|Ayn Van Dyk as a small girl|
They have been without her for more than one year now. She is is the custody and care of the B.C. Ministry of Children for no good reason ... no valid reason ... but it is legal. MCFD has legislation on its side.
MCFD acted in accordance with its mandate to protect children. It's credo is to act in the best interests of the child.
That is why on June 16, 2011 MCFD social workers concluded it was the appropriate action to remove this child from her father's home. I believe it was entirely unnecessary to do this. No attempt was made of which I am aware, to consult with Derek to determine his capacity to parent three children, two of whom are autistic. He had been doing this since the children were younger and he and Aime had parted ways maritally. Aime agreed to his parental care and has affirmed in numerous ways, her trust in his care of their children.
Does a child sometimes wander away from a parent or from the family home? Do you think that an autistic child without the normal intellectual restraints and boundaries might tend to wander? Exactly. And Ayn did. June 12, 2011 was the day she wandered from her family back yard, scaled the fence and walked into a neighbour's yard. It took three hours for RCMP searchers to locate her when Derek became concerned enough to ask for their assistance. She was returned to him and it was a safe and happy reunion, until four days later when the MCFD showed up at her school and apprehended Ayn.
You would think that a sophisticated, well-funded and trained arm of the government would be able to straighten this case out expeditiously in order to preserve the loving family for this child. Instead, she was held for months until her tenth birthday arrived and still she was not permitted to return to her home or her father and then more months went by until a year has passed. Don't for a moment think that the ordeal is over for this family. Derek and Aime are waiting until December 2012 for the start of a court case at which a provincial judge will listen to the arguments of an MCFD appointed lawyer determined perhaps to retain this child indefinitely or forever. It is far beyond reasonable. It is unjust. It pushes the borders of illegality to manage authority over people's lives with such disregard for decency and compassion.
This Ministry could be helping the father, aiding the family, providing resources and support and encouragement rather than disrupting, dissecting and perhaps destroying the family. It is time for the Premier and for the Liberal Party of this Province to look at this case with a view to living up to its publicized claim to be supportive of the Family as a governing priority.