Tuesday, February 21, 2012
CHILD PROTECTION IN B.C.- PROBLEM ANALYSIS
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.
Professionals should appropriately take responsibility when things go wrong but they need more freedom to make decisions, more support and understanding, and less prescription and censure. Social workers are required by superiors to focus upon compliance with procedures and that takes them from spending time with families and children and it limits their ability to make informed judgements. We need a system that constantly seeks to improve. Social workers need to have the confidence to make tough decisions and make a positive difference. The tough decision may at times be to leave a child with a parent or parents despite a call-in or report. That should have been the case with Ayn Van Dyk. She didn’t need to be removed from her father. The social worker could have established a relationship with Derek that served both parties, satisfying the Ministry and assisting Derek with his parental duties.
Of course if Derek demonstrated resistance to any such help, that’s his problem and that was his undoing. The entire story has not been told. He has not had his day in court. Oh yes, haven’t I told you? In our atrocious bureaucratic/judicial system, his court dates are set for December 2012 and January 2013. All the while, his daughter Ayn will be away from him. It will be at least two years before they are reunited – that is, if all goes well.