Thursday, July 28, 2011
I WILL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT / 584
It does follow the script written by the Judge Thomas Crabtree ruling of March 10, 2011. In that ruling His Honour rejected the Ministry claim that one of the Baynes was responsible for shaking Bethany to cause severe injury to her in Autumn 2007; denied to the Ministry a Continuing Care Order yet did retain the children in care for three months; then suggested that the Baynes view this as a window of opportunity to comply with Ministry provisos in view of a return of the children which he concurred was in the best interests of the child. The Baynes agreed to a full Parental Capacity Assessment (PCA) and Parenting course. The affirming PCA report written by psychologist Dr. Conrad Bowden likely affected the positive outcome more than we know.
There have been convincing indications that MCFD will be true to its word on this action plan. For some weeks the children have been granted unsupervised visits with Paul and Zabeth, and latterly there have been scheduled overnights (unsupervised). These steps are part of the adjustment required for the children in particular, who must transition contentedly and affectively from foster care with which they are very familiar and at ease, to the care of their biological parents’ whom they love. At least the two older boys have recall of the early years at home with Paul and Zabeth. We only guess at the psychological/emotional challenge for Bethany for whom foster care has been the anchor point in her life from her first memories until now, first with one foster family with whom she stayed for two years and latterly with the present foster family.
And yet, despite the promise of a return of the children, and the optimistic signals emitted by the unsupervised visitation, I have had more than one person tell me, “I will believe it when I see it.” I find myself inclined to that same profoundly distressing sentiment. It is disagreeable for me to state such a cynical response about a government ministry in which I should be able to have confidence and faith. It places a damper on my enthusiasm and may even cast a pall over the readers of this blog who like me have been waiting supportively, prayerfully, eagerly for this Bayne Family reunion. I apologize for that, but keep in mind that the month of August with unsupervised visits and overnights, and Josiah living at home until the scheduled permanent return of the other three children is not only a practical action plan of transition but also a highly monitored Test Run. My level of trust in anyone associated with the Bayne children within the Ministry Care program is so low that I will believe it when I see it. When I see it, I will publicly thank the local social working detachment for affecting this return.