Monday, December 26, 2011


Derek Hoare is the father of three children, two of whom are affected by autism. Ayn is his youngest and she is now in foster care. On June 16th 2011 she was removed from her school and then Derek was informed. Workers from the Ministry of Children arbitrarily concluded Derek was struggling to manage the responsibilities. As an advocate for this family, I believe that evidence will not support this conclusion, and will further call into question the wisdom and competence of front-line workers as well as the policy and structure of our monolithic child protection agency. Today is Boxing Day. Yesterday, Derek wrote this piece.
"I'm sure it goes without saying that I have been hurting over these holidays... my boys have been hurting, my ex has been hurting, the family is hurting. I do hope Ayn was able to find some happiness today, I hope she was sufficiently distracted to recall the nightmare she is trapped within. I cannot, in fact I would not forget even if I could. I need to know this feeling. Each Christmas around the world people gather together for gift giving and great meals. They tell stories, share laughter and embrace those they hold dearest. These are days I do not get back.... ever. I can and will be having great celebrations upon Ayn's return however these days are gone...nearly 200 now.

On its face it would seem that the worst thing about this is having your child taken but it isn't. The worst thing is being powerless to get the child back. It is indifference that is shown by this powerful bureaucracy and how it disregards care and logic to prefer policy and salaries. There is no reason for keeping this girl from her family, but MCFD doesn’t care. Child Protection has her and this is simply MCFD’s function so its performs it. To MCFD social workers, this is just how it is. They feign kindness and they feign caring, but the reality is they do not even know Ayn. They do not even care to know her. How is it they can then claim to know what is best?

Child Protection Services is not a person. It is a faceless abstract created by us, the people whom it supposed to serve. We create and fund an entity like this under the notion that children need to be protected, but that is where it ends for most of us, with a notion. We do not read the laws. We do not learn the policies. We do not examine audits. In short we do not take the time to see if it is working. We rest on the assumption that because its purpose was pure and its function is good that everything must be okay. Well it’s not okay!

If I could give people anything this Christmas it would be courage to change these things. I don't think people ever imagined what would happen if this institution that we created to protect children, became so bureaucratic and policy-driven that it did not take the time to thoughtfully examine what might truly be best for a family. MCFD gets in excess of $1,000,000 000 dollars a year here in BC, (Yes one billion).... they MCFD has still never bothered to determine how my daughter behaved in the home, scarcely a question to that effect. Do we understand what that means when an organization so powerful can remove children without even having to consider how the child was in the family home? Yet MCFD continues to be funded and we continue to look away, seeking comfort in the original notion that children need to be protected.

I still have two children and now I have the knowledge that there exists this institution which can march in and kidnap your child at the whim of someone who does not even know you. This is not something that sits well with me. When MCFD took my daughter I didn't know what to do.  I only knew that it was wrong. I love my children and would never harm them.  I have sought to learn the most I can about their disability and to try to understand them and how best to treat them, but child protection workers still took her anyway. They did not spend an hour of thought on my daughter or my family but felt that they had the authority to do us. I am fairly certain that they cannot keep her forever, but that may simply be me turning to another societal institution and its underlying notion upon which it was founded... Justice.

On this Christmas Day I hope everyone holds their loved ones closely and focuses on the happiness which they can bring to one another. I have spent the past few days giving some much needed attention to my boys Wyatt and Lyric, whom I would like to thank so much and to let everyone know how proud I am of them. They have both shown such great strength and character in the midst of all this strife. And to all of you who have supported me throughout this, I know I have thanked you all so many times and I do not want it to lose its lustre but please know that it has meant so much to me in this battle that there are others still out there for whom child protection is more than just a notion. That you all can put a face on these children and take some of your time to help fight for them is a wonderful thing... and hopefully it means that we as a people have not reached a point of apathy where we will sit idly by as noble concepts get ripped to shreds.

Please have a Merry Christmas everyone. Do not lament in my sadness but rather find in it a reason to share your joys and loves with others whom you find worthy of it. Cherish them and each moment you have together. Time is fleeting but our love does not have to be fleeting. Thank you so much everyone, enjoy your holidays. I am going to go and hug my boys and look at pictures of my baby girl."


  1. Excellent Ron. I think we just have to re-group and come on stronger to these people. No one should have the power to make anyone feel the way this family is feeling right now. My heart breaks for all of them. We will get her back soon.
    Great blog.

  2. Thank you Ron, for posting this on your blog! I was very moved by what Derek wrote on Christmas day. Derek's wisdom shines through even when he is in the deepest of pain. I have been following this situation for months and cannot find a shred of evidence that MCFD had any legal reason to remove Ayn from her loving and devoted family. Hearts all over the world were with this family this holiday season. Hearts broken knowing that Ayn was not yet at home. I certainly did hold my loved ones more closely this holiday season! Thank you Ron for sharing this family's story. Thank you Derek for readying our many hearts for making major changes on behalf of children and families!


I encourage your comments using this filter.
1. Write politely with a sincere statement, valid question, justifiable comment.
2. Engage with the blog post or a previous comment whether you agree or disagree.
3. Avoid hate, profanity, name calling, character attack, slander and threats, particularly when using specific names.
4. Do not advertise