Thursday, October 21, 2010

004 - Myths and Reality (#1)

Parents are given sufficient rights when scrutinized by "child protection" social workers. Do you agree?

http://www.pa-pa.ca/myths.html

he general public has some assumptions of how government operates. One of the assumptions people have is that is if any taxpayer funded entity intervenes in the lives of citizens, there are clear boundaries and rights that government officials are obligated to obey, and to inform us of what rights we have.

To those who have no first hand experience with service providers in the "child protection" industry or are new to being scrutinized by them, there are many beliefs based on common sense, intuition, expectations of a responsible government, our social and moral values. Many of these beliefs, hereinafter known as myths (or illusions) on this page, are inaccurate, unreal or wrong.

The purposes of the Myths page on the http://www.pa-pa.ca/myths.html website  are:
  1. to shed a different insight from those who had received "service" before;
  2. to help oppressed parents to make informed decisions;
  3. to correct these wrong beliefs; and
  4. to advance understanding of how service providers function in the "child protection" industry.
Experience and evidence supporting our views are derived from the legal and socio-political environment surrounding "child protection" activities in British Columbia, Canada. Readers outside British Columbia are cautioned that reality discussed herein may be different or inapplicable in their local areas. Furthermore, change in law could affect the validity of some of our views.
The myths are:

  1. Parents are given sufficient rights when scrutinized by CPSW.
  2. Custody of one's own children is enshrined by constitution in Canada.
  3. Legal rights enshrined in Section 7 to Section 14 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply in child protection hearings.
  4. MCFD bears the onus of proof in all legal proceedings.
  5. Parents will be given the benefit of a doubt in child protection legal proceedings.
  6. Physical discipline (or corporal punishment) of children is illegal in Canada.
  7. There must be serious and legitimate child protection concerns when MCFD removes children from their parents.
  8. Problems and deficiencies in "child protection" are due to insufficient resources.
  9. Children are necessarily safer in foster homes, known safe places.
  10. Removal of children is the last resort.
  11. I have no kid or my children are all over 19 years of age. I have no concern of what MCFD does.
  12. Court provides fair and prompt adjudication based on good evidence.
  13. Power to remove children is imperative in protecting them.
  14. Children have rights protected by CFCSA, such as the right to attend the planning meeting for their care and to bring adult advocates of their choosing to speak on their behalf. Their wishes are respected and considered.
  15. MCFD is a respectable government ministry charged with the noble mandate of protecting children. CPSW will not conduct illegal surveillance on their clients.
  16. Police officers have their discretion when asked to assist CPSW in removing children.
  17. Parents are presumed innocent until proven guilty in child protection hearings.
  18. CPSW are governed by a professional body and are abide by the code of ethics and standard of practice of the regulatory body.
  19. Visitations of removed children are arranged at the convenience of parents outside their working hours.
  20. Oppression and abuse of authority, especially to the magnitude described herein, are impossible in a free and democratic nation.
  21. There are sufficient check and balance (such as the complaint resolution process) to curb abuse of power.
  22. CPSW dare not to abuse their statutory power as they can be held liable personally.
  23. Parents will be given plenty of time to review allegations, reports and assessment against them.
  24. Parents are treated with respect and will not be coerced to admit guilt or allegations.
  25. The Office of the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) employs child advocates who have the authority to intervene if MCFD staff are believed to be acting inappropriately or contrary to the rights and interests of the child.
  26. Character references help after removal of your children.
  27. Lawyers representing parents can protect parental rights and ensure prompt return of children if there is no just cause.
  28. MCFD always follows guiding principles set forth in CFCSA.
  29. Children will be assessed medically and psychologically on a timely basis.
  30. MCFD enriches and develops families.
  31. CPSW will respect the wishes and preferences of parents on the upbringing of children.
  32. MCFD looks after the needs, interests, and development of children that have been taken into care.
  33. CPSW are paid to help families.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

003 - Paul and Zabeth Baynes three year ordeal

n October 22nd, 2007, Paul and Zabeth Bayne's three children were removed from their care by the Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFD) when they were living in Hope BC. The youngest child Bethany, shown in the photo at the right in the blue shirt, is a suspected of being shaken by the parents about six weeks after birth. (see more details at http://www.pa-pa.ca/Bayne.html).

The Bayne's ordeal began in the month of September of 2007. Bethany was brought to the local hospital because she would not stop vomiting. This was a few days after a head to head collision between one toddler who fell on top of Bethany a few days earlier. At that time there was no injuries noted on either child.

Paul, Kent, Baden, Zabeth, Bethany during a home visit. Thanksgiving 2010. 
A few days later saw the start of several frantic back and forth visits by the Baynes to various doctors and hospitals, who were at a loss to explain Bethany's constant vomiting and steadily deteriorating condition.

After a month of this, the Baynes were shocked by a pronouncement of a Doctor Margaret Colbourne of the BC Children's hospital, who diagnosed "Shaken Baby Syndrome" or SBS. A quick, successful operation relieved the pressure of accumulating fluids, and Bethany recovered.

First, note that SBS is a diagnosis that states the child in question was injured deliberately (not accidentally), and by inference, the guilty parties of such abuse are both parents. SBS is a diagnosis that incorporates a clear irrefutable accusation of deliberate abuse arrived at without any due process, which generally results in an automatic removal of the child and siblings from their parents or other caregivers by child protection authorities, and often results in criminal abuse charges and imprisonment for those caring for the child at the time.

MCFD social workers from the small town of Chilliwack and Hope have consistently refused to accept the Bayne's explanation that injuries sustained were as a result of Bethany's sibling falling on her and a resulting head-to-head impact, and have also ignored ten doctors opinions who agree. Instead these workers and their supervisors stubbornly cling to one doctor's diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome (SBS), made a month after Bethany's injury.

The ten doctors the Baynes located each firmly dispute BC Children's Hospital's Dr. Colbourne's unwavering shaken baby diagnosis. Note that the doctors were not paid for their diagnosis by the Baynes, they offered their opinions for free and thus, have put their reputations on the line. They had access to all the same medical files that were available at the BC Children's hospital for Bethany. These doctors, experts in their various fields who questioned the validity of the SBS diagnosis also wondered why it took the many doctors and hospitals involved in the Bayne's case, an entire month to conduct the appropriate investigative scans and not make ANY diagnosis while Bethany's condition worsened and the family was repeatedly sent back home.

That's it. That is MCFD's case. A bump on the head that resulted in internal bleeding was labeled shaken baby syndrome by doctor Margaret Colbourne, and subsequently eagerly persecuted on a no-holds-barred and no-expense spared basis by MCFD.

Oh, and by the way, the local RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) declined to press charges. After the three children were removed, the RCMP thoroughly investigated MCFD's request to file criminal abuse charges. They reviewed the evidence and MCFD-supplied adversarial witnesses, and they saw no basis for doing pressing charges. At this result, MCFD had egg on their face, so one prevailing theory was that they had to figure out how to return the children and make it look like they were just taking precautions.

Why now, you ask is MCFD so intent on taking the Bayne's children away with a continuing custody order application filed two years after the removal? Well, it may well be because the Baynes went public with their story in May of 2008, and embarrassed MCFD in the process. In case you are wondering, MCFD as an organization, really, really, REALLY does not like negative publicity. Later, several protests were organized outside Premier Campbell's constituency office to urge action on the slow progress of the case. (See http://apleaforjustice.org/ )

A Global TV News report aired May 19th and 20th, 2008 (see the video http://www.pa-pa.ca/Bayne.html). The Baynes were interviewed for this story on May 15th. On May 16th, the Baynes family including Zabeth, Paul, and Idar and children's grandparents, and social worker Loren Humeny and team leader Berhe Gulbot signed a mediation agreement that served to adjourn a May 23, 2008 trial date. MCFD allowed the parents to move into the home of the children's maternal grandparents in Surrey BC, where the children were originally placed approximately seven months prior. 

The wording of the mediation filed with the court includes term 2. "The parties agree that Kent and Baden should be returned to Zabeth and Paul under a Supervision Order with the following terms: a) The Paul and Zabeth: i) will allow direct and private access to Kent and Baden...[by the social worker], ii) will inform the Social Worker ... of any non-emergency professional appointments concerning Kent and Baden...,  iii) agree to inform the Social Worker ... of any change in their residence,  iv) failure to comply with any of these conditions may involve more intrusive measures including removal of the children.

Now, looking at wording of this agreement, I personally fail to see on what basis the two boys were removed from the home of the grandparents. MCFD stated something to the effect of privacy violations of the children. Huh? I see a short video of Zabeth holding and playing with Bethany in the Global story, and the parents talking with reporters. Is this what MCFD believes is a child protection issue worthy of removal and three years of supervised-only access?

To reiterate, seven months after MCFD had custody of the three children, at the point of signing this mediation agreement, MCFD had no concerns for the two boys safety while in the company of their parents and grandparents. Immdiately after the agreement was signed, the Baynes moved into their parents home in Surrey BC and enjoyed full time unrestricted access to their two boys.

On July 12th, 2008, a month after the TV news report aired, MCFD social workers removed the two boys from the grandparents home at a birthday party for one of the boys. Police presence and a traumatic removal at a child's birthday, that is one terrible life long memory for three children and their parents and grandparents to have to live with. Clearly, MCFD wished to make a statement. Removed a second time from the care of their parents, the two boys were put in a foster home. This was different location from the Sardis foster home their sister Bethany was placed.

The 5-week protection hearing court case began in January of 2010 and concluded October 6, 2010, with the final 3-day closing argument by MCFD lawyer Mr. Finn Jensen, QC, completing the Director's case. Mr. Doug Christie, the Bayne's lawyer who is working for the Bayne's family on a pro bono basis, will have an opportunity to examine the transcripts of the MCFD lawyer's closing argument and follow up with his response.

It should be noted Mr. Christie had already made a oral closing argument, wishing to complete the case as soon as possible, and he took less than an hour to do so. Mr. Finn, in contrast took three days over the span of more than a month to deliver the oratory of his closing argument, having the advantage of having the transcript of Mr. Christie's argument.

As regular trial attendees will attest, the very experienced MCFD lawyer has wasted no opportunity to gain the upper hand over the Baynes, unfettered by time or expense, and as some would say, unfettered by a moral compass.

After the Bayne's lawyer Mr. Christie has submitted his final written closing argument, the Honourable Judge Thomas Crabtree, who was recently appointed as the chief justice in B.C. will take eight to twelve weeks to render a decision on whether or not to grant the Director's application for a continuing custody order (CCO) that would see all three children permanently removed from the care of their parents, and put up for adoption.

In the three years that have elapsed, the parents have not missed any visits with their children except due to court attendance. Paul and Zabeth took night jobs as janitors in order to see their children at the mid-day working hour times established by MCFD. The Baynes are unquestionably dedicated parents, and they know where their priorities lie, and that is to ensure the well being of their children.

During these past three years, this family has paid a heavy price; the loss of their jobs, home, the grand piano used for children's lessons, their dignity, and the ongoing suspicions they are child abusers. This ordeal is common with families involved with MCFD. Hundreds of hours of supervision reports revealed no parenting concerns. In fact, MCFD did not produce any of these reports at trial as evidence against the Baynes. MCFD's own witnesses states the Baynes were entirely appropriate parents before the removal.

During the trial, the judge awarded the Baynes expanded supervised visitation from 6 hours twice weekly to 9 hours three times weekly, one visit to be in the community, rather than at the usual Circle of Friends supervision facility in Surrey BC. A later application initiated by MCFD to reduce the number of visits per week from 3 back to 2, resulted in the judge awarding the parents at-home supervised visitation of 6-hours on the weekend. MCFD got their request of 3-weekly visits reduced to 2, but the Baynes came out ahead in being allowed to have the children visit at their own home. This development is viewed by many observers as a positive sign that the final judgment will be in the Baynes favor, and their children will be returned, possibly be the end of this year.

What makes this case unique amongst the hundreds of other shaken baby syndrome starts with the fact there is no publicity ban on court proceedings as per the order of Judge Crabtree. Usually, the names of the children are suppressed in child protection proceedings, so the public rarely has an opportunity to read about what goes on behind closed doors.

Since the Baynes were already very vocal in the news and in publicizing their plight, a publicity ban would have been pointless anyways. This allows parents and child protection critics around the world the chance to follow this case day by day.

Ron Unruh's daily blog takes full advantage of this permission to report, writing daily on court proceedings and on other issues that arise. Where there is no family news, Ron takes on the broad issue of child protection in general. This blog has slowly gathered a regular following and is actively commented on. New readers are advised to catch up on this case at this site. Use Google's advanced search feature http://www.google.ca/advanced_search and limit searches within the blog site by entering http://ronunruhgps.blogspot.com/ into "Search within a site or domain."

A finding by Judge Crabtree that there is no need of protection would be a huge blow to MCFD and SBS proponents and the specific doctor made the diagnosis. Other parents around the world wrongly accused of shaken baby syndrome would then be able to use this case to say that a medical diagnosis alone is an insufficient basis on which to declare guilt of assault without any further due process in order to permanently remove children from their parents.

Because the Baynes have not taken any parenting courses or submitted to any parenting capacity assessment, the Ministry cannot claim the original concerns have, or ever will be addressed. The parents simply declare they are innocent of any such abuse allegations, as is their right; they do not NEED parenting courses or assessment. MCFD's argument is that the uncertainty that exists in combination with the doctor's report of SBS gives them the right to "protect" the three children by taking them away from the parents forever. The MCFD lawyer declares their case rests on the possibility the parents might later abuse their own children. Removing one's children permanently, declares the parents unfit to parent even though charges have not been filed.

Removing one's children forever and effectively preventing the parents from having more children is the equivalent of a death penalty.

  
Links

002 - The What's New Page on PAPA

 
At the http://www.pa-pa.ca/ website is a What's New page (http://pa-pa.ca/new%20English.html) list lists recent additions to the website.
 
Scroll to the bottom of the page for the most recent updates. Here are additions for this October to date:
 
  1. "CPS Makes Shocking Allegations at 2 Moms Part 1 of 3"
  2. "CPS Does About Face, Accuses Parents Of Abuse Part 2 of 3"
  3. "CPS Makes More Disturbing Allegations Against Parents Part 3 of 3"

001 - Welcome to PAPA's Blog



PAPA, Parents Assisting Parents Association http://www.pa-pa.ca/, is a civilian run non-profit organization formed under the Society Act on July 23, 2007 in British Columbia, Canada.  Exclusively funded by free will donors, PAPA is not affiliated with any ethnic community, religious group or political party.

Despite our name is PAPA, we are not a father's right group. We serve distressed parents of either gender that have experienced the removal of their children by the Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFD).

Our Mission
We strive to protect the best interests of children by preserving their families and restoring healthy parenting ability. We safeguard the rights and dignity of parents in child protection activities.

Our Beliefs
Parents have the God-given right and responsibility to care for and bring up their children in a manner which is culturally and socially acceptable to their own values within the boundary of Canadian laws.
  • Family is the best environment to nourish children. Preservation of family is important to maintain a healthy social structure vital to child upbringing, national security and continuation of civilization.
  • Custodial right of one's natural offsprings is a fundamental human right and should be enshrined constitutionally.
  • Government must treat parents and children with respect and dignity in carrying out its child protection mandate.
  • State intervention in family affairs should be avoided except in extreme circumstances. Should interventions become necessary, they must be least intrusive and serve the best interests of both children and their parents.

Message from our President
PAPA was formed by a group of citizens concerned about the "child protection" activities conducted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Families under the scrutiny of the Ministry sometimes end up worse off. Children under the “care” of the Ministry are not receiving the standard of care expected by society and their parents. Some are abused, neglected or even murdered when they are in “care”. Almost all removed children suffer irreparable mental harm from the enforced removal from their parents. Parents are under duress. Some are forced to live apart or to divorce to get their children back.

There are ample evidence suggesting that "child protection" social workers are given too much statutory power. This opens the "child protection" system to abuse and corruption. Abuse of authority includes blackmailing parents to admit the perceived guilt in court, forcing parents to live separately or to divorce to punish those who dare to oppose social workers, fabricating evidence to justify child removal, repeatedly remove children to seek relitigation of settled matters. These are made possible by the near-absolute authority to removal children at will without fear of any civil or criminal consequence. Failure of the judiciary to provide adequate check and balance further intensifies the problem.

In addition to the foregoing, social workers frequently contradict provisions of the Child, Family & Community Service Act, such as failing to place removed children to the next of kin as a preferred placement, failing to respect their linguistic and religious rights, failing to seek children’s views in forming their so-called “plan of care”... etc. These are just a few infringements that I have witnessed.

State-sponsored child removal and the subsequent adoption process is a lucrative industry. According to the government’s 2001 statistics, it cost taxpayers $65,000 per child each year on program delivery alone. If inflation and other related costs such as police costs, legal and court expenses are included, it costs society a lot more now. The deep pocket of taxpayers attracts certain special interest groups, the true beneficiaries of our “child protection” apparatus, to prey on the system. This explains why "child protection" cases drag on for years as these special interest groups milk the system.

Child protection law is not supposed to be penal in nature. Genuine child protection seldom requires such absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Social workers are not trained to enforce law. But they are given more power than the police in law enforcement. There is no disciplinary provisions to deter any unbefitting behavior. Parents are bickered by a fault-finding attitude that does not serve their children and families well.

Child protection is a noble cause. We support all genuine child protection effort. However, lack of accountability and abuse of power ironically render the Ministry’s child protection effort counterproductive and inefficient. We present an inconvenient truth that no responsible government and no individual with a conscience could ignore. This problem not only pertains to Canada, but also to many English-speaking nations that have similar child protection law. You can find articles and links to web sites in other countries that speak to this effect.

We are touched by the extent of sufferings of removed children and their distressed parents. State-sponsored child removal amounts to enforced disappearance of people. This is an unacceptable legalized crime against humanity. Such trauma and atrocities should never be allowed in a civilized society. Families are the backbone of a nation. We are committed to help these families to walk through their ministry-created crisis and to restore their parenting ability. Exclusively funded by donations, our endeavor is challenging. We could not do this without your support. We welcome your inquiries, comments and participation.

If you have no experience with child-protection social workers before, you will find some information in our site unbelievable. Your awareness and support are very important to rectify this serious socio-political problem. Most Canadians are not aware of or, worse, have chosen to ignore this problem. Despite whether or not you have children, this problem is affecting everyone. You will find answers to many questions you may have in our FAQ section. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

If you had received intervention from the Ministry, you probably will echo many of our concerns. If your children are still under 19 years of age, we understand your fear of reprisal. Nevertheless, we encourage you to come forward and join us. Your testimony will not be made public until your consent is given. Your experience is important to garner support for our cause and to help those who are now being oppressed. Remaining silent will only encourage more abuse of power.

Finally, I ask that you spread our message to people you know and to your community. Public awareness is one of our keys to success.

Thank you for reading.