The Motherisk Commission was established on January 15, 2016 by the Government of Ontario in response to a report which found that the Motherisk laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children had performed hair tests for drug and alcohol use in child protection and criminal cases that were inadequate and unreliable. These laboratory test findings were used by Children’s Aid Societies across the province in family court cases, which contributed in many cases to judgments that removed children from their families.
The Commission’s two-year mandate is to offer appropriate support and assistance to persons affected by the Motherisk test results. The Commission has established a Review and Resource Centre which will offer information, counselling, legal advice, alternative dispute resolution and other support to individuals involved in child protection matters that may have been affected by a flawed Motherisk test between 1990 and 2015.
The Commission’s challenge is to reach and identify people who were victims of flawed test results, mostly from low income and racialized communities. The Social Planning Network of Ontario and Community Development Council Durham are facilitating part of this outreach by organizing community information sessions led by the Commission’s legal counsel.
We are inviting community agencies working with low income individuals and families and racialized communities to attend these sessions in order to:
1) Become informed about the Motherisk Commission’s mandate and work and the resources that it can provide to victims of flawed lab tests;
2) Answer any questions that the community may have about the Commission and its process to identify and support the people affected;
3) Discuss how agencies and workers in your community can help identify individuals and families who might be eligible to apply to the Commission for counseling, legal advice, or other support.
We strongly urge that you attend the information session or send a representative of your agency and would greatly appreciate it if you could RSVP your attendance through Eventbrite.
Thank you for your attention and consideration.