This happens frequently, that a parent or caregiver writes a comment on one of my posts that is years old. They have responded to a topic that has popped up in their online search. The likelihood is usually remote that the writer will know where to return to see whether I or someone else has responded to them.
Yesterday, Anonymous wrote on a 2010 post. Here is the communication.
AnonymousSeptember 12, 2017 at 4:08 AM
If you are reading this Anonymous letter and you would like to provide her/the writer with some counsel or share your own story, please do.
The original post to which she was responding was entitled,
Child Protection workers and administrators would like us all to understand what an almost impossible task they have. Well, impossible in the sense of making all citizens happy with the results of their work. They will tell us that a perfect balance is unachievable between not protecting children from abusive parents and not making unfounded accusations against innocent parents. Stated differently and more positively, it is difficult both to protect children and to correctly assess risk by parents. To which I and others will quickly declare, “Then become more proficient at the latter in a hurry.”
I was writing then, in the middle of the horrific 4 year MCFD custody of the 4 children that belonged to Zabeth and Paul Bayne. They were finally returned in August 2011. Rejoice.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Parental Capacity Assessment
An Anonymous respondent asked for information about this, but placed the response on a post that is several years old. The original post was published on May 3, 2011. It is unlikely that the Anonymous person will be able to find that post again so here is a current post that hopefully catches the person's attention. I referred the query to my colleague, Ray Ferris, an expert on child protection and specifically the work of the Ministry of Children and Families in British Columbia (MCFD).
Here is Anonymous' post followed by Ray Ferris' answer.
Anonymous August 21, 2017 at 5:48 PM
Wayne .. hey I am a dad of five girls one of them autistic and we had traveled in a truck to keep moving while home schooling the girls once in a house we were case filed by child protection and they have decided to go with the mom after a forced break up the problem that I am having is the fact that no dad has ever been so close with a bunch of kids as I and I had basically raised them on my own now separated for over half of a year they want me to do the assessment for the court and from what I read 95% of the time they recommend against the parent in question is there a recommendation for betterment of situation as to please the courts I mean what do they look for I can only be the dad that I am theirs. So if you are truthful and your self you fail but if you study to mimic what they want you pass ? tell you what I will check this site in a couple of days just to see if there is any good advice have a great night
Ray Ferris August 26, 2017 at 4:55 PM There is no short or easy answer to your situation. I do not think a PC is the most important thing to go on, but I will tell you about them anyway. A parental capacity assessment should be a fact based report with as little room for subjective opinion as possible. 'The facts should speak for themselves. There are very few reliable guidelines foe PCA reports. In the part or Canada where I live the college of psychologists has no guidelines and neither does the college of social workers. The law society does have guidelines and they specifically state that psychologists are not qualified to do parental capacity reports without further training and mentoring. They also state that psychometric testing should not be a routine part of an assessment and should only be used in special cases. Regardless of guidelines and training, the only true protection for the public is in the skills and integrity of the assessor. Facts should be sought like level of schooling, job training, work history, marital history and any history of alcohol and drug abuse, or any criminal record. Also telling the truth about the negatives in your life. Right away I would want to talk about your statement that you were travelling in a truck to keep moving. This looks like serious instability to me. You would need to convince an assessor that you were capable of finding and maintaining a decent home for six people and capable of maintaining them. I do not know the age of your girls, but if I were you or your representative, I would want to have them interviewed to find out what they want. If the authorities decide to leave them with their mother, I would want to know that the girls have been interviewed by a third party to find out if they want to keep in touch with you on a regular basis.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Ray Ferris, my writing colleague for GPS (Advocacy Blog) has written another article to the Times Colonist. He himself had a helpful and rewarding career in the Ministry of Children and Family Development dealing justly for children and parents and caregivers. Later as he saw bureaucratic missteps and bungling he became an outspoken critic as well as an advisor.
Look at his latest piece.
MCFD's DEFAULT LEAP TO LITIGATION
The Clarke government always seems to be willing to spend more on battling its citizens than on helping them. They leap to litigation with no apparent heed for the cost. We know about the big ones like the years taken to lose a dispute with the teachers, the millions covering up the fired health researchers and the six million spent bailing out Basi and Verk. We will never be allowed to know the true cost of all those millions spent battling against families and innocent children in family court.
Suffice it to say that if a family has its children removed under the CF&CSA, they will need at least $200,000 in legal fees to get them back, regardless of the merits f the case. Several cases have cost far more. Parents need deep pockets, a valuable house or a very generous lawyer. The late Doug Christie worked free for the B. case for two years. Hittrich law advanced well over a million. The director was willing to fight for a year in a losing cause and the case still goes on. A Victoria lawyer gave $700,000 worth of service in a case, where the judge had already returned the children under supervision. The director wasted a full week of Hittrichcourt time just quibbling about details of a continued order. What did that cost the taxpayer?
Then there was the little Metis child SS. She was snatched from her Metis foster home over the pleadings of Ms. Turpel-Lafond and sent to strangers. The loving foster parents and extended family spent nearly a million dollars trying to keep her. How much did the taxpayer spend? Now their Metis adoption of her has been legally validated, the director spends more millions battling them and the child in the courts of the North-West-Territories. Sad.
From Ray Ferris. # 105-3900 Shelbourne St., Victoria V8P 4H8, 250 477 5723
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, "I saw the tears of the oppressed - and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors - and they have no comforter.”
Paul and Zabeth Bayne are friends of mine, Christians, at home with their three children, two small boys and a 7-week old daughter and that was when their odyssey of horror began. It was the autumn of 2007. Two small boys chasing one another in the house and the toddler fell on the infant girl who lay on a blanket on the living room floor as mom and dad did supper tasks. In the following hours the baby lost her appetite and slept a lot so the parents took her to the hospital. After a couple of days of examination, the clinical default diagnosis for her triad of symptoms was 'shaken baby.' The term itself has intimations. Authorities did not believe the parents story of a mishap. Reports between medical personnel, and police, and child protection agency workers resulted in all three children being removed from them even though there were no criminal charges against the parents. "I saw the tears of the oppressed." The Baynes' efforts to recover their family cost them the mom's grand piano (she a concert pianist), and cost them their home. They began working night shifts to be available for all the daytime visits and court appearances. One year, two years, three years passed. The Baynes had an army of supporters and advocates. A former child protection social worker critical of some Ministry mistakes advised the Baynes' lawyer Doug Christie, who donated his time and admirably argued their case. Nevertheless, during the fourth year, a fourth child was born to them and within hours that child was also removed from them. "I saw the tears of the oppressed." They waited and prayed and worked for four years before they heard a judge's order to return the four children to them (August 2011). That was an astounding and unforgettable day. Today they are a happy family living far from the trauma of those years. And the children are thriving and growing taller and older and smarter and loving.
I wrote this today, because I remember. For those years, Zabeth and I were in almost daily contact as I wrote blogs in our concerted campaign to make the public aware. News networks and newspapers and finally CBC the Fifth Estate picked up their ongoing story.
Friday, November 4, 2016
JUSTICE IS A GARMENT
Justice is a garment prepared for residents of this planet. It is woven from billions of threads, knit together into a strong and integrated fabric. Love is the thread and it has produced a fabric of integrity. Three year old SS’s justice garment is in tatters.
Injustice occurs when countless numbers of these threads are pulled from the garment. The wearer of the garment is then uncovered and vulnerable.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
MCFD'S DELIBERATE EVASION OF APPROPRIATE PROCEDURE
SS is the 3-year old Metis girl who lived with upstanding Metis foster parents in BC since she was 3 days old. These parents wanted to adopt her. MCFD had other plans and waited 3 years to enact them. In order to accomplish the removal of SS from her B.C. foster parents' home and send her to another foster home in Ontario, the Ministry of Children and Family Development purposely, one might say deliberately, took numerous questionable actions. You will read about them here. An unnamed friend has written the following points that I deem to be worth considering.
MCFD purposely disregarded every criterion for assessing a child’s best interests as specified in B.C. legislation and in the B.C. College of Social Workers Standards of Practice;
MCFD purposely disregarded the rights of the birth parents and their written preferences to which attention should be given as specified in B.C. legislation and in the B.C. College of Social Workers Standards of Practice;
MCFD purposely disregarded the written position of the B.C. Metis Federation that opposed the move;
MCFD purposely disregarded specialized opinions of medical and psychological professionals who advised against the move;
MCFD purposely disregarded the excellent record of care by the BC foster family, and the child’s superior development during her first three years with her foster family;
The MCFD fabricated charges against the foster parents, and created sham procedures by which to justify intolerable delays in finalizing a permanent placement for the child, by moving her from her psychological family in B.C. to another foster home with strangers in Ontario.
The MCFD procedure began as an adoption to the Ontario family until faced with the law forbidding this, and ultimately called placement with new foster parents;
MCFD in spite of the move being a fostering relationship have insisted that the child refer to the new foster parents as “mommy and daddy,” while insisting that her de facto psychological parents in B.C. be referred to only by their first names.
MCFD's confused bureaucratic manoeuvrings validated by B.C. Courts, gives the appearance that the Courts are complicit in this flawed and insulting treatment of a vulnerable child.