To affect scrutinizing regulatory oversight of an enormous governmental ministry such as MCFD, the Representative’s Office and staff must be independent of MCFD and must conduct its work with unimpeachable standards of professionalism and ethics. The Representative actually cites the values that guide the office.
The work of the Office is guided by the values of:
- Respect – the acceptance of differing views and approaches, and, in interactions with children and youth, being accessible and easy to approach, calm, helpful and emphatic
- Integrity – honesty and openness and trustworthy, unbiased and consistent conduct
- Fairness – ensuring that anyone impacted by the work of the Office has the opportunity to be heard and his or her views considered
- Critical Thinking – a measured, evaluative and evidence-based approach
- Collaboration – working with others to build a greater understanding of the B.C. child- and youth-serving system and to identify opportunities for improvement
- Accountability – a clear understanding of responsibilities and duties and how performance will be measured and reported.
It follows that good parents of children who are struggling with the Ministry of Children and Family development, should find a receptive spirit at the RCY Office, and I continue to trust that this is actually true. Too often, the rights of parents and the solidarity of family are minimized within this preoccupation with children's rights and safety and protection, because RCY cannot do the job of MCFD, such as investigation of cases and stories and facts. Parents may need an ombudsman of their own within this often notoriously contentious struggle for parents and children to be reunited when children have been removed for questionable reasons and periods of time.