Saturday, November 20, 2010

Children's ministry stumbles again

From today's Times Colonist:

"She was 15, with severe developmental disabilities due to Down syndrome. Her mother, with her own issues, died in the home they shared in a Cultus Lake mobile home park.

And for nine days, the girl lived beside her mother's corpse. She had been told not to go out alone.

When rescued, she was emaciated and filthy -- she was unable to use the toilet and had been wearing the same diaper for a week. Her legs and abdomen were raw with diaper rash. Pills and boxes of macaroni were on the floor, apparently left as the girl tried to bring her mother back to life.

The Minister of Children and Family Development had been involved with the family; in fact, the girl's brothers had asked that their sister be taken into care because of their mother's alcoholism and drug abuse and the filth in the house.

The law calls for deaths or such events that cause "serious or long-term impairment" of a child's health to be reported to the Representative for Children and Youth as soon as officials become aware of them.

But the ministry didn't do that. Nine weeks after the girl was discovered, Minister Mary Polak says it's still not clear to her that the girl suffered an injury that required reporting.

That's at once insulting and stupid. . ."

Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

It is absolutely disgusting that this poor girl's name and photo are being splashed all over the place by the media. The story is a tragedy and highlights that nothing has changed in MCFD. But what about her right to privacy, especially as she can't speak for herself.

cherylb said...

Mary Polak is completely incompetent and should not only be immediately removed from her position, but she should also be criminally charged. It clearly shows the lack of concern that she personally holds for the people of BC and that this government has demonstrated time and time again over the past nearly 10 years. Recall them all please.

DPL said...

It's pretty bad when a person takes the job of Children’s Advocate with a vote by all MLA's supporting her for the job, to have to find out in the newspaper about such a sad case. So it's back to filing subpoenas to find out what is going on in Children and families Ministry. Polak is way over her head, in the job and should be replaced immediately.

dawn steele said...

An excellent editorial - the Times Colonist has demonstrated impressive leadership in "paying attention" to and highlighting children's issues in BC.

It is a real shame that most of the other major media limit themselves to covering the occasional sensationalist story without ever attempting to examine the real underlying issues and challenges.

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