten years. She is the mother of 8 children, 5 of which experience a disability or disabilities ranging from minor learning disabilities to severe behavioural disorders. Alice has informed us that she is the first person in the province of British Columbia to ever get her children back from child-welfare after they had been permanent wards of the government.
Having never lived in foster care herself, Alice sits on the Board of Directors of the Foster Care Council of Canada as a supporter of current and former foster children.
Shannon Kalyn, Board Member: (Former Crown Ward/Adoptee)
Shannon is currently active in lobbying efforts to amend sections of the Acts which were impacted by Bill 183, the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005. Sections which prevent so many adoptees from learning valuable health information -- which if obtained -- could provide them and their medical professionals valuable insight and understanding of their health conditions or status, and information which could result in saving lives and the lives of their children. In her adult life, Shannon was diagnosed with a rare congenital condition which held a potentially life threatening risk. Upon finding this out, Shannon engaged in exhaustive efforts to recover any health information from her biological family, only to be completely ignored. Her appeal to her biological family’s conscience failed. Shannon believes that in many instances the unbalanced right to privacy has trumped the right to have serious health issues addressed thus the need to see legislative change with regard to the effects of Bill 183. Shannon also believes that many adoptees have simply given up in their effort to gather information due to the huge obstacles placed in their path and continues to advocate for changes by seeking adoptees from across the Country to share their own story with her in her effort to bring about much needed change. Shannon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Witzel - Board Member (Former Crown Ward)
David Witzel was born in Timmins Ontario in 1947 to alcoholic parents who were abusive to both him and his brother. His parents abandoned them when David was seven years of age after taking them to the Hamilton-Wentworth Children's Aid Society (HWCAS), under which they were made Crown Wards. In their foster home David and his brother were consistently and severely abused emotionally, physically and sexually for years. When David was 21 he joined the US Marine Corps and remained in service with them for 3 years. During that time he was deployed to Viet Nam for 13 months. David suffered from alcoholism between the ages of 13 to 35 when finally on Thanksgiving Day, October 18, 1982 he quit drinking -- "with God's help" David emphasizes. 5 years later in 1987 David's life changed drastically for the better when he met his wife and daughter.
In 2004 David applied for his foster care records from the HWCAS and only received a 4 page summary. After pushing further for more information David received an additional 8 page summary. Still unsatisfied, David talked with the law firm (Torkin Manes Cohen Arbus LLP) who kindly DONATED their services successfully obtaining not only his own files, but those of his brother as well. David notes that they also arranged and set him up with the law firm Jellinek Law Office and Ms Simona Jellinek kindly took on the case on a pro-bono basis. David sought accountability for the abuse he and his brother suffered while in foster care both through the HWCAS and through the Police without success. He initiated and is still involved in trying to obtain more information on himself and his life through Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act requests (FIPPA) and in 2008 joined the Board of Directors of the Foster Care Council of Canada. David has a special interest in Freedom of Information Requests. (FIPPA and MFIPPA)
How To Support Us
There are a variety of ways you can support us in our work to achieve our mission, some of which are listed below.
Join our Discussion Board
Have something to share about child welfare or want to become active in advocating for change? Join our discussion board at fostercare.proboards.com
Apply for Membership
Use the Paypal information on our membership page to subscribe to a membership level of your choice. Then contact John Dunn at email@example.com or call 613-709-3866 for further details on membership. If you wish to send a one-time cheque or money order to support our work, feel free to click on our Contact Us page for our mailing address.
You can send gift cards from Walmart, Staples, Tim Hortons (in case we host a meeting) or where ever you want by mailing them to us at the address on our "Contact Us" page.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not deem lobbying the government for legislative changes a 'Charitable Purpose'.
Because of this Federally imposed limitation, we have chosen NOT to become a registered charity in order to continue advocating for much needed legislative changes.
Consequently, we can not issue tax-receipts for donations.
See related CRA Info here