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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 30, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 THE IETHBRIDOE HERALD Monday, August 30, 1971 f Indian welfare program transformed by new system By ROD TURNER "staff Wilier Tlie Lidminislralion of Indian welfare in the Blood Peigan disLricl. lias been transformed since the introduction two years ago of a new social services program according to Rein Be- FAVORITE SPOT Bicyclists take advantage of Ihe cool breeze from the lake on a hoi Sunday Broadens horizons for kids Teen-agers in trouble find home SYRACUSE. N.Y. A single candle's flame flic- kered in the dining room of a big. old house in Syracuse. N.Y. In near-darki.ess came forth the sound of children's voices: "Happy birthday to you. happy birth- day lo you, happy birthday, dear Les, happy birthday to you.'' The cand e was blown out ir-' lights turned on to reveal .tocolate cake. A 17-year- boy sal, tbo cake on a e in front of him. as his al muscles struggled to themselves in a prop- e: -jxpression. He almost managed a smirk as six other youngsters and six adults looked on, but his eyes were shining too brightly to hide his delight. This was no ordinary biith- day. This is no ordinary house And these are not or- dinary children. The Ccpbcus, might properly he called the house that Lorraine 2nd John Ghidiu built. And the children, ranging in age between 14 and 17, have back- grounds out of Oliver Twist. Cepheus is a foster home for children who have been (or would otherwise be) in state institutions. Some are parentless, some have run away from home or have been disinherited. All are troubled. Last September, John and Lorraine, 25 and 22 years old, respectively, rented a house to give these children and others like them a HOME. John had been a social worker for a year when he decided to start a foster home Lor troubled minors. wanted to offer an al- ternative to institulionaliza- tion of he explained. he anci Lorraine were married last June, they rent- ed a big. three-bedroom home in Svracuse, drew up a pro- posal for funds from the Urban Crisis League (which is part of Ihe Community Chest in Syracuse) and re- cruited their "kids." They weren't hard to find. Many had to be turned away because of space and money limitations. Tie Ghidius qualified as foster parents and received some of their from the State Parole Department. Others, they found im the street. Lorraine had had experience working with runaway minors at an- other volunteer house called in Syracuse before she and John started their own home There are two other couples working in the house with the Ghidius: Gene Cross, who was John's roommate in col- lege, and his wife, Helen; and Tony and Beth Leydon, both college students. Togeth- er, they supervise and coun- sel the children. It is no easy job. One child was bom in a prison, sent lo live in a foster home al the ago of two (he never knew his parents) and ran away from them because they were Holy Rollers who were very restrictive him. He was in an institution before he came to live, at Cepheus. Another child, 1-4, had a habit of "ripping off" (steal- ing) before Lorraine and John found him and brought him to Cepheus. Although he is very bright, he has a first- grade reading level. One girl is 15, unmarried and preg- nant. Another's mother was murdered. And so the stories go. The Ghidius are hoping that, with an environment of warmth and understanding, the stories will at least have ha) endings. have furnished Uic house with donations result- ing from speeches at church groups and by word-of-mouth. They made Christmas a spec- tacular: A tree and Christ- mas cookies, stockings hang- ir.g from the mantel and gifts for everyone. One of the chil- dren said, "This Is tbe Iwst Christmas I've had in five years." The children each have as- sipjied chores and share in the running of the house through house meetings, where they can air their grie- varccs. They are beginning to feel at home at Cepheus, but there are problems. have day lo day said Lorraine. "Any- thing from someone saying, 'I want to go back home be- cause my mother gives me presents and n o one slse to talking to school of- ficials about getting the kids into special programs. "And these kids are very scared. They're tough on the outside and they're mean to each other sometimes but underneath all that, there's panic. And it's hard to foster the trust you need to get rid of that. need to build their self- confidence." Lorraine shook her head. "Some days, I run she said. "I just can't lake it." But she always comes b.ick and she and John learn something every day about dealing with their charges. "V.'p had no idea at UK he- Lorraine, explained, "that the children look to us as models for Ihcir own be- havior. It's difficult, some- times, to say to them, 'Don't do that, that's wrong.' And lo have them remind you lhat you did the same thing a day ago or two mouths ago. These kids are very sharp and they can be manipulative if you let them, but they're beginning to reab'ze that there are rules here and we're not kidding when we tell them lo olrey them." The rules include a curfew on week nights and a 12 o'clock curfew on week- ends, no "ripping off." and no being abusive to one another. Cepheus, now four innnlhs old, is a beginning lo a new and less expensive ap- proach lo dealing wilh trou- bled minors. It costs the .slate per child per year for foster care versus S12.000 per child per year to institution- alize them. Tlie difference in personal attention between a foster hame and an insliiij- tion cannot be measured in dollars. The main problem which Cepheus now faces is a short- LEARN TO SEW CREATIVE STRETCH Lessons Starting Sept. 7th 8 2-HOUR COURSES FOR ONLY MORNINGS AFTERNOONS EVENINGS Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thurs. WE CARRY A FULL LINE OF STRETCH MATERIALS Bring or I Clip and Mail lo. BAKER'S FABRIC CENTRE I 426 13th St. N. tclhhriclge Phone 326-4530 Nome.............................................................. addresi Phono I I to ailend (Morning. Aflernoon, or Evening) On (Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday) I Plcaso find enclosed lo cover the cosl of my course. 426 13th St. N. Phono 328-4536 OPEN THURSDAY TILL 9 P.M. age of funds, since their grant from Hie Urban Crisis League will run out shortly. "What we are trying to said John, "is broaden hori- zons for these kids. Get (hem to Hiink conceptually to think about their future and lo make them more indepen- dent in a constructive way. Now they're tough, but they're not complete." Maybe, some day, itey will he. (Newspaper Enterprise Assn.) All chiefs' conference Bloods want workers for child welfare The Blood band council has sent a letter to Hay Speaker, minister of the provincial de- partment of health and social development, requesting that the province appoint two full- time child welfare workers for the reserve. Provincial authorities have exclusive jurisdiction in child welfare but the federal depart- ment of Indian affairs has tra- dilionally played a predomin- ant, ad hoc role in caring for orphaned children from the re- serves. The role, leclmcally illegal according to Rein Begieneman, superintendent of Indian social services in Lethbridge, lias necessitated by a long-standing disagreement between Ihe two governments over who should pay for the seivice. The provincial government recently set a precedent, how- ever, by appointing a child worker [or Ihe Blackfoot Re- serve, southeast of Calgary. The request by the Bloods has the full backing of the Leth- bridge Indian affairs branch and the local social development di- rector. gicneman, the program's super-r intendent. Mr. Begieneman, head of the prograp since its inception in July of 1969, left the post Monday for Red Deer where he mil assume the position of ex- ecutive director of that city's Family Service. The aim of the program is to remove the responsibility of ad- ministering public assistance, child welfare and care for Ihe aged from the district Indian affairs office and place it in the hantts of native personnel working right on Ihe reserves. Indian affairs branch staff act only as resource persons in a professional advisory capa- city, training the new native workers and advising the band councils on practice. Mr. Begieneman labelled the exper i m e n t "a qualified suc- cess" although the department has not yet succeeded in com- pletely extricaling itself from handling welfare monies. "The social services' total annual budget is about 52 mil- lion, hut we retain between and in the Leth- bridgc office to handle emer- gencies and requests from out- er-province Mr. Be- gieneman said. The department does plan to pull out of direct welfare services eventually, however. The federal department has not traditionally been involved in social services. Discussions have been under way for some years with the view of trans- fen-ing these special services to the provincial department of social development, but a dis- agreement over funding has prevented the transfer so far. "We had planned to get city residents and transients cover- ed under Ihe provincial depart- ment, hut it didn't work out and their welfare is still han- dled over Ihe district counter." Mr. Begionemaii's successor is Isadore Noel, a graduate of (he Calgary Srhool ol Social Work. Mr. Noel assumes his Lelhbridge duties Sept. 1. He is currently a case worker with the Edmonton Ilobbema In- dian affairs branch. An Alberta All Chiefs' Con- ference lo determine lh< future relationship between the Indian Association of Alberta and the National Indian Brollierhood will be held on the Onion Lako Reserve, 60 miles n-orfli of Ubydminster, Sept. C-10. The relationship has been un- clear since July when the IAA walked out of'the NIB's gen- eral assembly following the passage of a resolution by the national body which would pre- vent provincial t J u n s from receiving federal re- search monies. The Alberta association, in a release, said, "A change from a white bureaucracy to a brown bureaucracy is no change." THE BETTER HALF By Bob Barnes "Normally I'd say good morning, but I don't want to be seen talking to a disreputable- looking bum like you." ATTEND THE ALL NEW A.N.A.F.-UN1T 34 BINGO COR. 5th AVE. ond 6lh ST. S. IN THE CLUBROOMS TUESDAY, AUG. 31st-8p.m. First 12 Games First Card Oilier-. 25c each 1st No. Jackpot (increases weekly) 2nd No. Jackpot (increases weekly) Extra 5 Games Cards 25c ea. or 5 for Blackout in 52 Numbers All regular games pay double if won in 7 nos. or lest MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS HANDLE CAREFULLY Handle new potatoes carefully as they arc more perishable and bruise more easily than Ihe later mature ones. INDUSTRIAL RELA- TIONS EXPERT Frances Bairstow, a mother of two sons, is the new director of McGill University's Indus- trial Relations Centre, the largest such centre in Can- ada. BINGO RAINBOW HALL M01 5lh AvB- N- TUESDAY, AUGUST 31st at 8 p.m. 1st Jackpot in 57 Hoi., 2nd Jnckpol in 55 Free and Games, 25c per Card, 5 Cards SI.00 3 Free Games Door Prize No Children Under 16 Yean Sponsored By A.U.U.C. Association THE PROVINCIAL COMMITTEE ON FOSTER CHILD CARE appointed by Order-in-Council No. daled April 5. INVITES SUBMISSIONS from any interested person or group relaling lo the Law and Procedure of Foster Child Care in Alberta. Where possible, briefs should be typewritten in triplicate. However, briefs, especially from private cilizens, need not be lyoewrilten or professionally prepared. All briels should be forwarded Co HIS HONOUR JUDGE A. P. CATONIO Box 704, EDMONTON, ALBERTA before the 15th day of September, 1971 The Committee Will Hold PUBLIC HEARINGS PLACE C Jim rose Whilecourl Edmonton 51. Pajl Wninwrignt Lac La Biclie Vermilion Eflson Calqnry DATE September 1 September B Seolemner 13 September lo September September September 27 September 29 October 4 PLACE Grande Prairir: Peace River Medicine Hal Rnd LVer EI a i r ni r r; .rlnbncjqn High Prairie Dnimhfiller October 13 October is Oclob'V Oclohnr 25 Oclobrr 77 November 1 November 8 All persons presenting briefs are invited to altend Ihe Public Hearing in their area and speak in support of their submissions. Hearings will be kept as informal as possible. FVik'd at Edmonton, Alboil.i, this nf Jsj.y, CHAIRMAN HIS HONOUR JUDGE A. P. CATONIO Box 704, EDMONTON, ALBERTA fv'r-.. Eileen O'Dyrnn, fill Vniifiy Viiv.v Crrsccnl, Edmonton, Albcrln. fif-derick Winters, Grentoll Avenue, SI. Albert. AlbcrU ;