Thursday, June 24, 2010

WHY? / Part 230 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

“Why?” was the last word that Robert Dziekanski uttered before he died.

That appears to be the explanation for his own lost and bewildered conduct that made the officers think the worst. It was also his dying question for what they had done to him. Clear thinking and good judgement was misplaced. They had the upper hand in man power, in equipment, in weaponry. They could easily have controlled Dziekanski without being so quick to use the latest conducted energy weapon. And even with that aid, he was down on the ground, spinning pain circles when they gave him four more taser salvos and then did the pile on, four men's knees and hands and weight on top of a disabled man.

In 470 pages Thomas Braidwood's final report provided no room for doubt about the officers' shameful conduct, who when they could have been offering help to this disoriented and frightened visitor to Canada, determined that he was a dangerous man needing to be subdued and they acted accordingly. RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told the press, "It is clear that our policies and training in place at the time were deficient." Braidwood also concluded that the four officers deliberately misrepresented their actions during investigations of Robert Dziekanski's death. Now Attorney General Mike de Jong says that the B.C. government will reopen the investigation into the actions of the four RCMP officers linked to the death of Robert Dziekanski.

And then we recently heard about the mudslide near Oliver B.C. over one week ago. It was an irrigation reservoir high in the mountains that eroded its earthen embankments and spilled over. But there had been signs of leakage and there had been some modest warnings from observers. The Ministry of Forests and Land confirmed it was warned about a possible breach of the dam on Friday by a report from a hiker, but said the report did not characterize the situation as an emergency. Well of course now the reaction is sweeping. There will be a review of dams. Did you know there are 2,000 similar dams in B.C. and customarily small dams should be inspected every five years and large ones every ten years but now the review will happen pronto – maybe. A shortage of provincial dam inspectors is being blamed for the recent mudslide in Oliver, B.C. that destroyed a half-dozen homes and several farms.

Do you see any parallels between the MCFD's children's welfare management and these two stories about other government departments? How many broken hearted parents and children have been asking WHY, or asking that one word question right now, today? Why don't MCFD people do everything that they can to help those parents and families about whom they have concerns, suspicions and convictions. Why doesn't MCFD use the least possible amount of force to get the job done. Why does it appear to resort to the extreme response virtually automatically. When MCFD makes a mistake or oversteps itself, it should not misrepresent its actions. Policies and training are evidently lacking. Why? MCFD appears to be waiting for the dam to burst before taking preventative measures, not measures to protect itself but to protect the many who are living under the dam. Why is that? I have read that there is a social worker staff shortage and that is why performance is not up to expectations. Is that the only reason? I don't think so. I keep on thinking there is something fundamentally morally amiss in the way some social workers regard their work, their roles, their authority and the way they are treating the people whose cases they manage. Why?

CBC Taser Investigation


  1. Ron:

    To our politicians, punishing 4 rotten cops is a lot easier than shutting down a multi-billion dollar industry.

    Do you know how big and how influential the "child protection" cartel is? It seems that Mr. Ray Ferris wants to share his views on some stakeholders in this industry. Let's hear what he is going to say.

    If you honestly ask why, it suggests that you still don't believe that this is a money-driven corruption. It is all about money, power and fame. Anything but child protection and family development. Forgive my abruptness. You will never find the real answer until you are convinced of the foregoing.

    Frankly, this is not difficult to see at all if you can let go your preconceived assumption of responsible and accountable government. Money talks. Do I need to elaborate on why the high priests wanted to kill Jesus so badly, apart from the spiritual dimension of salvation? I guess not since I am writing to a doctor of divinity (I presume).

  2. Anon 12:56 AM, you wrote to me and it appears that your whole comment today is addressed to me, so I will respond. I find it perplexing that readers on the same side of this issue frequently direct comments at one another and consume words and space correcting each other. Seems counterproductive. Puts a smile on MCFD's face. Certainly wasn't in my game plan for this blog. Ray Ferris did add two comments to yesterday's post and he may have more to say. I tend to listen to him. He at times makes strong statements too. You ask me to forgive your abruptness so I am asking you to surely not mind if I don't buy your descriptive words, like cartel and money driven, and fame to explain what is going on with specific cases in the Ministry. You are correct that preconceptions about responsible and accountable government and politicians have been dashed for me at a number of levels not merely child welfare. Yet I do not believe that I must jettison my trust that there are some good and sincere and principled people at work within our government systems. The motivation to kill Jesus is easier for me to understand than the motivation to ignore all other medical opinions except the one that supports an assessment of risk, and the motivation to exaggerate reports and the motivation to give credence to a call-in of concern but to ignore hundreds of letters of affirmation of parents, and the motivation to take children away forever rather than enable a family to survive still causes me to ask WHY. Perhaps it is just as naive to think that the explanation is money, power and fame.

  3. Another story caught my eye while browsing throught the various CBC links you provided:

    B.C. daycare staff face assault charges

    What happened here, as should happen with all child protection issues, is a formal investigation is conducted FIRST, and THEN charges are filed. What follows in this case is shutting down the daycare and keeping the suspects away from children. The children are not removed, the suspects are.

    In the short time that the investigation occured, perhaps a month or two, the daycare remained open and parents continued to send their children there while police silently collected evidence to substatiate a charge.

    The problem with the MCFD method of remove first and ask questions later, is that it alerts the potential suspects, who immediately stop hurting children at that point, cry foul, and the opportunity for investigation is lost. All investigators are left with is suspicion and reports of concerns but no real evidence.

    The daycare situation here is the children cannot be removed from parents because they are not involved in the abuse. This is unquestionably a child protection matter, so why are cases treated differently with parents than with stranger abuse?


    Getting back to the example stories you posted, what we as parents and the occasional social worker who have experienced the full gamut of "child protection" would have you believe a conspiracy exists based on personal experience. We don't have have hard evidence that would justify such sweeping statements.

    Lets use the Dam story as an analogy:
    1. A leak is reported.
    2. Those who are in power to fix the problem at a fraction of the cost of replacing it and restoring lost homes and lives. Instead of doing so, say to themselves, great! A leak! Once the dam blows we will restore our funding and staff! Let's keep watching and do nothing, then capitalize on the aftermath of the disaster.
    3. The dam blows destroying millions of dollars of property and some people die.
    4. A report finds dams are not being inspected, and recommends hiring inspectors. "Problem" solved. B.C. Officials give themselves a high-five as their budget has just been increased. The other Provinces await their turn at bat.

    This same concept applies across the board. If a cutback is experienced, the people you are affecting fight back to protect their "cheese", which is their income and way of life.

    All it takes is knowingly allowing a dangerous situation to erupt, then those with a vested interest in providing the solution to prevent such future occurences use the event as an excuse to convince you to employ their services - at a higher rate than before cutbacks.

    What you have is the basic concept of child protection and beaurocracy in general.

    A similar comparison can be made with the 9-11 terrorist attack. The conspiracy theorists would have you believe the government initiated the attack to make it appear is if terrorists were responsible. The theorists offer motives that vary from using the attack as an excuse to invade another country to steal their oil, from an explanation that the government will use the event as a basis to setup a homeland security regime more information can be gained from citizens without the bother of due process. Take your pick.

    All I can tell you from my persona experience is that nearly two years elapsed where so-called investigating social workers silently accumulated information and build up the number of intake reports but did nothing, then later used the information to illustrate ongoing problems in order to justify a removal.

    After that, tens of thousands of dollars in costs were expended. This is the equivalent of the dam bursting.

    The difference is, this happens on a daily basis and is experienced by thousands of parents the world over. Publicity that results generally does not result in change.

  4. I asked that "WHY" question several times to social workers, and did not get an answer. I encourage parents to ask the same questions and record the answers (audio record, as well).

    I asked social workers and service providers what the costs of their services were to taxpayers were as they were being offerred free to me, and that answer was about $1,000.

    Project parent 26 hours at about $35/hr is the singular course the Ministry states satisfies their concerns that parents "volunteer" to take. Anger management courses are also thrown in, also children encounter counselling for children who witness abuse. This is an example of the grant total of what MCFD says "addresses concerns" to their satisfaction.

    Why, for example, would anyone in MCFD not want to first OFFER such "services" immediately upon discovering a concern, BEFOR a removal, and have the parent complete it as quickly as possible? Five 8-hour days if a parent can manage it, or 10 evenings of 3 hours each would also cover it.

    Why instead, does MCFD delay such "services" for many months, then proceed to stretch out "services" over an entire year?

    During this time, foster care costs rack up, legal bills, psychologist assessments, supervised visitations, social worker hours, you name it.

    When I asked a social worker and MCFD lawyer about the logic behind their willingness to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through a protection hearing which they claimed would take several weeks, in order obtain an order to extend custody by a few months, the answer was not a response in logic, but that the funding did not come out of MCFD's pocket, so it was immaterial.

    I surmise a similar situation exists with foster care costs. Can a foster parent post an actual paycheque to see which Ministry writes it?

    Out of pocket sundry expenses such as dental appointments, and glasses cause more concern to local MCFD office that extending foster care by months and years, and shuffling children about from home to home in a human shell game.

    One would logically ask if it would not be simpler and more cost effective for the Ministry to just throw the social workers involved to the wolves, and blame them for improper conduct to set an example for other offices. In severe cases, social workers are sent to other jurisdictions for a few months while the smoke clears.

    Instead, the reverse of accountability is happening. The full weight of MCFD and Attorney General backs the current path the Baynes have been forced to follow.

    This case simply serves to embolden other social workers to continue to follow the exact same path knowing they will suffer no repercussions, and this is, in fact, the preferred route.

    Denying special holidays such as father and mother's day becomes validated as an acceptable treatment of parents.

    What is needed is how exactly one answers the "WHY" question other that soliciting ideas.

    My belief is that when you ask why social workers choose one path over another, you will start to get to the bottom of the problem.

    The problems is these types of why questions are not being asked.

  5. I’ve been asking ‘why’ for years. I like what Ray Ferris has to say about social work being ‘completely confused’ on the issue of prevention. As a health care professional, I am appalled by social workers lack of knowledge (or possibly just use) of preventative measures/techniques in their work.
    To expand, social work also refuses to keep holistic health in mind. Their assessments/evaluations/interventions do not promote holistic health at all. In fact, their actions as a whole are affecting our society in a very negative manner which in turn puts a heavy load on the health care system which is already at the breaking point.
    Ray Ferris also says that social workers need counseling skills and this is true but before they can have adequate counseling skill to effectively assist parents and children, they need communication skills and the skill to acquire a trusting professional relationship with their clients.
    At this point in time, parents and children are usually afraid of social workers because of their track record. Parents don’t want to divulge their inner secrets and fears to a social worker which means no trusting relationship can develop.
    These points may seem minor to someone who has never dealt with MCFD but they aren’t minor at all. Society as a whole is at risk because of what is happening to thousands of children that have to live with their decisions and interventions.
    The fact that I am a health care professional means I am responsible to the public. I am responsible for advocating for best possible outcomes, I am responsible for continuing to increase my knowledge base and I am accountable for my actions. There is a code of ethics that I must adhere to and if I don’t, I am not being accountable to the public who are relying on me to provide quality care. We rely on social workers to protect our children and they most definitely should adhere to these same practice standards. We should be asking ourselves why we are letting MCFD to continue acting the way they do.

  6. On June 23 I told the story of the G family. I had explained before that ministry directors do not act in isolation and when they abuse power, they can only do so because others do not take any responsibility. A number of peop the discussion on getting revenge on me was in the audit report. One of the things they looked at was in filing a complaint against me with the registrar of social workers. I kept my registration up until I was 70.The other thing I could have mentioned was that Mr. G who was an accountant figured that the case cost the public at least $200,000 over nine months. All on a case in which there was no case to answer. Do we really need more of this type of social worker? Today I am not examining the role of the top child welfare hierarchy, but I will come back to this story when I do.
    What we can see in the G case and the Bayne case is how remiss their lawyers were. The G family were completely betrayed by their lawyers, who just grabbed the money and did little for it. Had the criminal lawyer asked the police for disclosure right away, he would have seen that there was no case to answer and a call to the prosecution service could have stopped the case in its tracks.
    I found that for the $60,000 that their first lawyer charged, his advice was unfathomable. He urged them to go to mediation and sat in at $2,500 a pop. To start with he should not have pushed them into anything, but simply outlined options for them to choose and instruct. The issue was simple. Director says you hurt your child on purpose. Baynes say we certainly did not. What on earth is there to mediate? The act says that the court must set a hearing within 45 days and the director must present what he has and must disclose his case. The correct response is to say "very well present your case under due process and we will let the court decide." I cannot understand why a lawyer would say that they would get the children back sooner through mediation. That would be as good as admitting that they hurt the child. Maybe the lawyer did not believe them? Anyway he made a big contribution to rendering them bankrupt and unable to get an advocate. Innocent or not, they would not stand a chance without Doug Christie's generosity.
    The G family did get one more lawyer, who was available and sympathetic, but she took the view that the judge always went along with the social workers, whatever she might do. So she really did nothing except offer sympathy. With really good representation, both cases could have been nipped in the bud.
    Now the role of the judges. In the G case the "court" took no responsibility for ensuring that the act was followed. They never got the same judge twice, nobody was seized, that is made responsible for the case and the director was able to do whatever she wanted. This in a case with no real evidence at all. The first judge did try to give them a chance to be heard, but between their lawyer and the indifferent second judge, they were scuttled.
    The Baynes too would have done much better if one judge had been seized and took responsibility that the guidelines of the act are followed. All the judges seem to be afraid of being pro-active. That may be appropriate in criminal cases, but the a hearing under the act is really a judicial inquiry and judges have the power to demand answers. I worked in a court where one judge was seized with all the protection cases and he certainly was not afraid to demand answers. I do not recall one case going beyond statutory limits in his court.
    It is all very well to have an act which has fine sounding principles and guidelines,but nobody is responsible for seeing that they are followed. Principles, like timeliness, and not letting young children stay in limbo. It is nonsense to limit temporary orders to four terms of three months for a total of one year, but allow interim custody to drag on for years.By definition interim custody is before any evidence has been tested under due process. Without a means of enforcement, the act becomes irrelevant. To be continued

  7. Big government has total power and zero accountability. Doesn't matter which party it is. NDP would do the same, and has.

  8. It's pretty simple as to "WHY". Prevention costs money up front. Reaction means that "just maybe we won't have to spend any money on the situation...let's wait and see if it fixes itself."

    Money up front or money later? Just look at our highways (or your quoted Dam story) and you know exactly the answer to "WHY?"

    But, to be fair, the "most intrusive" is not the automatic response. It is the most widely publicized response.

  9. Anon 10:03 - I can hear your frustration. Very clearly. Just to clarify for you and others. MCFD does not "build-up" intake reports. People (family, friends, professionals, anonymous callers) make reports that MCFD either takes action on (contacts parent) or codes "no action." A no action coding generally results in the parent never being informed of the call - to be clear, this is very poor practice.

    I would hope a lot of "no action" reports do not equal cumulative evidence to support a removal decision. If so...I guess I just shake my head at that tonight.

    Were you told the "no actions" were supporting evidence as part of the foundation for a removal?

  10. The problem is, whatever terms a person employs to describe what MCFD and other child protection agencies around the world are really doing to children and families - these terms will never capture what is truly occuring. Child protection is doing exactly the opposite of what they say they are doing. For Pete's sake, just recently in the news we read about how a Foster Parent of The Year, who was widely respect apparently, was charged with molesting a number of boys (and he only took in boys). We also read about how a young woman was placed in a foster house, only to be raped by a man who - we find out years later - was actually a serial killer.

    So, child protection is placing children in homes with serial killers. The woman was a foster "mother" and her boyfriend - who raped the then little girl - was a serial killer. When the then little girl tried to get help, no help.

    These people are NOT protecting our children - they are doing exactly the opposite. Yet they always seem to find time and money to take children (and babies) from good, loving parents - never wealthy ones (even though they will tell you "abuse happens everywhere"), no, never are wealthy babies and children taken by child protection.

    A person really doesn't have to keep researching this subject for too long before they realize that there is something very, very wrong with child protection, and that no terms could really overstate what is happening. And if you look at the history, nothing has changed, it's only getting worse. More money has only given them more power - children are absolutely not being protected. Exactly the opposite.

    ""[The plaintiff's] life was destroyed by the abuse that she suffered from Thomas Svekla and [the foster mother]," the woman says in a statement of claim filed June 8. She also alleges the foster mother failed to protect her from Svekla."

  11. WHY? TO BENEFIT. At the plebs' expense. By their deeds we know them. "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit."

  12. Right on point, Josef. And this rotten tree, MCFD, is bearing a ton of rotten fruit, that is for certain.


    "3 sisters taken out of the blue from their home, separated, isolated, interrogated for months, lied to by the police and social workers. The girls call it jail. They want to see each other more, see their friends, and go home. But BC MCFD have their best interests at heart by antagonizing them to hate the system they have been thrown into. They are not allowed to talk about any thing that happens to them in foster care no matter how outrageous or abusive. If they really have our children's best interests at heart what is BC MCFD trying to hide by not letting the children be allowed to speak out about their feelings and thoughts."


I encourage your comments using this filter.
1. Write politely with a sincere statement, valid question, justifiable comment.
2. Engage with the blog post or a previous comment whether you agree or disagree.
3. Avoid hate, profanity, name calling, character attack, slander and threats, particularly when using specific names.
4. Do not advertise