Clearing the Air
Several parents of cadets contacted the Office to voice concerns about how their children’s cadet squadron was being managed. They were unhappy about how their complaints on a variety of issues, ranging from poor communication to harassment, had been handled.
Faced with this broad array of complaints involving several different parties, the investigator decided the best course of action would be to sit everyone down together to discuss the problems and identify some solutions. He therefore conducted a series of consultations with parents, squadron staff, members of the provincial cadet league, and representatives of the regional detachment office.
Once all the issues were on the table, the investigator incorporated the suggestions generated in these meetings into a list of corrective actions. These, he hoped, would help the cadet movement improve its ability to identify and respond to concerns that arise when working with parents and other stakeholders. The list included suggestions to review the Cadet Harassment and Prevention Program, clarify how sensitive information about cadets should be handled, provide better guidance on access to information, improve parental access to published cadet rules and policies, and clarify the role and expectations of parents of cadets.
The corrective actions received the support of the concerned parents, as well as the cadet squadron advisory committee and the regional detachment office representatives. They have also been accepted and are currently being implemented by the squadron, the detachment, and the Director of Cadets.
As a result, the Office is now working with the Director of Cadets on a joint project to help cadet instructors respond effectively to concerns raised by parents. As an element of the project, the Office is reviewing complaints received from parents of cadets. The information gathered through this process will be used to generate several generic case studies that will be incorporated into the training program for cadet instructors. It will aid the trainees in identifying and responding effectively to similar situations before they become full blown conflicts.