Baynes' story, or to many others as well. I followed that one and rejoiced when in August 2011 the family of six were reunited permanently after four years of separation. Their story is an intolerable string of injustices.
Like the Baynes, what I learn from Derek Hoare and other parents like him is that at every stage that their child is in the protection process with MCFD, the parents are repeatedly deprived of basic information. That should strike you as discourtesy, irresponsibility and offense. That is certainly contradictory to the (CFCSA) Child, Family and Community Services Act intention and prescription because it is essential that the concerns of the Ministry be communicated in order for the parents to improve their situation so they can get their child back home. Derek can go weeks without an update about Ayn. Does He ask? I don't know. Should he have to? Hasn't the SW promised a regular report? Yes. Now his SW is off until June, and a replacement has been assigned. So how will the information be shared?
It is the duty of social workers to keep parents informed about the status of their file and the plan for their child. In spite of that, parents claim they are uninformed or even misinformed. Parents should be apprised of the steps in a plan by which they can have their children returned. Parents also should be notified of any changes of their child’s placement, or health or medical appointments or procedures and it should disturb us all that parents can give evidence of how often their input is not requested and they are left in the dark or at best informed at the last minute. Rather than clear communication a more apt term for what parents should be able to expect is ‘transparent communication.’ Nothing concealed or disguised. It’s preposterous that I even need to describe these distortions of appropriate practice.
And keep in mind as you read today, that Ayn Van Dyk, Derek's daughter, was removed from his care on June 16th, 2011 and now six months later she is still in Ministry care, and tomorrow, the 14th of December will be her TENTH Birthday, and she will not be at home for it. Her father will not be with her to celebrate. He has his reasons. Also keep in mind that this little girl is an autistic girl, and her behaviour is predictably unpredictable sometimes, so on June 12th she left home for three hours until she was found by police, and that was deemed as neglect. Of course there are numerous other behavioural incidents in her brief history but these are not uncommon to autistic families and these now have become the evidence of parental neglect, or putting it more diplomatically, "Daddy is overwhelmed."