Saturday, December 20, 2014


It never stops.

Cases of parents neglecting or abusing their children; cases of parents being accused of neglecting or abusing their children; cases of children being removed justifiably from misbehaving parents; cases of children being removed unnecessarily from responsible parents; cases of children not being held long enough to protect them and cases of children being held excessively long from their parents.

It's not always easy for child protection social workers to make the decisions that impact families. They are required sometimes to make instantaneous decisions, and other times to employ investigative techniques to ascertain parental capability, stability and probability.

Because this blog began in 2009 with a case in which two parents, a husband and a wife, were viewed as responsible for one of their children's injuries, and because all three of their children were removed from them, and because they contested that accusation and deprivation for four years until a legal judgement was rendered that the children should be returned, I have become aware of numerous other situations in which families are broken, parents feel helpless, children are living with foster families, and the Ministry of Children is absolute.

Yesterday, a local newspaper wrote to me to tell me of another family, and requested that I consider speaking with them.     


  1. If you have the time and the energy to do so, the family I am sure would appreciate having someone like you walking them through a general overview of what to expect, and advice on how to maybe avoid the pitfalls that have befallen families before them, and where and who else they can turn to for more specific questions or issues.

    My advice, first, no matter how emotionally fraught they are right now, do not let child protection workers provoke them into any displays of anger. If they do, it will be used against them in court.

    Second piece of advice. Never Ever miss a visit with the kids. If they do, workers will claim in court that the parents are being selfish and not placing a priority on their kids needs.

    Third, do take the initiative on taking every free parenting course being offered at any local community centre. Get proof (i.e. a certificate) that they have attended and completed these courses. They don't have to tell the workers that they are taking them, but it will help them later in court to show that they have taken the initiative in personal growth and that they are working together as a team to parent.

    4) Do not sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it.

    5) Abide by any Court Orders. Do not break them for any reason. If they do, it will be harder later to convince a judge to return the kids.

    6) Likewise, if the supervised visits are strict at first, but then made more leniant, follow the rules, otherwise, like probation, they will be returned back to the strict supervised visits.

    There is a lot more, as your posts over the past few years have shown. A good chat to summerize everything you have learned, can only help them now, as they are probably feeling very alone and lost.

  2. Also, the strategy is to get the kids returned before an actual trial, since as you know, the threshold of proof is so low, that the reality is that parents are assumed guilty and the onus is on the parents to prove that they are cabable of providing for their childrens needs.

    One way to do this is to be able to show over time, that the circumstances that led to initial apprehension are no longer valid for reasons X, Y, and Z. This is difficult to do, and they should consult with their lawyer first before tipping their hand of any proof that shows that the workers did not have a complete picture of the situation ( a polite way of saying they were wrong).


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