We are agreed on the paramount value and importance of the family. When a child's welfare, health and protection is threatened in relationship with the biological parent(s), then family is not to be considered more important than the child(ren). Such is the horrible dilemma faced by social workers on many occasions. In some situations removing a child may decidedly be the most compassionate and responsible course of action. Social workers attest that child removal is and should be a last resort. Many people whose families have been disrupted by protective child removal are convinced that it was expedient rather than last resort.
We are agreed that child neglect or abuse must be ended, punished and prevented. We are mostly agreed that the security, safety and care of children is paramount. Nothing can be more important than that. Nevertheless there are some writers who consider child removal barbaric in any case. We are not agreed about what constitutes a viable ground for removing a child and disrupting a family. Suspicion works. Not all of us are content with the latitude that suspicion affords MCFD. Suspicion however is enough to get the protection wheels rolling. Suspicion must be investigated and settled swiftly. Suspicion is not the equivalent of evidence. However, intense suspicion requires evidence so a concerted effort is then made by MCFD to uncover anything that may reinforce a care order.
Some allege that justification for child removal frequently consists of manufactured negative evidence. Some allege MCFD engages in surveillance and some SWers deny this. Some writers stick to their theory that child protection agencies everywhere have been taken over by people bent on personal gain in terms of power, profit or reputation and some go so far as to say the entire system is geared to corruption of which monetary gain both institutional and personal is the driving force. While some valid points can be made in that regard these accusations are usually unsubstantiated.
Removed children must be housed somewhere, so a system of foster care homes provide for usually safe and loving environments for short and extended periods. Most of us but not all believe that many foster parents are dedicated good caregivers. A few should never have been trusted with someone else's children. Most of us find fault with a system that does not require the registering and licensing of all foster parents. Most of us believe that care by kin and extended family is a preferable option and should be practiced far more than it is. Some writers citing an actual case or two then make sweeping statements that all fostering further leads to ruined lives of crime and addiction and homelessness. Countering that are contributors who know that many foster children have escaped an awful childhood and young adulthood by being removed from beastly biological parental homes.
Most of us believe that social work is an honourable vocation and one which requires the highest of character qualities. We also believe that most social workers seek to serve people effectively and to deal wisely. Many of us believe that carte blanche criticism of social workers is unwarranted. We also believe there are social workers who faced with day to day pressures and verbal abuse, lose sight of ideals and their work suffers. A good number of people allege there are social workers who are mean spirited and should not be engaged by MCFD.
MCFD follows the law – yes it does! Sometimes in following, the result is right and sometimes in following that same law, it turns out so wrong.
Some writers supply web links to resources and information which is helpful in considering contesting opinions or making up one's mind. Some writer's call for report information yet seem in later responses not to be taking personal time to go to sites to find the data.
There is much more but ….................... How does reform come when we are not on the same page? Better question, how do we move the legislators to the same page?
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