Isabella would be almost four years old now. She is dead. In 2011 her mother Sara Jane Wiens was an Ontario resident who had fled to B.C. to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend. Her lawyer Jack Hittrich, says that the B.C. Ministry falsely alleged that Wiens was fleeing a child protection order in Ontario. He customarily has substantial reason for the things he says.
In Hittrich’s words, “She is told that she cannot parent because she poses a risk to this young child…The child is scooped from her. There’s no attempt made to work with her to reunite her with her child. They then completely abdicate their responsibility to monitor the foster home and attend to these injuries.”
Sara Jane Wiens was 21 years old when her baby, two-month-old Isabella was removed from her by MCFD in August 2011 and placed in foster care. At the time, Wiens was deemed unfit to care for Isabella. 21 months later in March 2013, her baby died in her crib while in that care home, a service that the government deemed was in the child's best interests.
Wiens was permitted supervised visits during the 21 months of Isabella's foster care, and she has said that she noticed bruises on her daughter during supervised visits and that she told her social worker (MCFD employee), but she was ignored and that no action seems to have been taken to investigate. Following the child's death, there was no determination of cause in a coroner’s report that recorded that the body had several bruises and indications of unexplained healing fractures on the girl's left arm. Sara Jane had to fight for eight months to receive a copy of the coroner's report.
Sara Jane states that when she learned of her daughter's death, “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…My heart sank. My whole world came crashing down before my eyes that day…The system failed me, and I trusted the system with my flesh and blood…"They're telling me I can't parent and that I'm dangerous and that I will potentially harm my child and … then they take her from me, put her in a home, and she ends up dead."
Now, 2 years later Sara Jane Wiens has filed a civil lawsuit against the B.C. government and the province's director of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Stephanie Cadieux. The lawsuit alleges recklessness and bad faith, claiming that the government inadequately supervised Isabella's care within the foster home and failed to appropriately consider returning daughter to birth mother. Sara Jane Wiens is seeking answers. She wants to know whether the foster home was investigated by the ministry. The foster home has been shut down but the ministry has not disclosed whether this child's death precipitated that action. Sara Jane also wants an apology from the Ministry and from Ms. Cadieux for the infant's death. Sara Jane says, “If one thing can get changed to prevent this from happening to another person, then I know I was able to make that small change.”
Sara Jane Wiens resides in Ontario.