Story Archive

A Bill for Disservice

Sixteen years ago, says Dean Harper, his daughter’s mother cut him off from the girl. “She moved, and I couldn’t find her anymore,” he said. “I searched for 16 years.” Eventually, with help from Google, he found his daughter’s workplace, and he introduced himself. “Every piece of the puzzle just went together,” said Athena Glusing, 18, who now lives with her father. But this isn’t just a feel-good story: Glusing was in foster care during high school, and even though Batshaw Youth and Family Centers had Harper’s contact information all along, he says, the Westmount, Que., Canada, institution never got in touch — until his search for his daughter was successful. Harper says the agency told him it didn’t contact him because it lacked his date of birth; the agency says social workers try to find parents “in all situations ... based on children’s needs.” But when he finally found Glusing, the agency decided there was something he was needed for: to pay them C$7,800 (US$6,300) as his “parental contributions” for her care. Harper says he may sue. (AC/CTV) ...“What’s your complaint?” asked a bureaucrat. “You can still carry out a father’s one universally upheld right: to write the checks.”
Original Publication Date: 28 June 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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