Essay 3-Part 1

Credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Black hole within the Ministry of Children and Family Development for Some Families

There is discord within the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) that reveals some families are being torn apart by MCFD, who remove some children with no proven cause. One mother I know shared her sorrow and grief of being a victim of MCFD’s power. In 2013, She and her 7-year old son were packing his toys into two large bags. The courts stripped her of her mothering rights due to her not having proper representation in court to defend herself. In contrast, her abusive ex-husband, the father of their son, who has money, stood in court with the MCFD to back him up won custody, and the mother accused of thwarting access of over eight years which wasn’t true. They relied heavily on a report made by a psychiatrist who the MCFD ordered a section 211. The MCFD told her that she would not see her son for a long time if she didn’t make this available psychiatrist. She wasn’t aware at the time that this psychiatrist was under investigation for his reports. The MCFD used him anyway.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/allan-posthuma-psychologist-domestic-violence-1.5352600

MCFD took her 7-year old and gave her child to the father, who had a past drunk driving charge, smokes drugs, abused them both and stood by him in court where he was permitted to take their son to a different Province based on the psychiatrist’s reports. 

Since the day MCFD took her child on false grounds, she had countless evidence that the BC courts didn’t look at due to the persecution by the MCFD, with no evidence except 

“In court, the director from MCFD used the words, ‘we have reason to believe.’ I have been struggling to see my son ever since”. This mother shared.

“Goal 2: Strengthen supports and prioritize resources for families and children based on their needs, in collaboration with communities and their partners to keep families safely together and improve support improve outcomes” (MCFD 2019/2020 Service Plan 4)

After reading the service plan, then looking back at news stories of good parents fighting to get their children back from the MCFD, this makes me question everything about MCFD. Some children who the MCFD took from good parents were placed in foster care. For some of those families, it is crucial to get proper representation because if the child stays in MCFD care with the MCFD for more than six months, the MCFD can make an order to adopt the children out. There is no law protecting families from MCFD who are legally kidnapping children.

I read an article in the news recently about baby H:

“Baby H was taken from parents 90 minutes after being born”, this was an indigenous couple. The mother had a C-section and was given medication. MCFD claims they received an email from a staff member that the newborn is at risk. MCFD took the newborn and placed baby H in foster care. The couple is still fighting for their baby.

(https://aptnnews.ca/2019/06/20/b-c-cfs-moves-in-to-seize-90-minute-old-baby-on-report-of-neglect/).

“Carol is Jessi’s mama, now a ghost mama, whispering into the ears of the fertile red nation plant seeds in the ground and in the womb, ground zero for a revolution. She reads in the 2013 census report that since 2006 the indigenous population increased from 3.8% to 4.3% of the colonial nation and she dances knowing there are even more babies ones who avoided becoming state stats like kanahus’s freedom babies unregistered babies taken into the woods knowing this she dances and she puts her back into it” (Eng 15)

This piece that Eng writes, I believe, is not a dance of joy. While Eng’s last line in the poem, “she dances and she puts her back into it” (Eng 15). To me, it signifies strength, the very bone of a woman is the spine strong enough to handle the weight of carrying a baby, only to then be separated and oppressed from her child. Yet mothers are brave, and ‘the dance’ signifies a battle for families who love their children who are randomly taken away by the MCFD government with more power than the RCMP and no governing body to oversee them.

“We are on the highway in Vancouver, starting our drive back home to Medicine Hat. The car stops suddenly and then there are two really angry men yelling, “Open the fucking door”. They smashed open the window and they’re grabbing my dad, one by the hair, the other by the throat. It looks like they wanna strangle him. My dad is kicking, he’s fighting, but it doesn’t work, they take him and he’s gone.” (Eng 19)

Powerlessness, a family is torn and separated. Government policies override human rights, a family of love ripped apart by governing laws.

How many more children have to be traumatized and taken from good parents for proper investigations and monitoring of falsely judged families? How many laws are broken, and no one is investigating this problem of years and years of MCFD bullying against some good parents who have been wronged or are reported by false allegations or false motives? Or have health conditions that leave them needing respite if they have no family for help?

“Objective 2.1: Recognize the importance of prevention, early intervention and voluntary services in keeping families safely together and review the ministry’s allocation of time, effort and finding dedicated towards these activities.” (MCFD 2019/20-2021/22 Service Plan February 2019. 4). 

This objective is misleading. When we compare it with the news article about a foster teen in MCFD’s care jumped from a hotel window according to the coroner, May 2016. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/alex-gervais-coroners-report-1.3575970).

In 2018 there were a total of 6, 698 children and youth in care. These are the numbers that MCFD put out in this link. https://mcfd.gov.bc.ca/reporting/services/child-protection/permanency-for-children-and-youth/performance-indicators/children-in-care

“See me; my mouth is closed, the workers might hear.

They told me I will never see my mother again.

They buy me candy and presents to keep me from my family.

My mom is great. 

Her hands are tied.

by a system that told me she’s bad 

But that is a lie,”

(written by a mother whose child confided with her what the MCFD did to him while he was in their care).

Insidiously, one mother I spoke to shared that when she asked the ministry for help, she was very ill and needed to have a tumour removed and needed time to recuperate but had no family. Hence, she agreed that MCFD could have temporary care of her son while she gets better. MCFD did not return her son, instead placed him in foster care, then proceeded with a court hearing to adopt her ADHD son out. After fighting in court and five years later, she finally got her son back. She is a good mother. The trauma and PTSD, they both suffer from due to being separated by the MCFD left scars that you cannot see. Because he was neglected in foster care, they both had to go through therapy to recover from the after-effects.

“Key Stategies: -Advance a child focused, family centered approach by identifying and addressing policy and practice barriers to keeping children with family, extended family and community, and strengthening families through practice, culture, and resources” (MCFD 2019/2020 Service Plan 4)

Another mother still fights for her 9-year old son, whom MCFD removed from her. She is a good mother. They took her son while she was in the hospital getting surgeries done. Previous to the ongoing health issues, she was beaten by her ex-husband, the father of their son, who wounded her. She lost her two twins in her womb. The father was convicted and charged with assault. MCFD placed her son in the father’s care, and she is oppressed from seeing her child. This caused further trauma with this mother. It has been three years, and she is still battling to see her son.

These black holes in the Service Plan written by MCFD are not representing what is true to some families. By far healthy, overall well-rounded parents who are good must raise their voices if they fall victim to MCFD because money is at its root in most government plan or policy.

Published by Okanagan Valley View

Mother, SFO, daughter, sister, friend, volunteer, Independent Contractor-Invincible Housing, SSVdP, Employee for Interior Health

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