Thursday, January 12, 2012


Derek Hoare knows the value of his children. You should hear him speak about them. Two of his three children, because they are autistic, require a great deal more attention and understanding than do many children . In fact, they are severely autistic, but they are each differently affected or they demonstrate differently. His son Lyric, who is still in Derek’s custody, is non verbal, happy and easy to live with. Ayn is vocal and articulate, can understand you and can speak but cannot carry on a conversation per se. She is easily upset and highly emotional and has a history of wild and erratic conduct, tearing her clothes, breaking objects, attacking people. She requires calming which Derek has administered through conversation. Ayn's school regularly calls Derek for this purpose. Well, Ayn is no longer with him. That’s because the Ministry of Children in British Columbia made the presumptuous judgement that his parenting load was too burdensome for him, so when she walked from her home last July, the ministry took her away. Of course such action would also have been predicated on one or more people telling MCFD to take a look at this child. The story is disgusting. We are telling it frequently because while the child was taken to place her in another environment for observation and testing and chemical subduction, no effort was given to examining Derek and his home and the provisions for Ayn's care and the effectiveness of that care.

However, today I will share someone else’s effort to communicate the incredible cost of raising any child and what you get for the price. It's a 5 min visual. Press the 'Read More 'and you get the transcript.

The Price of Children Uploaded by tommyswindowshows on Mar 30, 2011
Adapted from an article by Regina Brett – columnist for the Plain Dealer. “$160, 140 per child a great bargain” May 07, 2000
Updates from ‘The cost of raising a child: $221,000 through age 17’ by Betsy Taylor, Associated Press, August 5, 2009

Here is the transcript to the video. The Price of Children
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle-income family.
Talk about sticker shock. That doesn't even touch college tuition.
For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the things we could have bought, all the places we could have traveled, all the money we could have banked if not for (insert child's name here).
For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless.
But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month or $171.08 a week.
That's a mere $24.44 a day. Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be rich. It's just the opposite.

There's no way to put a price tag on:
Feeling a new life move for the first time and seeing the bump of a knee rippling across your skin.
Having someone cry, "It's a boy!" or shout, "It's a girl!" then hearing the baby wail and knowing all that matters is it's healthy.
Counting all 10 fingers and toes for the first time.
Feeling the warmth of fat cheeks against your breast.
Cupping an entire head in the palm of your hand.
Making out da da or ma ma from all the cooing and gurgling.

What do you get for your $160,140?
Naming rights. First, middle and last.
Glimpses of God every day.
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds and warm cookies.
A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain. Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.
You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to keep reading the adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies and wishing on stars.
You get to frame rainbows, hearts and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray-painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, handprints set in clay for Mother's Day and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there's no greater bang for your buck.
You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a sliver, filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front-row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, first time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications and human sexuality no college can match.
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That’s quite a deal for the price!!!
Love and enjoy your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren!
It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.


  1. One of the things that I still have a problem understanding is what goes on in the heads of social workers. I know that the management does its best to transform staff into being bureaucratic functionaries. They have to fill in forms and checklists and follow the policies without question. Not only that, they can only interpret those policies according to the directions given them by their superiors. A bit like religion in the middle ages, when it was dangerous learn to read the bible and people could only hear what the priest chose them to hear. Helps to keep everything in latin.
    Such a model is the antihesis of a professional model, where individual skills and brains and ethics are expected. Look at the Bayne case. How many times did Humeny say he was "just a puppet" or "only following orders." How happy was Kimberly Gray with her assigned tasks?None of the new social workers made any comment about how they felt or what they thought about the situation. They are still slavishly following a prescribed ritual for closing the fle. If you wonder why the staff turnover in the children's ministry is so consistently high, I think you have to look deeper than the stock response of large caseloads and work related stress. The director issued written instructions in the Bayne case telling everyone what their roles were and what they could and could not discuss with the Baynes. Nobody dared to step out of line.
    I would imagine that any social worker with a conscience, compassion and a code of ethics would have great difficulty in working on the Bayne case, or the Ayn case. The stress of being a party to causing so much sufffering would be unbearable. Short of quitting what can they do? They can protest internally and politely,but woe betide them if they give an inkling of what they really think to any of the people they are being directed to abuse. No wonder they quit or pass the file around.
    The stress of dealing with these cases must be very hard for the staff of the Youth and Child Rep. They are supposed to be able to do something, but in reality they are impotent. No wonder the Bayne file got passed around among various senior staff. I notice one of them is no longer listed on the staff of the rep and I could not help wondering if the Bayne case was one of the reasons behind him quitting.


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