Saturday, March 2, 2013


Photograph by: LYLE STAFFORD, Times Colonist
Today, the Times Colonist newspaper published Ray Ferris's most recent letter to the editor. He writes in reference to Sunday, February 24th's Colonist article entitled, "EVERY CHILD DESERVES A HOME," which was written by B.C.'s Representative of Children, Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond. Ray's letter was published with the subject heading, 'Provide foster parents with long-term guarantee'. Ray gave me permission to print it here in its entirety without alteration.

Sunday’s coverage of fostering and adoption issues raises more questions than it answers. Both pieces correctly identified that stability and security for children is the goal. When this goal can be successfully achieved through adoption or fostering, it does not matter which label is used. There are countless stories of foster parents who raised children as if their own and their support lasted well into adulthood. Also there is a certain failure rate in adoption homes, especially when older children are adopted. There is no point in removing a child from a foster home with which it is bonded to an insecure adoption placement. The greatest hazard to foster home stability is often because of ill-judged removal by social workers. The BC association of foster parents reported to the Gove Inquiry that 98% of appeals of foster home closures are rejected. Unless the ministry gets it right 98% of the time, many children are moved unnecessarily. 
In the early 1970s the Victoria Children’s Aid Society offered its long-term foster parents a special contract which would guarantee not to remove the children. A proposal was made to government to write this into law, so that a removal would require a court process, as with natural children. The government rejected it, but it could be reconsidered.
Am I right in assuming that the 290 annual adoption placements quoted, refers only to adoption of children in care and not to all adoptions?
From Ray Ferris 4124 Longview Drive Victoria B.C. V8N 2K7 Phone 250 477 5723

Adopting Foster kids a Balancing Act by RICHARD WATTS

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