Community Team at 4:36 PM January 3, 2012 and it received Of course the question generates reader response. It begs for response. But what an undiscerning question. Why ask the question at all? It is precisely because enforcement is a given, a natural expectation, that we have laws and codified prescriptions. They are legislated for the purpose of compliance by the citizens of a society regardless of whether one is an employee of the government in power or one of its agencies or is a civilian dwelling in the region governed by that government. There are penalties for contravening laws and regulations. From what kind of understanding of citizenry and governance does such a question arise? What could possibly suggest an immunity for child protection social workers and their supervisors from absolute compliance with the legislated limitations dictated by the Child, Family and Community Services Act? If there are mitigating circumstances peculiar to a specific case then there is latitude afforded to MCFD to seek a court order that extends limitations for holding on to a child. I am prepared to say that even at the risk of overlooking severely unusual circumstances, there should categorically be no allowance for keeping a child in protective care for a time longer than that allowed by law or legislated act.
So, YES, governments should enforce limits on how long children can be kept in temporary care.
“The issue is not the length of time children are in temporary care but ensuring that it is safe to return them home. In this case, the head injury to the infant included internal bleeding, which is consistent with shaken baby syndrome. The ministry took action to protect the child, which is what it is supposed to do. The parents obviously chose to pursue a very adversarial course of action which was a major reason why the case took so long to resolve.”
I responded to that in this fashion.
“For Jon rod: Child protection (MCFD) did respond to a medical professional’s report of suspected abuse. The gravity and complexities of the girl’s injuries necessitated significant care. For some years the triad of symptoms has defaulted to a diagnosis of shaken baby which can only lead to one conclusion. A caregiver is at fault. Progress in mediating a solution with the parents was impeded by MCFD’s recurring insistence that the parents acknowledge harming their child. What you have deemed as adversarial action by the parents is an inaccurate label since they could not admit to something they maintained was untrue and therefore no course of action was possible to them other than appealing as widely as possible for someone to listen to their agony. Internal bleeding is consistent with shaken baby syndrome but not exclusively so, since other causations can account for this but MCFD was unwilling to pursue these possibilities. Sticking to one professional’s opinion, MCFD contravened timelines of their own provincially legislated ACT and yes the length of time that these children were in care became the issue because it was not temporary, and the Director had made application for permanent care still based on SBS. These parents were required to find their own experts to dispute the allegations resulting in Judge Thomas Crabtree, now Chief Justice of BC ruling that the child had not been shaken.”
|painting by Esther Palmer|