Thursday, April 1, 2010

ON EASTER SUNDAY CAN THE BAYNE FAMILY ATTEND CHURCH? / Part 154 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Paul and Zabeth want to take their children to church on Easter Sunday.

This is the third Easter that the children are not in the Baynes’ home, 2008, 2009, 2010.

They have written a letter to their social worker making this request. It’s a reasonable request for which to grant permission and to make the arrangements.

Paul and Zabeth are waiting to hear from the worker or from the MCFD with regard to this request.

They have made similar requests to MCFD before, if not for Easter then for another special event or season, but to no avail.

During these past two and one half years they have continued to practice their personal faith with a believing community and if the children were living with them, the family of five would attend church together and the children would be enrolled in a Sunday School program. MCFD is directed by its governing Child Family and Community Service ACT to respect this feature of a child’s background and family heritage and to seek to provide this to the child.

Here is the essence of their letter to the worker.*

“We are requesting to take our children to the Easter Service being done at our church. If this is denied please state why and also inform us what measures the Ministry is taking to ensure the religious preferences of our family are being met during the Easter Occasion as per standards of care.

Also, what measures are currently being taken to ensure our children are involved in Sunday School at a church of our religious background? According to the caregiver XXXXX during court testimony, the children were registered for Sunday School at a local church, but since we had a high profile in the community they were not taken back. What is now being done to meet this requirement?

If they are in attendance please inform us of the denomination of this church so we can determine if it meets our current denominational preference.

Thank you for your attention to this extremely important part of the care and best interests of our children. “

Zabeth Bayne

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Can Paul and Zabeth take their children to church on this coming Easter Sunday?

* Names of Social Worker and Foster Parent contained in the original letter were not included in this copy.


  1. SW monopolize the definition of the best interests of children. What parents consider best for their children are often irrelevant.

    Rights of children "in care" required per Section 70 of CFCSA are often ignored. While my children were "in care", they received unexplained injuries, under fed, corporally punished, emotionally traumatized, prohibited to tell their life in foster homes, seldom taken to church and not allow to speak to us in our mother tongue.

    Contravention against rights of children "in care" are not grounds for returning children to their parents. SW who orchestra these contraventions do even get reprimanded. If parents challenge them in court, they can easily get away by alleging lack of resources. Of course, publicly embarrassing SW always carries a consequence. I am sure that the Baynes can relate to this. While parents are held to the strictest scrutiny of law in "child protection" hearings, it appears that our honorable courts do not care whether or not MCFD obeys law.

    Parents with children removed should be grateful that their children are not sexually abused or killed.

  2. I am sorry you are unable to take your children to an Easter service. What is the current denominational preference of Paul and Zabeth? Does this mean they change it on a regular basis? Have they let the MCFD know?

  3. Anon re the Church affiliation question: I don't think that Paul and Zabeth change churches regularly but I will find out what the MCFD have been told about this preference.

  4. Anon re the Church affiliation question:
    You may conclude that it was unwise to pose the question the way it was asked. “Does this mean they change it (denominational preference) on a regular basis?” That implied more than you wanted to reveal. It suggests that you know something but you don’t know whether you know it all and there may be something that you have not been told that you should have been told.

    The Baynes have changed nothing with regard to their faith or preference.

    The Ministry of Children and Family Development (Fraser Valley branch) possesses the Bayne’s record of Christian commitment and their history of church attendance and affiliation, and that should serve as the basis for fulfilling the Ministry’s obligation to respect their faith under the ACT. It is the MCFD responsibility to convey this to care providers.

    All any of us need to know is that the Baynes are Christians as are many of you who read this. Some of you are not believers yet you respect the right of others to a faith of choice. Denominational affiliation is not irrelevant, but it is also not the issue. Parents are entitled to express whether their doctrinal and moral values derived from scripture are being respected in the context of the church to which their children are taken during this period of care, regardless of the denomination.

    What ought never to occur within the Ministry assessment circles is a conclusion that Christians, specially deeply passionate believers who speak a great deal about the Bible, are somehow immediately more suspect of extreme views about discipline of children and possibly more inclined to be guilty of abuse. The Ministry ought never to be guilty of making an assessment based upon stereotypes rather than actual facts born out of face to face Q and A. That would be considered an intolerable presumption and a social gaffe if the parents were Hindu, Muslim or Aboriginal spiritualists and held to the sacred texts of the Vedas, or Koran or oral tradition and Christian parents deserve no less respect for their belief system. The truth is that Paul and Zabeth and others like them are followers of Jesus Christ, believe in the Bible as God’s inspired word and seek daily to live in accordance with its precepts.

  5. This Ministry needs to be investigated for its practices.

    The blatant disregard of the Ministry to the medical reports of experts, their refusal to allow the children to attend a special Easter Sunday service as requested by the family, as well as failure to heed the advice of their own legal counsel to return the children to their devastated parents, makes one wonder just how the officers of this ministry operate. Does the heartbreaking break-up of this family, their financial ruin, and the loss of the formative years of their precious children count for nothing?

    It is unconscionable that in a democratic country like Canada, parents are being treated so harshly, without any cause or justification – without justice.

    Minister Polak, we ask you to please investigate the running of your Ministry.

  6. Sorry for this family, but as the judge has seemed to order a 6 month review, this should be an obvious problem addressable by the courts. I have hope for the family being reunited soon.

  7. Hello April 22, 2011

    Your comment was applied to a post from one year ago, an Easter post and I didn't want you to think that it got lost if you located the most current blog post. Thanks for writing. the judge in the past several weeks realized that he had erred in ruling a six month in care order and that it is really 3 months. Until then the Baynes must do everything they can to demonstrate that they are trustworthy and capable parents - a pretty hard task when all they have is visitation for a few hours each week. They are taking courses and tests and so much more and they love their children so much. We do trust that the Ministry will return the children after this.

  8. B.C. Trustee warns kids at risk of abuse

    Nearly half children in care don't have a public guardian

    By Kim Pemberton and Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver SunApril 25, 2011

    Nearly half of all B.C. children in care do not have a public guardian looking out for their legal interests, says B.C.'s Public Guardian and Trustee Jay Chalke.

    Given the disturbing number of reports of abuse among the children whose interests are represented, it is time for that to change, Chalke said.

    As it stands, only children in continuing long-term care fall under Chalke's responsibility as Public Guardian, which includes going to court on behalf of kids in care and reviewing all critical incident reports submitted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development's protection service.

    As of March 31, there were 5,455 children in permanent care in British Columbia, making up 58 per cent of the total children with care agreements in the province, Chalke said. The remaining 42 per cent of children in care have alternative long-term care agreements and do not fall under Chalke's jurisdiction.

    Extended family members caring for a child whose biological parents are not able to do so is one example of an alternative long-term care agreement.

    "Alternative care arrangements are becoming more common," Chalke said. "What's needed is law reform. We see the value of the work we do in terms of children in permanent long-term care. We want to make sure someone is looking out for the others."

    All children in care deserve to have someone looking out for their legal interests, Chalke said.

    Chalke said he made this same recommendation to government last year when he submitted his annual report into Child and Youth Guardianship Services but although some work has been done in this area, "it's fair to say the work needs to be accelerated."....


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