Among the changes that we might recommend to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, do you think it might be a good idea to ask for a re-think of the accountability required within the system. I am thinking particularly of an accountability formula that involves people other than those within the system itself. Sure we have a Representative of Children and Youth and her office has a specific mandate to be independent of MCFD and to serve as a watchdog. How well is that working? I'm not convinced it's entirely effective or let's say as effective as the Hughes recommendation envisioned it could be. The government has not embraced this objective independent voice and the MCFD has obstructed it. So, I am thinking of an external mechanism, a citizens' board to strengthen accountability in the child welfare system. The fear that might be expressed within MCFD might be that such oversight would discourage skilled workers from either entering or staying in the field. I view that as a dubious concern since the attrition of skilled workers is already a headache and that erosion is attributable to the failure of team leaders, supervisors and directors to be properly accountable for their calls, decisions and expectations. Of course we need to support skilled casework practice and the way that can be done most effectively is by creating less need or opportunity for criticism of the work by a healthy accountability mechanism. An accountability to us, the people, the citizens, the parents, teachers and children who own this community service with our tax dollars and our citizens' rights.
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 two weeks. Stay posted.