Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The mythbuster writes again. Ray Ferris sets down another of his interesting reads. Take a look.

The rights and best interests of children.

In British Columbia children have certain rights. They have a right to be made safe in their own homes, or in alternative care. Right? When in care they have the following rights. They have a right to continuity and stability of care. Right? They have a right to be placed with relatives and to continuing kinship contact. Right? Young children have a right to timely resolution of their cases. This means not being left long in damaging limbo. Right? They have a right to privacy. Right? They have a right to the protection of the courts from unwarranted removal. Right? The ministry director has the responsibility to prove his case. Right? Parents have a right to protect their own children. Right?

Wrong on all counts because in practice they get none of these rights. The system simply cannot deliver them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The family is the primary social institution. Family autonomy you would think should be among the most important objectives of provincial and federal governments. What we have come to understand that parental liberty is fundamental to the concept and function of family. The family is the primary conservator and transmitter of values, beliefs and traditions. Can it not be evident to Members of the Legislative Assembly of B.C. and to the Ministry of Children and Family Development and to Educators and to Law Enforcement that any intervention into family is like an invasion into its sanctity because it endangers family customs and ideals?

Such recognition is underscored by the fact that the autonomy of family is both acknowledged and defended within Canadian human rights documents and international papers of which Canada is a signatory. Such documents seek to protect the rights of families against the intrusions inferred here against what is universally recognized as the natural and essential societal unit. It should be entitled to protection.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Ray Ferris has left a new comment on my post "A CRY IN THE NIGHT." Here is what he wrote.
Masters of Spin - it is central to life for ...
"There is no sinister plot. The senior echelons of the children's ministry do not have the brains or the competence to mount a plot. Unfortunately the end result is the same. No indeed dear readers; just look at the evidence. Why look for a canary when there are sparrows everywhere? Meaning---look at the obvious. We see ample evidence of stupidity and incompetence already, so why should we doubt that it is there.
When you have a green and inexperienced staff being directed by dummies who think that filling in forms and obeying drills is good child protection, certain things happen. First the brightest and best get out as soon as they can. This leaves the dumbest and the weakest as the main body of employees. The workers do not trust their superiors and the superiors do not trust the workers, so they work in a constant state of panic that something will go wrong and they will get the blame.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Have any of you had occasion formally to make a complaint about the ministry?
We are told by the Ministry of Children that it is possible to lodge a complaint.
When you have concerns about the care of your child in the foster care program or when you have a concern about a social worker, you are entitled to make your complaint known. Have you ever done this?

When you have a complaint about a social worker or when you cannot make contact with your SW, you are encouraged to speak with that SW's supervisor. Of course, to do that, you may have to ask the social worker for the name and phone number of their supervisor. Has that worked?

Saturday, February 25, 2012


On June 30, 2011 I wrote a piece about Child Welfare in Canada, Abbotsford and then I included reference to a relatively new case, the Ayn Van Dyk case. 

At the time, Ayn had been gone from her daddy’s home for fourteen (14) days.

Now reader, let this sink in please. It has now been 254 days since Ayn was removed from her father Derek Hoare. Eight months have passed.

This ten year old autistic girl has been in hospital for examination but primarily in foster home care all of this time. She and her father have not seen each other for 254 days. That however is because of her father’s principled choice, a choice with which not all readers agree, and certainly one which the Ministry criticizes and retains as evidence of Derek’s lack of cooperation with its care plan. Ayn’s mom Amie Van Dyk has visited her daughter although those visitation rights have been curtailed or delayed at various times by the Ministry for reasons with which I disagree.

My article garnered an enormous response last June 30th with 27 comments attached now to that blog post. They are highly interesting comments.    

Well, if 254 days seems long, consider this, a court date has been set to hear this case in December 2012 and carrying over into January 2013. Tell me again, the axiomatic premise for child protection. “In the best interests of the child,’ did I hear you say?

Friday, February 24, 2012


I have just published two comments by the same person to my blog post that was written last July 29 2011 in celebration of the MCFD Ministry decision to return the four Bayne children to their parents, Zabeth and Paul. In that post I referenced Tim Amey, News Director for 895 The Hawk, Chilliwack's Newest Rock Station, who wrote several good pieces about the Baynes. Now seven months later, the only reason I returned to read them was because someone commented twice in the early morning hours today, to that now distant blog entry entitled ‘Tim Amey’s Chilliwack News Article’. The commenter had somehow stumbled on this online story and it triggered a personal response from personal experience that, if it is to be believed, has been an horrific morale-bending and heart-breaking life story.  So now the disjointed thoughts of this 2 o’clock critic appear at the end of the Amey piece.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Certainty should be fundamental to CPS, Child Protection practices.
Certainty should be integral to any formal intervention or actual apprehension of a child, youth or adult.
Child Protection and investigation and case management and interaction with parents should be systematic, that is, engaged in the work of determining and delineating the absolute truths of a specific case.

I am wondering from my examination of a few noteworthy cases, whether social workers within B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development, given their mandate to protect children first and foremost and do all that they can for the best interests of the child, are actually viewing truth and certainty differently than I do. The social worker may be prioritizing precaution and prevention over conviction and demonstrability. The difference may be as simple as a few words. If the social worker is trained or determined to settle only upon certainty and truth before making life changing decisions about families and children, he/she will confidently say, “This is the way it is.” However, if the social worker is trained for immediacy of action over certainty, he/she may be satisfied to say, “Maybe.”

This is not merely a right-brain versus left-brain tension. This is a tension between wisdom-righteousness, and imprudence-malevolence.

“Maybe” does not satisfy justice. Maybe this is the right thing to do. Maybe the child is in danger. Maybe we should remove the child. Maybe the parent is guilty of neglect. Maybe the parent harmed the child. Maybe the parent is a risk. Maybe the child might thrive if in a foster environment. That there is even a remote chance that this may be the MO, Method of Operation of an agency with the sweeping power of the B.C. Ministry of Children, is chilling and mistaken.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


 by Ray Ferris
author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”
You can purchase it from him by writing to

Dealing with the ministry is usually as arduous as walking through molasses and dealing with the court system is as arduous as walking through molasses in January. So anyone contemplating either course should know that you can make slow progress, but you will have to push, push, push. Being forewarned is being forearmed and so you will be less frustrated if you keep your expectations low. You may well find out that you also have to push, push, push your own lawyer. So it helps to know how to do it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


We realize don’t we that there is no uncomplicated quick-fix solution to improving the child protection system. If there were, then why haven’t well-intentioned reforms of the past been wholly successful? Scores of recommendations have been generated by respected judges and their colleagues with which the Ministry of Children has largely complied in recent years.

Too often social workers are either criticized for breaking up families or for missing a case of abuse. However, the system in which they work is constructed around predicting a parent’s ability to look after their child, which is never certain.

Monday, February 20, 2012

PARENT TESTIMONY - Tanya Marrhoubi Sadowsky

I met Tanya last summer during an extraordinary conference. She came from the USA to attend this first of what may become an annual event. The Conference was one called Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation. The Fifth Estate television crew showed up during the 2011 Conference to catch certain scenes and interviews for their show called Diagnosis Murder, aired on January 13, 2012.

It’s a 55 minute testimony in which she tells the deeply sad story of the death of her infant daughter and the horror that followed.

The Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation Conference scheduled for 2012 will be held on August 3 and 4. 

Among the subjects being addressed by international experts this August will be:
  • evidence based medicine
  • medical differential diagnosis in cases of suspected child abuse,
  • establishing the standards and requirements for a medical expert’s defense witness,
  • legal challenges surrounding defending those innocent but accused of criminal acts relating to child abuse and the challenges of defense in family court related issues,
  • the standards of practice and guidelines for child protection investigations and process and,
  • the failure of the legal systems to protect the innocent.

Tanya's website in the name of her daughter is:



Blogs posting about Ayn
By Jean Nicol in Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy

If you wondered whether ten year old Ayn Van Dyk's removal from her father on June 16, 2011 by British Columbia's Ministry of Children and Family Development is creating a stir, then note that a minimum of 16 blogs by various contributors tell her store and plead for her return to her responsible father, Derek Hoare. One of her advocates, Jean Nicol compiled this list. It appears among the documents on the Facebook page that has attracted over 4000 regular readers and friends. Many of them are people in whose families there are also autistic children and they are very sensitive to what has been done here. There are numerous other journalists who have written single pieces in various news sources. Every reader of this page needs to know that this autistic child should not still be held in the care of the Ministry (foster care). She does not deserve this. Anything for which the Ministry may fault Derek can never be proven to warrant this absurdly harsh treatment. This is a penalty rather than assistance. No significant effort has been made by the Ministry to date to communicate a plan whereby this child may be returned to the happiness of her home. 


Sunday, February 19, 2012


The Canadian Bar Association B.C. Branch website has a page entitled ‘Child Protection and Removal.’ Valuable advice is offered there to parents of removed children as well as to ordinary citizens with responsibility to report suspected abuse or neglect of children. These look like diametrically opposed interests but not from the perspective of the law.

You can of course read it in detail by going immediately to the site but I will highlight some of the offerings there to whet your appetite.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Random Child shot-photo John Millar
Most children who do come to the attention of child welfare or child protective services, do so because of one or more of the following issues categorized as child abuse, child sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and psychological abuse. When Ayn Van Dyk was taken from her father Derek’s home since he was the custodial and primary caregiver/parent there was no suggestion of either sexual, physical or psychological abuse. Neglect includes failure to take adequate measures to safeguard a child from harm and/or gross negligence in providing for a child’s basic needs. Cause for removing Ayn had to fall in the area of neglect. The Ministry presented a list of reasons commensurate with a neglect allegation but unproven and it doesn’t have to be proven in our system. The parent does not get his day in court to disprove the allegation(s) unless he has resisted all mediation attempts by the Ministry in which case he is deemed uncooperative and that further damages his case. The mediation attempts, the meetings, the consultations, the timing for all of it is contingent upon the will and whims of the Ministry, so a child’s life and mind and family is interrupted for instance, for going on eight months for Ayn and Derek and he mom Amie and her two brothers.

Friday, February 17, 2012


If you can give yourself 60 minutes to watch a rare video about Autism from the PBS network, then you will find that this exercise is educational while at the same time highly motivating. It is entitled, Making Our Way - Autism.'

Daily life for a child with autism is a challenge for the child and the family.

How much greater is the challenge, when a provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development has deemed that enough reason exists within a gathering of family facts, to remove this child from her parents. In the minds of social workers perhaps the family challenge is exacerbated due to the fact that the father is parenting solo. Divorced from his wife, and yet with a cooperative and trusting relationship between the two adults, father is nevertheless the primary caregiver and custodian of the child. Of course I am speaking of a specific family and a specific child, father and mother. I speak of Ayn Van Dyk, a ten year old girl with autism, her father Derek Hoare, and her mother Amie Van Dyk. Ayn has retained her mother's maiden name for reasons personal to and agreed upon by both parents. Now factor in that Derek is parenting three children in total of which two are autistic, one of them being Ayn. Then consider that while Derek is recognized by the Ministry as a highly intelligent man and is affirmed as an affectionate father to his children, he is also regarded as someone who blames the school for Ayn's behaviour and claims that she is well behaved at home. He is also portrayed by the Ministry as being unconcerned or argumentative of the Ministry recommendations and who is slow to seek medical attention for his children. All of that might be contested with a fuller fact citation. Now add a recitation of incidents in which Ayn tantrumed, has taken her clothes off, has acted aggressively, self injuriously or in one instance injured another child, and add an occasional appearance at school with unkempt clothing.

This may explain why the government considered it necessary to remove Ayn but it does not excuse that she has been kept from Derek and her home and her brothers for over seven months. Prescribed time lines have not mattered to the Ministry which repeatedly transgresses such regulations with apparent immunity and perhaps the approval of the Minister of MCFD.

Watch Making Our Way: Autism on PBS. See more from Making Our Way: Autism.
Ron's Twitter

Thursday, February 16, 2012


An advocate named Papa InBC speaks out for children and parents whose lives have been turned upside down and inside out by the Ministry of Children in British Columbia for reasons this advocate believes are unjust. Papa InBC has replied to yesterday's blog post which I published and which was written by Ray Ferris. Papa has both a website and a Facebook page.

Here is is Papa's response.

Papa Inbc writes: I'm told Alberta respects child-in-care timelines more than B.C., and that the wait for trial is not excluded from the point a protection hearing grants interim custody based on evidence and testimony.

This would appear to indicate that what MCFD in B.C. is doing is unconstitutional for both parents and children affected, which flies in the face of what is in the best interest of children.

In support of Ray's suggestion, I suggest a class-action lawsuit be initiated on two points, first, non-emergency no-warrant removal, and second, "interim" custody that exceeds the time lines in the current CFCSA Act.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


 by Ray Ferris
author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”
You can purchase it from him by writing to

“Some time ago submissions were invited to the provincial standing interparty committee on the representative for children and youth. It is this committee which selected Ms. Turpel-Lafond and with whom she dialogues and to whom she reports. I made a fairly long submission and copied the minister, and deputy minister. In it I used the Bayne case to illustrate some of the serious flaws in the protection services and to suggest some remedies. I emphasized that I was not advocating for the Bayne case, but simply using the Baynes to illustrate some of the problems. Even before submissions had been invited, I had sent a similar letter to the minister and the deputy minister. I eventually got a reply.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


  It's Valentine's Day
 Renée Allard is a friend and supporter of Amie Van Dyk, Derek Hoare and their daughter Ayn who has been in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development here in British Columbia since June 16, 2011.
Some time ago Renée put together a video collage of photos of Ayn and Amie from Ayn's infancy to her present age of ten. Little Ayn was not at home with her parents for her December 10th birthday.  The video was covered by the familiar tune and words of 'You Are My Sunshine,' and at once, any viewer can see why this small girl is the sunshine of her parents' lives and why the Ministry of Children's taking of her has broken their hearts.
She needs to be returned. She is autistic, not demonic. She is a family girl, not state property. Foster Parents in Ayn's case do not, cannot, will not take the place of Amie and Derek. This child exhibits her autism and always will. She does not require antipsychotics to control her behaviour. She needs her father's tender caress and gentle words. She needs her mother's cheek and soft hands. 
Stop this insane excuse for care Mary McNeil and MCFD! Do what is right! Give this child back to her parents. Do no wait for any further court orders or paperwork or mediation. Just do it!

Monday, February 13, 2012



“Once, there was a way
To get back homeward.
Once there was a way
To get back home.
Sleep, pretty darling, do no cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Sir Paul McCartney provided an incomparable conclusion to the Grammy Awards on Sunday night with his rendition of ‘Golden Slumbers – Carry that Weight.’ After all these years and with his vocals showing age just a wee bit, he and his band delivered this song in the original key and with the exceptional skill and enthusiasm that has made him a legend in the music industry. I profile this performance because of lyrics of his selection. I only know about and write about Ayn Van Dyk but I don’t really know this little girl, and yet I think about her daily. I think about her daddy. I think about her mommy. The other day at 4AM and for some time I carried on a Facebook conversation with Ayn’s mom, Amie Van Dyk because I woke up and went online and found this woman almost alone online except for another friend in the Maritimes. Amie was expressing bursts of bullet thoughts obviously immersed in anguish and sorrow. She has not been able to see her daughter in months. She believes that the Ministry of Children in B.C. has created a dreadful injustice upon her girl and her family by an unnatural removal of this child and her placement in foster care. And Amie and Ayn’s dad, Derek, have virtually no recourse but to wait for the Ministry to show mercy or to wait until a court case tentatively scheduled for over a year from now which may result in a ruling that returns the child to the parents.

Back to McCartney’s song then. I couldn’t help but to relate these lyrics to Derek’s plaintiff cry for his daughter. I say Derek’s cry only because the chorus makes reference to a male having to “carry that weight.” This is a romantic ballad and yet I can hear a father’s voice singing for his daughter. Of course the words could equally be those of Ayn’s mother. The weight that these parents have been compelled to bear is enormous. It was and is unnecessary. Ayn is a child with autism. She wandered from home until she was found hours later back in June 2011. She can have tantrums, be fractious and aggressive. No Ministry anywhere in this Free World is morally justified to assume that it knows a parent is overwhelmed by responsibility and then to take a child away and effectively enslave her within a bureaucratic-judicial  prison.

Golden slumbers fill your eyes. Smiles awake you when you rise; sleep, little darling, do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby.
Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight, a long time. Oh yeah!
I never give you my pillow, I only send you my invitations. And in the middle of the celebrations, I break down.
Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight, a long time. Oh yeah!
Are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?
Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you,
And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. Ah -

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Yesterday, an anonymously delivered comment challenged my logic and the subsequent conclusions. My title was LOGIC TELLS US MCFD HAS TO GO. I used Aristotelian premises to make unconditional statements and uncompromising deductions. The writer convincingly disputed the soundness of my comparisons and compelled me to review my thought processes.

The writer observed, “I think it is a dangerous comparison saying that child protection is either effective of ineffective. Most things are not black and white like your comparisons (cat is either white or not white, or it is either raining or not raining). One could make the same comparison that open heart surgery is either 100% effective or not 100% effective and since it is not 100% effective it should no longer be a treatment option. If we take this line of thought we could essentially make a claim to discontinue all health care treatments. I think that if something is 80% effective it is something we continue to do. To state that 100% effective is the only way we keep a program is a very odd statement. We could use that rationale to rid the need for school. As School is not 100% effective for everyone.”

That was well written and effectively argued.

I realized that I had overstated what I still believe to be true. I recognized that my piece was a virtual discard of the baby with the bathwater. I customarily seek not to do that when I write. I may have written from a weary disposition and with foggy attention to my subject.

So, forget the logic analogy. It accomplishes little and confuses the issues. What I prefer to say is that performance reviews, ministry assessments, published opinions, reports by the Representative of Children and Youth, observation of the increase of court cases and the backup of cases in the judicial system, and the personal testimonies of hundreds of grieving parents convince me that the Child, Family and Community Services Act needs to be reworked in order to better insure that the necessary role of a Ministry for Children will protect children while safeguarding families and respecting parental rights. Then I believe there will be a higher probability that apparent injustice does not occur among innocents and that corrective and restorative efforts among families succeed.

Friday, February 10, 2012


(MCFD is the acronym for Ministry of Children and Family Development.)

Aristotle proposed three fundamental logical laws- the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction and the law of the excluded middle. The law of identity means anything is the same as itself. Therefore, if A is a thing, then A is the same as itself. If MCFD is an agency that prioritizes the best interests of children then that’s what it is. The best interests of the child are synonymous with MCFD.

However, what about the law of non-contradiction? Nothing can possess contradictory characteristics. Therefore, the same thing cannot be both A and not A. A cat for example cannot be white and not white. Nor can MCFD be both consistently for children’s best interests and inconsistently for children’s best interests.

What about the law of the excluded middle? It means either A is true or not A is true. For example, either ‘it is raining’ is true or ‘it is not raining’ is true. There is no middle ground between the two. Either ‘MCFD is 100% Effective’ is true or ‘MCFD is not 100% Effective’ is true.

The points and stories and illustrations to which this blog has written for three years have dramatized and contended that contradictory characteristics of a consistently altruistic and effective ministry directed to deliver all that is in children’s best interests, exist without question and abound beyond imagination. Some choices and the decisions that some (not all) employees and supervisors and directors predictably construct (but which affect all) defy understanding and demand accountability that should categorically release social service people from their jobs. The choices to which I refer are those which too frequently violate human rights and conscience and decency.

I cannot see any logical grounds for maintaining that the Ministry of Children under its present mandate visa vis the Child, Family and Community Services Act should continue to exist.

 Ron's Twitter



 by Ray Ferris
author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”
You can purchase it from him by writing to
The old protection of children’s act had many sections defining when a child needed protection, but usually only one clause was used. Section 7 (k) “whose home by reason of neglect, cruelty or depravity is an unfit place for the child, or whose parents are unfit, unable or unwilling to care properly for him.” In practice we only used to use the last bit, whose parents are unfit, unable or unwilling.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ANTHONY BEST - a book to teach autism awareness

Davene Fahy has written an enjoyable and instructional young children's book about a school boy named Anthony Best. Anthony Best is illustrated by Carol Inouye.  This attractively illustrated book describes Anthony’s behaviors, in class and in the community, and on the playground. Sometimes those behaviours are negative but the story is told without attaching labels to Anthony’s attributes.

Anthony has a young and supportive friend who remains loyal even when Anthony’s conduct is unusual and aggressive with other people. Anthony’s other classmates are upset by his disruptive behaviour. Then this friend experiences the astounding surprise of discovering that Anthony plays the piano. In fact, the friend believes Anthony is the very best piano player he has ever heard play the instrument. The other classmates don’t know about Anthony’s talent because he only plays the piano at home.  

Readers’ interest is maintained throughout the book because Anthony’s behaviours are recognizable, even familiar to many who work with children with autism or know an autistic child. Fahy has judiciously written about Anthony’s behaviour without associating those actions with a specific label. Nevertheless, the actions are consistent with children who have autism.

What makes Fahy’s book an exceptional teaching tool is this portrayal of a boy with a special gift to play the piano and yet who is unable to control his conduct. He has behavioural problems yet seamlessly moves into a pianist. Readers learn from the faithfulness of his friend. It is powerful story to teach about disabilities awareness, about understanding other people and doing so without applying labels. Such awareness can improve the human condition.      

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


 by Ray Ferris
author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”
You can purchase it from him by writing to

Ray Ferris receiving the Justice Award
As I have stated before, there is no shortage of experts who can define autism, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and on and on. There is no shortage of experts who can tell us confidently just what we should be doing with all these children and others and how much more of it we should be doing. There is just one little snag. There is a great shortage of results. If we look at the long haul, most autistic children are unable to manage independently as adults. We can spend all kinds of money on them and we can demand all sorts of things from the government, but for the most part we are describing process. Certainly all the people who work with autism and other difficult conditions are dedicated and sincere and they will usually see small gains here and there, because they must believe in what they are doing. However, most of these children will not be functioning normally by any stretch of the imagination even after years of effort.

Of course there are a few notable exceptions like Ms. Temple Grandin, who is a genius with animals, but they are few and far between. What do we really hope to accomplish with children like Ayn in a regular school setting. It takes two full time teaching assistants to manage her behaviour. Not only is she not getting an education, but she is probably a distraction for other children. Albert Einstein pointed out that it is irrational to do the same thing over and over again and expect the results to be different. He could have said stupid. He was thinking in the scientific context, but the same is true for society at large. Just as the biggest countries in the world cannot borrow their way out of debt, but they keep trying. The children’s ministry cannot solve non-administrative problems with administrative devices, but that is all they ever do. Freudian psychology claimed that people’s maladjustment could be fixed by the process of psycho-analysis. If it did not seem to be working, then there should be more of it. More sessions over more years. Never would they admit that the theory could be flawed. It was flawed of course, but two generations wasted their money on it before it was abandoned by the insurance companies.

With all the money that is spent on autistic programs, can the authorities define specific goals and targets that they hope to reach? If they can, I would like to hear about them, because all I see everywhere is couched in generalities. In school we expect children to learn to read and write, to do arithmetic and to learn about the world of science and humanity. Children who cannot learn to read and write cannot participate in many important ways. Do such children really belong in a normal classroom situation? If all we can hope to do is to contain and manage behaviour, should we be doing this at the expense of other children. Many types of children, such as those with Down syndrome, can be trained and they can learn to manage their own behaviour. But many autistic children cannot. What are we hoping to do with them? Can anyone enlighten me?

Later this week, I hope to write about the function of the protection system with special needs children. When is it appropriate for the state to take over parenting for them and when it is not? Ray Ferris

Ray Ferris is an occasional GPS post writer. Retired now, Ray speaks from 31 years in child welfare and protection as a social worker, district supervisor and family court coordinator. He cannot tolerate injustice imposed upon families by ineffectual case work.

Ron's Twitter

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Amie Van Dyk was looking forward to a scheduled visit with her 10-yr old autistic daughter Ayn today. It had been planned for weeks. Amie has not seen Ayn for several months because the Ministry of Children would not arrange it - a vindictive act. Amie missed a visitation months ago for which the Ministry did not adequately inform her and she is a working woman. TODAY, 2 hrs before the visit, the Ministry cancelled it. Why? because Ayn had a meltdown at school. So she was sent home and the decision was made to cancel the visitation. What? Is a meltdown uncommon for an autistic child? Do you eliminate meltdowns by withholding a visit with mommy? Is this punishment? Or did the Ministry or the foster family immediately give her some medication which would make her less than responsive to mommy? This is intolerable conduct by Ministry personnel. Where was humanity and sensitivity and compassion lost in this social work practicum?


 by Ray Ferris
author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”
You can purchase it from him by writing to

Ray Ferris receiving Justice Award
"A few days ago the local newspaper reported that in the USA, between 2001 and 2011, the incidence of diagnosed autism increased by 20% and during the same period, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder rose by 40%. During the same week it was reported in the British paper “The Guardian” that there had been an alarming increase in the administering of psychotropic medications to young children. There was no doubt that anti-psychotic medicine was being given quite inappropriately in many cases.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Stay with me. There will be a moral in here. But first something anecdotal to set it up.

This past week has been eventful for Christine and for me. It is sold. That is, our home has been sold. We will now for certain within hours.

Following the signed contract, we purchased our next home, a downsized condo/carriage home with less than half the square footage but something that reduces our maintenance responsibilities and affords us a lifestyle that we desire. All of this within the week. Emotion and stress have been woven throughout these processes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Harold and the Purple Crayon

I wish Ayn Van Dyk could see 'Harold and his Purple Crayon.'
Renée Allard is an advocate for Derek Hoare (Ayn's father) who put me on to this story of another young child for whom Harold and his purple crayon became a conversational release. This is a true story and it concerns a little autistic boy who does not speak, but in the subdued lighting of a theatrical treatment of this story, the boy was moved and enabled somehow to talk through the entire production. He was so stimulated and captivated by Harold and what he could do.

So here today there are a couple of stories in one.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Collection of background info Sept /11 - Jan /12


This document today is intended for any writer who is researching the Ayn Van Dyk case for the purpose of telling her story of autism and the manner in which she was taken into custody by the Ministry of Children of B.C. for the purpose of protecting her - from who knows what? She loves her home and her parents and her brothers. She should be returned immediately. Read and you will agree.

The document was prepared by advocate Jean Nicol on Feb2, 2012. She writes that this list of sites was compiled at the request of someone wanting background information before speaking to Derek to arrange an interview. It may be useful to someone in a similar circumstance. What follows is Jean's collection.

"The following links all are from the blog FREEDOM FOR AYN. Ayn's supporters also have a website called JUSTICE4AYN.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Written by my respected friend, Ray Ferris, author of the book “The Art of Child Protection.”

What on earth has happened over the last thirty years to transform the child welfare system from being imperfect but manageable and reasonably fair, to being totally broken and incapable of guarding the best interests of children.

Unless we find ways of fixing the system, there is no use in knowing the law and how it is supposed to work. What we need to do is to define what is broken and why and then to persuade the responsible people to fix it.

There are a number of components causing the breakdown and they cannot be fixed by throwing money at them. In fact throwing more money at them might well make it worse.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Ray Ferris retired from a a career with the Ministry of Children and Family Development at a time prior to the present Child, Family and Community Services Act which empowers the current Ministry of Children and Family Development. He has been openly critical of Ministry practices and case management for some time. He contributes comments here and occasionally I print his material as the primary post for the day. This is one of Ferris' posts.
Doug Christie
First one quick comment in response to one writer. Yes it is true that a letter from me was read to the court in the Bayne case. Yes, it is true that the children stayed in care for nine more months. These two were not related however. The ministry had indicated that they wanted a parental capacity assessment done before they would consider returning the Bayne children. I knew that this process could take many months and could be costly. I am just as qualified as anyone else to do such assessments. I completed a fully professional assessment in two weeks, complete with many written references and reference interviews. It was totally factual. Lawyer Doug Christie tried to file it as appropriate under section 68 of the CFCSA.