Saturday, January 29, 2011

Behind the statistics on children we failed

There is a useful editorial on the Representative for Children and Youth report on the death of 21 children involved with Ministry of Children and Families here.
And the entire report is on the representative's website.
But the individual case studies tell much of the story.
Here's one.

Case Example
The mother of this First Nations infant was actively involved with MCFD child protection social workers during the prenatal period due to concerns regarding the care and safety of an infant sibling.
The MCFD file information indicated a lengthy history of involvement with the infant’s family over a number of generations. When the infant’s mother was a child, she had been removed from the care of her own parents due to domestic violence, mental health issues, neglect, sexual abuse and lack of medical attention. The infant’s grandparents had suffered the impacts of attending residential schools and lived in severe poverty. The infant’s mother
was suspected to have been affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Numerous health hazards in the family’s home had been reported to MCFD. Despite the information regarding the historical abuses affecting the family and active child protection involvement, no discharge planning was done by MCFD and the hospital when the infant was born. MCFD did not make contact with the family until six weeks after the birth. Public Health had extensive and frequent contact, noting the infant’s medical concerns relating to care and hospitalization for failure to thrive. MCFD was not advised of the hospitalization, nor did they appear to be monitoring the situation in order to know that the infant had been hospitalized.
MCFD received another report regarding the infant’s care, and the infant was removed from parental care at approximately four months of age. At the time of placement in the foster home, the foster parent noted that the infant’s body was covered with eczema and that the infant made “odd sounds.” The foster parent attempted to access medical care for the infant at a walk-in clinic but did not get to the clinic before it closed for the day. The infant died that night. The death was identified as sudden unexplained death in infancy with contributing health problems.


DPL said...

Reading the report and Mary Polak's comment to me shows the Liberals total lack of concern. When children die because they don't have a safe bed surface to sleep in, tells wonders about the priorities of the present government.Lives of children is of less interest to this government than building a new , very expensive roof on an old sports palace. The poor are ignored by those people who sometimes actually go into the Legislature to do something,

Anonymous said...

The BC Liberals have a long and well documented history of floating the party on the bodies of dead children - no news here, move along.

Leah said...

A "man" shakes a 10 week old infant so hard it causes permanent, and irreversible brain damage. The man does not deny it, he does not fight the charge.

The "Justice" hearing this case determines that there is no "proof" that excessive force was used, therefore; said "man" is not guilty of aggravated assault.

If this is the kind of judgement we can expect from a "Justice of the Bench" why would we hope for more from a government whose corruption is without question?

paul said...

Anon 12:17
The Liberal record has been dismal. The NDP's record was also grim.
In 2001, Children's Advocate Joyce Preston's final report - her five-year term was over - described the NDP's term in office as a decade of failure. "For the most part, it has been a case of all talk and no action."
It will take more than a change in the party in power to change things.

Anonymous said...

12:17 PM replies - The BC Liberals were well aware of the NDP's record and campaigned in 2001 that they would be doing things differently: It was a major platform as they steamrolled to victory.

The BC Liberals followed up with a Deputy Minister handpicked by none other that Premier Gordon Campbell who defied all logic and went all the way to BC's antipodal point to import Lesley du Toit for the nominal minister de juer.

10 years later the BC Liberals still insist they are doing something, while doing less than nothing - the BC Liberal policies are specifically designed to cut costs and the children be damned.