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. “
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.