Thursday, August 16, 2012



Our governing parties change with elections but the child protection system and its operators remain. The commissioning of new ministers and deputy ministers with each election or subsequent cabinet shuffle does not mean that child protection will be managed differently or better. New players may enter the picture with the best of intentions but the learning curve is steep and the CP practices habits and patterns so deeply rooted in bureaucratic concrete there is seldom anything more than self-serving appraisals and reports. Almost never have people on the inside of the Ministry of Children become spokespersons for correction and reform of bad or unfair practice. Yet it is from such people that the light must shine forth. They are the ones upon whom a community depends if we are ever to put child protection on the right track. In fact, we will have to create new standards in order to recover from what I deem to be a disaster.

As we always must do, so I again preface the supplication with an affirmation of the need for and the value of protecting children from abuse, neglect and failure to thrive. We fund a ministry with fat budgets for this precise reason. However, the hasty and often unnecessary removal of children from their parental homes for reasons that do not come close to the earlier stated rationale, the uninformed or evidence-deficient medical diagnoses, and the misfortune of a plodding & excessively costly legal/judicial system into which fractured families are forced, is a social disaster of unqualified proportion. 

All of these professional disciplines must come to understand the calamity caused by this collective of mistaken decisions, processes and actions.

Whistle-blowers must awake and begin to tell the truth in all the public forums where citizens and ultimately responsible change-makers with a conscience pay attention to human stories and determine to prevent such stories from being repeated month after month, year after year. I commend Velvet Martin, Linda Plourde, Jamie Sullivan and Marilyn Koren who recently engaged in public rallies in several Canadian cities together with other conscientious local supports. I commend Paul and Zabeth Bayne and their team of planners for the recent second annual Evidence-Based Medicine and Social Investigation Conference held in Surrey, B.C. I commend all of the EBMSI presenters some of whom came from the UK, the USA and from Canada. They and many others like them in North American, UK and Europe and Australia are the front-runners of this tide for change. And I applaud all of you who have aligned with Derek and Amie and Ayn in their struggle.

This has to be a people-powered resistance to injustice that is harming children and families who if policy and approach were changed by child protection administrators and social workers, more families could remain together, parents could be empowered with improved skills and resources and more children could avoid the trauma of being extricated from challenged and yet normal home environments.

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