Friday, April 29, 2011


Unidentified mom and child
Parenting Capacity Assessment (PCA) PCA’s are conducted for the purpose of identifying the functional parenting ability of a potential caregiver or active caregiver. PCA’s also identify parenting limitations and possible remediation that may assist an individual in acquiring the skills necessary for effective parenting. PCA’s are usually conducted under Court Order or in respect to child welfare concerns.

You already know that Paul and Zabeth Bayne are engaged with Dr. Conrad Bowden in a Parental Capacity Assessment. I wrote a small bit about this earlier and have been impressed with material produced by Dr. Bowden. Candidly I wonder how the Baynes will find this experience to be.

In response to my Blog No. 507 entitled Parenting Capacity Assessment (PCA) / 507", a number of writers privately and confidentially mentioned their interaction with Dr. Bowden. What have they said? Their opinions are certainly of interest to the Baynes and other parents to whom MCFD Social Workers strongly recommend Dr. Bowden. So far, not stellar reviews. I would be interested to read comments by parents who have been favourably impressed with Dr. Bowden’s methods and assessment results.

Writers have found that Dr. Bowden is in great demand with a very busy schedule. He is a specialist that MCFD uses regularly to do Parental  Capacity Assessments (PCA), and therefore the waiting time both for his assessment services and then for the completion of the report is lengthy - might be six months.

One of the writers in commenting about the customary waiting time for Dr. Bowden’s services speculated on his availability for the Baynes by asserting that either Dr. Bowden dropped everything to take this one on, or MCFD made arrangements to use him many months ago, both scenarios underscoring the gravity of the Bayne case and MCFD’s determination to end it.

One writer has concluded that although unhappy with the PCA experience, it was this parental willingness to participate in the assessment that positively affected the MCFD decision to return the parents’ children. This writer was pleased with Dr. Bowden during the course of the interviews that were conducted. However, once the report was completed and when it was being presented to the parent, this writer felt that Dr. Bowden almost changed identity. This writer assumed that Dr. Bowden was less than objective because the writer was offended by what were perceived as insulting comments in the report.  

Another writer found it distasteful to speak to a middle aged man about highly private and intimate matters. In fact this person felt violated by the requirement to answer expressly personal questions but learned that it was imperative to comply. In areas where there was hesitancy to respond, the report reflected badly upon the parent in areas unrelated to parenting.

Someone else said, "I am not sure if Dr. Bowden is good or bad. MCFD is very negative and will not listen to parents. So, in some ways, he is better than your average SW. They will write their risk assessment or they will get a psychologist to do a PCA. It is like a risk assessment. I realized that his report is mainly a composite of what people said about me. So, it is not so much his personal opinion, but the comments of both your supporters and your detractors and the important thing is get those support letters to him. And do it early. ...I am still not sure if he is good or bad."

Another writer went into the experience with Dr. Bowden feeling very positive, comfortable with the doctor and hopeful about the results. In fact this parent actually was persuaded that Dr. Bowden was opposed to MCFD but that turned out to be untrue and even a bit manipulative. This parent did not receive helpful comments within the report.

One person wrote a comment to my No. 507 post and said the following. 
April 19, 2011 5:51 PM Anonymous said... "Years ago, Dr. Conrad Bowden was foisted on me as the "only" choice that was given to me for a PCA. I researched the court judgment databases, I talked to him, and I didn't trust him at all. He smiled too much when it was clear to me there was no purpose for doing so. His body language did not match his speech either. It was my impression he was practiced at making people comfortable, but was not consistently sincere sounding. I was able to get a different psychologist with whom I was comfortable and who had far better credentials AND who did not derive the bulk of his income from MCFD. Suffice it to say my children were returned based on the strength of the PCA report and MCFD withdrew without a supervision order - I refused to sign one, and MCFD refused to go through with a protection hearing."
If you have a good report to make on Dr. Bowden and request confidentiality, that's the way I will use it, eliminating all identifiable facts. 

Much later on May 27 2011 an anonymous writer wrote: "I just recieved my copy of my PCA from my lawyer. I take back all the bad things I said about Dr. Bowden. My report is great. It really makes it hard for MCFD to prolong my case!!! I hope for the same good result for you. I just thought I would write as I was very suspicious of Dr. BOwden previously. I guess, I have been burned pretty badly by different social workers and trust diminishes from that. But Dr. Bowden is a fair assessor and I am sure he will see you in a good light. I am a little nervous to have this published as I think all the ministry reads it and may know who I am. Thank-you.


  1. One of you about whom I wrote above has written again. Do you want me to publish this recent comment?

  2. It was interesting to hear that Dr. Bowden drove all the way from downtown Vancouver to the Surrey office specifically to participate in a one hour questioning process by the Baynes so they could gain an understanding of his methodology.

    This is a 45 minute drive each way, minimum. Keep in mind, these guys charge $250 per hour. About as much as most lawyers.

    All the questioning sessions of the Baynes, Dr. Bowden drives to the Surrey office. Either the guy is not so busy at the moment or he has been apprised as to the high profile nature of this case and has been instructed to be accommodating, and will be paid appropriately.

    All the PCA sessions I participated in, tests and questioning, I drove downtown for two meetings.

    This case has been overblown beyond belief.

  3. Anon at May 1, 2011 10:01 PM,

    You mentioned this case "has been overblown beyond belief." But isn't that a good thing in terms of MCFD accommodating the Baynes (inasmuch as they can be said to be accommodating)? The one thing that this case seems to drive home again and again is how important it is to not keep quiet, but to seek as much publicity as possible. If the Baynes had kept quiet, it seems most likely they would have had their 3 children taken, forever, as so many others have had their children taken.


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