Thursday, February 23, 2012
THE TENSION BETWEEN CP RIGHT AND WRONG
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.