Saturday, June 2, 2012

BC Handbook for Action on Child Abuse and Neglect

The B.C. Handbook for Action on Child Abuse and Neglect
For Service Providers

This is a 60 page document prepared for service providers. Service providers are viewed as having key
roles to play in helping to keep children safe. This Handbook is designed to assist such people.
This Handbook is designed to support an integrated, collaborative response to child abuse and neglect by:
» providing information about identifying and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect
» providing an overview of relevant law and government policies
» clarifying the roles and shared responsibilities of service providers, including their accountability for responding to suspected child abuse and neglect, and
» ensuring that responses to suspected child abuse and neglect in British Columbia are effective, consistent and sensitive to the needs of children.

Service providers are instructed immediately that "if you think a child is being abused or neglected, you have the legal duty to report your concern to your local child welfare worker. There is contact information available on page 57. If it is after hours or you are not sure who to call, phone the Helpline for Children at 310-1234 at any time of the day or night. The Helpline call is free. You do not need an area code and you do not have to give your name. If the child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local police."

Communities play an integral role
in responding to suspected
child abuse and neglect.

MCFD, the Ministry of Children and Family Development prints this Handbook.


  1. People should mind their own business and NOT automatically report as they usually don't know the entire story; a kid could have a bruise from falling off his bike, for example. People are always so quick to blame the parents and to report them for every little thing.Unless they are SURE the child is being abused they should mind their own business and not wrongly accuse and report innocent families, destroying them.

  2. See this table to get a breakdown of where each of the 30,000 yearly calls originate.!/photo.php?fbid=440197039329095&set=a.440196792662453.124249.100000164094945&type=3&theater

    It would be interesting to have stats included so the consequences of making a report is made clear to the callers.

    Basically, about 30,000 reports yearly are made to MCFD. Approximately 3,000 of those involve child removals.

    As can be seen from several cases such as Derek Hoare and Ayn, the Baynes family, Magda & Kevin in Salmon Arm, and dozens of others, the wait before return is more than one year.

    Here is a page of stats from the book, People Politics and Child Welfare in BC. This Table 2-3 lists "Reasons for service".!/photo.php?fbid=440196992662433&set=a.440196792662453.124249.100000164094945&type=3&theater

  3. It is good information, what little there is.

    One particular page, 45, should be a concern to the public, even though they are not the target audience. Abuse of children that occurs within the ranks of various service providers suggest that instead of contacting the police or MCFD, callers are supposed to contact the head of the particular agency where the incident originated.

    Typically, such public agencies close ranks to find ways to minimize, hide, or exhonorate individuals involved. This is because the entire agency is suspect if their procedures have broken down to allow inappropriate individuals in contact with children in the first place. In these cases, several children are exposed to harm. Parents who harm children are in no danger of coming into contact with other people's children (unless they are service providers).

    One big omission I see, is there is nothing in this service guide that talks about how parents are to be notified when complaints are made.

    If an example might illlustrate how differently parents are treated from service providers: if a teacher is accused of yelling at, or hitting a child, they are typically not removed from service immediately 'as a precaution' which result in paid or unpaid suspension during an investigation.

    If a parent did the same thing, all their children would be removed 'as a precaution' at considerable expense to the public. We see quite a different standard so that in all cases the bureaocracy is protected first, but in the case of parents, they and their children are fair game, even though they present no threat to the public. In those much rarer cases, Police and Criminal courts provide that protection, not MCFD.

    Accoording to the guide, if a child is hurt (feelings or injury) while in foster care due to the actions of a caregiver, the correct course of action as outlined in this guide is to contact the Director of MCFD, rather than the police or any central outside agency such as RCY. As I have personally experienced, RCY is powerless, and MCFD keeps such complaints within their ranks and hides this information from parents.

    If a child is injured in daycare, the health authority is contacted. There is a central daycare database where parents can see their quality rating.

    Each of the agencies are left up to their own bureaucratic engines on how to handle reporting.

    Each has an operations manual that further details procedures. None of the agencies talk with each other on coordinating such policies.

    So, while schools may have a policy of first contacting parents to clarify why Johnny's bruise may have originated, or how much preliminary querying they might do with the child beforehand, MCFD would rather the calls come directly from the teacher or their peers first, then eager social workers would come running to interrogate the child in isolation.


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