To anyone who listens to parents, it is not difficult to understand why they lose heart and begin to lose hope that they will never receive their children back again. By virtue of their experiences with the Ministry, the impression is created that a plan to return the child(ren) is not a priority for the Ministry. Parents often report that the Ministry social workers give them little direction with regard to the Ministry expectations to be fulfilled before the children will be returned. Sometimes parents feel that they have met the expectations only to be told of a new set of expectations that effectively delays the return of children. In other cases, the resources needed to fulfill the expectations are not available or there are long wait lists. When expectations are so elusive and delays excessive, parents despair. Why do so many desperate parents speak the same language of distrust of a Ministry that should be committed to the family? I am not making this up. And neither have the countless reviews written by independent groups over the past two decades.
Paul and Zabeth Bayne are not unusual but they are examples of those parents who are so deeply committed to their children and their determination to be a family that they rearrange their lives to regain custody. They have acquiesced to all Ministry expectations short of confessing to a child abuse of which they have consistently insisted their innocence. While the Ministry maintains confidentiality and secrecy, the Baynes are under no such obligation. Their children, after all were taken from them two and one half years ago and the delay continues. When journalists have asked for interviews, the Baynes have given them. They have been surrounded by a host of sympathizers who use electronic messaging and networks to encourage the Baynes and to spread the word about their case. It is time that this Ministry's case against the Bayne family put to rest, surrendered or dropped. This is no longer a child safety or child protection issue.
Art: George Ortman, "4 Blues", painted relief, 1993, signed, titled and dated in ink on the reverse, 35 1/2 x 33 x 3 1/2 inches