Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Doug Hughes, Dir Child Welfare
Here is a reply to one of my recent letters to government officials asking for consideration of the Ayn Van Dyk case. It comes from Doug Hughes, the Provincial Director of Child Welfare, and it is written as an official response on behalf of Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Children, Honourable Mary McNeil, though I wrote to each of them separately. So this response can be viewed as the shared perspective of the highest ranking bureaucrats that can relate to the ‘freedom’ of Ayn Van Dyk. If you are dropping in to the blog uninformed, then please know that Ayn is an autistic nine year old who was removed by MCFD following a 3-hour absence from her father’s care. She was playing in her back yard, climbed a fence when daddy wasn’t watching, found a neighbour’s back yard and played there. That was 5 ½ months ago, June 16th to be precise.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


How many children living in safe and blameless homes with dependable and competent parents are hurt in all manner of accidental ways as they sleep, play, eat, explore, experiment alone or with friends or with their parents?  

An unidentified baby, a sink, a tap ?????
On my way home last night I heard a radio news report of a young mother whose 3-month old daughter was scalded during her bath when she flailed and struck the hot water tap. The baby is suffering from first and second degree burns on her lower extremities. She was being bathed in the kitchen sink. There will be so many questions to ask and answer. The young mom will be distraught. Do you trust the police and the Ministry of Children child protection division to make the correct determinations? What will you think if they take that little girl away from her parents?

The ways by which child protection is managed in British Columbia arouses strong emotions and passionate controversy. Decisions about children and parents create ethical tensions on a weekly if not daily basis.

Monday, November 28, 2011


 Ayn Van Dyk could have and should have been returned to her capable and intelligent father’s care long ago instead of being kept away from her parents and siblings for more than five months.

The Liberal Party in British Columbia may not remain in power past this current mandate. If the rebuilding of public trust in the child protection division of the Ministry of Children and Family Development were as simple as changing political party I would advocate a change to New Democrat or Conservative. However, clearly the issues that have eroded public confidence over the past forty years are trans-political. Even when the cabinet composition changes, the Ministry personnel that affect the lives of children, parents and families remain the same. And if there is some personnel turnover, there is a continuum of the policy/practice DNA. Regardless of which party is in power, if confidence in this Ministry is ever to be regained, that party will need to prioritize a love invested definition of a helping relationship.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Derek has not visited Ayn since she was removed on June 16, 2011. The opportunity has been presented to him. He has chosen not to visit Ayn. Derek has been separated from his wife Amie for three years. During that time Amie and Ayn have become accustomed to Amie’s periodic visits. So, during the five months that Ayn has been in foster care, her mom Amie, has had regular visitations with Ayn and permission was given for these to be unsupervised visits. Ayn has not interpreted her mom’s coming and going as unusual. Derek, on the other hand has not visited his daughter but he misses her incredibly.

Derek is not a foolish father but rather someone who weighs consequences carefully. He has been Ayn’s primary caregiver. He is a full-time father to all three of his children. That has been an agreement that he and Amie have established. Amie has respect for Derek as a father. Then why would he not visit this sweetheart whom he loves. He knows that his decision not to visit is one that requires explanation and he has articulated this in a statement which I will share here today.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today I am inserting a poem written by an advocate for Ayn Van Dyk. The author is Katrina Valentino and in this poem she addresses Ayn and she also speaks to child protection workers involved with Ayn's removal from her family and to the continuing custody by the government.  Katrina lives in Staten Island, NY, and this reflects the continental network of supporters that has embraced this 9 year old autistic girl's plight. This apprehension was not in her best interests. It was reckless. It was callous.

'Beautiful Girl'     by Katrina Valentino

Friday, November 25, 2011


Some days ago I composed a poem to convey the essence of the legalized act of removing an autistic child named Ayn from her parent and home for a reason that cannot be justified to the social conscience. She left her back yard and daddy didn't know where she was for three hours. For that she was taken from him five months ago and one can only imagine what she is experiencing. 

by Ron Unruh ©

“It’s pernicious” is what I said.
There seems no better word for what they do,
these snatchers guised as guardians.
A pretext it has become, this protection of a child
when the youngster safe and happy is detached
by strangers.

“It’s insidious” I say to portray the taking of a child
without the knowledge of her parents
frenzied and fuming at the abuse of their child
and their own liberties.
What right can squash parental rights with impunity
when due diligence and fairness are derelict
and justice seems a stranger on a democratic soil.

“It’s sinister” I proclaim to parents of all children
because their own fears mount with the mention
of the protectors’ names.
This is not the only child to be taken
for her best interests don’t you see.
Free she was and alert although unpredictable.
She seems a stranger now, deeply drugged but controlled.

Pernicious, insidious, sinister do you now agree
are the appropriate descriptors for her abductors.
She is not at home because she wandered, oh but
she is a precious girl, precocious and autistic
and therefore apt to wander.
This is punishment not protection and perhaps she thinks
that she did something terrible. Why not, since the captors
have never inquired about the health of the family.
Strangers to justice they are – these takers.

Derek Hoare / 778-240-6373 / Facebook:
Derek's email:
Fundraising email:

Thursday, November 24, 2011



(On June 12, 2011 Ayn Van Dyk climbed out of her fenced yard and was gone for 3 hours. She was found by police and returned to her dad who had called 911. On June 16, CP workers took Ayn from her school & then told her father, the primary care-giver. Ayn is autistic, as is one of her two brothers, whom she has not seen for five months)
Sincere CP social workers are not unaware of the criticism directed at them by parents and other observers when children are removed from parental homes for reasons that appear insubstantial and unjustified. This note is directed to them, that is, sincere CP social workers. They are the altruists who desire to conduct appropriate protection and family support. The challenge comes when directives from their superiors suggest that in the interest of the child, ask questions later but act first. So a child is removed and the process of inquiry is so prolonged that relationships between social worker and parent cannot help but become strained and unproductive.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


By Derek Hoare

Derek and one of his sons on a hike
My name is Derek I am a single father of three wonderful young children, aged 9, 10 and 11; my youngest two have both been diagnosed with severe autism. Though a constant and challenging struggle, I have done my best to protect and nurture them, as I love them so much and have dedicated my life to their achievement of happiness. My youngest child is a bright and beautiful little spitfire named Ayn. She has and is blossoming so well here at home and has come so far to overcome her obvious disability, she does however continue to struggle and outburst when in other environments, particularly at school.

Ayn is bit older now, still a bright light
Ayn is naive and unaware of the dangers that exist in the world at large, so when on Sunday June 12th she escaped the backyard we were very worried for her safety. With each passing moment the likelihood that something terrible had happened increased, as Ayn should stand out from other children easily and should have been quickly spotted. Fortunately Ayn was discovered two doors down playing in a neighbour’s backyard; the neighbour had taken an afternoon nap which provided Ayn with the ability to play undisturbed. The challenges I have faced in caring for my daughter have been encompassing and life altering, these challenges are very dynamic and new challenges arise as fast as the old one depart. Now with her discovery of the neighbours nearby trampoline and pool, she will undoubtedly seek to return there, vigilance will be required to face this new found challenge, but it is one which I must now face just as I have with each prior challenge and as I would have to with our future challenges as well. As it stands today I may never get that opportunity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Justice is a garment prepared for residents of earth. It is woven from billions of threads, knit together into a strong and integrated fabric. Love is the thread and it has produced a fabric of integrity.
Injustice occurs when countless numbers of these threads are pulled from the garment. The wearer of the garment is uncovered and vulnerable.
The work of justice is to mend the rips and tears of injustice that have occurred in the fabric of a society and its governance. The repair consists of the replacement of frayed threads, so the work must begin with love. 

The idea for my literary fragment above was inspired by THE JUSTICE CONFERENCE that uses among its images this one. Love is a Thread. This Conference promotes dialogue around
justice related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights.

Ayn Van Dyk’s release from government care into the waiting arms of her father Derek Hoare is at the very least the requisite solution to a human rights issue. It may be much more upon closer scrutiny of the policy, interpretation and practices that make it possible for a protection agency in response to a notification of a child missing for three hours, to take that child from her family. When due consideration is given to the child’s autism, not a father’s negligence, that accounts for her nomadic excursion to a neighbour’s yard, the shredding and slashing of justice is readily apparent. Immediately following Ayn’s brief trip, protection social workers appeared with a voluntary release form for Derek to sign. That was met by his anxious and incensed refusal. Four days later, unannounced, this government agency removed Ayn from her public school classroom. Ayn’s justice garment was in tatters as was Derek’s and his sons, and the extended family’s garments. Love covered her at home in the prettiest material designed specially for her. Only love’s thread can mend the lacerations so she is properly adorned again. Over 4000 people are members of Ayn's Facebook page, called 'Help Bring Little Autistic Girl Back to Daddy." and many are actively involved in lobbying for her release. Our comments are shared all days long. Here we weave our voice and our gifts into the project of Ayn’s protection so she can wear her garment of justice with its irreplaceable threads.

Derek Hoare / 778-240-6373 / Facebook:
Derek's email:
Fundraising email:

Monday, November 21, 2011


A Public Information Release for Ayn Van Dyk, Dated: November 11, 2011
Ayn, older than this pic, still wants her daddy
On June 16, 2011 Derek Hoare experienced the unthinkable shock of learning that his nine year old daughter Ayn had been removed from her school by the Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFD). He was informed that the action was designed to ease his load of responsibility but in fact it created an intolerable burden. Four and one half months have passed since their separation. It is crucial for readers to know that Derek continues to provide care for his two sons, one of whom is also autistic and he has never complained to anyone about the complexities or problems of raising three children, two of whom are severely autistic. He has done this cheerfully for years and all three children are happy and thriving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


By Ron Unruh

In a nutshell, we have a Ministry of Children and Family Development that contains a department called child protection. Our Law Enforcement is not local policing but rather the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Our judicial system is commendable but besieged by too many cases and not enough judges and not enough available court time. We have lawyers, oh oh we have lawyers, and many of them have tapped into the lucrative contracts with MCFD. Their interest therefore is not expediency, and they do not give a second thought to extended delays in process and what that may mean to a family in terms of heartache, relational distress or financial crippling. RCMP and MCFD have a working arrangement in child protection cases that when an apprehension must be made, officers will accompany social workers, making the situation so much more intimidating and traumatic.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has exhibited its already notorious failure to abide by its own policy and legal timelines in the case of Ayn Van Dyk. Ayn is ten years old and she is autistic. The policy which both empowers MCFD and gives direction to its operations is called Child, Family and Community Services Act. CFCSA specifies clear timelines for speedy processing. Speed has not characterized the way Ayn’s case has been handled following her removal. Ayn’s father Derek Hoare is presently in the centre of this agency’s ineptitude. Assembled below is a clip of verbal bullets.

Friday, November 18, 2011


By Dr. Ron Unruh in Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy
Derek and Ayn happy when she once lived at home

Our hearts are touched by Derek Hoare’s broken heart and most of all by the bewildered agony that terrifies Derek’s nine year old daughter Ayn (pronounced Ine). After eighteen days of Ayn’s crying, the Ministry requested that Derek supply a photo of him and Ayn together. She has been carrying this around ever since. That was 4 ½ months ago. Those pretty blue eyes were filled with tears for eighteen days despite the injection of three drugs into her system. That’s how the ministry has cared for this child with an autism disorder. Seventy hours after seizing her MCFD began the drug treatment. Drugs were unnecessary and unwelcome in Derek’s home.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


A laughing Ayn before Removal and anti-psychotic drugs
After an hiatus of some months, I can't help myself. Ayn needs help. She doesn't understand what has happened. She didn't do anything that bad. Do you want to know more? I'll tell you in the days ahead.

Does the Ministry of Children and Family Development understand Autism?

Whatever informed expertise there is within MCFD, it has not been communicated to front line workers and their supervisors who are making unreasonable decisions about autistic children.

Taking a child away from an attendant and proficient father as MCFD have done with 9 year old Ayn was pointless, reactionary, excessive and injurious. The adjectives are entirely appropriate for this stupid social worker action.

Instead of the Ministry providing practical, actionable information and financial assistance and affirming support to parents like Derek Hoare, the Ministry disciplines with severity when an autistic child does what comes naturally – wanders. And the manner by which the Ministry manages that tendency consists of seizing the girl and pumping drugs into her. The enormity of this offense defies expression with words. For the first eighteen days of her captivity she has daily wept. A nine year old girl should not be subjected to that. That is not in her best interests. If she cried every day while in the care of her dad and the Ministry heard about that, it would assume abuse or neglect. The reading public of this blog and of other news sources that carry the story readily associate the Ministry’s actions as abuse of their mandate. Citizens should be able to assume that Ministry personnel are intelligent, copiously prepared and fully informed about autism before they interfere with parental care of autistic children who are loved and cherished within their families. We are regularly supplied with reasons for disbelieving that. Not least of which is this distasteful harm done to a sweet girl who must now cling to a photograph of her dad holding her in his arms.

She should be in his arms.

Hon. Mary McNeil and Hon. Christy Clark, you must give attention to this case certainly, but beyond this single case, to the conduct of this Ministry challenged with responsibility for which it appears at so many levels to be incapable of satisfying. You have to turn this around for the sake of the people who have elected you to serve and to help us.

Please contact Derek Hoare directly at
Derek Hoare 904-HELP AYN 904-435-7296