What do you do, and who do you turn to when the people charged with protecting children end up causing far more emotional and physical trauma than you could ever imagine? Unfortunately for many in B.C., this is the current reality.
Many of us have been following the case of a B.C. mom (known only as J.P. in court documents) who recently won in court against the B.C. Children's Ministry.
The ministry was found to have unfairly and unjustly labelled the mom mentally ill (based purely on allegations from her ex-husband), ripped her four children away from her, and then failed to investigate the kids' claims that their father had sexually abused them.
Then the province knowingly violated a court order that prevented the father from having unsupervised visits -- and instead allowed him full access to the children ALONE which allowed the sexual abuse to continue.
In fact, the youngest of the children only started being sexually abused while in the care of the ministry.
You -- like myself -- were probably shocked further when the government announced they were going to appeal.
Any decent human being would look at this situation and think, "We need to make some changes so this never happens to anther child or family again." But unfortunately we are talking about the BC Liberal government here, and when push comes to shove they only care about one thing -- and that is themselves and their reputation.
Instead of looking internally and fixing the very obviously issues that are plaguing the minister and failing families across this province, they would rather spend millions of dollars fighting this poor mother in court and dragging this family through anther round of invasive and unnecessary court proceedings.
I wish I could say this case was unique. I wish I could say that even half of what I hear about the ministry is good, but I would be lying if I did. The system is broken. It does not work and families across this province are being subjected daily to abuse and neglect from the ministry that is supposed to be looking out for families -- NOT destroying them.
There are cases of children being ripped from their mothers only to end up dying in foster care under the ministry's watch.
Then you have cases where a teen dies of an overdose after being left with an alcoholic mother despite 30 child protection orders dating back to her birth.
The government also saw fit to waste $66 million on failed attempts to reform the aboriginal child welfare system. Ironically, not one child actually benefitted from those millions.
And the case where the foster dad of a teen became too riddled with voices in his head to care for him -- so he was allowed to move the teen to a rental unit that he would pay someone to staff. However, the ministry didn't bother checking out the staff and the teen ended up being sexually abused for months, since the "staff" were picked out from a coffee-store lineup and from Narcotics Anonymous.
These are just a few examples of children who are being ignored by the ministry and our government. Some get reported, but more often then not they don't -- unless it gets to the point where a child dies. Or in this case, the mother is strong enough to spend years of her life and hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight for her children and what is right.
She has endured far more than most of us could ever imagine but she continues to fight for her children and in doing so has helped shine a light on the disgraceful and unjust system that every parent in this province should be worried about.
Meanwhile the dad in this case has yet to be charged with sexually abusing his four children, or for the slanderous allegations that started this whole nightmare. He continues to live free while our government continues to sadistically attack this mom whose only crime has ever been trying to protect her children.
Families First Indeed.