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Children belong in families! (7 photos)

Attendance at this afternoon's rally to reinstate and protect the Children's Aid Society of Algoma's Family Preservation unit was better than it looked. So says rally organizer Dawn Gauthier (shown).
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Attendance at this afternoon's rally to reinstate and protect the Children's Aid Society of Algoma's Family Preservation unit was better than it looked.

So says rally organizer Dawn Gauthier (shown).

While only about 25 people actually came out to rally at the cenotaph in front of the Sault Ste. Marie Court House, Gauthier said many others sent messages of support through e-mail, Facebook and by telephone.

Gauthier led an energetic and enthusiastic event, beginning with a letter she read from Sault MP Tony Martin.

"We are here to speak for the many who have not the freedom or the ability to lend their own voice to this outcry," she said. "This program has helped with many families by providing good supports, helping with teaching effective parenting skills and providing a voice within the system."

Gauthier's thoughts were echoed by others who took up the shiny gold loudspeaker but didn't identify themselves.

Several shouted that children belong in families - not foster care - and said the family preservation program did just that.

Gauthier said many who sent in their support couldn't be at the rally because they were afraid their participation might negatively affect the outcome of their custody cases currently before the courts.

Others couldn't be there, she said, because it would signify a conflict of interest.

And some couldn't attend because they were in class.

All said that the family preservation program was there when they needed it and they fear for families who will need it now that it's gone.

Gauthier everyone in attendance to write to Laurel C. Broten, Ontario's minister of child and youth services to tell her how important family preservation is to Saultites.

************************* Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story

- Why we must save Algoma's family preservation program - We can't afford to lose this, SooToday.com!

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