Sunday, February 28, 2010

For Love and For Justice / Part 124 / Zabeth and Paul Bayne


Perhaps Thursday was the hardest day in court so far for the Baynes as intimate details of their children’s lives were discussed. I will call her KD. She is the caregiver for all three of the Bayne children. By all that is known she is a conscientious and effective foster parent. She herself was a foster child and she has now had thirteen years experience in fostering children.

Finn Jensen led her through her testimony. She stated that there are currently five children and a nanny living in the KD home. Upon accepting the Bayne’s third child she employed a full time Nanny from the Philippines to help with the care of the children. KD said that with the special needs among the five it is more than one person can manage. KD is also available as an on call foster contact for children and occasionally provides respite for a personal friend. The two Bayne boys came to her home in a hasty move since the first placement was temporary. She arranged for a sleepover for the boys to make the transition smoother.

KD’s testimony included the histories of all three children and her observations of them from the time they entered her care. She provided personal opinions about the children's mannerisms, behaviors, preferences and dislikes, favourite foods, speech skills, socialization and interaction with others, whether they could dress themselves, feed themselves, attend to their own bathroom needs, brush their teeth and wash their own hands. She commented how they received correction, how they felt towards their parents, with what kind of therapists she is working, and what steps she has taken in response to the advice given by professionals.

The testimony also outlined KD’s attempts to provide for the religious needs of the family by ensuring they had attended church during the Christmas Season and though she had registered the children for Sunday School, they did not attend because she was concerned that the parents had too great a presence in the community and the children might be recognized.

KD asserted that in her care the children have flourished. Under Doug Christie’s cross examination the court learned that the middle boy who weighed 26 lbs prior to his removal in 2007, weighed 25 lbs in 2009 according to her log notes disclosed in court Thursday. Today he weighs 32 lbs. (In two and one half years he has gained six pounds. He is a micro preemie, born very early and will expectedly weigh less than other boys his age. Yet his weight gain is extremely low for the amount of time he has been in care.) KD may justifiably feel he has made progress while in her care because he weighed considerably less when he arrived at her door, having lost weight during the first eighteen months. KD works with the Infant Development Program in which there is a variety of specialists such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists and feeding specialists. KD believes the children have made progress with the assistance of this program.

KD has enrolled the oldest boy in kindergarten and the middle child in preschool five days a week.

I mentioned at the top that this was perhaps the hardest day for the Baynes. Perhaps you appreciate their agony as they realize that they didn’t have the opportunity to enroll their own children in day school, or walk them to school, or pick them up from school or attend to their personal needs, their appointments at a specialist’s office, or taking them to Sunday School each Sunday. Instead, they have even had to ask for special consideration from the Judge to direct the Ministry to grant more visitation time and time outside the customary visitation location, perhaps in a park or somewhere else. And please understand that always during this visitation whether indoors of out of doors, a Ministry representative is present as an observer/reporter. It has been and is a difficult way to live and remain in control of emotions.

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