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.

A Ministry culture has developed from the conferred powers of the Child, Youth and Community Services Act that has in too many instances translated into front-line decisions that injure families and over time have shattered public confidence in child protective work. Keeping children safe in a society is essential. Keeping the community informed and involved in this process is also an imperative of a democratic society. This B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development manages cases clandestinely, with no comment, and a default to privacy laws. In fact Victoria, the seat of the government doesn’t know very much about the case files within the regions. They will not know unless you as a citizen notify them.

Christy Clark, and Mary McNeil, and their colleagues will not know that Ayn Van Dyk is a nine year old girl with autism who was removed from her father’s care on June 16, 2011. They will not know the behavioural tendencies of her autism. They will not know the commendable success her father Derek has had with her over these years of her development. They will not know that not dissimilar to many autistic children, Ayn likes to explore, and to wonder what is on the other side of the family garden fence is not unusual. They can’t know that Derek is a stay-at-home dad who cares for his two other children as well, one of whom is also autistic. They won’t know the preventative and protective measures Derek has prepared within and around his home. They can’t know the strength of the love connection within that family that makes these children thrive. Politicians and bureaucrats will not know how unnecessary it was for social workers to apprehend Ayn Van Dyk on June 16th, 2011 following her June 12th three-hour trip to a neighbour’s yard. They will not be informed about the anti-psychotic medication pumped into her little body since she was taken. They will not have heard that she could have and should have been returned to her capable and intelligent father’s care long ago instead of continuing to keep Ayn away from her parents and siblings for more than five months.

They may know none of this unless you make them aware, and if you have to do this by telling Ayn’s story to journalists and media personnel, then do it. I have confidence in you. I have confidence in public response. I have confidence that public exposure of bad case work will get to the ears of those whom we elect. That’s where my confidence begins to fail me once again.

However, I look at regimes all over the present world and see that citizens will finally not take it any more.

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