Mother threatens to leave disabled daughter at minister's office
Linda Murphy of Arnprior, Ont., frustrated with lack of services
An Ontario mother desperate to find permanent care for her mentally disabled daughter threatened to leave the 20-year-old at the office of Ontario Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services Marg Rappolt.
Linda Murphy of Arnprior, Ont., a small community outside Ottawa, arrived at the office Tuesday morning to drop off her daughter Ashley Corbett and then return home. Rappolt, however, is currently on vacation.
The minister responsible is Ted McMeekin.
Murphy arrived at the office Tuesday morning and went to the sixth floor with a change of clothes for her daughter and a care plan. Her daughter has just aged out of her special needs program at a local school and is due to start full-time care next month at a cost of $26,000 per year. Ashley is said to have the mental capacity of a two-year-old.
"It is very difficult to deal with her on a constant basis," Murphy wrote to the minister earlier this month. "Ashley has a moderate developmental delay; she is non-verbal and also has mental health issues. Ashley ages out of the education system next month."
Murphy vowed to leave her at the office.
Murphy has been trying for years to get Ashley into a group home.
"What people don't realize is that the wait lists are measured in years, not months, and there are simply not enough spaces for all the kids that need them."
Murphy was asked to wait outside Rappolt's office, then four Ontario Provincial Police officers arrived to tell her and her daughter they weren't allowed to be there. Murphy was then ushered into a boardroom where she met with senior staff.
She said that after years of trying she finally got what she wanted: her daughter placed in a home. She said she had been told as recently as last week that was not possible.
A space for Ashley has been found at an Ottawa area group home. Murphy said she's disappointed it took drastic action, but is grateful to finally have her daughter in a home.
"It makes me feel ecstatic, but I really don't feel it's something people should go through to get the services that their young adult needs," she told CBC News.
On the campaign trail, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak called Murphy's story a failure of government and said he would make more money available for social services.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath also said she has a plan to invest more in front-line services.
- The Minister of Community and Social Services is Ted McMeekin, not Linda Jeffrey, as appeared in an earlier version of this story.May 20, 2014 3:01 PM ET