ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE
COURT FILE NO: C186/03
Prepared by: Perspectives Inc.
437 Sherbrooke Street
North Bay, ON P1B 2C2
June 14, 2004 [More than four months after the original Judges order]
CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY FOR THE
DISTRICTS OF NIPISSING AND PARRY SOUND
MS. MONICA KNIHTI and SEAN NEDDO RESPONDENTS
PURPOSE OF REPORT
On February 2, 2004, the Honourable Madame Justice Duchesneau-McLachlan requested that an assessment under the Child and Family Services Act, be completed to assist the Court in determining the best interests of the child, Kyle Jonathan Knihti, born April 20, 2000. [Kyle's middle name is misspelled]
The Section 54 Assessment was asked to address the following issues:
1. What were the affects on Kyle (if any) in view of the circumstances surrounding his apprehension and subsequent prolonged separation from his mother other than the supervised access? Are the current remedies of intervention appropriate?
2. Are there specific needs that Kyle has, and if so, what services are recommended for him?
3. What is the parents' level of understanding for parenting a young child (re: are they putting to use what they are learning through their monitored visits with their child, as well as parenting courses)? Are there other interventions necessary to optimize Monica Knihti's ability to parent Kyle effectively? [Judge only wanted to know if 'other interventions necessary to optimize My ability to parent my son, and didn't ask if there were 'other interventions necessary' for his father]
4. Given the limited amount of time that Kyle has had with his father, are there any issues with regards to his attachment with him? If not, are there any factors that would prohibit increased access?
5. Are there any mental health issues with either parent that could inhibit either of their abilities to parent Kyle on a long-term basis? Would supports be required, and to what extent? If an emergency plan were in place, could the placement be sustainable?
6. Are there any alcohol or drug issues (current or past) with either parent that could play a part in their ability to care for Kyle? [Would 'drug issues' from the 'past' really 'play a part in their ability to care for Kyle'?]
The current assessment was conducted by two teams of assessors. The first team was led by Mrs. Sharon Chayka, M.Ed. of Perspectives Inc,, and this team focused upon psychosocial elements to the current custody/access matters. The second team was led by Dr. Jeffrey R. Phillips. This independent team focused upon the formal psychological assessment of individuals involved in the current custody/access matter. Both teams were made aware of custody/access issues before conducting their respective components of the assessment process. [From the CAS.] Otherwise, the two assessment teams conducted themselves in independent fashion. The psychological assessment was designed so as to provide psychologically oriented information related to the issues at hand, with comments being made by Dr. Phillips in regard to the impact that psychological functioning of various individuals involved in the current custody/access assessment matter would have upon issues of importance. These findings were then integrated into the psychosocial component of the custody/access assessment, and recommendations in regard to custody/access matters were then put forth by the Perspectives team.
It is noted that the current assessment process involved both male and female assessors in order to minimize ender bias. The independent assessment procedures of the two assessment teams were utilized in order to, again, maximize the objectivity and comprehensiveness of the assessment at hand. It is further noted that the assessment process reflects data being collected in a building block style. That is, initial data impressions of the psychosocial team were formed with interview data, followed by the addition of observation data, data from affidavits and reports, and data from collateral interviews. [There were no 'affidavits and reports' or 'data from collateral interviews' attached.]
The assessment process was reviewed in this final interview with custody/access assessment parties, and their satisfaction with the assessment process and the manner in which they were treated, was achieved prior to reviewing findings of the current assessment process. In reviewing findings of the current assessment process, the assessment parties were encouraged to provide feedback and their reaction was then recorded as part of the assessment report.
The above procedures were described to assessment participants, and a written indication of an understanding and acceptance of the above procedures was provided at the commencement of the assessment process.
The file was received on March 16, 2004.