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.


  1. At what age, in the province of BC, are children allowed to refuse to submit to the plans of MCFD? Seems to me that children can refuse to submit to the authority of parents, so I wonder how it works if MCFD is not accepted as having authority over the children.

  2. My response to your question: YES. Everything, bar nothing. It is official, known and proven by the "Threat Assessment" (It is clear that FISHER is not going to go away. There is also a HIGH RISK that, if he attempts suicide, he will try to take someone with him. FISHER obviously feels justified in his course of action and he has the ability to carry out his threats.), since June 2000. As they say, the timing is everything.

  3. Hello Josef. I will assume that you will let me talk to you as a friend. You and I have interacted via email before and I could have done this privately I know, but I want other readers to understand your comment as well to hear what I have to say to you. I wrote an entire post about your story a while ago. There is no question that you will spare no effort to make change happen within this child protection system. Your comment now was in response to my closing question today which was “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?” And you have answered YES and essentially that you will even give your life if you must. As proof you offer the MCFD's own 2000 AD assessment of you, that you were a suicidal risk and one who might take someone else with you. Now listen to me Josef. That was eleven years ago. You are not the same person you were then. Your disappointment and pain will never go away from your memory. You are no longer as desperate as you were back then. Your children are grown. They can make it now. Yes they can. They need to have you with them in this life. And they need to have you rational and encouraging to them, with a smile on your face, expressing vision for their futures, moving away from the rotten past while holding on to the desire to see positive changes made to how social workers do their jobs. You don't need to do anything further yourself any more. Just stay around and be available when a few people with the power to change things need to have your story. Can you hear me Josef?

  4. I hear you Ron, and you know that I greatly respect everything you do and say. We have the same goal, but totally different life-experience. You teach people the Words of God, but I was for two years brainwashed and trained at Army Academy to break the 6th Commandment. For the next five years I was paid for teaching young men the same. In communism, citizens cooperating with the State were above the law, neutral citizens were watched, and enemies of the regime persecuted. They, not their children! Their children's persecution started at 15. It was hard for them to be accepted at any college, and impossible to study at any University. But this "bastion of democracy" persecutes second class citizens' children just because it is profitable. I was suicidal only once, 26 years ago, after receiving telegram that Joe's Mom passed away. Doing everything, incl. sacrificing own life for victory does not mean to be suicidal, not at all! It is a simple matter of honor and duty. GOOD LUCK TO ALL WITH CLEAR CONSCIENCE!

  5. It was good to talk with you this morning and thanks for writing another piece here. Have a good day Josef.

  6. How the courts drown child welfare.
    We are all still feeling a bit down that Judge Crabtree did not yet diliver his judgement. Do keep in mind though that we do not necessarily have to wait until Feb 28th. With a bit of luck it could be sooner. Meantime I want to write about what enrages most of us. How on earth can any child welfare system, any judicial system, any family court system become so enmired that it can allow children to be kept in life limbo for three and one half years? How on earth can it tolerate a child welfae system and a judicial system that can blithely ignore the categorical imperatives of legislation passed in good faith by the members of the assembly? The act was not passed to be passed over. It was passed in the rather vain hope that it would protect the best interests of children and provide due process in family courts in a prompt and fair way. Why does all this go haywire in case after case?
    To answer that, let us look at how legal systems work, starting with lawyers, because they have probably had more influence than anybody else. Lawyers are primarily businessmen and women. Like any business, law firms are in it to maximise profit. They want their associates to be doing only billable work. Successful law firms are those which make lots of money and the more successful they are the more they charge. For most lawyers the term pro bono is an obscenity. They have a big advantage to start with, because the have a monopoly on the bar. A person can represent themselves, but they cannot bring a good friend to help them. Only a lawyer can stand at the bar and talk to the judge and she or he can charge you whatever they please. It stands to reason that the more adversarial the situation, the more days will be spent in court and the more the lawyers will earn. One good way to get paid for doing very little is to make sure that there are lots of adjournments. Every court appearance, no matter how brief, entitles a lawyer to bill. So if you can spend half an hour in court, you can bill for half a day and dash back to the office and do more billable work. Legal aid lawyers often work on a reduced fee schedule. One will often find junior lawyers doing legal aid work. No problem all they have to do is adjourn, adjourn, adjourn and the money comes in.
    Why should lawyers seek mediation, conciliation or settelment? You may be sure that if there is a conflict between the best interests of the client and the lawyer's interest, that the client will be sacrificed. Otherwise the revenue would drop and the senior partner may not be pleased. The lawyers have another big advantage. Most people are scared of the law and the courts and do not feel safe without a lawyer. Social workers cannot sneeze nowadays without consulting a lawyer. They have abandoned all their own areas of expertise and turned everything over to lawyers and psychologists. They are scared to use their own brains and have to be told how to think. (Directors would do the same if they had any brains.) With law and lawyers and courts everything is process, process, process. Results and outcomes are nether matters. “Good heavens! If the process is right the outcomes must be sound.Don't talk to me about children being left in limbo.” In this aspect they are on the same page as all the senior child welfare bureaucrats. Process is everything. ( To be continued)

  7. I think that CPS tries to hang onto anything at all to keep involvement going. I did go to the psychologist for the Parental Capacity Assessment. I was under the impression that I had a huge file as MCFD social workers filled 2000 pages with repetitious things that do not make any sense to anyone who knows me. But I learned that my file is not that bad. I do not drink or do drugs, no anger problems, etc.
    It just shows how hard they fight and I used to believe in them but some things that happened to me caused me to have a different p.o.v.
    I think that if any social workers are reading this, you may know me and realise that me and my extended family believed that MCFD did good work until you recklessly took away my baby. THen you had no reason for it and had to make up the story that she was crawling 'half-naked' through the hospital hallways while I was visiting my son. What a crazy story. I remember that one time she was down playing with blocks on the floor of the room my son had and she was fully clothed.
    When I lost guardianship of my son because it was considered I was opposing medical treatment, the MCFD boss who was on with the duty worker told the hospital staff to not let me leave with the baby as there might also be something wrong there.
    At the time they had nothing about me and the baby and told me they were taking her because I had 'unresolved mental health issues' since it had been recommended by MCFD that I take counselling previously as the neighbours had advised MCFD that they had seen me talking to myself and I might be crazy.
    Although because MCFD has a backlog in their services, the counselling referral had not been put in yet by THEM.
    I had no idea why my baby was taken as she is my princess and I adore her and always treat her very well. I did get her back, but she was away from me all last summer.
    THey took her, a 100% breastfed baby and did not know why they had taken her, so they polled the nurses to see if there was any reason that could be given in court. It was written that she had been playing on the floor.
    I am just giving you a bit of my story, to show how MCFD works and why parents lose trust in it as a good agency. I think it is the reckless taking of children that makes people realize they are not among friends. Yet at one time, I really believed in them.

  8. Here is a recent posting on a blog which shows once again how hypocritical MCFD are (when compared with the posting above, and similar complaints from women who have had their babies taken from them by MCFD):

    "Does the Vancouver Sun have something against mothers? Or human rights? Maybe both? It would be easy to conclude yes after a January 14th editorial by Shelley Fralic of the Vancouver Sun ridiculed a mother whom was asked to leave a Vancouver store because of breastfeeding her baby.

    (then we get a comment from what APPEARS to be a supporter of breast feeder, our wonderfully compassionate gov't agency, MCFD)..

    “Would [the store owner] rather have a child screaming and crying? Then [someone] would probably complain the mother was neglecting the child,” says Christine Ash from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development.

    “The store has to try and accommodate [the nursing mother]... a reasonable accommodation,” says Durling. In other words: the store doesn’t have to build in a special nursing mothers room, but they also can’t insist that she hide-away in the bathroom.


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