Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Why Question Again with a Twist / Part 232 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Instead of a formal independent review, a six or nine month investigative probe into the Ministry of Children and Family Development operations, successes and shortcomings, I would like to see a WHY forum. Of course I am idealistic and bordering on the ridiculous. But think about this.

What if Minister Mary Polak and her partner, Deputy Minister Leslie DuToit inaugurated a Ministry-wide WHY DAY. With the exception of urgent business, most employees eg. social workers, would be excused from regular work to participate in this guaranteed safe, honest and open opportunity for anyone and everyone to bring questions about the Ministry, or their own work. No questions would be disallowed. Social workers could question their practices, the policies, the assumptions, the inter-office structure, the mission and the goals. In fact, everyone from custodians to administrative assistants to directors could ask WHY they do the things they do and how they do them. They would be encouraged not to hold back. It would be understood that answers may not be forthcoming immediately but the questions would be treated as informative of value added changes to the work environment as well as to quality of service delivery.

What would be the outcome of days spent like this with fresh eyes and fresh ideas?

I told you I was being ridiculous. My point is that I believe inherent within the system are the people who either know the things that should be changed to make the Ministry a more effective service deliverer or actually know the correct changes to make but are crippled or suppressed by all the predictable bureaucratic silencers, such as organizational structure and threats to job security or promotion possibilities. And my question is, WHY? If however, you think that all the chief decision makers and key influencers are themselves corrupted or compromised, then my idealistic notion is lost.

Ahh, scrap the whole thing and start over!
Reimagine Child Welfare.
What we need in B.C. are some whistle blowers! Some insiders who will dare it all and bare it all! You cannot do that anonymously. No one will buy it. It won't prove a thing. Whistle blowers, unite and identify yourselves and truly transform this service.


  1. Was M.L.K.'s dream ridiculous? GOOD LUCK RON!!!

  2. Today I want to look at the internal and external review systems, but that will have to wait. First of all I want to thank anon June 25 at 10.29 AM and 10.51 AM for giving me some insights into myself. You see when I write,I generally think carefully and try to express my ideas clearly. To communcate effectively one needs feedback as to how people are receiving the message that one intends. These anons have told me that I have not quite succeeded and I see that I have sacrificed clarity for brevity.
    Please understand that when I say that most of the failings of the ministry are due to incompetence, I am in no way excusing incompetence. Incompetence is destructive, corrosive and breeds all those other qualities which you describe and abhor. Incompetence starts at the top. The senior management should be responsible for ensuring sound training and supervision and for monitoring practice. They simply do not know how to do it and never have. During my 31 years in the public service they never had a clue how to do this, but mercifully they left the competent people alone to do their jobs and left the incompetent people alone too.Nowadays they intrude more. We learned to do our jobs in spite of the administration.
    When people are incompetent, they are afraid and scared people can become very nasty at times.
    I think you misunderstood my term of dumb. Highly intelligent educated and pleasant people can make some pretty dumb decisions. If you do not believe that, you have not read about the bank meltdown and the bankruptcy of GM. When intelligent people make dumb decisions, can I call them dumb, or not. You say that they are misdirected, unfocused and incompetent, but they are not dumb!! Oh come on! Is that not rather a quibble?
    One thing that should be understood is that incompetence is protected by law in the civil service. A family court counsellor made a very unfair and damaging report on Mr.C and caused him to lose access to his children. It took months for an audit report to conclude that he failed to follow 7 out of 8 major guidelines for custody and access reports, but he was excused because he meant well. No malice you see. It took the ombudsman a year to decide that the report was correct, but that the ministry erred in not offering redress. Far too late and he did not see his kids for years. In the Donaldson foster home case the appeal court overturned the compensation awarded by the provincial court. They agreed that there had been a failure in duty of care, but that no malice had been proven. Proving malice is very difficult. No anon, I believe that incompetence is inexcusable. A good job the medical professionals demand competence. Good intentions are not enough.
    Regarding your excellent points about research. If Mary Polak reads this blog and decides to ask the same questions, I would bet that she would just get stonewalled like anybody else.
    One more point on intelligent people believing nonsense. Many social workers under encouragement from social work schools believe all kinds of damaging junk psychology. The code of ethics of the American Psychologists Association requires that no therapy shall be vended that has not stood the test of research and peer approval. Populist, or junk psychology fails this test. Sigmund Freud was the granddaddy of all junk psychologists. (Read HJ Eysenck) Junk theories like recovered memory counselling and satanic ritual abuse have ruined many lives. You see you cannot equate being intelligent with being rational and rhea mensis becomes rather a myth.

  3. Ray Ferris,

    It is crucially important to call a spade a spade, especially when we are dealing with what many believe (and I also believe) is, for lack of a better term, evil.

    To call evil "stupid" or "incompetent" or "dum" is to elide the true nature of evil. Evil knows exactly what it is doing. And in the case of child protection is it duping people into believing that all these deaths in "care" and all the horrific damage to families such as the Baynes is just a mistake. How many more "mistakes" are we going to excuse? This has been going on for DECADES. All over the world, wherever there are "child protectors." What these so-called child protectors are doing, the monumental damage they do, either as individuals or as a group has nothing to do with stupidity (and again, I am not saying that ALL child protectors are bad, some of course do care about children, but that works in the favour of the evil ones, because they can point to the good ones and say I am like him or her). There are certainly pockets of stupidity, and all evil is, in a way, stupid, because it is always destructive. But let's call a spade a spade.

    What we are dealing with is far more sinister that just a few people, or even a lot of people, being dumb. These are people who KNOW they, or their policies, or actions, or inaction, are hurting - in the most cruel way - innocent, harmless, helpless children. And they just don't care! That is NOT stupidity. That is something quite, quite different from stupidity.

    If we are ever going to change child protection, we have to begin by demanding accountability. And the misuse of language by these fake protectors must be stopped. I am not saying you are a fake protector. You seem to have helped a lot of families who have been victimized by the Ministry. But I don't understand how you can call evil "incompetence."

    And if you object to the term evil, then I'll tone it down and call it cruelty. Because I don't see how anyone could say, what you yourself have told us about the Ministry, is anything but cruel. Cruel to families, cruel to children. Needlessly, heartlessly cruel. And it almost appears as if they enjoy throwing their weight around. Which takes cruelty to a whole new level. A level that has nothing to do with being a "dummy."

  4. It seems simple enough that the Mary Polak needs to remove Leslie DuToit first to do anything with this charge as MCFD chief. Then she needs to get some people that can help her to make the necessary decisions. Things such as "no malice intended... just didn't follow all the rules etc" should be grounds for dismissal and no packages for severance offered. These people have the excessive power to abuse families and steal a child, by force, from it's parents' arms without a scrap of evidence. Accusations are not evidence. They cannot simply be allowed forgiveness and excused responsibility when their incompetent disregard of thoroughness in the treatment of families has affected the children and families so adversely. Excuse me!! such absolute nonsense isn't allowed to simple members of the public. Certainly, if the bridge collapses because someone didn't follow the blueprints, heads roll, compensation is paid and careers are ended immediately. The biggest reason that SW, Police, gov't reps, court officials etc continue to do the things they do is guaranteed protection from accountability. Come, come!!! The police officer is pulled over for impaired driving, gov't workers shred evidence, unregistered SWs apprehend children and lie in court and they still have their job, possibly with a demotion, but not charged... something wrong with the process of accountability for those entrusted with authority to enforce the laws of the land!!
    Something is also wrong with the process of compensation to the victims of this trashy and blatant abuse. If senior management got such positions because they went to university, the practise should be changed to require that management needs to be SWs who have experience and prove they operate within the law and with integrity on all matters regarding their responsibilities before receiving advancements and appointments. Seems to me demanding legal accountability in her ministry would be a good area for Minister Pollack to start after removing Ms DuToit. Clean house and charge some people...whoops, we can't charge them. Oh, yeah, they can take people to court without a charge... hmm ...outrageous misrepresentation of Canadian legal system, charter of rights and freedoms and simple universal justice.

  5. It is fairy common in technologys companies to issue internal requests for feedback from their workers, who are often a veritable gold mine of information.

    The problem is that if there is indeed a systemic problem, the questions will be posed by the people that are part of the problem.

    Workers, in fear of their job, may simply respond in a manner that praises supervisors and repeat the mantra that government cutbacks are affecting their efficiency.

    It is fascinating to listen to the verbal dance by lawyers, social workers and service providers when I ask very simple questions such as, does it not make sense to avoid spending hundreds of man hours and tens of thousands of dollars keeping kids in care when there exist faster and more efficient ways to remedy problems.

    It is important to get back to the focus of what this blog is all about. It is not to single-handedly fix the woes of the Ministry, it is to highlight Ministry shortcomings through the lens of the Baynes case, and preserve these observations for others to analyze and possibly fix later.

    Questions to ask need to be culled from a variety of sources (parents, foster parents, social workers) then you get these various people to offer their solutions.

    CBC's Go Public with Kathy Tomlinson operates to expose moral and financial corruption. I'm not clear yet on the benefits to parents who go public.

    I would wonder if potential whistleblowers seeing what is happening to the Baynes as a result of going public is actually serving as a deterrent for others reporting. This, certainly would be a desired outcome by MCFD in their very expensive persecution of the Baynes.

    I rather suspect a social worker blowing the whistle would likely not be able to get a job in that field again, let alone promotions, regardless of safeguards to protect such people.

    Anonymous reporting exists to report children harmed, so should such a system be intituted for workers and members of the public who wish to report to, say RCY. This way, if multiple reports from different areas that say the same thing would likely be taken more seriously.

    It is cases like the Baynes, where a blog such as this is the ideal venue for reporting day to day activities of MCFD.

    The point is to get a lot of people to ask these 'why' questions after they see the same things happen to them as well.

  6. To anonymous June 26-9.21 AM
    Sorry Anon; I am not going to get into a polemic with you about the nature of evil. It distracts from the content of the story I gave you about the G family and the Bayne case.I gave the authentic facts on the process that took place. I respect your right to choose whatever adjectives you wish to describe that case and the events in the Bayne, I hope that you can respect my right to choose my own adjectives. The facts are what are important. Other readers will find their own adjectives. The bard seems to be of the opinion that all men are capable of good and evil in Mark Anthony's speech at the funeral of Caesar. "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones" etc.
    I really appreciated the information that one case had no fewer than 8 judges. Any other reader like to add to the count?
    Tomorrow I want to outline that the internal review systems exist only in theory and appear to be little more than makework projects for well paid civil servants. Beats being on welfare I guess.

  7. If MCFD is saving abused children (and as they like to say, abuse can happen "anywhere,") how come they never take children from wealthy families?

  8. Provide facts to prove that anon 7pm. Wealthy families also have many many more resources than do those in difficult financial situations to find alternatives to s.30 removal.

    Another factor is wealthy families can "hide" abuse/neglect. Ie, the wealthy parent gets drunk and can take a cab home. The "poor" parent has to walk with their kids down the street while drunk etc, thus more visible. On and on.

  9. Anon at 7:43 PM.

    The children of wealthy parents show up in hospital emergency rooms or at school and other places in large numbers as well, with what you child protection workers would deem as signs of abuse (e.g., bruises, bumps, broken bones). How do I know this? Because everyone who knows anything about children knows that they have accidents. If you are wealthy, those accidents will be deemed accidents. If you are not wealthy, they will, too often, be deemed "abuse."

    You find me a few cases where wealthy people actually lost their children to child protection agencies. It doesn't happen. But you can find, all the time, cases where people who aren't wealthy lose their children. Child protection doesn't go after the wealthy because they want easy pickins - and those who don't have lots of money are the ones they target.

    Check out the CanLII Database. You find me some cases where the parents could actually afford a hotshot, high profile $500.00/hr. lawyer and child protection came after them. Doesn't happen. The only way parents would get a high profile lawyer - if they weren't wealthy - would be when a civil liberties or parental rights organization is helping them out and / or a superb lawyer has cut / waived his or her fees in order to see that justice is served.

    Another reason child protection doesn't go after the well off and wealthy is that they - child protective services - would be shut down in a week if the wealthy ever had their children and families subjected to such injustice and horrors.

    If child protection keeps their market confined to those who don't have the resources to expose child protection for what it is, they know they can keep up their dirty business indefinately. They aren't stupid.

  10. Wealthy people can afford lawyers to fight against MCFD while poor people can't. Poor people don't usually have the same resources and family supports that wealthy people have and wealthy people look better in the courtroom due to having a better outer appearance. Poor people might not have the same skills as wealthy people. They may not have the communication skills or education that a wealthy person has and that can hinder them in court. Poor people don't cope as well due to less supports so they may allow their feelings/emotions to take over while in court or in front of social workers whereas wealthy people probably have the education and experience to control themselves. The biggest problems for poor people when MCFD gets involved are: time away from work could get them fired; poor coping skills; lack of supports; lack of money to hire a good lawyer instead of having 25 hours allotted to them by legal aid to cover the entire case.

  11. MCFD picks on poor people. And they have a huge database that tells them who is poor (from the child benefit info), so it's as easy as 1, 2, 3 for them to figure out who will be the easy ones to target.

    Remember, they have virtually limitless resources - time, money, thousands of employees, social workers, lawyers, expert witnesses, you name it, when it comes to taking children away from their families, they are the #1 experts. All the parents have, in most cases, is their love for their children.

    Anyone watch the MSN special "Secrets and Lies" about how the social workers and prosecutors in Bakersfield, USA got children to lie and say they were abused, and when the children recanted and told the truth, it wasn't accepted?

    Many a career has been made by destroying good families.

    'Witch Hunt' A New Documentary

  12. This is very informative

    A Children's Gulag
    Corruption, Child Abuse & the Business of Children in Quebec

    From a provincial population of 7.5 million, up to 30,000 children were seized from families by youth authorities in 2006, processed in secret trials, and placed in group homes, institutions or forced adoption programs. The majority of warehoused children are cut off from parents and extended family, often physically, sexually and emotionally abused, and held until the age of 18 when they are dumped on city streets.

    Years of secrecy and a total lack of accountability have created a culture of impunity and corruption among bureaucrats and the judiciary, and destroyed the lives of 100,000's of children and families. Shattered survivors, forbidden from revealing corruption and abuse under threat of contempt of court charges and jail, create succeeding generations of angry and broken families, guaranteeing repeat business for the state. The business of children in Quebec is now a growth industry, worth over one billion dollars (USD $1,000,0000,000) per year to bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, institutions and contracted guardians.

  13. Anon 5:11 PM
    Your Witch Hunt Bakersfield video is a shocking and believable portrayal of horrifying injustice.

  14. Josef Fisher
    Your Childrens Gulag video link looks very interesting and requires some time to read so I will try to process this.

  15. On the subject of whistle blowers, I cam across the movie "Collapse" which is a documentary that is a much lower key version of some Michael Moore's films.

    The primary speaker and whistle blower is Michael Ruppert, who speaks throughout the documentary. His claim to fame is that he predicted the recent financial collapse in the U.S.

    He outlines his extensive efforts at bringing public the problems of the current economy and world situation, and states that for the most part he is ignored. This is a similar situation to individuals who publish websites deriding child protection organizations.

    At one point he talks about the urban myth of the 100th Monkey. Once a threshold of 100 monkeys were taught to wash coconuts, the rest of the 10,000 monkeys "suddenly" started washing their coconuts.

    The wikipage more accurately states that as the older monkeys died off, the younger ones who learned were left and they then became the majority.

    The moral of the story is that it is my belief the knowledge of the public of the more nefarious aspects of child protection is becoming more widespread. My own kids know the score and are facebook aware, and obviously I'm telling hundreds of other people. Meanwhile, outfits like MCFD are trying to keep their work secret, and are going out of their way to punish people that do go public.

    Obviously, it will be tough to convince people to reveal their identities and blow the whistle, but clearly, it is happening. People who were ignored are now being listened to.

  16. I think that it is not just the stealing of the child it is how hard they work to keep a child stolen. I open the paper and I read about all the rights of the Bacon brothers and all others facing criminal charges. THey have the right to receive full disclosure. I lost my baby. THere was no reason. SHe was taken from me very roughly, the police pulled her head. I now have to wait and wait and there is no court date yet. It is appalling. Each person this happens to is instructed to keep quiet because obviously if they go to the media, they will get worse treatment. It is so appalling. WHy are they not fighting real abuse? If it is so stupid and going after the wrong people all the time, soon it has no point. Help LIne is there for real cases, not one bitchy neighbour who wants to hurt another. It is hard to not feel emotional and a parent's emotions and love for their child is used against them. IT is crazy and very, very wrong. If any social workers are reading this, I hope you think about what is going on these days with your employer.

  17. To Anon at June 28, 2010 11:22 PM

    I think what will happen is that eventually the truth about child protective services and the MCFD in particular will reach critical mass. The truth can only be suppressed for so long, and this particular truth is so desperately crying out to be told, and heard. MCFD and other child protection agencies around the world will eventually face the wrath of not only parents, but society as a whole. People don't take kindly to child abusers, especially when they are taxpayer protected and funded. And at least some of what these child protection agencies have been doing definately qualifies as child abuse. There is absolutely no need, for example, to make the apprehension of children so horrifically traumatic. But the list could go on and on, and it will, when the lawsuits start rolling in.


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