A New Series: MCFD child protection is not working for children and families. The system is broken. The Bayne Family is currently the high profile display case that illustrates where and why the breakdowns repeatedly occur. An analysis may prescribe corrections.
EPISODE ONE: EXIT INTERVIEW
MCFD is losing at least ten percent of its staff every year. Social Workers leave MCFD. Knowing why they leave might be valuable information in retooling yet again.
The legislation entitled Child Family and Community Services Act (“CFCSA”) was inaugurated in 1996 with great promise that child welfare and protection would experience a manner of service delivery devoted to the support of families caring for children in the family home. Social workers wanted to be associated with such progressive intentions. For the past many years many social workers have been jumping ship for personal reasons but often because child protection practices are not living up to expectations. Child protection practices are not living up to CFCSA principles.
More sick days are logged by MCFD staff than across other government departments. Then many of them leave. Social workers leave because they are unable to deal with work related stress. Social workers leave because they are dismayed that they cannot accomplish superior work when the system is under-resourced in terms of personnel and services. They feel that they are unable to accomplish the outcomes projected by the CFCSA of affecting a family centred approach to child protection that actually supports the parents and extended family and communities to care for children safely. Social workers feel they have unmanageable case loads. They do not have funding for or access to preventative and supportive resources with which to help either children or parents. Social workers leave because the system is crisis driven rather than care and solution driven. Social workers leave because they have lost confidence in management and supervisory leadership.
Social workers say that they might stay if they had reduced caseloads and access to improved services and supports for families.
Resource: Two informative study projects 'Hands Tied' and 'Broken Promises' produced by Pivot Legal Society of Vancouver, a non-profit legal advocacy organization. Pivot Legal Society, 678 Hastings St East, Vancouver, B.C. V6A 1R1 Canada, Tel. (+1) 604 255 9700 / www.pivotlegal.org