Monday, July 4, 2011
REASONS TO BELIEVE CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES ARE OUT OF CONTROL / 560
Typically a report must be made when an individual knows or has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect. Citizens are informed that it is our duty to report such cases. We can be assured of anonymity.
When reports of child abuse or neglect are presented, child protection services engage in an investigation of the care giving or family situation and invariably this casts suspicion upon the persons who have relationship with or are regularly responsible for the care of the child and these persons will include typically, parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives, or legal guardians. We are told that once a child is removed from home, the goal of child protective services is always to reunite the child with their family. If the parent(s) fail(s) to complete Court Ordered terms and conditions, the children in care may never return home. Clearly, there are cases in which, due to the nature of abuse, the child are not permitted to see or to converse with the proven or suspected abusers.
Many citizens of this province are concerned with the policy and the practices of MCFD believing that the practice is out of control and that there is inadequate oversight and accountability. I am not convinced that they are wrong. In fact, the family stories of which I am made aware trouble me to the degree that I believe radically reshaped guidelines need to be adopted for this Ministry if in fact children are to be protected in their homes. Some citizens believe that CPS has an anti-family mindset. I am not yet convinced of this, yet I believe that in certain instances, the family is the last consideration and the so-called protection of the child prevails to the ultimate harm of the child and actual impairment of the child’s best interests. I am concerned that child removal appears to be a first resort rather than the last resort. Too many of these removals might in a common sense court of opinion be viewed as groundless causes of action and are merely outcomes of unfettered powers. There are insufficient checks and balances to this continuing scourge on families.
It is shameful that our courts when dealing with MCFD cases, tend to exhibit a bias for MCFD rather than parents when the court should insist that the province may not sever completely and irrevocably the rights of parents with their natural child, without being able to support allegations by clear and convincing evidence. It should be required that the province must prove parental unfitness. In the Bayne case the MCFD was unable to do this. All four children and their parents Zabeth and Paul share a vital interest in defeating this erroneous termination of their natural relationship. This has been despicable.