Monday, July 4, 2011


Child Protective Services in British Columbia fall under the mandate of the Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFD). MCFD responds to reports of child abuse or neglect. Premier Christie has been championing the notion of servicing families effectively since she was elected this year. It remains to be seen whether there will be legs to this lofty promise. Real cases of disenfranchised families interrupted by MCFD in what often appears to be unnecessary severity as in child removals continue to occur and government in Victoria predictably responds with a no comment statement.

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.


  1. I am an ex foster parent from Alberta and the training I received was about family reunification, respect for the bio parents, healthy connections with the children in my care and all working as a team with Alberta Children and Youth services for the betterment of the families. There is a workable plan….but Alberta Children and Youth services follow a DIFFERENT plan of destruction!!!! That came clear to me with the first meeting with the caseworker. Their plan was about keeping the children “SAFE” away from their parents – setting the parent visits up without proper supports – so the visits would “FAIL” – then take that information to court in a file "AGAINST” the parents. It became very clear that the bio parents or I were NEVER on the same team with Alberta Children and Youth services. I was told by the caseworker at the first meeting that these children will NEVER go home and are of adoptable age.
    I have the upmost admiration for all bio parents and families that continue to “FIGHT” for their rights and get their children back. I was just the foster parent and it broke me emotionally in just eighteen months - to watch the emotional abuse this family had to endure and for me to continually go unheard and be belittled by the “SYSTEM”.
    The time for the foster care system to change is now! No longer can we afford to sit by while our children drop out of school, get involved with drugs, engage in sexual activity, continue the cycle of sexual abuse, become homeless, become depressed, or commit suicide. For their sake, our sake, and the sake of our future generations, we must make a change--a lasting change. Our kids are literally dying for it!

  2. Cathy,

    You sound like an amazing person, it's really unfortunate that you had to experience this abusive system when you were trying hard to help families. Please keep letting people know the reality of child protection, and if possible write an article or better yet a book (self publish if you have to, because this is a story that must be told, and you have much more credibility - right or wrong - than parents do).


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