Friday, August 19, 2011

Celebrating BC Child and Youth in Care Week / 601

In its own promotion of this special week that was held this past May, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has written this comment.
Notice, Listen, Respect. Stand with children and youth in care. These are powerful words, and they hold a personal meaning for thousands of children and youth in government care across British Columbia.
To help acknowledge and celebrate children and youth in government care and to help combat negative stereotypes and social stigmas, the B.C. government is proclaiming May 23-29, 2011 as the first-ever B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week.
It was a youth-driven idea to create the week - and it's a first for British Columbia. B.C. is the only province in Canada to celebrate a week for children and youth in government care.”
Let’s not be naïve or so self-congratulatory that we ignore the thousands of children who are in care but don’t want to be there. 

Minister Mary McNeil and Child and Youth Representative, Turpel-Lafond both praised the initiative for the week have originated with children in care and in the accompanying YouTube video, the two women look like an affable duo. The government again pumped loads of dollars into this self-advertisement. The message is “We are doing great things for the children of this province and the children in care say so themselves.

I would concur that the genesis for the week is laudable. Children in care for reasons for which they are not responsible, and with outcomes that are more optimistic than what was forecast in their parental homes, and with attitudes that speak well of the treatment they have received, should be appreciated.

Here’s the big however. Let’s not be naïve or so self-congratulatory that we ignore the thousands of children who are in care but don’t want to be there. Children whose lives are despondent because they miss their parents. Children who have been taken from their parents due only to suspicions of some neglect or abuse by caregivers but without substantial proof. Children whose experience in foster care is hard and risky. Children who do not fare well in these forced relationships and become statistics as they become delinquent or addicted or sexually victimized or criminal. Of course the Ministry is not going to parade these children and their stories. On the other hand can’t we sincerely acknowledge that these are also results of an aggressive child protection program where child removal is truly not a last resort. No, of course that will not be conceded publicly. That sounds too much like a job not so well done. Precisely! Then at least privately admit these realities within the Ministry and make adjustments to policy and procedure so that children can live with parents who are receiving substantial help from the Ministry by way of profound discussion, counselling, resources, follow-up, mediation, monitoring. Ministry action does not always have to be as punitive as it is for parents and children.

Out of respect for the young people who have dreamed and affected the realization of this week, here is their own hip-hop music video.


  1. As a former crown ward I will tell you life in care is no picnic. I went from a staright A student who attended bible class, and sunday school of my own accord to a very angry, physically and emotionally abused schooldrop out teenager. I had my first anxiety attack in care while being badgered by a staff member for hours. I smoked my first joint because I was being accused by staff that I already was. I was forced to go through a pap smear long befoore having sex. I was physically assualted numerous times by staff. They tried to force me to take medication I did not want. I was accused by a drunk staff member of threating her. I caught the staff drinking regularly while working and soon shipped off to another home which was worse than the first so I would not be considered crediable when I made complaints about the drinking that was going on. The new place had locks on the fridge and cupboards where the food was kept. I had to wear femine products far to long often because staff had those under lock and key and decided when we could or could not have them. My mother was permited to come into this group home and slam my head against a wall as the staff looked the other way. I was not allowed private access to a phone converstion. I was strip search on a regular basis. This was all before I was sixteen. At sixteen a family member rescued me from this jail I lived. I was not violent, I was not a criminal, I was just a very scared kid who need someone to look after me and keep me safe from my alcholic abusive mother and I ended up serving a 2yr sentence in hell because I needed protection. No other family members were ever contacted by CAS to see if they could care for me. I eventually contacted a family member who came for me right away. I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemies. I want to sue the CAS and tell my story but as a parent now if I dare say a word I may have my child taken from me, as a form of punishment. CAS did absolutely nothing for me except make my life hell for two years. Child protection, as far as I am concerned is not about protection in my case. I was punished for my mothers bad parenting. To be honest I wish I never asked for help because hell is what I got. I was a good kid whose life at the time was ruined by CAS. Lucky for me my realative saved me and helped me to become the person I am today not CAS! Thats part of my story and that was 20 years ago, funny how I never forgot it.

    Thank you for listening,
    Former Crown Ward.

  2. I was reading through Derek Hoare's Facebook site to get his nine-year old autistic daughter Ayn back home, where there was apparently a visit yesterday between the mom Amie and Ayne.

    Derek Hoare writes: "here is something heartbreaking, i am messaging Amie [Ayn's mother] and she says all throughout the visit 5 or 6 times Ayn said "Go to Daddy's house another day."

    More than two full months passed without a visit between a child and her parents. This is an abomination. The court still does not have a court order justifying this retention.

    The promotional video is the equivalent of a parent favouring one child and making a show of it, while a dozen other children languish in uncertain limbo with little or no future to look forward too.

  3. A story on a similar theme to Anon 9:05AM can be found near the bottom of this page "Dianna Holden" who is suing the Ministry for her time in care, and for later removing her two young children for 40 days (a rare return at a Presentation Hearing).

    A woodpecker shakes its head violently and often and yet it seems to suffer no brain damage. So how can the SBS hypothesis be valid?

  5. It is very sad that Ayn is not with her father when she really wants to be. However, it is Derek who has chosen not to see Ayn while she is in care - he has stated this publicly. I guess my question is; Why is Ayn's mother merely visiting...why isn't Ayn going home with her?

    I wonder, if the only reported CP concern is Derek's inability to parent (due to stress? I believe that's the newspapers statement? Open for correction)...would it be cheaper and more family/child-centred to send Ayn home and provide a care-giver IN THE HOME of Derek and Ayn? Maybe 4-5 hours a day? 3-5 days a week? 15 bucks an hour? This person can work on appointments, occupational therapy, schooling, socialization etc with Ayn. Not that Derek can't, but just saying, it would be a huge help.

  6. Ray - you are a smart man. You can't seriously be comparing SBS to the head-shaking of a hummingbird??? Hummingbird brain, skull, brain-stem, physiology designed for that. Human brain...not.

    SBS is actually something that has happened. Although false accusations are very very sad, the fact is it happens, and you know better than to suggest otherwise.

  7. If you want graphic evidence of what happens to little girls in the "care" of the Ministry, go to Derek Hoare's Facebook page and see the before and after photos of Ayn, his daughter who was taken by the Ministry, drugged up on powerful anti-psychotics and denied contact with family or friends for months.

    What you will see will sicken you. It is heartbreaking and infuriating to see the dead look in this once-vibrant and joyous little girl's eyes.

    Spread the word, about Derek Hoare, Ayn, and this awful Ministry that pretends to protect children, while in reality torturing them and their families. And if you think I'm exaggerating by using the term torture, just take a look at the "after" photograph of Ayn.

  8. To anon 8.16 PM. Of course I know that science has demonstrated the special protection that evolution has given the brain of the woodpecker. By making a fatuous argument, I was mocking the equally fatuous arguments made by Finn Jensen and the director in the Bayne court case. Also the fatuous claims made by SBS officionados.
    Do not be so sure that shaken baby syndrome actually happens. There is no research proof for the shaken baby syndrome and it remains as only a hypthosis. Many forensic and biomechanical experts assert that it is virtually impossible to cause the usually accepted triad of injuries by shaking. The shaking would have to be so violent that many other injuries would be evident. For instance neck injuries and grip injuries to the torso or arms.
    My woodpecker analogy makes just as much scientific sense as the claims of the SBS pushers.

  9. Anon, at August 19, 2011 8:16 PM:

    You claim that SBS has "happened." Provide some evidence.

  10. Anon at August 19, 2011 8:16 PM:

    If you are concerned about child abuse, and child abuse that isn't reported or detected, you might want to focus on the abuse that occurs when children go into the custody of Child Protective Services. Check out what they did to Derek Hoare's daughter, Ayn, for example.

    We don't need to debate the pros and cons of any bogus theories. It is quite simple to see that what MCFD has done to Ayn is pure and simple child abuse.

  11. Actually, God designed the wonderful protection for the woodpecker as is beautifully reflected in this woodpecker song (


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