In this global community I have a reliable GPS that delivers dependable information and confidence of arrival at my destination. ©Ron Unruh 2009
A link for the kids rights in care: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster/pdf/know_your_rights.pdfA google search located this pretty quickly. Ron, your blog came up in the list right near the top.
Yesterday I wrote about the ministry risk assessment form and showed that is just an elaborate checklist, which contains the opinions of social workers. No evidentiary rigour is required in order to support an opinion. It is left to the adversary-the enemy-to make the rating, which leaves it open to blatant bias.Today I show how all this affected the risk assessment on the Baynes. To start with the assessment started over 18 months after the removal of the children. By this time the director was alreaday seeking a continuing care order and was clearly adversarial. Not only that he had subjected the boys to great cruelty when he ripped them from the tender care of their grandparents. He did this in a fit of pique and then tried to find excuses for his behaviour. He eventually offered three different feeble excuses. There was the additional cruelty of subjecting the Baynes to humiliating micro-management of visitations and treating them like dangerous criminals. So clearly he had placed the ministry in a hostile position to the Baynes and the worker who did the risk assessment knew that he would have to please his boss, by making them look as bad as possible.He did a good job and he did not forget to excuse his boss for ending the relative placement. Throughout the assessment he made the worst possible interpretation of everything that he could. When there is no evidence to the contrary one should rate the function as normal. Time and time again he could only bring himself to check box 9. "Insufficient evidence available" After 18 months he had not had enough contact with the case to find evidence. Imagine that. That did not prevent him from finding every opportunity to smear the Baynes though The other thing that betrayed the blatant bias was that he could not find one positive thing to say about the family. He could not bother to read the many supportive letters sent to him, but he would pay serious attention to anonymous callers. The Baynes have many supporters who think that they have many good points and strengths, but all the worker could do was to leave the page for strengths as a complete blank.Using only established facts, I could easily fill in the risk assessment form and make them look like model parents. With a little poetic license I could probably make them look like martyred saints!Now what is the net effect of the Bayne risk assessment? It showed very poor judgement to try to bring such terrible piece of work into court as evidence. By the time Doug Christie had finisthed his cross-examination, not only was the risk assessment discredited, but its author and all those who supported him. We must remember that this assessment, which was little better than smear, innuendo, mudslinging and character assassination, was signed off by his supervisor and approved by the director. They are both equally responsible and there is a good chance that Leslie Dutoit had a finger in the pie too.If the risk assessment device can be used so destructively in only one case, it is a complete indictment of the format and the way it is used. We know from this blog that many other cases have had similar experiences and this has far-reaching implications. If this is a common occurrence, what does it say about all those highly paid bureaucrats who condone such shabby work. What does it say about ministry counsels and judges who accept such nonsense as evidence. Perhaps worst of all, what does it say about all those defence counsels who do not do everything to discredit such evidence and blandly go along with the ministry.Doug Christie gave a fine example about how a defence counsel should treat this trash and I will be very surprised if the judge omits to make some incisive comments when he gives his judgement. If there are any social work professors reading this blog, you should take a good look at this issue and speak up. So should the BC Association of social workers and members of the legislative assembly. Otherwise this sort of abuse will continue.
Ron, Let us not forget that today is le quatorze juillet--Bastille day. Good to see that you are tireless in storming the bastions of the ministry for children and family development. Your airing of the mission statement and fine aims of the said ministry become almost comical when you see how they actually operate. One must admit that the upper levels of the ministry may not be good at much, but they certainly know their smoke and mirrors.,
The MCFD Comprehensive Risk Assessment form has 34 pages as follows:Page 1. RISK ASSESSMENT SNAPSHOTSocial Worker Signature, Team Leader SignaturePage 2-8: PARENTAL INFLUENCE (Femail/Male/Other – 6 questions for each subcategory)P1 - Abuse/Neglect as a ChildP2 – Alcohol/DrugP3 – Expectations of ChildP4 – Acceptance of ChildP5 – Physical AbilityP6 – Mental and emotionalP7 – DevelopmentPage 9- 13: CHILD INFLUENCE (a/b/c/d/e/f)C1 – VulnerabilityC2 – Response to ParentC3 – BehaviourC4- Mental Health DevelopmentC5 – Physical Health DevelopmentPage 14-18: FAMILY INFLUENCE F1 – ViolenceF2 – CopingF3 – SupportsF4 – Living ConditionsF5 – Identity/InteractionsPage 19-22: ABUSE/NEGLECT INFLUENCE (F/M/O)A1 – SeverityA2 – AccessA3 – Intent / AcknowledgementA4 – History Abuse / NeglectPage 23-24: Blank for notesPage 25-26: INTERVENTION INFLUENCE (F/M/O)I1 – Parent’s ResponseI2 – Parent’s Co-operationsAdditional pages:27. Include any other Information you believe is important, and has not already been documented in this form.28. RISK ANALYSIS WORKSHEETS - Describe the significance, interaction and weighting of the previous risk factors that lead to an overall risk rating and that should be addressed In service planning.29. The following areas rated high or unknown: P1-P6, C4, F1-F5, A2-A4, I1-I230. (Blank notes page)31. Describe significant family or individual strengths that have been identified that may be used as part of the Service Plan to reduce future risk.32. Describe how relevant family members view the identified risk elements and any other areas of family functioning Identified on the previous page.33. OVERALL RISK RATING: (Child A to F), Checkmarks for: None, Low, Medium, High34. TASKS TO BE COMPLETED (e.g. referrals to agencies, court documents to be served), DATE TO BE COMPLETED
1/3 Comprehensive Risk Assessment detail Rating 0=Lowest, 4=Highest, 9-UnknownPage 2-8: PARENTAL INFLUENCE (Femail/Male/Other – 6 questions for each subcategory)P1 - Abuse/Neglect as a Child, - (4) Severe abuse/neglect as a child- (3) Recurrent but not severe abuse as a child- (2) Episodes of abuse/neglect as a child- (1) Perceived abuse/neglect as a child with no specifIc incidents- (0) No perceived abuse/neglect as a child- (9) Insufficient information availableP2 – Alcohol/Drug- (4) Substance use with severe sociaVbehavioural consequences- (3) Substance use with serious social/behavioural consequences- (2) Occasional substance use with negative effects on behaviour- (1) Occasional substance use- (0) No misuse of alcohol or use of drugs- (9) Insufficient information availableP3 – Expectations of Child- (4) Unrealistic expectations with violent punishment and/or neglect- (3) Unrealistic expectations with angry conflicts and/or neglect- (2) Inconsistent expectations leading to confusion- (1) Realistic expectations with minimal support- (0) Realistic expectations with strong support- (9) Insufficient information availableP4 – Acceptance of Child- (4) Rejects and is hostile to child- (3) Disapproves of and resents child- (2) Indifferent and aloof to child- (1) Usually accepting of child- (0) Very accepting of child- (9) Insufficient information availableP5 – Physical Ability- (4) Incapacitated due to chronic illness or disability resulting in ability to care for child- (3) Physical impairment or illness which seriously impairs ability to care for child- (2) Moderate physical impairment or illness resulting in only limited impact on child caring ability- (1) Very limited physical impairment or illness with virtually no impact on child caring ability- (0) Healthy or where disability presents no identifiable risks to child caring ability- (9) Insufficient information availableP6 – Mental and emotional- (4) Severe mental/emotional disturbance resulting in inability to care for child- (3) Serious mental/emotional disturbance which seriously impairs child caring ability; no support or inadequate support for consistently meeting child's needs for safe effective parenting- (2) Moderate mental/emotional disturbances with limited impairment of child caring ability- (1) Symptoms of mental/emotional disturbance or developmental-disability with no impact on child caring ability- (0) No identifiable mental/emotional disturbance- (9) Insufficient information availableP7 – Development- (4) Severe developmental disability resulting in inability to care for child- (3) Serious developmental disability which seriously impairs child caringability- (2) Moderate developmental disability with limited impairment of child caringability- (1) Minor developmental disability with no effect on child caring ability- (0) No identifiable developmental disability- (9) Insufficient information available
Anon 11:42 with regard to the Risk Assessment OutlineI would like you or someone else to clarify what 29 and the listing signified?And also to verify that 30 is intended as a blank notes page
2/3 Comprehensive Risk Assessment detail Rating 0=Lowest, 4=Highest, 9-UnknownPage 9- 13: CHILD INFLUENCE (a/b/c/d/e/f)C1 – Vulnerability- (4) Child 5 years old or younger, or older child with special needs, or child not visible to community- (3) Child older than 5 years old, not regularly accessible to community Observation- (2) Child is under 12 years old, attends school, daycare or early childhood development program- (1) Child is over 12 years old, and younger than 18 years old- (0) Child is 16 years old or older, with adequate self-sufficiency skills- (9) Insufficient information availableC2 – Response to Parent- (4) Extremely anxious with uncontrolled fear, withdrawal or passivity- (3) Very anxious with negative, disruptive and possibly violent interaction- (2) Moderately anxious with apprehension and suspicion toward parent- (1) Marginally anxious with some hesitancy toward parent- (0) Child trusts and responds to parent in age-appropriate way- (9) Insufficient information availableC3 – Behaviour- (4) Dangerous behaviour problems- (3) Serious behaviour problems- (2) Moderate but pervasive behaviour problems- (1) Minor behavioural pwblems- (0) No significant behavioural problems- (9) Insufficient information availableC4- Mental Health Development- (4) Severe mental/emotional disturbances or extreme developmental disability results in inability to function independently- (3) Serious mental/emotional disturbances or developmental delay impairs ability' to function in most daily activities- (2) Moderate mental/emotional disturbances with minimal impact on daily activities- (1) Symptoms of mental/emotional disturbance with minimal impact on daily activities- (0) No identifiable mental/emotional disturbance or developmental delay- (9) Insufficient information availableC5 – Physical Health Development- (4) Severe physical Illness, disability, or lack of physical development requires medical care- (3) Serious physical illness, disability, or lack of physical development restricts activities without special care- (2) Moderate physical illness, disability, or lack of physical development restricts activities somewhat but overcome with special care- (1) Mild physical illness, disability, or lack of physical development: does not restrict activities- (0) Healthy and no obvious physical illness, disability or lack of physical development- (9) Insufficient information available
3/3 Comprehensive Risk Assessment detail Rating 0=Lowest, 4=Highest, 9-UnknownPage 14-18: FAMILY INFLUENCE F1 – Violence- (4) Repeated or serious physical violence or substantial risk of serious physical violence in household- (3) Incidents of physical violence in household; imbalance of power and control- (2) Isolation and intimidation; threats of harm- (1) Verbal aggression- (0) Mutual tolerance- (9) Insufficient information availableF2 – Coping- (4) Chronic crisis with lim'ited coping- (3) Prolonged crisis strains coping skills- (2) Stabilized after period of crisis- (1) Resolution without adverse affect- (0) Free from stress influence- (9) Insufficient information availableF3 – Supports- (4) Effectively isolated- (3) Some support, but unreliable- (2) Some reliable support, but limited usefulness- (1) Some reliable and useful support- (0) Multiple sources of useful and reliable support- (9) Insufficient information availableF4 – Living Conditions- (4) Extremely unsafe; multiple hazardous conditions that are dangerous to children and have caused mental injury or illness- (3) Very unsafe; multiple hazardous conditions that are dangerous to children- (2) Unsafe; one hazardous condition that is dangerous to children- (1) Fairly safe; one possibly hazardous condition that may harm children- (0) Safe; no hazardous conditions apparent- (9) Insufficient information availableF5 – Identity/Interactions- (4) Negative family interactions- (3) Family interactions generally indifferent- (2) Inconsistent family interactions- (1) Family interactions usually supportive- (0) Family interactions typically supportive- (9) Insufficient information availablePage 19-22: ABUSE/NEGLECT INFLUENCE (F/M/O)A1 – Severity- (4) Extreme abuse/neglect or likelihood of extreme abuse/neglect- (3) Serious abuse/neglect or likelihood of serious abuse/neglect- (2) Moderate abuse/neglect or likelihood of moderate abuse/neglect- (1) Minor abuse/neglect or likelihood of minor abuse/neglect- (0) No indication of abuse/neglect- (9) Insufficient information availableA2 – Access- (4) Open access with no adult supervision- (3) Open access with ineffective adult supervision- (2) Open access with effective adult supervision- (1) limited access with effective adult supervision- (0) No access to child- (9) Insufficient information availableA3 – Intent / Acknowledgement- (4) Deliberate or premeditated abuse/neglect- (3) Hides or denies responsibility for abuse/neglect- (2) Rationalizes abuse/neglect or doesn't understand role- (1) Understands role in abuse/neglect and accepts responsibility- (0) Abuse/neglect accidental- (9) Insufficient information availableA4 – History Abuse / Neglect- (4) Severe or escalating pattern of past abuse/neglect- (3) Serious recent incident or a pattern of abuse/neglect- (2) Previous abuse/neglect- (1) Abuse or neglect concerns- (0) No history of abuse or neglect- (9) Insufficient information availablePage 23-24: Blank for notesPage 25-26: INTERVENTION INFLUENCE (F/M/O)I1 – Parent’s Response- (4) No demonstrated effort to meet child's needs- (3) Little demonstrated effort to meet child's needs- (2) Inconsistent" effort to meet child's needs but parent has multiple impediments to solving problems- (1) Parent generally tries to meet child's needs, but has some impediments to solving problems- (0) Consistent effort to meet child's needs with no apparent impediments to solving problems- (9) Insufficient information availableI2 – Parent’s Co-operations- (4) Refuses to co-operate- (3) Co-operates minimally, but resists intervention- (2) Co-operates but poor response to intervention- (1) Co-operates, with generally appropriate response to intervention- (0) Co-operates with Intervention- (9) Insufficient information available
Well Anon 11:42 if I had not written so quickly I would have received the other complimentary detailed comments. Thanks for sending this to us all.
I found the printable form of the MCFD Comprehensive Risk Assessment is available here:http://www.pa-pa.ca/pdf/Comprehensive%20Risk%20Assessment%20blank.pdfI'm sure CW might be able to provide a link from the MCFD website that has the "real" form and guidelines on how to fill it out, rather than this photocopy.Parents should print and fill this out for themselves when their children are removed and give it to the parental capacity assessment psychologist.Also, parents should fill this out to assess the risk of foster care after some months have passed. Many foster homes would be revealed as posing a significant risk to children.
Anon;you did quite a task in putting the whole risk assessment on the blog. Bloggers can now see for themselves that it is just an elaborate checklist, with what is put down entirely on the subjective opinion of the social worker Depends on whim, mood and limitations of the staff member. As I said before there is no demand for evidentiary rigour, either in the format itself, or by the people who oversee the staff. So a social worker wants to snatch your kids and keep them forever. You do not want that to happen and you fight tooth and claw to get your kids back. Hey that shows that you are unco-oprative and not fit to have kids. Rate you a 4 on that one. You have three kids under 5. Guideline says that all children under 5 are vulnerable. That is thee strikes against you already. So the director is mad as hell at this family because they went on tv and called him names. He wants a CCO in the worst way. Your team leader tells you to do the risk assessment and not to cut the parents any slack. He suggest two or three reasons for the parents to be a risk to their children. He gives you a jolly reminder that your annual appraisal is soon due and a good result on the risk assessment will be to your benefit. Of course, you fill in the assessment with complete fairness and objectivity. The only things that are at risk here are truth, fairness and justice. Readers should try filling out the assessment from the information you already have on the Bayne case. Fill it out with the worst possible interpretation of everything. Then fill it out with the best possible interpretation. Keeping as much to the known facts as you can, just see how big a contrast you can produce. Any takers?Hint---the first has already been done. Somebody already got in there.
Today I had a chance conversation with one who works with preschool children suffering from OCD, ADD, and autism. She shared the pleasure in helping a child to succeed in learning previously overwhelming tasks. She mentioned that 10 hours weekly, each, is the available funding at her workplace for these severely challenged children. She expressed her concern saying more help is needed for these families. Once family came into the discussion, she told me about a family she would hold up as a model. They were happy, full of humor, caring and excited with all the things they learned to make life with an OCD child much happier. This was with 10 hours help. One day they came in with the news that they were separating. They can't take it anymore. They don't get enough sleep. They are not entitled to respite care. They are overcome with exhaustion and say they just can't handle the demands at home. Guess, what.... the SW was able to come up with a good deal of respite care to help a single mother. The person I was talking with was furious because she saw a beautiful family torn up because of an anti-family policy in MCFD. This was a typical end of family for many of the children. Others, she says, just say that it is the rest of the family and the marriage all gone or the child with the severe problem has to be handed over to the MCFD. They handle the situation according to their discretion. Someone else will take the child and the funding not available to family becomes available to a foster care giver immediately. Who can miss the constant bias against family? Maybe it is not a written policy but, certainly, it is a practised policy. GGRRR!
To: BerniceThank you for sharing the story. "The person I was talking with was furious because she saw a beautiful family torn up because of an anti-family policy in MCFD.""Someone else will take the child and the funding not available to family becomes available to a foster care giver immediately." What you heard here is not an isolated incident. Many families, including the Bayne's of course, are suffering similar abuse of power and misappropriate of resources.Can anybody explain why a ministry charged with a mandate to develop family practices an anti-family policy in reality? Can we rely on someone whose livelihood depends on the existence of the very problem they are hired to solve? Money, jobs, business, power, ... Can someone help to connect these dots?
Anon - what's with the hostility toward me? The link you posted is exactly as the other anon posted the Risk Assessment above in 3 parts. You and I don't have to agree, but I do respect what you are saying. We agree on more than you seem to think! Ray - you are quite right there is loads of room for subjective statements on a risk assessment. What you neglect to mention is the selected ratings have certain criteria from which they are selected. The problem comes when SW don't follow those guidelines. You are spot-on in that regard. BUT, the ratings should not be selected on opinion. Let's say a "3" is given for P1. The 3 has certain criteria needing to be met for this to be reasonably selected. This criteria/evidence for selecting the 3 on P1 need be documented. I have no doubt SW's have bungled that up in the past - feel free to share your stories one and all (Baynes being a prime example!). BUT, those practicing in good conscience follow the guidelines and use evidence to support the selected rating. Individual SW may royally screw/skew this up, but the "best-practice" guideline for the risk assessment is quite good, if followed. Risk Assessments are, following best-practice, required to include the family when being written. Wonder how often that happens?Bernice - Are you suggesting if they had on-going help beyond the 10 hours they'd have stayed together and/or if they had respite like the single mother? If so...you are absolutely correct that it is unfair. The frustration is justified isn't it.
Where is the guideline book on how to fill out the risk assessment?
Can't find one for ya. Others should try. I did a few various google searches.I did find these: (not MCFD). http://www.google.ca/search?q=how+to+write+a+good+child+protection+risk+assessment&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1(have to read the last half or so where it explains why and how to make a decision in the various areas - this is American) It's a so-so/OK document. http://www.scribd.com/doc/20370958/A-Guided-Tour-of-Risk-Assessment-in-Child-WelfareI guess the main point is best practice and policy dictate the risk assessment requires parental involvement in writing the risk assessment. The ratings have specific criteria, which again, best practice requires documentation to support the rating. Obviously, this (Baynes) has not been followed in this and many cases.
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