Thursday, June 30, 2011

CHILD WELFARE IN CANADA, IN ABBOTSFORD & THE CURRENT AYN VAN DYK CASE / 558

Child welfare in Canada contains both government and private services which are designed to protect children and to encourage family stability. The primary objective of the services provided is to safeguard children from both abuse and neglect. Services termed ‘child protection services’ investigate allegations of both abuse and neglect. They may also supervise foster care and adoption services. It was not unfair of me to place the protective concentration first, and now to tell you that in addition child welfare offers services that seek to stabilize and develop families. All of Canada’s provinces and territories have child welfare agencies accessible 24 hours daily and networked together these are called the Canadian Child Welfare System.

But I will tell you about a little girl in a moment or so who did not need Child Welfare messing with her life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

READ THIS, READ THIS - ZABETH HAS GOOD NEWS / 557

Zabeth Bayne communicated her good news to me yesterday afternoon and last evening she also told Kari Simpson and Terry O’Neill and their radio audience the elevating update. People that know, love and support the Baynes have waited for the kind of indicator that we heard. It certainly was the best news that I have heard since I began writing about the Bayne case two years ago.

Kari Simpson and Terry O'Neill are blunt critics of the practices of the Ministry of Children and Family Development which Kari and Terry dub the Ministry of Destruction!

Last night the primary story was the interview with Derek Hoare, the committed father of three children, one of whom, his nine year old autistic daughter was removed by the MCFD fourteen days ago. I told his story here on Saturday June25th with the piece entitled ‘Derek Hoare and his Daughter Ayn.’

It was a dramatic juxtaposition of one heart-wrenching Ministry related family experience and the other family’s heartening news.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Roadkill Interview of Derek Hoare Tonight / 556

Roadkill Radio next Live Interview Show is tonight June 28, 2011, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm Pacific, at which time Terry O’Neill & Kari Simpson will be interviewing Derek Hoare who was featured on this GPS blog's June 25, 2011 post entitled, DEREK HOARE AND HIS DAUGHTER AYN

  • Derek is an eloquent, intelligent, and highly competent father;
  • This is day 12 since removal;
  • Ayn was taken from her school. No clothing or toys from home were taken;
  • MCFD said she would be placed in a foster home;
  • Her autistic condition is too severe so she is in a facility to be stabilized;
  • MCFD has not told Derek where she is or how she is;
  • Derek believes in civil liberties so MCFD view him as uncooperative;
  • A hearing was held Tuesday & he only received the papers as he sat there;
  • Presentation is July 12th and Derek believes he will have to contest it;
  • If he contests it, then he will not be heard for 90 days from now;
  • Terry and Kari intend to call upon the Minister of MCFD Hon. Mary McNeil;
  • We are l hoping Ms McNeil will take a personal interest and bring correction;
  • If you couldn't listen live, then check the website and listen to the archive. 
Please contact Derek Hoare directly at 

Derek Hoare iconoclast_ensues@yahoo.com 904-HELP AYN 904-435-7296

JUDGE CRABTREE’S RULING REVISITED / 555

Judge Crabtree noted in the report that accompanied his conclusion, that from the outset of the Ministry’s involvement with the Bayne children, the parents were devoted to having access to their children and dedicated to asking for as much time as possible. He noted that they had applied several times for more time than the Ministry wanted to provide and they continued to pressure for more time and Crabtree saw this as a positive indicator. However, it also strained relations with Ministry personnel as he perceived it. (Now whose fault is that?)

Judge Crabtree gave indication that he understood the parents’ reluctance to be involved in a parental capacity assessment by the Ministry because he could appreciate that parents might feel this was an admission of guilt for an abuse alleged against them already. Even Judge Crabtree could discern and then write in his report that the relationship between the Baynes and the social workers had deteriorated so much that there was no longer trust, and communication was eroded. Neither party wanted any longer to deal with the other.

Monday, June 27, 2011

THE DIRECTOR’S CRITICAL ROLE / 554


The Regional Director in the Bayne Case is the final authority with respect to the work of the team of social workers assigned to this case. In 2010 he took the case to court to obtain a Continuing Care Order for three Bayne children. His position was clear. Because of the nature and extent of the injury sustained by the infant Bayne child (the Director would prefer to call it harm suffered by) and also because of the length of time that this matter has been outstanding, he wanted the children to be placed in his office’s continuing care.

As Judge Crabtree interpreted it, the Director argued that the time (in excess of three years) that these children have been in care was due to the parents’ position of innocence steadfastly maintained since the removal of the children. (That opinion is debatable. This CCO application was not presented by the Director until 2010 nor was there any court opportunity afforded to the Baynes prior to that to defend themselves against suspicion and allegation. And it may be argued, “well, that’s simply the way it is.” Then something within this system must be changed.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

DEREK HOARE AND HIS DAUGHTER AYN

Derek Hoare has three children and all three lived with him until ……… Well, wait until you hear this.

Photo by John Van Putten shows Derek with Ayn
Did your child ever go missing for a few minutes, for an hour or so? And were you desperate to find the child. Did you contact the police? And when you found the child weren’t you ecstatic and so grateful? So was Derek. But his joy didn’t last long.

His nine year old daughter Ayn VanDyk, (her mother's surname) was suddenly gone from his backyard at his Mt. Lehman Road home. He had taken numerous precautions for the care of his children. There is a six-foot fence that surrounds his yard. All windows and doors are locked and the doors require a key to exit from the inside. Yet one day recently, Ayn had climbed into her tree house, scaled the wall and disappeared. Derek spent 10 minutes running up and down the street in a rapid search for her and then he called the police who three hours later returned Ayn to her father. She ran to her dad and rapped her arms around him in a tearful embrace. She had been found safe at a pool in the yard of neighbours two house away.

Great! Right? Wrong! Four days later Ministry of Children and Family Development representatives arrived at his home with orders to remove Ayn. Just imagine what that did to this little girl and to this father.

Friday, June 24, 2011

LET THE FAMILY FINISH WRITING THEIR STORY / 553

As I begin today I want to dispense immediately with what will be the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s default response to what I have to say. That response will be, “The Baynes brought this upon themselves.” Readers, that is categorically untrue. Having made that clear I will get on with it.

random multi-generational no-name family photo
I am a grandparent and our home is just convenient minutes away from both sets of grandchildren. The grandchildren often spend time at our home. They eat meals here. They have learned to strike plastic golf balls. They play soccer and bacci ball. We go for walks to the playground. We stop at the corner store for slushies. They try on clothes that Grandma makes for them. They permit arms around their shoulders, and they listen to soft instruction. Life lessons subtley slipped in while watching TV or sitting together are common.

When I think of the Bayne children’s grandparents I am struck again with the privilege that is mine to enjoy my grandchildren whenever they want to come over or whenever I want to ask them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD / 552


The concept of the ‘best interests of the child’ is a universal theme expressed in a variety of international and Canadian instruments of law and practice. But is it anything more than a theme? Does it actually have content? I am not certain that it does. It is cited with conviction in child protection care proceedings and custody battles but why? Such cases are never decided on the basis of that theme but rather the specific facts of the case. The concept of “best interests” is a part of the rhetoric of child protection agencies.

The deficit is that the modifier “best’ is not defined, in fact perhaps indefinable. Even the touted United National Committee on the Rights of a Child has not taken a position to define the term with precision. Without a definition, “best interests” has no constraints, and then while the trumpeted term sounds politically and morally correct, it can lead to wrong impressions, inaccurate assessments and unjust decisions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THE LONGEST DAY / 551

June 21st was the longest day. That’s what yesterday was where I live. Actually the last 36 hours were unbelievably long for members of my family.

The first official day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is marked by the summer solstice. In addition, the first day of summer, the summer solstice, also marks the longest day of the year. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest. The word Solstice derives from two Latin words, sol (sun) and sistere (stand still) and refers to the Sun's most extreme southernmost or northernmost position in the sky as viewed from Earth. The southern extreme is the summer solstice.

I didn’t really care about any of that when on Monday night, the eve of Solstice, my married daughter, aged forty-two, mother of three children, beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman, Master’s in Music from Western Washington U, drove herself to the Hospital Emergency doors and told them she had chest pains. Hours later following testing we learned that she had suffered a heart attack.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THE BAYNE FAMILY / 550

Daddy and Bethany
Mommy and Josiah
Kent getting cozy
Daddy and his sons
Bethany at ease
Mommy and Bethany
Bethany tucking in
What a great family the Baynes are.
Perhaps this summer the children can be permitted to return permanently to live with their parents.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NOT CONSPIRACY THEORY / 549


Jesse Ventura - 'Conspiracy Theory' reality show
Here is a thought. Conspiracy theories have become a cultural phenomenon in our century and that is detrimental for the advocates for meaningful changes to the services of the Ministry of Children and Family Development in B.C.

Conspiracy theories are viewed with skepticism. This blog does not concern itself with conspiracy theories with regard to the Ministry of Children and Families.

Friday, June 17, 2011

FATHER'S DAY 2011 / 548


Jason Payne/Postmedia News Service
Journalists have described the disgrace in downtown Vancouver following Game Seven of the Stanley Cup. They are unanimously at a loss to explain why a segment of the large group of hockey fans broke down steel fences, broke commercial windows, overturned and burned vehicles, taunted and fought with police, posed for photos in the midst of the mayhem and disregarded law and responsibility. But city officials and law enforcement must understand and explain it in order to avert it in the future, since this is the second time that such humiliation has smeared the city’s history. The last time being the Seventh Game in 1994. Immediate explanations have been that criminals and anarchists came intentionally to use the occasion to break the law and to create a war zone.

But what kind of people are these? What has created the kind of person who can parade such disregard for what is right and good? Religious people will certainly have an explanation. Others do too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

THE EVARTS' CONCERN IN ALBERTA


Cathy Evarts and her husband Wade reside in Alberta. Cathy wrote to me some time ago, attaching to her note a copy of a lengthy and impassioned letter that she wrote to Honourable Yvonne Fritz, Minister of Children and Youth Services in Alberta.

Cathy wrote to me because she had spotted the online Bayne saga, and although her story is different she thought it might be of interest. Cathy and Wade have been foster parents, fostering children with family connections to the Buffalo Lake Settlement and the Wades’ experiences and observations developed a deep conviction that the system in that province must change. They became convinced in a short time that “the Government of Alberta Children and Youth Services, together with the Child & Family Services Authorities and Delegated First Nations Agencies is failing to provide adequate care to children in foster care or their families. High caseloads, insufficient caseworker training and compensation, a combination of unstable and ineffective agency management, and a lack of resources plague the foster care systems.” The Evarts resigned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BELIEVE / 546

The Canucks are on the verge of celebrating a Game Seven Stanley Cup Victory.
Or, the Canucks are on the edge of the greatest disappointment in the 40 year history of this franchise.

Stay with me now. There’s a child welfare application here somewhere.

Some fans would challenge me right there. How dare I even suggest the possibility that the Canucks might lose tonight’s game. They might even revoke my fan credential and criticize my lack of faith. Please understand that I do not lack the confidence that the Canuck Team has a roster of players that can beat any other team in the league on any given day. They were the team that finished the regular season with the best win/loss record. Tops!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

QUESTIONS CHILD PROTECTION WORKERS SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES / 545

Observers have become critics of child protection workers and their superiors and not for insignificant reasons. Too many judgements, too many actions, too many interactions reveal a service that has developed, not a bad rap but a bad reputation. I know some social workers and I am convinced that they have chosen this career with altruistic vision. They want to help people. They want to be effective and they want to employ all that is good in the human spirit to lift that which is weak among their community members.

It is to these that I direct some questions which I believe to be appropriate and relevant to good child protection work. They are questions that the child protection workers should ask in each and every case to which they are assigned.

Monday, June 13, 2011

WHAT IS A HAPPY ENDING? / 544

I still believe in happy endings.

I may be naïve. It wouldn’t be unusual. I was born in Canada and I have lived in this country all of my life. We have a national expectation that endings will happen happily. Customarily even sad stories have happy endings in Canada. We acknowledge that people may have difficult beginnings or problematical middle sections but we normally anticipate a compellingly happy ending.

One would think that a happy ending is not that difficult to agree upon. How confusing can the definition for a happy ending be?

Friday, June 10, 2011

I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE / 548

PART FIVE OF FIVE
The Evidence Based and Social Investigation Conference is schedule for August 4-6, 2011 in Surrey (Vancouver),B.C. 
I want to learn more about an ‘Evidence Based Practice’ model in relation to child welfare services.

In order to write in support of Paul and Zabeth Bayne’s campaign to regain custody of their children I have become self educated. Mine is not a complete program but I am informed. I have learned a great deal about child welfare, child protection, associated laws and policies, successes and failures. I have at times been critical that at certain junctures in the Bayne Case, personnel within this comprehensive system have not seemed to prioritize evidence.

Evidence Based practice is not new. The evidence based practice approach seeks to establish a larger knowledge (evidence) base and consequently also identifies areas where (evidence) knowledge is wanting.  I want to understand how it works ideally in those medical and social work disciplines that intersect in cases where parents come under suspicion of abuse or neglect that necessitates child removal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE, MEDICINE AND CHILD WELFARE / 547

PART FOUR OF FIVE
Medical practice and the practice of child welfare continue an integral interaction. The Ministry of Children and Family Development responds regularly to calls requiring intervention into suspected non accidental injuries of children or to calls of neglect of children. When services intervene in the lives of other citizens, they must do so based on best evidence available with regard to the probable consequences of that intervention. Evidence based practice (EBP) is a theme which one can locate readily on the internet. Many professional practices are addressing the need.  

Definition: Evidence based practice is the diligent, precise and prudent use of recent best evidence for making clinical practice and policy decisions. It has become unmistakable that current criticisms of certain child protection cases in British Columbia point to the need to prioritize EBP. The Evidence Based and Social Investigation Conference which this blog site has been advertising these past several days will apply that definition to child welfare. Blog Post 545 presented the schedule of experts who will be in attendance to apply this definition.