Sunday, March 28, 2010

CLEAR COMMUNICATION / Part 150 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/


Ideally Blue stands for Parent, yellow stands for Social Worker, and red stands for Director. Information freely flows between them as they work to solution. But there is something wrong with that picture. It isn't accurate to the Baynes story, and to many others as well. Quite apart from Paul and Zabeth Bayne, what I hear parents saying is that at every stage that their child is in the protection process with MCFD, the parents are repeatedly deprived of basic information. That is certainly contradictory to the CFCSA intention and prescription because it is essential that the concerns of the Ministry be communicated in order for the parents to improve their situation so they can get their child back home. It is the duty of social workers to keep parents informed about the status of their file and the plan for their child. In spite of that, parents claim they are uninformed or even misinformed. Parents should be apprised of the steps in a plan by which they can have their children returned. Parents also should be notified of any changes of their child’s placement, or health or medical appointments or procedures and it should disturb us all that parents can give evidence of how often their input is not requested and they are left in the dark or at best informed at the last minute. Rather than clear communication a more apt term for what parents should be able to expect is ‘transparent communication.’ Nothing concealed or disguised. It’s preposterous that I even need to describe these distortions of appropriate practice.

Alright now to the Bayne Case. The purpose for Integrated Care Meetings between MCFD social workers and parents is to establish understandings and expectations. During one of the infrequent ICMs with the Baynes, MCFD signed to the effect that the Baynes would be informed and given opportunity to attend all medical related appointments with their children. Before their children were taken, Paul and Zabeth certainly were dutifully diligent about the health care of their children. Just days ago the Baynes were informed that their middle son Baden was scheduled to have an MRI yet they had not been included in either discussing the need for this or invited to attend the procedure. This is their son after all. And had they been invited to the discussion they would certainly want to know why this procedure was being done now when they were the ones with the prior knowledge of his medical care. In fact, when he was very young they recognized Baden’s head was developing an unusual shape so they sought medical advice at Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Baden was given an initial MRI followed by another and then the news that they had no cause for alarm. They were even given professional advice about surgery to reopen the plates of his skull and then wear a helmet twenty-three hours of every day until a normal shape was restored. Further counsel informed them that the treatment was not worth the trauma and the risk and that the boy’s hair covered the slight abnormality. So, here is a case where even while a court hearing is in process, MCFD does something that compels the Baynes to have their lawyer pursue this matter legally. The Baynes also learned that Baden has been registered by MCFD in a mental health program. If this is a necessity, the Baynes should have been informed about the nature of the mental or emotional condition MCFD is seeking to address. What the Baynes have seen is a small boy’s occasional frustration or depression you might call it because of not being able to come home and giving evidence of being hurt and troubled by this ongoing, far too long and insecure living arrangement. If others recognize this, the question once again is why were the Baynes not involved in the decision to register him or given the option of seeking a counsellor or program of their choice, albeit with MCFD approval? Probably, it is fair to ask why MCFD has protracted this process of retaining custody for so long now (thirty months) that a small boy’s need for his parents has produced this result. Let’s be real here. The Ministry has orchestrated care of this child longer than the boy was with the parents and his issues are the result of what the Ministry has done or failed to do.
These past few days have been difficult for them, being able to see Baden for just three hours this week and they know that he needs the parental connection so much just as they need him particularly since the MRI was done Thursday, and as of Saturday, they have not been informed about how this went, what are the results or how Baden felt during this procedure. Would it not have been a generous and proactive gesture to invite the Baynes to be there with their son? But a consideration like that is not in keeping with the MCFD's current court action to remove the children forever.


  1. The necessity for public outcry to break though an outrageous wall of arrogance cannot be understated. It doesn't seem that reason plays any part in MCFD. How many ways can we say "Disgusting, outrageous, illegal"??

  2. During a similar case in Ontario parents with Court ordered permission were refused to attend their son as he underwent testing for a seizure disorder. The CAS called into the infants room in the hospital and advised the parents to attend the nursing stn to receive a call. The caller told parents their Court Ordered access was being witheld by CAS direction. The parent
    was told to leave immediately. Parent left attended law office got copy of Court order and returned to hospital. The child underwent tests and did have seizure activity during the procedure. Later reports said the infant had myoclonic jerks during ininial phases of sleep, the infant was not asleep during this examination. I know that because I was there with a witness. Blood tests taken at that time revealed serveral conditions that would cause an infant to seize. Those conditions were never diagnosed,treated, revealed to the parents while the infant was in care, and the parents were before the Courts. The infant child was released from hospital with IV brusing, numerous puncture wounds and no paper trail to explain what was done.

  3. Case law New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. L. (M.), 1998 CanLII 800 ruled that:

    [17] "Parents have rights in order that they may fulfil their obligations towards their children. When they are relieved of all of their obligations, they lose the corresponding rights, including the right of access. After a permanent guardianship order is made, access is a right that belongs to the child, and not to the parents. The Court of Appeal did not recognize that the parents had a right of access; it simply allowed them to have access to the children. It used the expression “right” in the sense of permission."

    Once you lose the interim custody, all those rights parents think they still have are gone. You are at the mercy of the self-righteous, god-like bureaucrats.

    Think carefully. The root problem is the power to remove children from home. It is sad to see that even some oppressed parents may disagree with this. Whining, protest and outcry alone won't solve the problem. Our honorable MLA will turn a blind eye to this. This problem is a lot bigger and more difficult to solve than most people think.

  4. Anon, you have obviously read and thought through some of this. I ask sincerely, can you sketch how much larger the problem is, that is, what is required to bring changes if MLA's don't listen and protests are not enough. Who brings the change and how is it generated in your view?

  5. State-sponsored child removal is not only a socio-political problem but also a moral issue. It reduces humanity to the level of brutes. It seriously challenges our long-cherished human rights, natural justice, freedom and liberty. It is a war government waged against its own people under a welfare banner. Be mindful that the notorious residential schools were also run under a welfare pretext to prevent "corrupting influence" of parents on vulnerable children and to assimilate them into a "better" culture.

    While special interests milk the system for their own benefits, corruption endured in the "child protection" industry destroys families, induces hatred between parents and children, reduces Canada's international image as a compassionate and fair nation and, ironically, jeopardizes the best interests of children. Taxpayers are always an indirect victim. It introduces conflict within a society and is a potential source of social unrest.

    When MLAs knowingly ignore the problem and do the opposite by giving special interests more power and money, who brings the change? You, people of British Columbia, rise and seize this issue for our children and our nation.

    "The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men." (Plato)


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