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.