I am a 58 year old Grandmother from Ontario, who has legal court custody of my 3 grandchildren. The first one in 1998 and 2 more in 2006. Since the beginning, I have been able to get some assistance from the Temporary Care section of Ontario Works (Social Services) and received approximately $200 per child per month. I presented to them all my documents including all court documents at all appointments with them.
The children went back to their mother for a period of time when she was much better (2010), but last year (April, May & June) I had the 2 youngest children returned to me for short period of time while the mother worked out some issues and was once again able to get Temporary Care Assistance in my city. The children went back to their Mother again from July/2012 – Jan 1/2013, assisted by Children’s Aid, but we now have our grandchildren back with us as our daughter continues to struggle with many issues, and so again I applied for the Temporary Care allowance.
There is no parental support and never will be due to lack of a job and ongoing struggles. The father has never been present in their lives. Nothing has changed with custody arrangements for me since 1998 and Ontario Works has always been informed and had all the required paperwork. The person I dealt with at Ontario Works, when I went in to fill out the papers, adamantly and quite coldly said I was not entitled to receive this assistance anymore and NOT because their laws have changed, but just because she feels that I am the Grandmother and I have legal custody (which I have always had), it is assumed that it will be a permanent situation and I am not entitled anymore.
Even though I explained that custody arrangements are never permanent, any lawyer will always say that, not to mention, it’s much different when it’s a parent (myself) and child who are in this custody arrangement. It is always the goal to get children back to their Mother when she is able, even when they are in the system. Not to mention that my daughter was able to get assistance from the same place that has turned me down, even though she did NOT have legal custody.
It never matters how many people get welfare and are drug, alcohol and system abusers, but when someone is actually in need and sincere, honest and just trying to do the right thing, then the help is not there. I have never, EVER had a problem in over 12 yrs of getting this assistance ... until I met with this worker.
I was quite upset as I left and will file an appeal. If my grandchildren were in the system then the foster parents would get about $800.00 plus …per month ...per child, plus many other perks such as summer camp etc., but if you are related and try to keep the children in your family, it appears now you get nothing!
So, as we live only on a disability (my husband broke his neck in 2008), we will do our best to make things work out because I love my grandchildren more than anything. =)