Wednesday, May 5, 2010
WHERE DOES EMOTION FIT? / Part 181 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/
Social workers and management personnel within the child protection division of the Ministry of Children must certainly practice a measure of objectivity, even neutrality. I understand that. With large case loads, an emotional investment could be personally harmful.
I too have led a professional life and been intimately involved in the lives of thousands of people through the years. The burden of the concerns that spill from such engagements can be stressful. I recall attending a seminar on pastoral care where we were advised to treat our cases like books on my bookshelf. At the end of each work day we were to place the book in its place and be done with it. That would have been tidy but it didn't work for me. I was not working with closed volumes but with people who had opened their lives to me.
I confess that I find it difficult to process unemotionally, the information concerning Paul's and Zabeth's loss of their children. But I can get away with this because I am not a case worker but a friend and a sympathizer and an advocate and a believer in their innocence of any harm ever to any one of their children. I can excuse myself for this emotional investment because I do not believe for a moment that Dr. Colbourne's diagnosis was accurate. I accept unequivocally that the Fraser Region of the MCFD has made a mistake at the outset which it has strengthened weekly for thirty months, and a reinforced error leads to a miscarriage of justice.
It is time, in fact time is running out, but it is time for social workers and case managers and directors to rush back to the fundamentals of human interaction which instinctively demand that you treat Paul and Zabeth and their three adorable children with the emotion that they deserve and that will breath life into their family and into your careers.