Thursday, March 17, 2011

DOROTHY AND BOBBY DON'T HAVE THEIR CHILDREN / 477

Dorothy Rodgers' children removed
I get it. I was a responsible father and I am a trustworthy grandfather. I understand that children must be protected, sometimes from their own parent(s).

I detest when children are maltreated by a parent. A father escorted his two small sons to school. I saw him at a distance angry with one boy. I heard him screaming at the child. “Look at me,” repeated several times. The tone so enraged I made certain he saw me watching, thinking. “If he strikes the child, I am obliged by law to report him, a stranger to me. One call, anonymously spoken, like an offshore earthquake, could change that family's world. They kept walking silently.
  • Between 70,000 and 85,000 children are in state care across Canada
  • Since 1998, the number of children in care has increased up to 65%
  • Average number of placements for a foster child: 7
  • 50% of street children were formerly children in care
“I don't deserve this and the kids, they didn't do anything wrong either," she said.



The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child identifies the family as the ideal environment for raising children, and calls for supports for parents to help them with their parenting responsibilities. However, there is also acknowledgment in the Convention articles that some families are 'unable to care appropriately for their children.' That turns out to be a critical turn of phrase because the Convention supports removing children from their biological families and providing alternate care when it is no longer in the best interests of the child to remain in the family of their birth. I get it and I don't get it. We employ and empower people to interpret 'inability to care,' and sometimes, something like this happens.

Dorothy missed a doctor's appointment for one of her two children and social workers concluded that she wasn't managing her son's special needs. They removed her children. In southern Newfoundland, Port aux Basques, a family has come apart as provincial child welfare officials removed children from the family home and placed them in foster care. The mom, Dorothy Rodgers (31) and her husband, the dad Bobby (34) claim this was and is unfair because one of the controlling factors is their respective scores on an intelligence test. They agreed to and were given psychological assessment tests, the results of which question their ability to properly care for their children. The results noted primary school level intellectual skills. It questions whether both parents are intelligent enough to help their son who has special needs. It notes that Dorothy was herself a foster care child and that she struggles mentally and socially. This result, in spite of the fact that each of them have college level diplomas and Bobby has been working for four years. Friends and neighbours said Dorothy and Bobby are caring parents to their four-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. Bobby says, “"Not everybody is a scholar. "I didn't think education had anything to do with raising your kids. Yes, for some decision making, but not for the love part." Dorothy says, “It's pitiful. It's a crime because I never did anything wrong. I don't deserve this and the kids, they didn't do anything wrong either." The province's Child, Youth and Family Services Minister, Charlene Johnson, would not comment upon whether intelligence is a factor in removing children from a home but she did defend that she is satisfied that proper procedures were followed. Well of course, proper procedures. But humanitarian justice? In the best interests of the child? Not close. I don't get it.

CBC Video Interview, reveals the public outrage over this case, 
CBC has done a follow-up story February 16, 2011, 'Discrimination denied in Port auz Basques case.'
CBC reports a family claim that the Ministry is seeking a publication ban order.
Letter to the government from Joanne MacDonald, Provincial Advisory Council on the Inclusion of Persons with Disability.
Rodgers Legal Fees Trust Fund begun.

8 comments:

  1. It's incredible the dumb "reasons" they have for snatching kids: I have heard cases where they did because the kids: had a sunburn, had a speech problem, were "obese", weren't wearing a hat or shoes in summer, went to school with messy hair, etc.They also commonly attack non "mainstream" people such as large families, religious people, home schoolers, vegetarians, those who don't vaccinate, as well as poor people, parents of handicapped kids,and single mothers. It's outrageous and the highest risk of nosey parkers that report families statistically are teachers, doctors, and repairmen in your home. Parents have to be so careful what they say and do now a days, esp. in public, for fear of being reported; it's like in Nazi Germany where everyone was urged to inform on everyone else; neighbours,friends, family, etc. I personally would NEVER report someone; you never know the whole story, its' none of your business,and you may wrongly destroy an innocent family!

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  2. Sorry, Ron, but "love" is not always enough. If this parent has an intellectual disability, can they actually, physically, emotionally, and technically manage the care of their son who has special needs? If this parent can't manage schedules, treatment, care, or understand WHY these things need to be done....however, the reality is this article does not go into any extenuating circumstances. Community support if the child was in the home, family, friends, special needs support etc etc etc etc etc. Maybe removal was the wrong choice. Without going through your links there are MANY unanswered questions in this article you documented.



    Ron, you have to view things much more critically than you are. College education as a barometer. What kind of education did she receive? Was she admitted based on her human right to education as a person with special needs??? Or did she get in on merit by completing high school, passing entrance exams etc etc etc.

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  3. Top O' the mornin' to ye Ron!
    One of the basic tests for parenthood can be applied to people of limited intelligence,with mental health problems and juvenile parents for instance. Can they look after themselves properly? If you cannot care for yourself, you cannot care for a child. Think Matthew Vaudreuil. The testing on a psychometric test is only one measure and must be considered in total context. An unbiased parental capacity assessment would have sought hard evidence of the sort of daily care the children were getting. If they were getting adequate personal care and nutrition, the special needs of their son might be a manageable problem with a little help. Many competent parents find it hard to handle a child with special needs. It is sometimes very difficult for professional people to admit that their child is slow. People with lesser education might be more accepting. If other provinces are like BC the evidence might be flimsy, but the judge will usually side with the establishment. After all, are judges not part of the establishement?
    I have seen people with very high education do some pretty dumb things and this blog has illustrated the point over and over again in the Bayne case. Most of you can name them. They are probably out there now looking for leprechauns and looking for the pot of gold under the rainbow.

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  4. Fair enough Anon 8:02 AM

    I accept your comment that a more critical approach is required of me with respect to a story like this. I grant that emotion can at times push the agenda. Yet I did read the links that I suggested and while there certainly must be undisclosed facts that support the Ministry action, there appears a significant argument that includes the expressions of a doctor and a lawyer and some advocates that intelligence cannot be used as the dominant reason for removal here. That in our day this is an archaic position. That Ministry should be the to resource the parents not penalize them. It is held that intelligence is not a guarantee of good parenting. It was an accumulative read that convinced me that despite the girl's history of false accusations, and her fear of the system and fostering, there is reason to challenge this SW move.

    I do appreciate you taking the time to write.

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  5. This is another shocking story. As Joanne MacDonald stated, "It appears the Rogers are being punished rather than being supported to raise their family."

    I am disturbed (but not shocked) by the statistic that 50% of street children were formerly children in care. I am also not surprised that Dorothy Rodgers, raised in foster care, would be distrustful of the system. Especially with the statistic of the average number of placements for a foster child being 7. It would appear that a child has a high risk of growing up without stability or unconditional love if s/he grows up in the foster care system.

    Are there any studies done on the inherent risk of the foster system to a child's healthy emotional and psychological development? I'd be curious to read one. I'm not yet convinced that the government is doing all they can to support families.

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  6. Hey, what happened to my comments? They weren't that derogatory (and not nearly as bad as some of the things that mean people have said about the Baynes).

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  7. Well 6:40 and 10:24 one in the same Anon,
    I am publishing your first submission against my wishes but to make a point, that I disassociate myself not from the subject but the expression of your sentiments. I wish that you and others could find a way of stating how distasteful you find aspects of Ministry work without resorting to the name calling.

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "DOROTHY AND BOBBY DON'T HAVE THEIR CHILDREN / 477":

    There was a case like this in Vancouver not too long ago. MCFD and the media tried to make it sound like the parents were idiots, but when you read the actual quotations of what the parents had said they sounded not only like they had a heart a thousand times bigger than the social workers and MCFD, but also a brain a thousand times bigger. NEVER let MCFD use their tests / testers on you. All over the world they have been proven to be frauds, cheats and liars.

    One of these days they will be made accountable. Just like all the other scammers in society who were given a free ride for so long. Child protective services' biggest mistake is thinking that just because they got away with murder in the past, they'll always get away with it. Talk about stupid. They take the cake.

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  8. Readers who wish to write to advise the government that this is unacceptable, if not barbaric, can email the following minister:

    King, Darin

    DarinKing@gov.nl.ca

    Darin King's website:

    http://www.darinking.ca/

    When you send your letters, it is okay (from my point of view) to use strong terms such as "barbaric" to describe what is a barbaric practice (we don't need to be ridiculously politically correct, like Justin Trudeau). But be professional and use all the proper protocol, etc., when writing to government officials. Double check to make sure you haven't made any spelling or grammar errors.

    Don't forget to request a response; that is, ask what the MP or whomever you write to intends to do to address the problem. Sometimes you will not get a response at all, but sometimes you will, and in any event, your letters / emails will always be taken into account in terms of the politician's perception of public opinion.

    ReplyDelete

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