Thursday, September 11, 2014


By Ray Ferris

The first problem is to differentiate those problems that are systemic and those that are not. It is relatively easy to make recommendations for systemic change where the system is the problem. Much more difficult is trying to think of systemic remedies, which might improve non-systemic problems. Such remedies might have to be so drastic that people with a vested interest in opposing change might find the remedies undesirable.

Accordingly, in this series of blog pieces, I have tried to define some non-systemic and some systemic problems and to recommend how to fix them. To complicate matters there is also the factor that some problems are a combination of systemic and non-systemic, so the solutions will be even more complex. I have especially tried to focus on those non-systemic problems, which might possibly be improved by making systemic changes. The ones that come most quickly to mind are some non-systemic problems that were created by systemic change. For instance, the enactment of the current CF&CSA was a systemic change and it created great problems, so simply repealing the most problematic clauses might help.

One of the first things that one must always keep in mind is to accept the fact that there are no quick fixes. Solutions will be complex and they will take a plan of at least three or four years to bring about. The solutions will also be costly, but it can well be argued that they will not be as costly as trying to make the current broken system work.

 Ferris retired after a career that included significant years with the MCFD. He has written a book entitled 'The Art of Child Protection.' This is the first in a series of pieces Ray will write here. You can order Mr. Ferris' book entitled 'the Art of Child Protection' by contacting the author directly at

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