Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AN APPEAL TO SOCIAL WORKERS / Part 391 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne


Here is my entreaty to social workers engaged in child protection. When you reflect upon the cases in which you are now or have been involved, and if within that list you readily identify families which would benefit from being together rather than apart and you have the means to affect that reconciliation, do all that you can to insure that this happens. So much rests with you. You control destinies. That seems a frightening responsibility.

Logo of National SW month for NASW
Anyone occupying a role which owns the weight and the power of the child protection worker within our society, has to have the right stuff if he or she is confidently and effectively to protect the rights of children, safeguard the rights of families and parents and live with a deep contentment at the end of the day. If you see many cases where harm has been inflicted upon innocents, it is understandable that a callousness develops toward the responsible caregivers. How discriminating you must be to preserve your own authentic objectivity. How discerning you must be so that can separate fact and evidence from story and assumption. 

You are a member of the public and the public depends upon you front line people to be so careful with your invested power for our sakes, the children among us, children who may require food, opportunity, protection. And by referring to “our sakes” I also intend our families, parents of children, parents who require understanding, a listening ear, parents who require advice & counsel and encouragement, grandparents whose grandchildren are their joy and for whom they hope. Make all of your action choices wisely and be gentle with us please.


  1. There is no point appealing to SW as the presence of some good SW, if they ever exist, cannot stop this structural corruption. Nobody will jeopardize their pay cheque, job security and livelihood to uphold justice.

    "Child protection" industry is a racket controlled by a cartel aiming to get rich by ripping off taxpayers at the expense of destroying families. The only way to stop this is by revoking child removal authority and kill CFCSA.

  2. Anon 2:05 AM
    I knew that my post today would generate some engagement. I welcome it.

    I will assume that you are writing from British Columbia about MCFD and I will speak to that.
    Mary Polak, Minister of Children is not part of a cartel who is getting rich by ripping us off by an agenda of family destruction. That is not who she is and that is not what revs her engines. Leslie du Toit, Deputy Minister did not come from South Africa to manage a cartel whose only objective is financial gain. Her training and experience is in child welfare not money laundering and economics. Who then down this supposed cartel food chain do you think drives a machine such as describe?

    Yours is the rhetoric that makes it difficult for me to consider seriously the development of a movement of united advocates for policy and practice-change across the province and beyond that across the country. That rhetoric does not open the door for advocates to a constructive discussion with the people who can affect change. It sustains polarization while at the same time providing reason to marginalize change advocates as wing-nuts. When it comes to bringing advocates together for the sake of solidarity and the foundation of a platform with which to make an intelligible presentation to the Representative for Children and to the Ministry and to the Legislature, could it be done when our voices and our messages are so disparate – desperate maybe, but disparate (different).

    You are of course are entitled to your opinion and you are free to express your disdain with words you choose. I am not disputing your feelings. And one can always say to me and to others who are believing we m must reason and moderate our way to change, “Well, your child or grandchild has never been forcibly removed so you don't know.” If my child or grandchild were removed, I would still not know what you have told me today. I may be angrier than I have ever been but I would have no evidence of a money grabbing cartel based upon family destruction. It does not exist. This is not a conspiracy. This is a difficult to service ministry and a now impaired ministry because of poor reviews and negative publicity all because of an endless history of ill-advised case handling procedures and an Act that requires a rewrite because it does not translate into practice that satisfies this province.

  3. Ron:

    Thank you for the opportunity to have an open debate on this controversial issue.

    A cartel is not necessarily criminal. It is a group of parties or a bloc, factions, or nations united in a common cause. In this case, the cause is pursuit of money, power and fame under the pretext of "child protection".

    Polak, like most politicians, is interested to win the next election. She and her party have no gut to step on the toes of the union, law society, foster parent association, college of psychologist, ... etc. Complaints of oppressed parents are of little concern to her. Politicians know how oppressive and counterproductive CFCSA is but have chosen not not to publicly admit it or to rock the boat for practical political considerations. Polak is elected to serve the interests of the people in BC. If she is not doing this, is her pay a waste of tax dollars? If yes, does it amount to ripping taxpayers off? Be mindful that her MLA and minister pay and other perks are over $100K per year.

    Leslie du Toit is the second highest paid bureaucrat ($234,180 in 2007/08) who makes more than the premier, her minister and Turpel-Lafond. Like all SW, she does not make more by removing more children. But it does further justify the merit and importance of MCFD, hence job security and a larger budget next year (which means more business for other cartel members). Is it about money?

    Rhetoric that appears radical may not be effective or persuasive. However, revoking child removal authority by killing CFCSA is the only practical solution to end this fiasco and build a safer future for our children. Doing so will not compromise real child protection as there are other laws giving authority to separate abusive parents and children based on good evidence and legal due process. Removing the absolute power to remove will substantially reduce wrongful removal, abuse of power and corruption.

    If this is unintelligent to be presented as a viable solution, William Wilberforce is stupid to pursue abolishing the slave trade and he would not have succeeded. Pro slave trade MP argued that removing black slaves is to protect them from starvation. "Protection" is often used as an excuse to pursue hidden agenda. At the beginning, 1 MP against the rest of the House. What happened after the people finally see truth?

  4. Here is the US we have social workers getting arrested for the very thing that they were "trained" to protect children and families from.


    She was arrested for assault and battery and a week later was back in the office being paid by the tax payers dollars of some of the families that she has helped rip apart. How in any country is this acceptable. If she is so irrational to get into a physical altercation with another women at a grocery store who is to say that she may not lose that control in other areas of her life like at home or at the office.
    Here is a prime example of who is being hired to asses our children and families, and making decisions that effect the lives of so many.

  5. Anon 9:43 AM
    You have supported the earlier writer well. You have made some valid and thought provoking points. I am in agreement that something must be done about the child apprehension authority of the MCFD. I have yet to be convinced that abolition of the provision is advisable. Having said that, I am also uncertain what kind of guidelines or prescriptions would be necessary to control apprehension if it were retained. I am sure there are children who must be removed for their safety and well-being. I am also sure that abolition would never be considered as a solution for unjustified or mistaken removals. So, what regulations would properly monitor the MCFD if it was still vested with authority to apprehend children? Further, what kind of restrictions must be applied to hospital child protection units and paediatricians? Have we gone much too far with this informant provision that requires an MCFD response to each and every teacher, neighbour, stranger report of suspected abuse or neglect?

  6. Ron; I have a miscellany today. First I am glad to say that the office of the YCR are being very supportive to the Baynes, while of necessity avoiding what is before the court. Secondly, the Baynes are hopeful that the judge will soon consider their request for unsupervised Christmas access and of course Finn Jensen is trying hard to obstruct them.
    On Dutoit, Polak Turpel-Lafond etc.First a correction. I think if you search the Sun website, you will find that Turpel-Lafonde is paid slightly more than Dutoit. (Does that prove that she must be smarter?) I see that Polak and Dutoit have agreed that they must try harder to do a better job on injury reporting etc. They had circled the wagons, but Cochise Hughes was threatening to break through so they came out for a pow-wow. Don't worry. When the Bayne case is over, they will circle the wagons once more.
    Third. My story of Jane and Ginny yesterday fits very well into your theme today. I illustraed a number of things. 1. The importance of knowing how to find and recognise good evidence. 2. It is important to be ready to use authority. It is important to fear abusing authority. One must have the wisdom know the difference.3. It is vital always to work within a strict ethical framework and to respect the rights of others at all times. 4. It is important to be open-minded and to heed new evidence. 5. Trust is most important and this must always be earned. Sometimes it will need courage, but nothing of value in life comes easily.
    Note the similarities to the Bayne case. It started off with persuasive information from a doctor. There was some convincing, but uncorroborated direct evidence. Now note the differences. I investigated, apprehended and returned the children in less than one day. It did not take me three years. I took total responsibility myself and I did all the work myself in cooperation with the doctor, the school and the police. I did not contract out the work to anybody else, because I knew that I had the necessary skills to get the job done. Not only that, I earned the trust of the family for myself and the police and later on they came to me for help and advice.
    It may sound as if I am blowing my own trumpet, but I will explain why this is not the case. It took me years of practice to get to this level of skill and one of the skills I had to learn was to acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them. I was simply following good pracice guidelines, which all you protection workers out there can also learn to use. They are definable and teachable, but only by those who know how.

  7. The truth about child protection, and all the corruption, is very difficult to articulate because it is so unbelievable. A person tends to sound like a fanatic or lunatic. But just because someone sounds like this, doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth.

  8. Anon 1:30 PM
    I agree with you that there are times that the truth is so incredibly disturbing that when someone speaks anxiously or enthusiastically to reveal it, he or she may resemble a lunatic. That's one of the reasons why I believe one or more of our established journalists must take on the assignment to investigate how Child Protection workers conduct themselves when working with the children and parents. Only when a trusted communicator conveys that truth which is previously ignored, will the public demand changes and will the politicians and legislators and judicial crowd recognize the need to make necessary changes for the sake of us all.

  9. Ray, again my thanks to you for your comments on the current drama being played out in public news sources as Polak and Turpel-Lafond try to land on the same square. And thanks for the practical advice for social workers since there are some students reading this blog with regularity. They want to be the best they can be at caring for people. They do not want their integrity and ideals compromised.

  10. Ron:

    Other bloggers had said in no uncertain terms that there are other laws, like the Criminal Code and the Mental Health Act, that empower separation (which amounts to removal) based on good evidence and due process. You see how oppressive and counterproductive CFCSA could be by now. It opens the entire child protection apparatus to corruption, abuse of power and funds. What other justifications do you need to be convinced that killing CFCSA is the right thing to do?

    You suggested that abolition would never be considered as a solution for unjustified or mistaken removals. Wrong. Law is man-made. Everything, from right to wrong, is possible. 90 years ago, women were not allowed to vote in Canada. Homosexuality was a crime 40 years ago. Same sex marriage was legally impossible just a few years ago. What does our law say on these issues now?

    To refresh the corruption in the "child protection" industry, please view:


    Your attitude of uncertainty, doubt and non-decisiveness is exactly what special interests want to see. Without revoking child removal authority, they can manoeuvre you, swing you, walk you through a garden path with terms and models they invent. It will get you nowhere but back to square one after years of advocacy. Lawyers, politicians and SW are extremely good at this. You will run out of steam or die without accomplishing anything.

    Can we hand down such a harmful, oppressive and barbaric system to our children? For the love of God, no.

  11. Anon 4:39 PM
    Thanks for coming back at me. I need to be challenged. If I am wrong, and a diplomatic approach cannot work, then I must certainly know that. If it is imperative to abolish CFCSA and if there we can develop a will to accomplish that, I would not oppose that of course. Something will nevertheless replace it. What will that be? Is it not reasonable to assume that it will be easier to persuade the change-makers to revise rather than discard and start over? Or are you thinking that a day is coming when there is no CFCSA and no replacement, because I have to tell you I think that is naïve. We have to have a better approach than that. Talk to me.

  12. A commenter interacted tonight with Post #220 which was published in July. She left a comment that I fear you may miss because people seldom search backwards. I have pasted it here.

    Readers, Repliers and Author of the blog,
    The decision isn't always necessary to remove a child. I have trial coming up and have only seen social worker witnesses. Where are real viable witnesses that obviously aren't all working together at a false statement?
    A silent protest at the main court in Vancouver is an option and probably a good idea. (no protests that hurt or harm other people.)
    My children have been even more so neglected in care then ever in the oldest child's entire life.
    Just yesterday my son begged me not to leave him and held my leg so tight I could feel it falling asleep.
    I currently go to UFV and am taking many classes; some even to improve my parenting, such as Child Psychology. I just want my kids back so I can finally be with them and hold them in my arms and tell them every night how much I love them.
    I highly disagree that foster-care is better. There are a lot of homes that are sexually, emotionally, and physically abusive.
    I will MAKE myself be heard by the government officials. If you think this is so positive PROVE IT with VIABLE evidence.
    Discover the truth before just making up a bunch of stuff so you can use your power to harm OUR future. THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN! GIVE THEM A VOICE! LISTEN TO THEM! Isn't that your job?
    These kids are our future, and the last thing we need is all of our future in and out of juvenile detention, becoming child molesters, and becoming abusive drunks or drug addicts. How does this give children a voice? There was no abuse of any kind in my home. I went out of my way to make sure he had everything he needed. Food, clothes, everything. This community doesn't know me, nor do they know their very own government officials. Social Workers: Aggressive, abusive, and completely immature.
    That sums up pretty much every single social worker I have met, they always get personal and abuse their power.. if there IS one that has EVER returned a child to a parent and left them there, let me know. That would perhaps change my mind about this so called helpful industry.
    Email me if your interested in hearing more of my story.

    -Miss Missy
    December 7, 2010 6:57 PM

  13. I had a long history of involvement with MCFD as I was a single parent with multiples and I had a hard time coping with fatigue. Another single mom told me that if I went to my dr. and said I am depressed I could get free childcare. Big mistake!! Many years later they wanted to get me because they thought my son was mentally ill and needed meds so they re-opened a file and claimed 'historical involvement'. It got really weird for quite a while and finally I got my kids back. SO, they do return them. Just keep calm and friendly. Hopefully you are not expected to do a psych eval as that can be either very good or very bad depending on the doctor. I see now that MCFd was really jerking my chain as they had no real evidence. They try to bluff you but most of what they write is thin and does not stand up. THe case of physical injury is very hard to fight as in SBS. If a medical doctor claims you have physically injured your child, you are in for a long fight. THe other stuff should not even be in court and it is a measure they now take to hold the kids until their paperwork catches up. It still can take awhile. I had to wait 4 months without my kids!!! ANd then there is more work too with all the 'services' they want to give. It is a tough system and all they encourage you to do is to go with their 'services' to a point, as if you do not they make sure you never get your kids back.

  14. Finding a need to appealing to one's better nature is essentially an observation that practice standards either do not exist or are not being followed.

    Ray's story about someone coercing kids to lie to government officials is a case in point. He states his experience and commone sense is the only thing prevented a negative outcome due to a false accusation.

    Where are the practice standards documents that say in-school interrogations should not occur without a non-MCFD witnesses present? That such interrogations should be video recorded and a witness verify kids were not coached first? That the person being accused of something should be able to watch this video and ask questions, and make their own written and signed statement?

    These standards didn't exist then, and I do not believe they exist now.

    If matters such these do not exist as written policy, procedures or practice standards, and these are completely dependant on the experience and trust in the skills of a social worker, there is too much room for abuse of process. Social workers have demonstrated that they cannot be entrusted with power of unilaterial removal. Take this power away.

    This is where we are at now. There is clear evidence social workers have too much discretion in their job, and insufficient standards to govern their actions.

    The whole idea of checks and balances in law and the extraordinary level of costs and efforts exist exclusively to MAKE SURE as best as possible innocent people are not wrongly maligned and convicted. This protection has been stripped away in the case of child protection for the express purpose of saving buckets of money and effort.

    What it seems like child protection exists to do is to shift costs of protecting the rights of children and families to areas that are federally subsidized such as foster care. I don't have an understanding of ecomonics, so this is just a guess.

    If you can have Safeway employees all consistently address shoppers by name when they thank them for shopping there, or airline stewardesses all deliver a bag of nuts at a certain time during flight, this means a directive exists to make this happen.

    There are quality control systems that exist such as ISO 9000 that measure an organizations ability to follow established standards and these companies are awarded certifications that serve to increase customer confidence in the service the organization provides.


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