Friday, July 9, 2010

QUESTIONS POINTING TO FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN MCFD / Part 244 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

In autumn of 2007, each doctor in their respective medical disciplines sought to examine, assess, and report on Baby B's symptoms, injuries, condition and state of health, and to conduct this work as carefully and thoroughly as possible in the facilities where the observations were conducted.

Dr. Colbourne for example not only relied upon her own years of training and medical experience, but also trusted the independent and specialized examinations by colleagues with other expertise. In her estimation the gathered reports were consistent with a diagnosis of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) and given that result, her duty was to notify MCFD and RCMP, each to do their respective investigations.

Still today several concerns arise in this case where the parents, the only caregivers who can be implicated in an SBS diagnosis, insisted in October 2007 as they do today July 2010, that they are innocent of harming their child. A shaken baby and innocent caregivers are not consistent. If one chooses to believe the parents who already had two young sons before the precious daughter arrived, one must explain the girl's health issues some other way.

1. Does sufficient doubt about SBS exist in medical research and diagnostic fields to put SBS into question as the default diagnosis for the triad of symptoms?

2. If another paediatrician without the SBS predisposition when faced with these particular symptoms had conducted the examination, would a variant diagnosis have resulted?

3. If adequate proof is required in order for RCMP to proceed with charges of child abuse or aggravated assault, how dare medical community and our MCFD be comfortable to accept “'suspicion' without evidence” as sufficient grounds not merely to remove children during an investigatory process but to extend the separation long enough that it takes a family apart? How dare our MCFD officers in Victoria remain satisfied with reports of this kind and if not satisfied, silent?

4. Assuming that RCMP investigative skills are superior to MCFD investigative skills in detecting and confirming wrongdoing, how can our government continue to validate and empower an MCFD to do what RCMP has said there is no reason to do?

My questions point to systemic defects.

1. A system is fundamentally flawed when it has directors and SW middle managers who systematically ignore prescribed time lines from the same CFCSA from which they demand compliance by everyone else.

2. A system is fundamentally flawed when it deliberately ignores court orders and rulings by a Judge, somehow assuming a self-appointed authority to justify actions and preferring to believe it is above the law.

Whether or not the CFCSA should be amended or replaced or tossed is moot when it can be willfully ignored or reinterpreted without censure by MCFD employees. What is needed is for MCFD directors, managers and supervisors to be held accountable for each and every breach of the existing Act. Where is the accountability? Further, that there be stated penalties for these breaches and that the penalties if financial are not absorbed by some fund which all of us have provided through taxation.


  1. To: Ray Ferris (July 8, 2010 1:49 PM Part 243)

    If you are correct that social workers were clearly in the wrong and the “clients” were abused in two thirds of MCFD cases, this amounts to about 7,000 wrongful removal cases similar to the Bayne’s case in BC (based on the old 2002 removal statistic that 10,450 children were in “care”). I have great difficulty not to rein in the “child protection” system.

    I had been in public service. The priority of most civil servants is to keep their job, collect their pay cheques and pension. Many of them go with the flow and care less if their responsibilities are met. Don’t rock the boat and do whatever your boss says with no question asked is the motto.

    You know better than anyone that MCFD’s SW are exempt persons and are not required to register with the British Columbia Association of Social Workers. It is noteworthy to mention that former minister Tom Christensen highly praised the revision of the Social Workers Act on April 28, 2008. Specifically, he pointed out:

    “All registered social workers will be required to report suspected abuse of clients by another registered social worker.” in

    This implies that he is aware of abuse of clients by social workers. However, he conveniently omitted that MCFD’s SW are not required to register with the Association as stipulated in a less well known regulation called Social Workers Regulation. These dogs remain leashed. Improvements and proposed reforms are nothing but scams.

  2. In continuing with assessment, I have already covered integrity, knowledge of valid evidence,assessing failure to thrive, abandoned and deserted children and chronic neglect and borderline neglect. I continue with chronic multiproblem families.
    It is important to remember that although most chronic neglect and borderline neglect families are multiproblem families, not all chronic multiproblem families neglect their children. Many multiproblem families are just bad managers. They continually make poor decisions and do not learn by their mistakes. (Much like the management of the MCF.) Poor money management is epidemic in Canada and most families carry heavy debt loads. So it is not surprising that people of lesser education and income are no better.
    For these families, crisis becomes a lifestyle. They are not good problem solvers and constantly seek help from social agencies. (Besides there is nothing like a good crisis to shake out a little extra help.) Social workers enable them by repeatedly reacting to the crises as if it were a first time. Inordinate amounts of staff time are spent in recycling the same old problems. After reading dozens of these files, I asked myself what we were really achieving. Could we not find ways of reducing the time spent, so that we could direct efforts into more productive work.I tried assigning them to new staff as a learning process. Senior staff could get on with rehab work and serious child care problems. One must ask what sort of needs these people have and how they can be met. Maybe one can administer rent payments or refer to charities for extras. If excessive time consumption is not producing results, then cut down on it. Another critical question is to ask how the crisis lifestyle is affecting care of the children. The same question must be asked in dealing with alcoholism. Many parents with alcohol problems do not have an impact on child care. No, of course an alcoholic parent does not provide a healthy lifestyle, but it may well be within community norms. Many alcoholic parents are in good income brackets and their drinking causes no deprivation. The other parent may be adept at shielding the children. I can only make a passing reference here.
    One of the things one can do with multiproblem families is to resource the children. Assess each child's individual needs. Talk to teachers and find a resource person. Big brothers and big sisters can be tried. Find ways of participating in recreation centres, or youth organisations. Don't let them miss out on band, for lack of an instrument. Are special health needs being met. Do they need eyeglasses etc. It is too easy to overlook the practical. My topic is assessment, but it is easy to see that it is hard to separate social assessment from social casework. The two go hand in hand. I was always glad that I had authority for both financial assistance and child welfare, because I found that discretionary grants were an important child welfare tool.
    The easily available assessment tool on chronic multiproblem families is the case record, which is always long and detailed. If it cannot be used for rational intervention, why is it there?
    As I have touched on alcohol and drug addiction, I will briefly mention it here. During my last three years in the public service I was director of an alcohol and drug counselling service. With this and years of protection work, I got a good grasp on many aspects of addiction. I cannot cover this huge topic in a few blog entries. I can only recapitulate that when alcoholism is coupled with chronic child neglect, removal may become imperative. Usually such families neglect their children whether drunk or sober. Lack of money often forces them into dry spells. This is very different from those families who give good care when not drinking. Here, achieving sobriety is an important goal. sometimes a protection action is the jolt they need to set them on the path to abstinence.Sobriety is being abstinent with dignity and it takes time to achieve.

  3. To anonymous 8.09 AM.
    You raise a good question. I refer only to the relatively small number of people who have come to me for help. One cannot exrapolate valid conclusions from it. However, a former minister for children and familiy development was heard to state the thirty percent of cases are over-investigated and thirty percent are under-investigated. Presumably he was getting his stats from the horse's mouth.
    If he is correct, he was acknowledging that his staff got it wrong 60% of the time. In the old days of very high caseloads, we never had time to over-investigate, so we were only responsible for under-investigation. This meant that we only got it wrong 30% of the time!! By simple statistical analysis, we were 100% better than the staff are today.
    When working with foster parents, it is a different story. Kim Dupont, who started a foster parents support network and often advocated for parents who had been closed. Like the famous Draayer case, children were sometimes removed from the only home they had ever known and were like members of the natural family. Kim told all of them. You will never get the children back, no matter what and he was right. The foster parents association tracked appeal of closures and found that 98% were refused, even though the association could find no reason for the home to be closed. No doubt some closures were justified, but anyone who thinks that the MCF gets it right 98% of the time has to be seriously misled. I do not want to depress myself by recounting some of my personal experiences here. Sufficient be it to say that the ministry does not discriminate. They abuse everyone equally.
    I think that one of the things that causes me serious concern is that there is something more important than the bare facts and figures. In every case I have known where someone has been abused by the local office, they have been fully aided and abetted by everybody in the hierarchy and right to the deputy minister level. No matter how atrocious the treatment and no matter how fully vindicated the victim proved to be, there was never a word of regret, or any acknowlegement of responsibility. Spin, spin, spin is all you ever get.

  4. i have been clean 3 years did rehab counsoling with 3 diff people 3 years drug test 2 times a week 3 years woked with mcfd in powell river where im from taken 8 parenting corses have been clean and solber now 3 years have 3 children at home in my care mcfd where i am from says i am a great parent and there are no protection concers i have called everyone done everything to better my self and still the ministry in vernon bc says i cannot have my oldest son or even un supervised visits this is hurting my son myself and his siblings at my wedding after i was clean 2 1/2 yerars he was not even allowed to stay at my house for 2 days with his siblings i do not understand how a whole bunch of profecionals where i live ay im great and can care for 3 children but a ministry where i dontt live and knows nothing about what im doing never nbeen to my home nothing would not even look at all the documents i had to prove myself i had to give them to there lawyer from my lawyer can do this its hard to explain it all now i would be here all day but i need advice and help it really is hard to explain to my son when he asks me why he cant come home and his brother and sisters can and if i dont like him or what he did wrong when i have no answer please helppp


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