|Random Child shot-photo John Millar|
I disagree with many angry critics of child protection services who tar all CPS social workers and the entire Ministry of Children in British Columbia with the same acrimonious brush. I am convinced that child welfare should be viewed generally in a positive light. I know that there are numerous instances when a child is removed from a family home to save that child from injury, negligent care and possibly death. The concern to which I frequently speak is that despite the benefits of these services over the past several decades, CPS has come under public scrutiny several times and passionate private inquiry as an institution that causes great harm to families and children. Harm which is caused in the name of protection. Harm which suggests that the Ministry oversteps its mandate, is casual with time and relationships, is reactive, unprofessional, and it may be argued is sometimes vindictive. Many cases give the appearance that child protective services is out of control.
Public and media research often demonstrate that CPS has too much immediate power which leaves parents angry, confused and helpless. There are frequent accusations that CPS prejudges parents prior to appropriate investigations. There are unsatisfactory checks and balances with the result that parents are not helped and children are not protected within their homes. Rather, removal of a child in too many cases creates an impression that this action is the first response rather than a last resort.
Our child protective services must be overhauled.