|'Sunset Under Clouds' panorama of Vancouver BC by Thom Quine|
There has been what I suppose is a predictable tendency that has occurred over several decades. In the past it may have been that many cases of parental abuse or neglect were overlooked or ignored or possibly unrecognized. Society and children were poorer for this unfortunate neglect. In recent years substantial modifications have occurred in social attitudes, knowledge, legislation, and policies regarding child abuse and neglect. Then health-care professionals, police, the courts and child welfare professionals began better to understand and to respond to child abuse and neglect. With increased numbers of intakes, almost inevitably it became known that misdiagnoses of parental abuse or neglect had occurred. There were relatively few such cases perhaps but nonetheless, each unfounded allegation had profound adverse effects on parents and children. It is simply not acceptable to conclude, well, that can't be helped. It's the cost of being safe.
Quite possibly a case like the Bayne case will prompt yet another independent inquiry into Child Protection in British Columbia and yield recommendations which can protect children while also perfecting trustworthy risk assessments and which can develop a new paradigm of child protection and workers who bump up the compassion quotient and reduce the antagonism.