|'Broken Dreams', Murray Unruh, glass & acrylic|
MCFD IS IN UNRESOLVED CRISIS MODE
In spite of inquiries and recommendations, changing governments, legislative reforms and in-house restructuring that the MCFD calls transformation, this child welfare system in B.C. has failed generations of both children and parents. British Columbia’s child welfare system has been in crisis for decades and it still is. Hon. Mary McNeil can only address the predicament if she consults and understands the history of this Ministry in B.C., acknowledges the existing problems, and agrees that changes are required and can be affected.
The foundation of B.C.’s child protection system is articulated in The Child Family and Community Services Act . It was approved in 1996 and it contains the values for child welfare as the Legislature expects it to be practiced. In 1996 this Act held enormous promise that the service provided would support families to care for their children within the family home. Physical apprehension of a child would be used only as a last resort and in the event that temporary placement was deemed necessary. Even in such a case the stated goal was always to reunify children with natural parents as quickly as possible. The CFCSA tacitly stated that removing a child from the parental home is a severe intervention. I join the crowd of serious reviewers who have concluded that the current child protection practices are violating the law established within the principles of the CFCSA. I'm not writing simply to rag on a Ministry or upon people but rather to represent the rationale for necessary changes and improvements to B.C.’s Child Protection programming and delivery.
When evaluating this Ministry, assessors are obliged to hear service providers, social workers, and lawyers representing parents in child protection cases. Wisdom dictates that another group needs to be heard and that is the parents whose children have been or are involved in the protection system. They have too often been ignored or silenced yet they have experiences, opinions and insights that can inform conscientious appraisers in ways that will make a difference. MCFD cannot in good faith say that it acts in the best interest of children until its management pays unbiased attention to parents.
The 'Child, Family and Community Services Act' Link
It concerns me that I have said nothing here that has not been said before by authorized probes and legal society reports. Ms. McNeil must restore MCFD practice of the fundamental principles of the ACT.
Art: 'Broken Dreams' by Murray Unruh, acrylic and glass, 36X49 inches