Dr. Nico Trocmé - Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and the Director of Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare. Dr. Trocmé was a member of the Minister's Panel of Experts on Child Protection, and the principal investigator on several landmark Canadian Child Welfare research studies including the Canadian Incidence Studies of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, and Welfare Service Trends in Canada.
The indented comments shown in the following were provided by Eeva Sodhi, grandmother and an outspoken social critic that specializes in addressing the devastation that judicial activists and social "research" activists like those invited to the Alberta Family Violence and Bullying Roundtable impose on the traditional nuclear family and on fathers.
It is of interest to note that Dr. Trocmé himself explains why, in his FAQs, he presents perceptions instead of facts. He explains that in order to get funding the research methodology has to be designed with a predetermined outcome in mind.
Traditionally, funders have not required accountability based on outcomes, but have focused on trying to respond to increasing caseloads.
That falls right in line with what a hard-line feminist sociology professor at Colorado University Rape And Gender Educators (COURAGE), which is funded by CU, told a student, Grego, that had been heavily involved in promoting awareness of the "fact", allegedly stemming from FBI statistics, that one in four women gets raped in her life time, when he found out that the alleged "FBI fact" had been in reality a fabrication published in a discredited 1985 Mary Koss study report published in MS Magazine. The feminist sociology professor at CU told Grego, that the cause of "raising awareness" about rape was more important than the questions surrounding Koss' study.
Grego decided to leave COURAGE. If only the speakers invited to the Alberta FV Roundtable, especially Nico Trocmé, had the fortitude to salvage their integrity in the same fashion by leaving the FV industry. I suppose that is a very difficult thing to do for anyone that has constructed his whole professional career and livelihood on the propagandistic hype promoted by the FV industry (Full Story — Fox News article by Wendy McElroy; In the US, there are an estimated 520,000 false rape allegations a year — 98.1% of all reported cases. — Eeva Sodhi, Debunking Domestic Violence Statistics; Rape).
It is supported by Dr. Trocmé elsewhere, where he states that there has been a substantial increase in reported cases, implying that his work and that of others is bearing fruit. In other words, case load drives funding and funding drives caseload. It is an escalating spiral. That is not good social research, nor are its consequences to be lauded. It is harmful, destructive, mercenary advocacy research.
However, let's see what else Dr. Trocmé has to say about the relationship between the promotion of perceptions and being rewarded with funding with which to promote perceptions even better than ever. Here is Eeva Sodhi again.
He also issues the following caution:
—Some caution is required in interpreting OIS findings. Ratings provided by investigating workers could not be independently confirmed, specifically for types and level of maltreatment. These are not observable events, rather judgments made by the worker at the end of the investigation period. The 1993 and 1998 OIS document incidents that were reported to a child welfare authority. Child maltreatment not reported, reported only to the police or made about cases already being served by a child welfare agency are not included in the data.— [Source: Responding to changes in reported child maltreatment: Federal program and policy implications (OIS 1993/1998) ]
His major works, the Ontario (OIS) and the Canadian (CIS) incidence studies of reported child abuse and neglect, show that though fathers are more likely to be reported as the perpetrators of abuse, reports of abuse by mothers are more likely to be substantiated. Yet, Dr. Trocmé obediently reports that in two parent families
natural fathers ARE the main abusers of children.
Dr. Trocmé's perceptions are in direct contradiction to
what is being found by other agencies, but that should not faze him. If he repeats his hype often enough, as with all effective propaganda, it will become accepted as the truth even though it is far from it.
In the 1993 edition of OIS He gives the data as investigated, substantiated, suspected and unsubstantiated. All, except the data pertaining to intact families, which reports only investigations (see page 49, and table 5): "the alleged roles of mothers and fathers in two-parent families is somewhat different, with fathers being investigated in 71% of physical abuse cases, and mothers in 43% (see Appendix I, table 5). " [My note: Two-parent families include the pre-separation period, during which most false allegations against fathers are filed.]
In spite of the above anomaly that I myself as well a few others, including Daniel Pichette*(http://www.lapresrupture.qc.ca), questioned, Dr. Trocmé claims that:
—In two-parent families nearly three quarters of perpetrators (73%) are fathers, and in most instances fathers on their own. Fathers are also overrepresented as perpetrators in other cases of physical abuse but are equally likely as mothers to be perpetrators in other forms of maltreatment.— [source: Physical abuse of children in the context of punishment [by] Nico Trocmé, Joan Durrant, Ron Ensom, and Inder Marwah ]
The year 2000 edition of the annual Statistics Canada publication —Family Violence in Canada— claims that fathers committed 71% of the abuse. (See Section 4, —Violence Against Children and Youth—)
The writer, quite correctly, begins by stating that —currently [i.e. year 1999] there is no single source for national data on the nature and extent of child maltreatment in Canada— This same phrase is used in the CIS. She then uses seven pages to elaborate on data that she claims to be non-existent. On p. 33 she reports: —Fathers more likely accused of assaulting their children—.
She then continues: —Regardless of the type of abuse or the children's age, children and youth were most often assaulted by their fathers. In incidents involving parents in 1999, children were the victims of their fathers in nearly all (98%) sexual assault incidents, and a large majority (71%) of physical assault incidents.—
The source for the above likely is the pre-publication "Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect— (CIS).
In Chapter 3, p. 37 of the 1993 edition of OIS Dr. Trocmé says:
"A case is considered substantiated if it is the worker's professional opinion that there is sufficient evidence that abuse or neglect probably has occured (i.e., prepared to testify in court as an expert witness, even though worker may be uncertain whether the evidence meets all legal evidentiary requirements)"
In chapter 4, p. 64: "Characteristics of Maltreatment" he doubts the validity of some results (let's not forget that most social workers are trained in the feminist approach to family violence, and potentially are not free of bias):
"Twenty five percent of substantiated cases involved observable harm, 18 percent were considered to involve non-observable but probable harm and an additional 24 percent involved situations where a child had been at substantial risk of harm. Nevertheless, 23 percent of substantiated cases were classified as involving no harm or risk of harm, and in an additional 9 percent of cases, the severity of harm was unknown. This relatively large number of substantiated cases with no evidence of harm or risk of harm is difficult to explain. The guidelines set by Section 37 of the CFSA clearly require evidence of harm or substantial risk of harm before court-ordered intervention is allowed."
National Outcomes Symposium
Ottawa, February 20-21, 2003
The importance of process in developing outcome measures Keynote address [by] Nico Trocmé, Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare
—The evidence that children and families are better off as a result of the service we provide is still shockingly limited. Given the push for outcome evaluation, the key question is not why should we measure outcomes, but rather why aren—t we.—
—Traditionally, funders have not required accountability based on outcomes, but have focused on trying to respond to increasing caseloads. For example, the rapid expansion of family preservation programs in the United States was initially driven by the increase in the number of children entering foster care. Success was primarily measured in terms of placement prevention rather than evidence that children were benefiting from the programs (Littell and Schuerman, 1995; Pelton, 1997).—
—The development of an outcome-based approach has been further complicated by the fact that service providers are keenly aware that funding will be determined by the types of outcome that are measured. Service providers, from front-line staff to senior managers, worry that the measures that are selected will not document the impact of the services they provide. The principle of —what gets measured gets done— can be interpreted to mean —what gets measured gets funded— (Grasso, 1988; Traglia et al., 1996).—
—Although foster care does not seem to put children at additional risk of doing poorly, it has not yet been proven to improve children's lives (Wald, Carlsmith et al., 1988; Pecora, Whittaker et al., 1992). The success of foster care and residential placements must be evaluated in terms of more than just protection.—
For children who end up being permanently removed, especially young children who could easily be adopted, a more decisive approach may be required (Steinhauer, 1991).
The false propagandist approach that Dr. Trocmé engages in is clearly illustrated in the following handouts:
Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebec [by] M. Mayer*—, S. Dufour*—, C. Lavergne*—, M. Girard*, N. Trocmé
This handout reinforces the suspicion that the CECW is nothing short of a front for yet another radical anti-father agency whose main purpose is to vilify fathers and find excuses for increased spending to mothers who are seen to be the perpetual victims:
—The vast majority of neglecting single-parent families are headed by a mother, but, in close to half of all cases, there is a biological father
[that is: natural father] who does not live with the child. Often these families are what we call single mothers/non-resident fathers.—
—When these families are headed by a father, there is generally a biological mother living elsewhere. Most of these families are what we call single fathers/non-resident mothers.—
—There is, therefore, a distinction to be made between single-parent families that have a biological parent living elsewhere and those that do not. Frequently the other parent is around.—
—Fathers are often present, either as single parents or as non-resident parents. Most statistics on single parents overlook non-resident parents with a presence in their children's lives, however.—
—In a very large percentage of cases, there is a biological parent living elsewhere in addition to the adults in the blended family, so blended families often involve three parents.—
—There is a distinction to be made between two-parent families composed of two biological parents and those that are not. Blended families are frequent.—
—Children in intact families have less need of social workers, academic support, recreational programs and psychiatric or psychological services than do others. Children in blended families, on the other hand, have greater need of a social worker's help.—
—Once again, men are often present, either as fathers or husbands living with the child, or as
natural fathers not living with the child. Statistics usually do not track this phenomenon.—
—Families headed by single mothers are extremely poor, especially when the father is absent. Poverty, coupled with unemployment and little education results in profound socioeconomic distress—.
—Single fathers are mainly coping with difficult separations—
—Single mothers are more isolated socially and their economic stress varies greatly—
—Children in families headed by single fathers more often appear to have chronic protection problems. At the time of the report, 27% of children living with a single father had already received child protection services, compared with 12% to 22% for the other types of families. Neglected adolescents (12- to 17-years-old) are more common in families with single fathers than in other families.—
—Extreme vulnerability of families headed by single mothers.
Of all types of neglecting families, those headed by single mothers are the most affected by economic and social poverty. As this is the type of family most often targeted by protective services, the development of programs that meet the many needs of these families would afford better protection for the children.—
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 1993/1998. Maltreatment Rates [by] Nico Trocmé, Jasmine Siddiqi, Barbara Fallon, Bruce MacLaurin and Sue Sullivan http://www.cecw-cepb.ca/DocsEng/FactSheet1.pdf
This handout is of interest as it presents data in the gender neutral term —parents—. The explanation is simple: the reports of child sexual abuse have declined whereas the substantiation rates of neglect and emotional abuse cases have multiplied manifold. Though the substantiation rate of reported physical abuse has almost doubled most (72%) of substantiation were linked to punishment and thus may or may not constitute abuse per se.
Another interesting aspect is that the exposure to family violence is blamed for the enormous increase in substantiated emotional maltreatment:
—This increase has been largely driven by investigations involving exposure to domestic violence, a category not specifically included in the 1993 study. Exposure to domestic violence is not specifically mentioned in Ontario's Child and Family Services Act; however, the dramatic increase in these investigations reflects an important shift in public and professional attitudes towards the effects of domestic violence on children. This increase requires the development of services and inter-agency protocols designed to meet the needs of these children without further compromising the victimized parent.—
CECW False allegations of abuse and neglect. 2004 | #13E [by] Theresa Knott, Nico Trocmé, and Nick Bala
—Good faith unsubstantiated allegations are more common than false allegations—
—Occasionally, though, unsubstantiated reports may be intentionally false.—
—Intentionally false allegations of abuse and neglect are most frequently reported by relatives, neighbours and acquaintances (32%), anonymous sources (22%), and non-custodial parents, mostly fathers (16%). Only 4% of intentionally false allegations are reported by custodial parents (mostly mothers) and only 2% are reported by children.—
The first thing to realize is that it is extremely rare, if not downright impossible, to differentiate between an intentionally false allegation and an allegation that is made in good faith as admitted by N. Bala himself.
N. Bala cites the Ontario Incidence Study as his source of information for the following information in his paper called: —SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATION WHEN PARENTS HAVE SEPARATED: SOCIAL CONTEXT & EVIDENTIARY ISSUES—
"The 1993 Ontario Incidence of Study of Child Abuse revealed that 9% of the 42,000 physical and sexual abuse and neglect allegations involved separated parents. Mothers made two thirds of those allegations, while fathers made a third of the allegations. Trocmé, "Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect" (Toronto, Ont: Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1994) Of the allegations made by custodial mothers against noncustodial fathers, 23% were considered substantiated by the child protection workers, 27% suspected and 50% unfounded. However, even where the allegation is considered unfounded, the incidence of deliberate fabrication or lying is relatively low, in the range of 3% to 30% of unfounded allegations."
—Mothers made two thirds of those allegations, while fathers made a third of the allegations— [Trocmé, "Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect".-- Toronto, On: Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1994]. Of the allegations made by custodial mothers against non-custodial fathers, 23% were considered substantiated by the child protection workers, 27% suspected and 50% unfounded.—
A statistic that is in the range of 3% to 30% is no statistic. Also see above Dr. Trocmé's comment about the reliability of the presumed substantiations:
"Nevertheless, 23 percent of substantiated cases were classified as involving no harm or risk of harm, and in an additional 9 percent of cases, the severity of harm was unknown. This relatively large number of substantiated cases with no evidence of harm or risk of harm is difficult to explain. The guidelines set by Section 37 of the CFSA clearly require evidence of harm or substantial risk of harm before court-ordered intervention is allowed."
The 1998 [edition] presents a very different picture than what was presented in the 1993 edition:
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 1993/1998. Source of Referrals. Prepared by Nico Trocmé, Teresa Neves, Barbara Fallon, Bruce MacLaurin and Sue Sullivan http://www.cecw-cepb.ca/DocsEng/FactSheet3.pdf
—Domestic Violence Cases
The most significant change in child welfare caseloads between 1993 and 1998 has been the emergence of exposure to domestic violence as a leading form of child maltreatment. Nearly half of the additional investigations of substantiated maltreatment documented in the OIS 1998 are cases involving exposure to family violence. Reports from professionals account for nearly 90% of these cases. As with the recognition of sexual abuse in the 1980s, there is an increased understanding and awareness of the harmful effects on children of exposure to family violence.—
La premi—re recherche du genre, sur la violence faite aux enfants au Canada vient de sortir (—tude Canadienne d'incidence):
Je vous envois en pi—ce jointe le r—sum— officiel du gouvernement de cette recherche:
-Au Canada Page 23 on y lit: Que les m—res biologiques sont les auteurs pr—sum—s ( de violence envers les enfants ) les plus souvent identifi—s. Voir figure 2-8 page 24.
-Au Canada page 33-34 toutes cat—gories des familles:
Deux parents biologiques
Un parent bio. et un conjoint
Un parent bio. et une autre personne
La m—re seul
Le p—re seul
Toutes cat—gories, les services gouvernementales de protection de l'enfant — travers la Canada, r—v—le que la violence corrobor—s ( c'est a dire fond—), est principalement et en majorit— fait sur les enfants (38 %) provenant de familles type m—re seul, figure 3-3 page 34.
Cependant dans l'—tude officiel et non le r—sum— que je vous envois, le tableau 4-4(a) page 55 ( version fran—aise ), qui identifie les agresseurs sur les enfants, est tellement complexe, et inclu tellement d'information, qu'il n'identifi pas clairment le pourcentage r—el des agresseurs femmes et hommes ou p—res et m—res. Il est fait par sous ensembles ind—pendant des un des autres......
J'ai communiqu— avec le directeur de la recherche M. Gordon Phaneuf, monsieur tr—s sympatique, lui t—moignant ma frustration vis a vis ce tableau qui ne tranche pas la question. Monsieur comprend ma frustration et me mentionne que ce tableau renferme trop d'information pour —tre claire et il veut rem—dier — la question dans la prochaine —tude. Il me mentionne que les famille les plus violente sont des familles de m—re seul et que le pourcentage g—n—rale, idenfie les m—res biologiques les plus violentes envers les enfants.....ce qui donne une ligne directrice sur le genre des agresseurs.
Je lui est fait pars de mod—le de recherche au Canada que je poss—de sur la violence faite aux enfants, au Canada-ontario qui identifie clairement les agresseurs: Ontario incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect. M. Phaneuf poss—dait cette recherche et est d'accord avec moi sur la claret— des statistiques......bref f—licitation tout de m—me — monsieur Phaneuf pour son travail.....
La premi—re —tude d'incidence Qu—b—coise sort — la fin avril........esp—ront qu'elle sera clair sur le sexe des agresseurs....je vous tient au courant....
P.S. si vous voulez la recherche compl—te de l'—tude canadienne d'incidence demandez la moi et vous l'aurai......
Daniel Pichette B. Sc.
criminologue, Universit— de Montr—al
Directeur de la ressource Chambly
L'Apr—s-rupture, ateliers pour les liens p—re-enfants
Organismes de charit—; Chambly, Toronto
Ste-Hyacinthe, Rivi—re du Loup , Montr—al,
Rivi—re du Loup, Laval, Chicoutimi, St-Hubert,
Si—ge social 14, rue St-amand, Loretteville
The preceding notes provided by Eeva Sodhi are based on an initial draft of a commentary constructed by Eeva Sodhi. A more formal analysis of Dr. Nico Trocmé's advocacy research regarding designs and theories for promoting state-control, even usurping and eradicating of the relationship between children and their parents has been made available by Eeva Sodhi at her website.
That cannot under the best of circumstances be considered a balanced approach to social research pertaining to family violence, but it is without a doubt an approach that is very profitable for Nico Trocmé.
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