Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF ATTACHMENT AND SEPARATION / Part 171 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Understanding the Effects of Attachment and Separation

Children develop relationship with significant people in their lives and this is termed attachment. First attachments are certainly with biological mom and usually with biological dad. In some situations other people serve as that first attachment who is the primary caregiver. These significant attachment figures enable a child to systematize perceptions, to understand logically, to grow intellectually, to develop coping mechanisms, conscience and self reliance. This was happening in the Bayne household with the two small boys when the infant daughter was only weeks old in September 2007.

Optimal parent-child attachment occurs when three conditions are present in the relationship, continuity, stability and mutuality. Continuity is the requisite constancy of the caregiver in the child’s experience with the accompanying repetition of parent-child interactions whether they are tucking in at night, kneeling for a prayer, filling a bowl with cereal or running the bathwater. Stability is the secure and protected environment where a parent and child bond continually. Mutuality is a term applicable to the parent-child interactions that reinforce their importance to one another, like the “I love you” and “I love you more” or caresses or hand holds, touches and hugs. MCFD has insured that no chance at optimal attachment is possible for Paul and Zabeth and their three children for the past two and one half years. Any attachment, such as it must be, is forged in two three hour sessions each week.

Parenting behaviour that successfully secures infant and child attachment to the caregiver must feature two things and not just one alone. One feature is the caregiver’s recognition and response to an infant’s cues or signals and then meets those needs and the second feature is a caregiver’s continual engagement of the child in social interaction. Studies to which I have referred indicate that neither behaviour alone is adequate to secure attachment. During the three hour visitation sessions, Paul and Zabeth must be careful to follow questionable rules imposed by a supervisor, under threat of cancelled visitation privilege. So, when a child asks for help in the bathroom, the parents are told not to respond but to let the child to master the situation.

With little debate it can be said that separation can achieve both positive and negative outcomes. It is positive when society provides protection for the child through separation when the caregiver is failing to limit personal harmful behaviour. In such cases the separation may also provide a parent with a brief release from child-rearing in order to make some necessary changes.

Nonetheless separation interferes with a child’s development of healthy attachments and impedes the child’s readiness to attempt intimate relationships. Traumatic separations from parents can cause low self esteem, distrust of adults, mood disorders, inadequate social skills, language delays and regressive behaviour such as bed wetting. It is time for the judge in this case to make the judgement that for the Bayne family, the insistent and unrelenting agency interference with these children has been unhelpful and in fact unwise, uninformed and meddlesome. These children have suffered more developmental damage by the action of MCFD than we may ever know.

Ministry people, do the right thing and return these children to their biological mom and dad.


  1. The effects of attachment and ongoing interaction with parents is very easy to see. In our case we are very close to our grandchildren. (Three live in a suite in our house two others live three miles away.) They love visiting with us and we with them. But when Mary and I are looking after the children of our son or of our daughter for a day or two it is very evident that no matter how much they are enjoying themselves, the children are very much looking forward to being reunited with their parents.

  2. I sat next to Berhe Gulbot almost 2 years ago, and said this family has been apart long enough, you took them away from their parents, and you can give them back,...we Know that God is far bigger than all of these circumstances, and we will continue to pray and expect God to come through for Paul, Zabeth and the children.

  3. I have come to the conclusion that worldwide, Social workers by training, know exactly the effect of removing children from parents.

    The shocking reality is that IT IS A CHILD PROTECTION SOCIAL WORKER'S JOB to deliberately disrupt family bonds and undermine parents authority for the purposes of solidifying their legal position that their removal decisions are justified.

    I listened over a ten month period in amazement to a parenting course person spouting off on how they were there to repair the damaged bonds and lack of attachment between me and my removed children, when this damage was caused by the removal, not a pre-existing condition.

    Instead of using their skills to shorten the time of separation and working to facilitate family visits to reduce separation anxiety, social workers instead plot to ensure the maximum possible level of trauma occurs for children and parents using a variety of tactics to accomplish this.

    A child protection social worker's logic is that the best interests of children are served by "protecting" them by separating them from their perpetrator parents. (See boostforkids.org stats: Worldwide annually, 275 million children are exposed to domestic violence, and say that 93% of "abuse" is from people they know. A report of "abuse" is made every 10 seconds in Canada, 150,000 calls yearly. Parents who speak loudly to one another witnessed by a child falls under the classification of emotional abuse. An unclean house is unsafe and also qualifies as abuse by neglect. Physical abuse can be a tug on the ear or a spanking.)

    It would not do, for example, if during a supervised visit, the note-taking observer's attention was to lapse for a moment, and the parents were to instruct their children to tell the social worker and foster parents they wanted to come home and to say that they made a mistake and no abuse occurred.

    Social workers recognize that parents do have this power over their kids so the preventative strategy is to undermine parents and convince kids to tell them everything, and train them to see the foster parent and social worker as the "new" parent, or their "boss." Breaking the bonds between child and parent is an important offensive strategy for a child protection social worker.

    It is difficult to believe, but another unwritten job function of the social worker is to deliberately undermine parents' relationship with their children, and to use and maximize the length time in care in order to allow complicit foster parents to form replacement bonds.

    Broken bonds and confusing children with foster parents and their natural parents is one basis for seeking a continuing custody order.

    Paradoxically, it becomes in the best interest of very young children, legally speaking, to be separated permanently from their parents because the bonds and attachments have been thoroughly broken, and it would be disruptive to force continued visits with their natural parents under these conditions.

    Attachment and bonding issues would not arise if there was a law that said that parents, presumed innocent until proven guilty, were to be guaranteed the same level of access they enjoyed before separation.

    However, such access and close monitoring is about $100 hourly, and is not "practical," so the law uses the phrase "reasonable access" to cover this inadequacy. This could arguably considered a violation of the charter rights if not considered subordinate to the overriding rights of children's "safety."

    The current reality is that the governing social worker allows a maximum of three to six hours weekly in order to appear to comply with the CFCSA that parents get "reasonable access" time with their children, as it is in their best interest.

    Are we in a Dr. Suess storybook?

  4. i too know how these parents feel being separated from their children,my 4 children have been removed from my care also an there was no proof shown to any aligations i was told i was doing to my children,i have don every thing asked of me to have my children returned to my care,their was no court case to show the aligations towards me where not true,my children were made wards of the state based on an asesment which was untrue of the sort of person i am which was conducted within 3 hours,how can any one judge a person in that amount of time an say they are unfit to care for their children,i feel for these people an i understand the fustration an hurt they are going through,we all deserve a second chance why dont we get that as parents,here say is not a reason to take a child/children away from a loving parent


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