Thursday, April 15, 2010
Effects of Removing Children from their Families / Part 168 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/
Effects of Removing Children from their Families
Intermittent research has been done into the effects associated with removing children from their families. In cases where a child has been abused, existing data curiously suggests that separation can be both beneficial and harmful. The obvious benefit of removal is the elimination or minimization of the risk of further abuse. Harm comes with the emotional fallout of this disconnection from family. Then please notice this, that in the instances where there has only been suspicion of abuse, as with the Bayne family, removal of children from the family has only had deleterious results. Suspicion of parental liability should have a time or term limit and it does within the Child, Family and Community Service Act, which is precisely why two and one half years of keeping three Bayne children away from their parents Zabeth and Paul, the action of MCFD should be viewed with grave concern by all of us - The Fraser Valley division of the Ministry of Children and Family Development should be our concern and Mary Polak’s concern.
To repeat, separation of abused children can be the solution to an immediate safety concern but even for abused children this separation may produce an injurious trauma. The fact is that whether the child has been actually abused or merely suspected of having been abused, the placement of children away from their own home creates a risk factor with regard to negative psychological consequences. This is understandable when children’s primary emotional attachments and even their routines undergo major interference. Then in the case of the Bayne children, it was the youngest child about whose injuries this controversy originated, yet the two boys have experienced the removal distress whereas the infant girl knew no nothing different. It will soon be revealed that the Ministry had no substantive grounds for taking the boys the second time and certainly not for retaining them until now. Their own lawyer is on record as having communicated this advice to MCFD Fraser Valley. Yes I did say second time. Within these two years, the boys were returned in 2009 to live briefly with grandparents while the daughter remained in care. Because the Baynes agreed to an interview with a TV network concerning their daughter, MCFD militarily seized those boys during one of their birthday parties attended by family and friends. Just imagine what the boys' views of authority may be.
While the separation may be introduced as a temporary measure, it can coast into a lasting split which in the case of the Bayne family, the MCFD is seeking to achieve through court action. Just imagine the anxiety, the grief, the sense of loss and possibly even the depression through which these three children, particularly the two boys have been forced to live for half of their short lives. For the little girl, this arrangement is all she has known as normal. A mommy and daddy visit me two afternoons each week.
Yet for other children such as these two boys, long periods of separation cause the child confusion, inner conflict and insecurity about the future. A child’s self esteem can be damaged. The child can feel unloved, even rejected and children may view the separation as abandonment which exacerbates the feeling of distrust of adults and possibly of their own parents. Anger, hostility and other behavioral problems are understandable results among children. Fortunately this has not been true of the three Bayne children thus far, perhaps due in part to responsible foster care, as well as the consistent visitation by Paul and Zabeth and the love and affirmation they deliver to their children.
Most of the available literature associated with child removal makes the case that separation from parents and the resultant prescribed foster or institutional care have a negative effect upon children’s cognitive and social development. So MCFD, if you assess the children and try to assign to Paul and Zabeth, responsibility for these children’s misbehaviour or developmental issues, DON’T, because you have had their children longer than they had them and through the children's most formative years.
The children seen here are not the Bayne boys.