Sunday, February 26, 2012
WHY NOT COMPLAIN? BECAUSE THE PROCESS SUCKS!
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?
You are told that you can write a letter detailing your concern directly to the social worker with a copy to the supervisor and to request reconsideration of a decision or an action. Have you done this?
Beyond that, the Ministry of Children does have a formal complaint resolution process for which you may call at no charge to 1-877-387-7027 asking for the dispute resolution consultant in your area. Have you tried that and if so, how did it go?
When that is unhelpful, you can call the Board of Registration for Social Workers of BC. Their phone number is (604) 737-4916 (in Vancouver). If the social worker is registered with that board, you can file a complaint with the board. However, social workers are not required to be registered and many SWs are not registered.
Some people turn to their MLA, (Member of the Legislative Assembly), their elected representative. Have you done this?
You might contact your Ombudsman if you are getting help nowhere else, by calling (250) 387-5855 (in Victoria) or 1-800-567-3247 (elsewhere in BC; call no charge). Have you called that number?
When your complaint is about the care being received in a foster situation by your child, call the Representative for Children and Youth of BC. The phone number is (250) 356-0831 (in Victoria) or 1-800-476-3933 (elsewhere in BC; call no charge). E-mail them at email@example.com. If you have made contact with this office of the watchdog on the Ministry of Children, have you had a satisfactory result?
The Baynes, Paul and Zabeth of Surrey, unsuccessfully did all of the above over the course of three years. Then in the fourth year they were occupied with a court case, which while it didn't result in a ruling that automatically returned their children to them, did have an order that legally affected interaction between parents and Ministry which eventuated in the reunion of parents and their four children in August 2011. But that was four years that these children were removed from their parents. That was an outrageous miscarriage of governance and should be viewed as an affront to civil liberty by the citizenry of our province.
They are ecstatically enjoying family life now. I am trusting that Derek and Amie do not have to wait so long for Ayn to be returned to them. These delays are unconscionable.