Thursday, March 26, 2015

MOM SUING MINISTRY OF CHILDREN IN B.C.

Sara Jane Wiens and baby Isabella
It looks like the Ministry of Children and Family Development is once again going to be defending a losing case in a B.C. court. Sara Jane Wiens is suing the Ministry and the Minister, Stephanie Cadieux. MCFD should acquiesce right now because Christopher Heslinga and Jack Hittrich are the lawyers for Ms. Wiens. Mr. Hittrich is exceptionally effective at exposing MCFD incompetence. Nevertheless the MCFD will send its legal team into the fray at the expense of taxpayers. That's the pattern. No admissions. Merely costly defenses. The Ministry wins most cases. Perhaps not any longer.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development was only doing it's job. That's the fallback cover line when any case goes south. It's not good enough when the credo of MCFD is persistently, 'the best interests of the child.'

21 month old Isabella died in foster care
If the interests of the child are paramount and when the child is an infant whose welfare is in question while in the care of the birth mother, due diligence requires full investigation with a view to returning the child to mom as soon as possible if there is good reason to do so. If that requires assisting her with anything that enables her to cope or do mothering more effectively, it stands to reason that in the child's best interests, our MCFD should do that. That is, rather than retain that child in foster care - in this most recently publicized case, a foster situation in which Sara Jane's baby girl died.

My writing associate on this blog site, Ray Ferris, is a retired Ministry of Children child protection worker and supervisor, and author of ‘The Art of Child Protection.’ In one article he wrote, "A children’s minister once told me that 30% of cases are over-investigated and 30% under-investigated. Looks like he was unintentionally saying that his staff got it wrong 60% of the time. To anyone who has had dealings with that ministry, this will come as no surprise. This GPS blog has been primarily concerned with the cases of over-investigation. Those cases where a family has been persistently pursued and harassed when there was no good reason to do so."

Honourable Stephanie Cadieux
I have no intention of starting a new chapter of posts on this case for months on end, but I want to raise awareness again, that when a system has a major fault, those in charge must pay attention, must recommend a correction and affect it post haste. My rear car tire was losing air pressure, one pound each day for weeks. Every few days I pumped it up again. I thought a plug might repair a possible nail hole. Now my mechanic had to replace the tire because I drove it too long at low pressure and compromised the sidewall with an obvious split in the structure. My problem may have begun with a nail but it turned into an untreatable weakness. For so long parents, advocates, journalists, and commissions have been recommending changes and fixes for MCFD operations, but it may be necessary now to replace the existing ministry altogether. I know I am overstating myself. I don't envy any Minister of Children and Family Development. Each steps into a role as an elected officer in charge of a Ministry over which other salaried personnel have charge. I respect Stephanie Cadieux. I like her. I displayed my pantings in her offices when she was first elected. I am sorry she is named in the lawsuit. This may compromise her objectivity when what is needed by a Minister finally, is a willingness to cease reading MCFD documents and reports and begin to read with an open mind, parental pleas and complaints and heart wrenching testimonies of treatment at the hands of ministry personnel, and concluding that it is time for an overhaul.     

The Sara Jane Wiens story in this week's news:
Globe and Mail Account Published Wednesday, Mar. 25 2015, 2:20 PM EDT



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