Thursday, January 31, 2013


Ayn’s parents were given notice some weeks ago that Ayn would be reintroduced to her family and the speculation was that it would be within three months. That was very exciting for them and for the army of arm-chair advocates like myself. Many Facebook allies have boarded this campaign of sympathy, fueled by angst over what is perceived as injustice. That has been enough to keep several thousand online contacts reading and writing messages of all kinds. Amie and Derek don’t communicate much to us online any more. Derek certainly was vocal when Ayn was first apprehended. Over time, he became less forthcoming, and we were given to understand at times this was because of business of day-to-day tasks, and needed time to prepare his written appeals. Others wondered whether he had been compelled to silence with threats by MCFD but there was no substantiation of that. We don’t really need to know.

Derek is a responsible dad. He looks after his two sons well enough. One of them is autistic. I have observed the high comfort level that this boy has with his father. All have adjusted to their lives together. I am confidant that’s the way it was when Ayn lived there as well. The Ministry did not seize his two sons. That’s because there was no hint of neglect or abuse or ineffectiveness in parenting. Ayn’s school certainly found her to be a challenge. If the MCFD receives the suggestion that perhaps a parent cannot handle the responsibilities of parenting a child, it will investigate. This investigation did not approach due diligence. Ayn was removed by MCFD from her school without her custodial parent being present. This is likely a case that MCFD would like to redo, but then again, why? MCFD employees and supervisors have a virtual no-accountability clause underwritten to all their cases. Nevertheless, this is bad example of casework, not that social workers have been unkind or foster care was negligent. No, this is rather, an illustration of administrative, bureaucratic officialdom and its protocol impeding common sense. An eighteen-month detention of an innocent child with a disorder for which neither she nor her dad can be responsible is despicable. If an attempt to justify this action, includes seeking without parental approval to determine by experimentation whether there are chemicals that can control and or assist the child’s behaviour, that is heavy-handed big brother-ish conduct. However, MCFD has the authority here, and watchdog Ms. Turpel-Lafond will not step into this situation. The best Derek can do is be patient. Be as co-operative as it is possible to be.

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