Paul and Zabeth Bayne received from Judge Thomas Crabtree an 'opportunity' as he termed it. Ostensibly it was a nudge to the Ministry and to the Baynes to do something that has not worked for 3.5 years – that is, work together to bring the children home to the Baynes.
You see, cooperation until now, as defined by the Ministry social workers and Director was admission of responsibility for Bethany's injuries dating to September 2007. Not merely responsibility but admission of guilt of willful harm inflicted upon their child, a non accidental injury. Without that admission, the Ministry for three years has not been forthcoming with services or consideration of a return.
That definition is not what Judge Crabtree means by cooperation. He made it clear that he did not accept the Ministry's assertion that the baby's injuries were the result of shaken baby syndrome. The Baynes are not required to admit to anything in order to have the good faith cooperation of the Ministry working with them to affect a return of the children. The Baynes are required to do those things that satisfy the Ministry that they are in fact good and fit parents. What was Judge Crabtree thinking? How are they going to do that? So, the Baynes have written a letter to the Ministry requesting a suggested list of expectations. To date, they have not received a reply. I will let you know when that comes. Nevertheless, Paul and Zabeth have already registered for several courses to establish and to improve their parenting credentials.
To some degree the cooperative relationship toward which Judge Crabtree's ruling directed both parties will now depend upon a new social worker/case worker because the file has been transferred from Hope to Surrey. A meeting between the social worker and the Baynes has happened or will happen soon and this will be very important for both the Baynes and for the Ministry. The Ministry is also under scrutiny now because it did not win this case. I hope you realize that. Some of us may have incorrectly read the ruling as suggesting that Crabtree granted the applied for Continuing Care Order, when in actuality he granted only a Temporary Care Order. It didn't win a CCO. The TCO means that the Ministry is required by law to work with parents with a view to returning the children to the natural family environment. The Baynes have been doing everything they can for 3.5 years. As for taking responsibility, yes! Don't you think Paul and Zabeth have ached over the injuries sustained by their infant daughter on their proverbial watch. Yes, it happened while she was in their care and while their two small boys were playing close by, a preventable accident was not foreseen and she was seriously injured. That's their story and it is that with which they live. Yet instead of being able to love and to care for that child and their other children, they have had to suffer the loss of those years of nurturing.
|A group celebration of 'cooperation'|
Paul and Zabeth have never missed a visit opportunity with their children. They requested more time with their children. They rearranged their lives and changed their employment so that day times could be free for visits and for the until now futile meetings with the Ministry. The reason the Baynes are able to visit together as a family now is because they received a court order from Judge Crabtree. He specified the number of hours per week and the days upon which these children are to be permitted to spend time with their children. He even gave the Baynes six hours with their children in their own family home, albeit with a supervisor. But that doesn't mean the Ministry cannot still intimidate or torment the Baynes. What other interpretation can there be for a restriction that when in the Bayne home, both parents and all four children must be in the same room all of the time (that is, a parent may not go with a child to another room to read or cuddle or do a craft); or, the renewed ban on the parents taking photographs of their own children. It's true. That was recently communicated to them. Sure, pictures have appeared on Facebook and on this blog, celebrating the children and special days and happy times during the visits. Nothing wrong with that it seems to me. But the Baynes will comply. Why? Because they know from previous experience that any disconfirming word or behaviour will find its way to the file.
I have to say, some of you may still be suspicious of Paul and/or Zabeth, but at some point one has to say that enough punishment has been imposed now.
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