Thursday, March 25, 2010

UNRESOLVED CRISIS / Part 147 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/ Part 147 /


In spite of inquiries and recommendations, changing governments, legislative reforms and in-house restructuring that MCFD calls transformation, this child welfare system in B.C. has failed generations of both children and parents. British Columbia’s child welfare system has been in crisis for decades and it still is. Mary Polak can only solve the predicament if she understands the history and acknowledges the existing problems.

The foundation of B.C.’s child protection system is articulated in The Child Family and Community Services Act approved in 1996 contains the values for child welfare as the Legislature expects it to be practiced. In 1996 this Act held enormous promise that the service provided would support families to care for their children in the family home using apprehension as a last resort and in the event that temporary placement was deemed necessary the goal was reunifying children with natural parents as quickly as possible. The CFCSA understood that removing a child from the parental home is a severe intervention. I join the crowd of serious reviewers who have concluded that the current child protection practices are violating the law established within the principles of the CFCSA. I'm not writing simply to rag on a Ministry or upon people but rather to present the case for changes, improvements.

When evaluating this Ministry, assessors are obliged to hear service providers, social workers, and lawyers representing parents in child protection cases. Wisdom dictates that another group needs to be heard and that is the parents whose children have been or are involved in the protection system. They have too often been ignored or silenced yet they have experiences, opinions and insights that can inform conscientious appraisers in ways that will make a difference. MCFD cannot in good faith say that it acts in the best interest of children until its management pays unbiased attention to parents.

The 'Child, Family and Community Services Act' Link

It concerns me that I have said nothing here that has not been said before by authorized probes and legal society reports. Ms. Polak must restore MCFD practice of the fundamental principles of the ACT.

Art: 'Broken Dreams' by Murray Unruh, acrylic and glass, 36X49 inches


  1. The same question-- who has the political will, and who has the personal conviction and will to fight for social change?

  2. Actually the Child Family and community services act is a significant part of the problem. It is far too long and complicated and those who wrote it made the fundamental error of trying to legislate good practice. All they achieved was producing a confusing hotchpotch with some good guiding principles and endless clauses to help escape them No wonder cases get hung up in court for so long that the best interests of the children are forgotten. The Act needs to be rewritten and many things deleted. A simple option would be to simply bring back the old act and change it over time on an ad hoc basic. The old act actually worked much better than the current one.


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