Sunday, January 30, 2011

Your Comments About Trust / Part 435 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

In part 380 on Saturday, November 27, 2010 I wrote about “Public Trust, Power and Corruption.” Among other statements I wrote, “Employees within the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development are not elected officers yet to them has been invested a responsibility that in some circumstances has not unlimited power but immense power which when employed can shroud its actions under a legislatively sewn cover of confidentiality and privacy. That without question has generated a pattern of conduct and job performance that has not been in the best interests of children and families for countless thousands of British Columbians.”

Many of you left comments and here is what you said.....

My son was kidnapped by MCFD in spring 2009, son has been abused ON EVERY LEVEL in foster care in BC, verbally, mentally, emotionally, incl. sexual molestation by a restricted foster parent who runs a Daycare in North Saanich that was shut down by a Supreme Court Order won by this woman's neighbours. This woman still runs her daycare under gov't supervision as she is licensed, so the gov't knows the verdicted [she is a danger as she has been investigated before for sexual molestation of children] yet IGNORE it as 'the gov't' would lose a client.
Pretty sick hey? Not really, we are dealing with pure evil. Polak, DuToit & ALL social workers & directors are a RAGING JOKE! They do NOTHING for their paychecks & like it that way. They've all got 'theirs' so they don't care, 'cause, hey, we are the gov't so we are never held accountable'.
I agree that lawyers are a big part of the problem. Most of them are drawn to law school for the wrong reasons, and what they learn in law school is that they can manipulate the truth with words. They then go on to become colleagues with people who will, like too many expert witnesses, do anything for money. There are still great men out there, though; not all are corrupt. Doug Christie is living proof.
The only way to cure this problem is to cut government down to size. In order to do this, we have to quit looking to government to cure all our problems. We have to take back our power, instead of giving it away to corrupt lawyers turned politicians.
My twenty-something social worker, with her vast 2 years of experience, said that in order to "close" my file, it would take seven hours to write the risk assessment. She assured me, she did not need my input, that her files contained all the information she needed. She also stated, that typically after MCFD closes the file, 2 months is "normal" to have the client and children's files closed. It is always important to record these pearls of wisdom.
My parenting counsellor went on an on about "trust," as in, I was supposed to trust her and "open up," otherwise Ministry concerns could not be addressed. My response was why worry about trust when recourse in the form of lawsuits existed. I further explained to this lady that if the Ministry communicated unsubstantiated allegations to third parties, (her, for example) and these allegations were later proven false, I would have a case for libel. I'm not a lawyer, but that seemed to shut her up.

Note: With apology, starting tomorrow, no new postings or comments will be published until Feb 20.Then a fresh countdown to Decision Day will begin. If a ruling occurs or some news is available before that date, it will appear here but until then I will be silent.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Your comments about MCFD Phobia / Part 434 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

Paul and Zabeth Bayne were never presumed innocent with the proviso that authorities must prove them to be guilty of a punishable offence. They now serve as an example. In a post that I wrote on Monday October 25, 2010 and entitled MCFD-Phobic, I drew attention to the awful reality that in our current system, the Ministry of Children is authorized with power to interpret 'the best interests' on the basis of presumed guilt or liability or risk of parents. In fact in the Bayne example, the protection of the children became a punishment that was administered long before a court appearance and before a ruling. I made an appeal that this must not be allowed to continue and many of you wrote in response.

Well said. I completely agree with what you've written here and how it couples with your previous post about why the public hesitates to report suspect behaviour.
In Canada, as taught in our schools and trumpeted in every media, we are a country under the rule of law. Legislation, as developed for MCFD, is of the same type used by rogue governments world wide... abusive, arrogant, corrupt and dictatorial in the most abhorrent respects.
If family is not the core of a society, something else has to be. The social engineers have come in the back door with this legislation. Start there!
This legislation needs to be changed to come into line with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the basic right to be presumed innocent unless charged and proven to be guilty of lawbreaking.
It is a matter of distinguishing what is wrong from what is 'unlawful'. The law is written a certain way but it does not reflect right and wrong. It is clearly wrong how they are managing things. It is something that freshly shocks people who are not involved. My friend is highly placed and he called the ombudsman on my behalf. I am happy to be letting people know what I have been through and it is my own way to fight. I think that information is useful, so we know we are not alone in this!!!
You are so right Ron. Just think of all those rights that the hardened criminal can expect,like presumption of innocence, a speedy trial and an advocate. Not only did Willy Pickton enjoy all those privileges--well maybe not speedy trial--but he had all his legal bills paid. Then look at Basi/ Verk. They had six million dollars paid in legal bills and the whole case cost eighteen million. What did the public get apart from the bill? A plea bargain and a slap on the wrist.
Now if the MCFD accuses you of child neglect, you are presumed guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. Nobody pays your legal bills and such help that you might get is miniscule compared with a criminal trial.
Isn't it interesting how all the legal principles get stood on their head in child protection. In criminal cases the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and if they do not do so, there is no case to answer. Defendants do not even need to enter a defense because all they have to say to the judge that the prosecution has failed to make a case. In contrast, in protection cases you are called upon to prove your innocence. Look at the Bayne case. The director claims that the Baynes deliberately harmed a child. If you say to him that he must prove his case, he replies "on the contrary, you must prove that you did not harm a child." Well how can anyone possibly prove something that never happened, or that does not exist. Totally illogical and irrational.
Parents who really care about the future health, happiness and welfare of their children would be interested, I think, in learning about the many benefits of home schooling. Whatever sacrifices the parents have to make could very well be worth it, if they can find a way to make this (home schooling) possible. It is also much more difficult for MCFD to steal your children when they are in your care primarily, as opposed to being in a school, with a social worker always lurking around (as was the case with Reena Virk), or the multitude of "mandated reporters" who are always under threat of not reporting everything they see or hear that might be construed as "abuse."
NOTE: The comment option has been shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Comments About Waiting Longer / Part 433 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

When you learned as we did that we weren't going to receive a ruling on the Bayne case this past week on the 19th, many of had something to day on January 20, 2011.

Here is what you wrote.
How incredibly disappointing! I've been sitting her waiting for the clock to strike 12--not the news we've all been waiting to hear. Let's hope that justice prevails and that things will be set right for Paul, Zabeth and the little ones. SOON!
So, the extra 40 days would have absolutely nothing to do with the impending birth of the Baynes newborn? To say that I'm flabbergasted at this news would be an understatement. This is truly mindboggling. I would suspect Judge Crabtree has little say in the scheduling, but who else can be blamed. A Judge that has as much experience as Crabtree does has can go through everything and write a hundred pages in a week or so, I don't care how seemingly complex a matter appears.
Stay strong, Paul and Zabeth.
Given what Judge Crabtree stated about the validity of the doctor's evidence (the one who said it was abuse, can't remember her name right now), I can't see him ruling against the Baynes. This is an extremely important decision which will have implications for countless families, so it must be well written.
Oh yes we should be very concerned for the Baynes and the new baby. You may want to read the link I have provided concerning MCFD. MCFD is so used to trashing the aboriginals in BC they have come to rely on these practices as the norm. OH, yes be very afraid. And it does state that the judiciary DOES work with MCFD.
I'm so sorry that you have to wait even longer. I will keep praying for you as you wait. May many, many families benefit from the results of this coming news.
The time is ripe for another protest, right outside Gordon Campbell's office – again. Get the media in on this, and use this latest event to build up public awareness. This is no longer about the Baynes, this is about a complete failure of due process that sees extraordinary time and costs on a case that should have taken only a few days. The court time lost is responsible for setting free countless drunk drivers and petty criminals.
The birth of the child is MCFD's last hope - hope that 'something' goes wrong and they get to intervene. Once that happens, no matter what the decision, they still have their foot in the door and "services" would need to continue.
On December 22nd, Judge Crabtree made no firm commitment. He offered process. All he said was that he would deliver his verdict in writing by Jan 19 if he could and if he could not, he would do one or two other things. He would contact the judicial case manager, either to forward the verdict to the Baynes, or to set a hearing date when he would render a decision. So Jan 19 was just a date to set a date, which is often done in the legal system. There was no guarantee of anything. The best case scenario was that he would give his verdict. The worst case scenario was that he would set a new date. It could be months away. As I said two days ago, expect Murphy's law to prevail and expect the worst case.
Are we any further ahead now? In one respect we are. We now have an ultimate limit on how long we must wait. No later than the end of Feb and this looks firm. Before there was no light at the end of the endless tunnel. There is now light at the end of the tunnel, but we do not know how long the tunnel is. At worst it will take another 39 days. At best it could be next week. Judge Crabtree originally estimated 8 to 12 weeks. That would have taken us to Feb 8th on a worst case scenario. I am hoping that the verdict will be before the end of the month. How about St Valentine's day for a family love-in?

NOTE: The comment option has been shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Your comments about My Appeal to Social Workers / Part 432 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

I wrote AN APPEAL TO SOCIAL WORKERS on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, in Part 391 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne. 

A number of readers wrote in response. Here is what you said.

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.
Polak, like most politicians, is interested to win the next election. She and her party have no guts 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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
NOTE: The comment option has been shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Your Comments about Prioritizing the Return of Children / Part 431 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

On Wednesday, January 5, 2011 I wrote Part 409 on the subject “PRIORITY: RETURN THE CHILDREN” and I began with this. “If the Ministry of Children and Family Development devoted as much time locally to develop plans to return children to their parents, as it does to justifying child removals and CCO's, fewer children would become traumatized and embittered, fewer children would be adopted, fewer families would be destroyed, fewer parents would be viewed as arch-rivals.”

Some of you wrote the following:
My children were removed and returned. Our family has had 4 years of visibility with MCFD. I cannot begin to describe the negative imposing attitude and self-serving nature of the organization and uselessness of the individual people involved.
The point is people generally do not know how pervasive the problem is, and that children are not protected, they are simply transported into the system temporarily and spat out, and there is no measurement of benefit or even a simple parent/child feedback that would permit anyone to know what changed.
Here's a U.S. Parody on child protection services. The cartoon characters look like Sarah Palin and Larry King.
When we were involved with MCFD they came into my son's high school and they tried to pull so many strings against him. MCFD here in B.C. has a very stereotyped attitude against the children in care. They are considered in need, intellectually deficient, needing to shape up, at risk of becoming involved in crime, etc.
I have seen a lot of parenting that would be written up very badly if it were my file because I have had simple things written up like they are high risk.
But if the parents are not involved, it doesn't even rate a second glance. The system is that if a parent is involved, they try to build on it as much as possible as it is easier than getting a new family to work with.
The director has spared no expense in pursuing a continuing care order on the Bayne children for the last three years. Can there be any doubt that this is a very adversarial position for him? Do you think for one minute that the judge does not already know it?
… every time-guideline in the act has been trampled on. No temporary order for more than one year? Cases on young children must be timely? Is there any one of you who thinks that three years before court is timely?
I read an editorial in The Globe and Mail that suggests that the aboriginal children in care in Alberta should be adopted by white families. It blames over political correctness for keeping these children in limbo of foster care while waiting for Aboriginal placements.
However, it is likely that an Aboriginal person has MCFD involvement their entire life. I noticed the weight of historic invovlement in taking children. So, these parents who are Aboriginal are already at risk of heving their children apprehended as they are already on file. It takes courage to have a fresh opinion that the children should be returned home to their real families.

NOTE: The comment option has been shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Your Comments about Virtual Visitation / Part 430 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in a post entitled VIRTUAL VISITATION / Part 370 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne, there were 26 comments from readers. 

Photograph by: File photo, Postmedia News

The post spoke to the digital leap of technology in the area of visitation options available to parents and children, that perhaps in the near future, parents may request a judge's order to the Child Protective unit to include 'virtual visitation' each night before bedtime and much more.  You wrote..........
It would be appropriate to forgive the naivety of your suggestion given you have not personally experienced the removal of your children... While I have two current BC Supreme Court Custody orders (one is 5 years old) mandating web cam contact, I was unable to use this as a basis to convince a lower court Provincial Judge it was in the best interests of the children to have such contact... The given reason for refusal was to protect the privacy of the foster parent...
In my case, the other parent of my children was located in another city, and in-person visits involved an expensive plane trip and hotel stay, and expensive supervised visits.

I argued for web cam access on multiple occasions before two BC Provincial Judges. On my first application, the court adjourned the matter of web cam access pending a PCA (Parental Capacity Assessment) internet availability and wishes of the foster parent. The PCA was passed with flying colors, however MCFD still refused web cam access, again citing "privacy" considerations.
I got no more than 3 hours of supervised access per week in my home. I was not able to extend this unless I paid for a supervisor at a rate of $40/hr plus $40 travel charges.

I gave my daughter a web cam-equipped laptop with wireless Rogers WiMax internet access and a video-capable cell phone. Neither worked because of the distant area the foster home was located, and both devices were later confiscated. Now, we have cheap video-capable i pods and WI-Max USB dongles and i Pads with 3G wireless access, and GPS capable cell phones to pinpoint children's locations. A potential MCFD nightmare.
Despite all of these potential issues, a video call with a young child cannot hold a candle to telephone call.
NOTE: The comment option has been shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Your Comments About Their Mistakes/ Part 429 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

On Monday, November 8, 2010 I wrote Part 361 entitled “ SOCIAL WORKER FALLIBILITY” and this is a portion of what I said. “Social workers are slow to revise their judgements. Research indicates that this error is widespread and by no means peculiar to social workers but it means that misjudgements about clients that may have been unavoidable on the limited knowledge available when they were made, continue to be accepted despite a growing body of evidence against them.”

Then you wrote this.

I blame the social workers, but they couldn't get away with this destructive behavior if it weren't for those higher up. This corruption must be systemic, and it is, apparently, worldwide. It really makes you wonder what is going on. Such a powerful ministry or agency doing such great harm, all in the name of good, it really boggles the mind.
people all over the world are working hard to expose this corruption, and it is only a matter of time before the general public sees the child protection industry for what it is. Let's hope we aren't all living in totalitarian states before that time comes. It almost seems as if this is a race against that time.
As a member of the public viewing this case in detail, it undermines the confidence I have in the system. I am concerned that people will be more reluctant to report their neighbors when they know the family will not truly be helped.
Yes, I think that the system does have a few problems. One thing is that calls are accepted and become legal fact in the manner that the calls content is accepted in court with the same weight as 'evidence'. Yet there are a few crazy people out there who will call on their neighbours even though they know they are not doing anything wrong. Sometimes it is the case that the caller does not like children and is annoyed that they live beside a family. I have a neighbour like that!!!The calls are recorded and acted upon even though the content is unlikely.
That is one big problem!!!
I met many parents through taking parenting courses put on by MCFD and through family court. At first I did not know that the parents in the classes had lost their children. They seemed so nice, so normal and so caring. Then later when I lost my children, I realized that it is very easy to have your children taken. A supervision order is a percurser to taking the children for flimsy reasons. CPS calls anything at all a 'breach' and takes the kids. It means that the parents have to have a lot of contact with the system and MCFD gets to find out if they think you are capable or not of parenting your kids.
I started out with a pretty good opinion of MCFD and I was unprepared because of that. Now, I know better. I think most people would not be able to believe how it actaully works. It is too bad and it makes people change their mind about child protection, that is for sure!!!
The comment option will be closed at 12:00 AM this morning and will remain shut off until February 20th. I regret this interruption and I look forward to continuing our coverage of the Bayne case as soon as something further develops.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

THE APPLE IN THE BARREL / Part 428 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

It's a well known phrase, but is it true? “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.”

Well yes ultimately, it is a truism. In time, a rotten apple in a barrel of good apples will infect them with rottenness. The science of mold spores invading the other apples and corrupting them makes this a dictum which has application to other groupings of people as well as fruit.

We observe this truth enacted in the real life of daily news. For instance, Edmonton RCMP officer Tirth Sehmbi was charged in summer 2010 with murdering his wife Rajpinder Sehmbi. The evidence appears conclusive and the decision must still be rendered but according to our analogy, if he is guilty, he would be classified as the bad apple. If left long enough, that is, if something so serious as murder would be overlooked by his peers, the entire detachment would become corrupt. But my point today is to say, that this has not happened. It does not need to be assumed that it will happen. When the good apples of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, arrested Sehmbi and investigated him, it was with the intention of administering justice by removing the infection from their midst.

According to a CityNews story, Steve Ellis, an immigration judge and former city councillor was convicted of breach of trust in April 2010 and also convicted on an Immigration and Refugee Protection Act bribery charge because he offered citizenship to a Korean woman in exchange for sex. One bad apple in the Ontario judiciary system does not mean all judges are similarly bad, but if other judges ignored his action, they would eventually themselves forgive their own indiscretions and spoil the quality of law. My point is to say that this possibility has not occurred because the good judges still stand for what is good, ethical, right and lawful. So they purge the barrel.

Journalist Jennifer Moreau wrote the article 'Burnaby teacher convicted of sex offence handed lifetime teaching ban' for the Burnaby Now on October 27, 2010. She reported that the B.C. College of Teachers barred a female teacher from ever teaching again in B.C. and the report in sent throughout North America. She was convicted of sexual exploitation involving a St. Thomas More Collegiate student and sentenced to several months in jail. The bad apple again, but certainly what we read is the determination of good apples not to allow their student population or teaching staff to be contaminated.

What I am writing today is a caution against the unwholesome and dispiriting tendency I repeatedly read in the remarks of some injured and discouraged and overwhelmed commenters. That tendency is to easily assume that when something bad occurs in a foster home, all foster care is evil. Or, when a social worker submits a baseless and even falsified report about parents, all social workers are wicked. Or, when a judge makes a decision with which you disagree, all judges are corrupt. Is it fair to be suspicious of an entire profession because of a few bad apples?

The exaggerated and unreasonable response may serve as a vent but it neither calms the writer's own emotions nor steers the writer toward a desirable resolution. I am as you can see, well aware of the presence of some bad apples. I am by no means willing to concede that everyone in public positions of responsibility and authority is infected with rottenness and only you and I stand as whole and untouched apples. That is ludicrous and unproductive.

Yet, it is a concern to me that when one segment of one of our social systems repeatedly screws up or makes bad choices and poor decisions, and repeated examples of mismanagement surface, the decay is widespread enough that in order to get legislators and politicians to listen, the Press must be told all of your stories and they must fully disclose what is happening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

EXONERATED / Part 427 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

PostMedia News Photo of Dinesh Kumar

The National Post ran this story on Thursday. Mr. Dinesh Kumar is now 44 years old but twenty years ago he was accused of killing his five week old son. It was the now notoriously inaccurate Ontario pathologist, Dr. Charles Smith, who concluded that the infant named Gaurov died as a result of shaken baby syndrome. On Thursday the Ontario Court of Appeal cleared this poor suffering man of all liability in his son's death. Of course, his case was compounded by the fact that 20 years ago he was subjected to such intense investigatory pressure that he could no longer take it, so he confessed to taking his son's life. He was initially charged with second degree murder but when he pleased guilty , it was to a lesser charge of criminal negligence causing death. For two decades he has lived with the shame, the sentence, the ostracism, the record of being a baby killer, when in fact he was innocent.

Confession is precisely what the MCFD Team here in B.C. has expected and initially sought to extract from the Baynes with regard to injuries sustained by their several week old infant daughter over three years ago. When that confession was not offered but rather a resounding declaration of innocence in every early meeting with them, the MCFD became entrenched in a combative posture that has been well demonstrated by the wording of risk assessments and affidavits and cross examinations.

Now listen to an extract of the Kumar case as it is reported by Linda Nguyen of the National Post. She writes, “Dr. Smith concluded Gaurov died of shaken-baby syndrome. But in new material filed with the appeal court, new opinions from various medical experts have found that Smith’s conclusion is no longer scientifically valid.” Lawyer James Lockyer took on Mr. Kumar's case three years ago,. Mr. Lockyer is the founding director for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. He said, “... 20 years ago, the theory offered to explain shaken-baby syndrome was “en vogue... The trouble was that the attempt of an explanation somehow became fact, became science — when it wasn’t... Smith’s reputation went beyond police and Crown and judges, it seemed to have affected defence lawyers of the day. If Smith said something, it was almost bound to be right.”

The Baynes' child did not die. They are so thankful for that yet nonetheless, in their case parents have again borne blame for conditions of injury to their child because the title of the diagnosis itself implicates non accidental injury. MCFD practitioners have been willing to depend exclusively on a doctor's SBS diagnosis, well in fact, the Director himself said that his affidavit in support of the Continuing Care Application rested solely upon the pediatrician's SBS diagnosis. Apparently in B.C. there is a medical consensus that SBS is still 'en vogue.” No one within MCFD sought to think outside this strict designation by seeking other opinions. It was left to Zabeth and Paul themselves to uncover medical experts who disagree with the blanket SBS diagnosis and certainly disagree that it should apply in this case.That contradictory evidence by the way is building daily and annually in the medical arena and appears only appropriate that this well publicized Bayne Case shall conclude with a Judge dismissing the validity of SBS as a justification for the treatment of this entire family.

Not for a moment is anyone saying that to question SBS is to turn on a green light for child abusers and shakers. Rather the opposition is to the use of a triad of injuries as an automatic guilty conviction if not criminally then certainly practically within the framework of a child protection system with the legal interruptive, invasionary power like that bestowed upon MCFD through the CFCSA. Any way one slices this kind of case, the RCMP could find no substantive evidence that warranted a charge of any kind, and the medical diagnosis also came without actual evidence of culpability. The suspicion that arises from the grave physical conditions of an injured child is not the equivalent of evidence, and even the suspicion must be set aside when the resultant diagnosis is one which is increasingly disputed because the injuries may be consistent with accident or one of various other conditions or diseases.

Friday, January 21, 2011

WE ARE NOT ALONE / Part 426 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

When on Wednesday the 19th, Paul and Zabeth were informed that they would not hear the ruling for another month, they worked through their own disappointment with human emotion followed by reflective faith which has characterized their travel and travail.

To grasp how this works for them I am sharing the note that Paul and Zabeth sent to some people. Paul wrote, “Well this was supposed to be the DAY. The day when we would receive the news either one way or the other. God had other plans. God said no, it’s not today. Be patient. We won’t know the decision until the end of February now. Our children will be one month older, Josiah is due at the end of February. God what are You doing this time? Will this be another perfect timing thing again? I will hope in God even if I don’t understand. Thank you for your dedication and love toward our battle weary family. Thank God we are not alone.” 

This explains how they survive. Now you may not want to so readily attribute the delay to God but rather lay it at the doorstep of the judge or more generally the entire child welfare system with its liberal latitude of powers. The difference is fundamental. Their approach permits them to look forward with some optimism and confidence and I would say objectivity. Others might call it naivety. The other approach tends to result in persistent anger and a dark pessimism. At least that's the way I perceive it. And I don't know how one can possibly hope to work toward changing the inadequacies and failings within the child welfare system when one cannot speak without detonating.

So, what if at the end of February, not only does the MCFD win this court order for continuing care of their three children but also makes the move to apprehend a newly born baby boy against whom these parents have lavished only mother's milk and parental love? Will Paul and Zabeth come unglued then? Will their faith in God erode overnight? I can answer neither question with certainty.

Based upon their track record of stalwart management of continuous disappointment for over three years, I can venture a guess that they will not cave. And if the worst of all possible outcomes occurred, that these children remained in Ministry care and then inevitably in adoptive families, you would find Paul and Zabeth at the forefront for child protection changes in this country. They would champion parental rights. They would articulate the transparency and services and provisions and protections that the CFCSA was technically written to achieve but which lazy people compromised, alleging insufficient funds and programs.

And whereas some of you may take issue with me for being too easy on the Ministry and Judiciary because I have not personally had a child removed, Zabeth and Paul will understand totally, the agonies of parents and still demonstrate a control that permits them to engage with change-makers who will have to listen to them. My question is, are there any change-makers out there now who are prepared to give something other than lip service to an aggressive plan to make child protection work more graciously yet effectively?

What I think is that Paul and Zabeth are already change makers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

IT'S FEBRUARY NOW/ Part 425 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

The court did communicate with the Baynes mid afternoon yesterday but of course they were out. What the Baynes learned after they returned home yesterday from their afternoon visitation with their children was this. The Baynes have told me that the Judge's decision will be ready no later than the end of February 2011.

Yes! You read that correctly. But you weren't ready for it were you? Neither were the Baynes. We were not expecting that. Disappointed is not an adequate descriptor for the way that this news impacts the Baynes and their immediate family and certainly none of their supporters. After three and one half years, this is dreadful.

Alright so let's look at this. Judge Thomas Crabtree is an intelligent and a good man. Yes I believe that. I also believe that he is a responsible man and a good judge of both character and truth as it pertains to distinguishing evidence from collateral and unsubstantiated content. We have yet to hear his decision. It is coming. I am confident that he fully understands how this delay affects Paul and Zabeth. Further, when Judge Crabtree spoke at the end of the last day in court, his proposed date for delivering a ruling was a projection rather than a firm commitment. The date of the 19th was mentioned in his comments as an outside date and we naturally have hung on to that. Not mistakenly mind you, as verified by the court communication today on the 19th. This time the forecast carries the element of commitment. I surmise that Judge Crabtree regrets dragging this on longer yet. Therefore his message is firm as to time. (Click here and Read Ray Ferris' explanation among today's comments).

Well then, why has he given himself more time. Some of you will be quick to recite your inane conspiracy theories once again so I feel compelled to speculate too. It could be that having been newly appointed as the Chief Justice of B.C. he found that the transition and the obligations are more demanding than he anticipated. It may be that in his personal review of all of the CFCSA/Bayne case material he found that he requires more time to write exactly and precisely. Why the concentration on precision? Because his decision will reach beyond the Bayne Family reunion to speak to the way cases are being managed, people are being treated by the Child Protection network of social workers in this province. His decision will require the attention of the Ms. Du Toit, Ms. Polak and Ms. Turpel-Lafond. It has the potential for affecting the lives of countless other people.

I'll tell you what. That makes a great deal more sense than surmising some grand collusion between the judicial system and MCFD. Further, when Paul and Zabeth last evening through tears, considered the possibility that the delayed decision might help other parents eventually, they said that their pain for another month would be worthwhile if that were the outcome. That is the character that will be unmistakable to Judge Crabtree.

And if this Fraser Valley MCFD Team makes further overtures into involvement in the newborn Bayne child's life before this decision comes down, this may not only be unwise but also be career altering for some people when the press and when the Ministry in Victoria have to sort this out. I am aware of journalists clamouring to jump all over this story.

So many people were anxious to hear good news for the Baynes yesterday that there were over 2000 hits to this site in that 24 hour period. Good for you. You care. I do too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

thanks, news at 12:00 AM

Thank you for coming online to read today and for leaving your comments.
I have something to tell you tomorrow morning first thing. It will be posted at 12:00 AM 

IT'S THE 19TH. WE EXPECT TO HEAR SOON TODAY/ Part 424 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

As this day begins, I have no idea what to say. We still must wait. The minutes crawl. It is now entirely up to Judge Thomas Crabtree. We are expecting that he has instructed the judicial case manager to provide a written ruling to both the Baynes and the Director via email some time today. The manager will then reserve a court date at which time the Judge will formally read his entire decision. Then the ruling is official. We know this is such an important ruling for the Bayne family. In fact it may carry consequences that make it a critical ruling in our provincial child protection practice. Can you imagine what these past few days and nights have been like for Zabeth and Paul? Josiah, the unborn son that Zabeth carries, still waits to be born. Given her history of premature births, we are grateful for his timing.

As soon as I hear, you will read it on this web page.
Well it's 11:15 AM and still no word. Ray Ferris and I were just speaking on the phone and another delay is not out of the question. We have watched delays in this case repeatedly. And this is a day when Paul and Zabeth have a visitation scheduled with their three children. The strain must be incredible.
It is now 2:15 PM and still no word. I am sorry for the Baynes that the communication has not been clearer as to when to expect word. We will continue to wait together won't we?
It's 5:32 PM so contact is likely not happening today. We certainly thought we heard Judge Thomas Crabtree correctly on that last day in court. We heard that he would try to write his ruling by this date. What we believe we also heard was that he would email the decision to both parties today and that a later date in court he would read his entire ruling. With the scarcity of court room space and time, that could be difficult to schedule. We certainly did not get the impression that Judge Crabtree would prolong this unnecessarily. He seemed most sensitive to Zabeth and to Paul. What is troublesome and unacceptable is the failure by the court to consider the Baynes and provide them with some clue about process. This is most disappointing.

So many of you today have been waiting as eagerly as we have here for some word. Even at this hour 1,429 people have read this post today. Thank you for the indication of support. Would you please kindly check back from time to time to see whether we know anything more.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Enough Talk / Part 423 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

We are down to the last two days before Judge Crabtree rules. I am tired of words, my own included. Six hours every Saturday, three children visit mommy and daddy in the family home. That's the way it must be forever, every day, no exception, no interruption. These photos prove it.

Bethany and Mommy and the Lesson

This is a great book

Just horsing around

Daddy got invited to a tea party

I drew this. Can you tell me what it is?

Baden lounging on his bed

Kissy Time

Time to take the tree down but what a great Christmas we had.
We know the word tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A FAITH COMPONENT / Part 422 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

Most of you who are regular readers have prowled the connecting links to know that all of my adult life has been spent as a pastor to people, in service work you might say. Pastoring requires a variety of skill sets if it is to be done well. Pastors become confidants and counsellors. Pastors meet people at all stages of their lives, the times of grief as well as the times of exhilaration. You may be aware as well that I am retired from formal pastoral work. The faith and the instincts do not shut down however, nor does one's love for people. With that in mind, I am trusting that you will accommodate me today regardless of your own belief system, whether it includes a deity or not. From my framework and reference I connect with Paul and Zabeth. We approach these difficult times in the following manner. A brief time ago I wrote to the Baynes,
Hi Zabeth and Paul,
I trust that you have awoken well today and as soon as your minds clear, you can rest in the LORD, for His grace is enough to quell the fears. In any and every eventuality He is with you. Of that I am certain. His promises are clear enough and your implicit trust in the Saviour Jesus Christ is unwavering. I trust that in numerous ways today, you will become aware of His involvement in small details of your lives as tokens of his care for you in the large issues of life. Here is something beautiful from the inspired word of God. “When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"- Psalm 118:5-6

Dear Zabeth and Paul, this morning there is an unseen army of prayer warriors, believers in localities all over this province and in other provinces who are interceding for you and your three children and for Josiah. There is also, from what we know in scripture, an invisible host of angelic beings as real as we are, yet whose abilities transcend anything we know, and who are responding to God's directions in accordance with His will and with the prayers of His people which He enjoys and to which He responds. God loves you both. that will never change. He loves each of your children. They are His creation. God established 'family.' It is within your family that the four children whom He has given to you will be best nurtured, loved and with you they will develop most fully and healthily.
It is almost D-Day. D-3. Whatever designation we ascribe to the letter D, whether 'Decision' Day, or 'Deliverance' Day or some other descriptive, that day is almost here. RESPECTFULLY, Dr. Ron Unruh

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WHAT DOES AN IMPROVED OUTCOME LOOK LIKE? / Part 421 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

logo design for business logic by james wenzel

Yesterday I wrote two posts and in the first entry I said that we need a model of casework that ensures consistent practices which support improved outcomes for children, youth and families. I am going to give MCFD an example of what a good outcome looks like. I will use the Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their three children as an example because even this difficult case could have been addressed with an improved outcome provision.

There is no question that this has been a complicated case. It is complicated by the nature of their youngest child's injuries, by the initial medical diagnosis of those injuries using a term that immediately insinuates parental liability, by the controversy in the medical sciences arena about the legitimacy of the shaken baby syndrome diagnosis, by the early and continued denial by the parents of any harm done by them to their child, by the early RCMP arrest and charges against the parents prior to an investigation and then the subsequent release and dropping of charges for lack of evidence, by the immediate apprehension of the two older syblings, by the failure of MCFD to follow prescribed time-line guidelines within its own authorizing ACT, by the MCFD refusal to accept the Bayne explanation of accidental injury, by the MCFD refusal to give credence or even read the hundreds of letters of support for the Baynes, by the unjustified retention of the two boys without cause and against their own counsel's advice, by the adversarial treatment MCFD administered to the Baynes at every level including intensely rigid instruction about visitation, by the financial losses of the family in properties to pay legal fees, by the unduly long three years that MCFD has withheld the children from their parents, by the publicity that has been garnered by public protests, by online blogs and news media venues suggesting MCFD blundering, and by the lengthy court case in which the bulk of the time was spent by MCFD counsel. That is complicated!

If an improved outcome had been the focus of MCFD for the Bayne family, the Director and his team would have considered that in spite of a suspicious injury and a medical opinion, there was no verifiable specific evidence. It would have understood the significance of the RCMP dropping of charges. It would have viewed the medical diagnosis as an opinion rather than a verdict. It would have dug deeply enough to recognize even three years ago the controversy revolving around the SBS diagnosis. It may still not have believed the Baynes' story of accidental injury or believe that either one of them was innocent of wrongdoing. However, MCFD would have acknowledged that it did not have proof against the Baynes. It merely had suspicion of them and MCFD would have understood the significant difference between evidence and suspicion. MCFD would have viewed this now as an opportunity – an opportunity to help this family. It would have recognized that the best interests of the children was unquestionably to be with their parents and it would have considered how that can best be effected. It would have provided to the Baynes a compassionate plan whereby the parents were not made to feel like criminals always under suspicion but rather as clients being helped by a caring social agency, whereby the well-being of the children in the family home could be monitored each week for a specified time period, whereby the parents could have attended any agreed upon course for parents of small children to improve understanding, coping skills and patience and whereby the concerns of MCFD could be met and the dignity of two respected people could be retained.

Please send this to news media people you know with a courteous two sentence intro inviting them to read this link. Example: "Please read today's GPS blog post. The Bayne Family will hear Judge Crabtree's ruling by January 19th. Thank you. The Link is: GPS"

This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree by January 19th. Three days. Stay posted.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A PUBLIC EXHIBIT / Part 420 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

I have already written a post today  CONCENTRATE ON IMPROVING THE OUTCOMES /
and the first respondent motivated me to write further. This is the result.

I watched an ABC 20/20 documentary on the Peace Corps, one of the most touted international service agencies. Started by President John F. Kennedy, its very name embodies the best ideals of service: to help people. It has established a virtually untarnished reputation for what will soon be 50 years. But how has that untarnished image been maintained and is it truthful? A newly appointed director is crisscrossing the USA in celebration of this anniversary. He and every other official of the Peace Corp denied requests to speak about the incidents that 20/20 investigated. If the reputation is untarnished, at what expense or at whose expense was the damage controlled? The documentary began around the account of an horrific murder of a wonderful young woman, Kate Puzey two years ago in the African country of Benin. The village people among whom she worked loved her. She found herself with a teaching colleague whom she knew was sexually assaulting some of his young students. She could not ignore this. She wrote an articulate, sensitive email letter to Peace Corp headquarters explaining this situation and asking for confidentiality because she was concerned for her safety. The teaching colleague was fired, but his brother worked in that country's Peace Corps office and passed Kate's letter on. One night as she slept, her throat was slit. The Peace Corp in these two years has not told her parents any details of her death. Her belongings were not returned by a Peace Corp representative with sincere regret for Kate's death but rather were dropped off in a cardboard box on her parents' driveway by a delivery person. What 20/20 managed to uncover were many, many Peace Corps workers who had experienced sexual assaults and other criminal acts and yet the Peace Corp had ignored their pleas and never provided victims' advocate assistance but counselled these victim's to be silent. The Peace Corp has never apologized to any of these people for failing them. That was a murder. In addition, more than 900 Peace Corps volunteers have been sexually assaulted during the last decade. Several of them spoke on camera. The Peace Corps cannot now ignore that, or can it? It gets $400,000,000 federal funding monies annually.

Is that what we are going to have to do here in British Columbia? That is, are we going to have to invite brave people to step forward out of anonymity into a high publicity event to describe for the publicand the media all that they have experienced at the hands of social workers within the Ministry of Children and Family Development. There is no admission by MCFD of improper casework, discourtesy, unnecessarily hurtful casework. But countless parents and children have been damaged for many years now. Many have written their stories on blog sites and many have anonymously revealed small bits of their stories on this blog site. Child Protection which should safeguard vulnerable children has become an international disgrace and we here in B.C. continue to ignore the failings of our own interpretation of this social service. That must not be permitted to continue without emphatic apology and comprehensive correction. MCFD itself must recognize this or all that they do that is good will continue to be overlooked because of glaring errors in judgement at the front lines and in the offices that monitor them.
20/20 Video preview:
20/20 Story preview: 
 This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree within the next five days. Stay posted.

CONCENTRATE ON IMPROVING THE OUTCOMES / Part 419 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

This post is specific to child protection. There will have to be a change in casework practice within the Ministry of Children and Family Development in B.C. The Ministry Office in Victoria has to make changes and immediacy is imperative.

This Ministry can no longer endure bad press. Shocking stories continue. Many families who could be helped never receive help. I am talking about help. It's difficult for me as a taxpayer and fair-minded and democratic spirited man to understand why resourcing help to families is such a difficult concept to affect. Of course I do not understand all of the human dynamics of individual cases, the stresses that social workers feel when working with adults, parents who are challenged by habits, substances, and life. I do not understand how budgetary cuts have reduced the availability of services that can be offered. Still, it concerns me that we have authorized people, many with bachelor's degrees, even master's degrees in social work, to work with families and subsequently so many of these families instead of gaining strength and remaining intact, become severed as a result of MCFD's involvement. The Ministry office in Victoria hears the negative public vibrations all over the province, but it does not understand what is wrong or how it can be corrected. Regional MCFD teams are not going to initiate significant change themselves.

logo design by james wenzel

We need a model of casework that ensures consistent practices which support improved outcomes for children, youth and families. It seems simplistic and it should be self evident that MCFD needs to place a greater emphasis upon intake and assessment of children, youth and families at the initial contact in every case in order to insure that the services that are planned are as effective as possible. What a novel idea to concentrate on improved outcomes for all clients using intervention supports and services. There are countless people reasons to explain why we do not have confidence that best practice and improvement is a priority to which our MCFD is committed.

This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree by January 19th. Stay posted.

Friday, January 14, 2011

MCFD & CFCSA: A PATERNALISTIC PARADIGM / Part 418 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

Interventions by MCFD that are of a paternalistic nature have been framed into public policy. One wonders legitimately if the authors of the Child and Family and Community Services Act were policy writers or program designers. A conspiracy theory called 'The Rise of the New Paternalism,'* about which much has been written in the past few years, makes this claim of intentionality among education, government and legislative types. According to this, one might argue that the CFCSA was written in such a way that it encourages paternalistic interventions into families. *(sample article by Glen Whitman)

CFCSA was written to convey to the public that it was a middle position, a safe ground between doing nothing for children or being heavy-handed with parents and caregivers. In that way CFCSA should be viewed as highly preferable. And that would be fine if the middle position didn't shift over time which is what it has done. The middle ground of thoughtful intervention in the child's best interest by helping parents and securing children's rights to security and health has become one of the poles rather than the middle. The more intrusive removal of children not as a last resort but almost by default has become the middle ground. And that is what some of the commenters on this blog who sound like alarmists are forecasting. They have been so injured by the appropriation of their rights to parent, by the seizure of their children, and by the confiscation of free speech that they are convinced the middle ground is only a harbinger of a more sinister outcome, a kind of domination by government agencies. It sounds paranoid doesn't it? Have you not seen parallels in other areas of societal life? Do it our way or else. I don't smoke, never have, well, I tried like many children do, and don't want to. I know and believe the personal risk of smoking and secondarily to others. Can any of you remember when smoking on airplanes was acceptable, but in only one part of the plane, the front. Then the ban was imposed. Good middle ground position. Of course that now is the laissez faire position because smoking has been banned in hospitals, bars, restaurants and everywhere in some urban centres. Do it our way or else.

What happens is the eliding of what should remain crucial distinctions, perhaps chief among which is the difference between private and public and the difference between voluntary and coercive. It's quite understandable and right that a society should say to its citizens there are certain standards which we expect of parents with respect to their care of children and these are default standards with rules. But it does not have to be assumed that paternalism itself is the default position of our society with respect to those who govern us and therefore in meeting those standards of child care we have to do everything exactly the way the Ministry tells us rather than exercising choice ourselves. We do not have to cave to a government that says we can have no voice.

This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree within the next six days. Stay posted.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO / Part 417 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

There is a nuance to child protection and perhaps to a wider array of social services amongst us that disturbs me. I speak of the notion that MCFD must seek to make people better than they are by making them to fit standards established by others, namely MCFD or directors and social workers. Where once paternalism compelled or manipulated you to conform to something, a slight change has occurred, in that standards are being imposed upon people. Any parent whose child has been removed can tell us this. The threat is real.

This tendency among social work theorists, teachers, administrators and practitioners is born from wrong-headed thinking in behavioural sciences. Of course people everywhere act imperfectly now and again or frequently, even as a common pattern. Here then comes that paternalism about which I wrote yesterday, that has presumed that it must intervene in order to help people to be better. And if a child's lot in life can be better by removing them from an indigent parent, or the parent with few resources, so be it. Or if a parent can be better by the shock of having his or her child removed for six months, so be it. You don't think social work is done that way? Are you completely certain? How else can you explain the intrusiveness with which MCFD conducts its agenda. And what kind of trouble are we in or asking for if the very people who legislate, make policy, do the social work, practice law or make legal decisions are as imperfect as the people they are attempting to improve? That is a scenario fraught with risk of injustice. Well guess what? Injustice is here and has touched and is touching countless numbers of parents, children and family.

This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree within six days. We are that close. Stay posted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SOCIAL WORKER TOOLKIT SHOULD INCLUDE HUMILITY AND INQUIRY / Part 416 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

If Victoria's head office of the Ministry of Children and Family Development truly wants to transform the Ministry as Leslie du Toit has projected, she must understand where her current transformation proposal breaks down. She too must work within the parameters of the CFCSA (Child and Family Community Services Act) or at least with those constants in mind. We have already heard from some of you what a horrid piece of work the CFCSA is. It is in the application of the content of the Act by Directors, Administrators, Team Leaders and finally by social workers that the ugliness of its provisions become reality. The Act has developed among MCFD an attitude that can best be described as follows.

I have been learning that what characterizes the work of so many social workers is a paternalistic presumption. They are professionals and they convey to parents and others that they are the experts with regard to situations in which parents and children find themselves. These professionals are the ones who know what the solutions are to family problems. The great debacle occurs for parents because MCFD caseworkers who are insuring the protection of a child are driven by the too frequent almost default solution of removal of the child even if temporarily. Nothing like taking one's child away to make him or her shape up, make changes, get better. Of course, nothing like taking the child, to mess up a child for a good long while, if not forever. Now granted, directors and social workers are under pressure to insure no mistakes are made, that is, a child left in a vulnerable or risky place. So with that imperative the social worker instinctively assumes a professional certitude. They can't be wrong. They become dismissive of other viewpoints, opinions, perspectives whether from family members or other professionals.

What du Toit and Polak must see for true transformation to be realized, is that social work in BC needs a good dose of Mother Teresa poured over the presumptive heads of MCFD SW’s. I believe newly trained social workers come with that anointing. Please don't lose it. Don't let the system smother the altruism to which you committed yourself. Please, please restore to acceptable social work practice the attitudes and spirit that can admit to being wrong, can with openness and vulnerability present to family members and other professionals all of your actions, assessments and authority. Be willing to dialogue. Maintain a spirit of inquiry. Please include humility among your tools. You will be so much more effective. You will make fewer mistakes and you will give families help and hope.
This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree within the next seven days. Stay posted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Does it need Reform you Ask? / Part 415 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

I know that I rarely write about positive achievements of the child protection sector of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Of course there are children that are secured from neglect and abuse. Sadly some parents are immature, reckless, substance addicted, or maladjusted and they are not properly caring for their children. MCFD steps in. Surely it is understandable if I do not mention these cases. That is after all what MCFD is mandated to do. When it is well done it doesn't need applause here. MCFD congratulates itself enough. Look at its web pages. This blog has focused upon that which is not working effectively in MCFD because that is what requires attention. That's what needs to be fixed so that is where I concentrate. Do I hit it right? I make no claim to thorough journalistic research. I am a listener. A host of similar stories inform me that MCFD is in trouble.

Much abuse goes unnoticed yet we are spending millions of dollars to keep children safe. Each year Ministry workers falsely accuse some parents and none of the money stems that transgression. Poverty is frequently and unjustifably equated with neglect, yet as one late night commenter stated yesterday, poor families do not equate to a higher incidence of child protection. The stories of how families are treated once they have come within the sweep of MCFD's radar are never happy. Some of the innocent families that have been victimized have hit the public news channels and front pages but not enough, because there are so many others.

A shift occurred in the 1960's when child abuse and neglect which were once treated as crimes began to be viewed as a treatable illness for which therapists, doctors and social workers were prepared to provide advice and to order help and resources. In conjunction with this diagnostic shift,  cases of abuse and neglect were no longer prosecuted but rather sent to family court which orders treatment. What I believe is forfeited is fairness and timeliness. So many of you readers have already told me that. Criminals are fully informed of their rights. They have an attorney to represent them even when they cannot afford one. The same is not true for accused parents. They do not get a jury of peers. They do not have the opportunity to face and to cross-examine their accusers. They do not even receive the right to insist that any evidence that is employed against them should meet the highest of standards. And we have underscored before the absence of presumption of innocence and the insistence of guilt being beyond all reasonable doubt? Or, what about not being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, because that is precisely what some clinical dispassionate MCFD operations look like. There is no protection for parents accused of maltreatment of a child. Oh, but here is the disparity. If the Baynes had been formally criminally charged and tried, they would have been afforded all sorts of protections and provisions. Oh, so that imbalance and disparity is not MCFD's responsibility? No, but MCFD certainly works it.
This Blog has been advocating the return of three children to their biological parents, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, for which a ruling is expected from Judge Crabtree within the next eight days. Stay posted.