June 24, 2022


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Man who faked social employee qualifications issue of new course-motion lawsuit

a man smiling for the camera: Robert Riley Saunders is being sued as part of a proposed class-action lawsuit which claims he failed to inform former foster children about the existence of a program designed to help them as they age out of care.

© Fb
Robert Riley Saunders is currently being sued as part of a proposed class-action lawsuit which claims he unsuccessful to tell previous foster children about the existence of a software intended to help them as they age out of treatment.

A Kelowna guy who lied about his qualifications as a social worker is experiencing a new proposed class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to tell a previous client about the existence of a application designed to enable youthful older people age out of the foster treatment procedure.

In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court previously this week, Zachary Alphonse claims Robert Riley Saunders and a colleague at the Ministry of Little ones and Family members Development were being demanded to inform him about the Youthful Grownups Method when he turned 19.

As a substitute, Alphonse, who is now 29, statements he only realized about the program’s existence when the ministry contacted him very last summer. But by then, he was way too old to collect added benefits that could have offered him with up to 48 months of economical guidance a decade before.


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“If [Alphonse] had been informed of the existence of and his eligibility for the Young Grownups Method and had been presented with assistance in implementing for the software, [he] would have commenced his adult education and learning and superior his get the job done aims at a better rate,” the lawsuit reads.

‘Kind of languished aimlessly’

Saunders has currently been the matter of a person productive course action, submitted on behalf of dozens of previous foster children who accused him of isolating them in get to siphon funds intended for their care into his possess pocket.

Past summertime, the ministry agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement that will see at the very least 102 former foster youngsters, the majority of them Indigenous, acquire countless numbers of dollars meant to protect both their fiscal reduction and trauma they experienced as a end result of Saunders’ actions.

a statue of a person: The proposed class-action lawsuit is targeted at B.C.'s Ministry of Child and Family Development as well as Robert Riley Saunders.

© David Horemans/CBC
The proposed course-motion lawsuit is specific at B.C.’s Ministry of Baby and Family Development as effectively as Robert Riley Saunders.

According to court files filed in relation to the settled declare, Saunders faked a social operate degree. 

The Kelowna person is also dealing with multiple prison fees of fraud and breach of believe in for the exact alleged behaviour.

Jason Gratl, the attorney who represented the to start with group of claimants, also represents Alphonse. He claims the focus on of the most recent lawsuit is principally the govt.

“It turns out the Ministry of Kids and Spouse and children Enhancement has not been telling small children about the existence of this adult education application at or near the time they age out, so tons of foster young children are slipping involving the cracks,” Gratl advised the CBC.

“Not recognizing about the system, they variety of languished aimlessly.”

‘Thousands of previous children’

Alphonse claims he became homeless following turning 19 in August 2010. At that issue, he claims he had only finished Grade 9 and lacked the assets to perform on a graduate equivalency degree.

“For a interval of around just one yr, [he] could see no potential for himself, felt hopeless and unable to advance his interests,” the lawsuit reads.

Alphonse claims he began performing section-time careers but was held back again by his absence of education and learning. He suggests he received a specialized certification in laptop mend at age 27, though performing full time.

He now requirements only a few programs to comprehensive his Quality 12 equivalency in order to graduate from substantial school.

“We do know there are thousands of former small children in treatment who did not enter the grownup training software to which they were entitled, but we never know just the proportion of those people who were not notified of the existence of the program,” Gratl states.

“But the general plan of the course action is to stimulate the Province of British Columbia by suggests of a court docket buy to restart the clock on all those rewards.”

Alphonse is looking for damages which contain the price tag of future training as perfectly as aggravated and punitive damages.

The ministry has not filed a reaction to the lawsuit and neither has Saunders.