Abuse of power in the Ministry for children and family development
If you have seen my other blog at http://pinkcobra.blogspot.com/ then you are aware of my situation. It has come to my attention that we are not the only family being harassed by this particular social worker. The fact that one person has been given so much power is wrong. I agree that there are children that need to be protected from their parents, but the current methods are wrong and need to be changed.
-The complaint process is set up that if you have a concern about the way you have been treated by the social worker, you must first complain to the team leader (with the social worker present). The complaint meeting is treated more like a file review. In my case, I was told that there had been a lot of positive feedback on my file. I was told that almost all the concerns had been addressed and that the file would most likely be closed in a month. How many people hearing that would proceed to make a complaint? I did, and the meeting was cut short in the middle of an example I was asked to give of how this social worker had been rude. I was told that another meeting would be scheduled to continue airing my concerns....that was months ago.
-The decision to remove is made between the social worker and the team leader. There should be more people involved in the decision, to prevent lack of objectivity.
-There are no written warnings to the parents that state the concerns of the social worker and steps that could be taken.
-A social worker is not required to provide you with any warrant or legal document stating that they have the authority to remove the child
-A parent does not have the right to be given the reasons for removal at the time of removal, they have to wait one week until the presentation hearing to know why their child was taken
-At the presentation hearing, The social worker presents his/her case. The social worker states the reasons for removal and alternatives that were considered.The parent does not have the opportunity to present their case. The parent may only agree, or disagree with the reasons for removal
-The court then issues an interim custody order. It may:
*return the child to parent with no terms or conditions attached
*return the child to parent under the supervision of the ministry
*order that the child remains in the care of the ministry
(my question here is how is the court supposed to make the best decision for the child here when they only get one side of the story)
-After the presentation hearing a case conference is arranged between the judge, the lawyers for both sides, the social worker, the parents and advocate if applicable. I'm not entirely sure how long it takes to arrange this meeting, so I won't speculate.
-There is no advocate available currently that assists with the mcfd, unless you are diagnosed or self identify as a person with a mental disability. So if you don't know your rights, there is no one to stop the social worker from pushing you around
I believe that these issues (above) are wrong and need to be changed. Abuse is wrong. If a child is being abused, they should be removed from the home. But the parents should not find their child being ripped out of their home and the law stacked against them.