WATCH ABOVE: Over two years ago, a young woman had a relationship with a Batshaw Youth and Family Services case worker that resulted in a pregnancy. She is now asking that Batshaw helped to pay for their child’s education. Rachel Lau has the story.
MONTREAL – A Montreal woman, whose identity cannot be revealed because her two youngest children are protected under the Youth Protection Act, is suing Batshaw Youth and Family Centres for half a million dollars after her case worker got her pregnant.
She told Global News that she met her social worker Peter Fergus in June 2011 after her infant son was taken into Batshaw’s custody when she was 31-years-old.
She said that she was desperate to get her baby back.
“I thought this was my opportunity to have my son back, since this man cared so much and that felt for me like love,” she said.
According to the mother, the two became intimately involved not long after their first meeting.
Soon after, she fell pregnant, and Fergus ended the relationship.
“I thought that he really did love me,” she said.
“After I told him I was pregnant he acted like a completely different person.”
She said that the organization should help pay for her son’s education, since Fergus was their employee.
“He was there to help her and he had some power over her because he was taking care of her file,” said Michel Perreault, the woman’s lawyer.
“So he had the power to give good recommendation.”
According to Perreault, Batshaw previously tried to have the motion thrown out.
He argued that this case is part of a bigger problem when it comes to the organization’s social workers.
“There’s a lot of complaints . . . she tries to live a normal life with her kids now, you know? It was a very bad experience. She feels that she has been manipulated and she feels sad about the whole story.”
Batshaw refused an interview request from Global News, but it released a statement that confirmed that the casework had been fired in March 2012, after an investigation.
Fergus committed suicide two months later in May 2012.
DNA tests have since confirmed his paternity.
The mother said that the reason she wants to speak out now is so that other possible victims can come forward.
“The women feel like its their fault because they’ve been pushed around by Batshaw or the workers, and then you have this hero coming in to save you and your child,” she said.
“You don’t see that person as a predator, you see them as an angel.”
The son who she was fighting to get back has since been returned to her care and he is three-and-a half years old.
The baby she had with Fergus is now just a few months away from celebrating his second birthday.
“I don’t know how I’m ever going to tell him in the future what happened or what happened to his father,” she said.
The case is expected to go to trial at the end of 2014.