If you were in any doubt about the clamouring international interest there is in the concerns about families and children and parental rights and freedoms involved with child welfare and child protection and removal and deaths while in care, Google any of the above but let me also tell you who it is who is reading this GPS blog. Even recently, people log on from Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany; Reading, United Kingdom; Lincoln, New Hampshire, United States; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Huntsville, Missouri, United States; Oaxaca, Mexico; Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Edison, New Jersey, United States; Forest Hills, New York, United States; Twickenham, Richmond Upon Thames, United Kingdom; Algiers, Alger, Algeria; Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada; Indonesia; Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada; Strasbourg, Alsace, France; Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; Sidney, British Columbia; Puerto La Cruz, Vargas, Venezuela; and of course in cities and towns across Canada and throughout British Columbia. Over 143,000 hits have registered and this is not a busy blog. It is however, an intelligible, rational approach and it acquires readers who want to be informed and who appreciate an opportunity to respond with a supportive, informative or corrective viewpoint.
People want to understand how a ministry intended at the start for such selfless and humane purposes can become so wrong-headed no matter where in the world it is practiced.
There is no question in my mind that those who are commissioned and employed to protect a district's children when parents or guardians are failing, are faced with distressing situations that can make them sick and angry. I would respond similarly. There are parents and step parents and grandparents and live-in partners who are prisoners of addictions or behavioural issues that lead them to be negligent custodians of children. And there are parents and others who are cruel and malicious by nature and intent. All of these people forfeit temporarily or forever any right to have children in their care. It is the way it should be. Do you think I have stated this too strongly? These children need a chance to live and to be all for which they have potential. Yet, terrible things happen to children in care too. What must virtuous social workers think and do in such situations? If a child protection agency will remove children for their safety, their alternate living condition must be close to a guaranteed perfect life situation. Such guarantees are not universally pursued - not in every district or region. I am convinced of that when foster parents can actually refuse to be registered yet be given children. Protection agencies informed of a risk situation but which do not act in time to save a child or, having acted to protect a child when a risk was suspected, they refuse to return the child even when no evidence of risk exists and when other evidence points to a return being in the child's best interest.
There is only one word that befits the realities – INCOMPETENCE. It is a universal child protection malaise.