Foster Care

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

f there’s any­thing more pa­thetic than the health sys­tem, it’s the foster care sys­tem; it’s a close sec­ond. Dar­lene Neville, the child and youth ad­vo­cate for this prov­ince, pre­sented a dev­as­tat­ing snap­shot last week. The in­quiry her of­fice did had her break down and cry her­self, she ad­mit­ted to the CBC.

The sys­tem is an ut­ter joke. But be­cause it’s the most vul­ner­a­ble of chil­dren at the brunt of that joke, there’s noth­ing to be laughed at and every­one should be sit­ting straight up in their seats and pay­ing at­ten­tion. Th­ese are in­no­cent lit­tle chil­dren and it’s 2009 and we haven’t ad­vanced enough to pro­vide them even with the most ba­sic needs.

When you think of the money tax­pay­ers have dished out for in­quiries from the Zachary Turner trav­esty to a provin­cially-com­mis­sioned re­port that was com­pleted just weeks ago, it’s dis­gust­ing to think so lit­tle has changed.

There’s no point in bring­ing th­ese things to light if gov­ern­ment peo­ple are go­ing around with their hands over their ears not want­ing to hear.

The ugly truth is there are too many in­stances where the sys­tem is just as neg­li­gent with the child as the neg­li­gent par­ents they are taken from.

When a so­cial worker takes a child from a home, the process has just be­gun and ev­ery mea­sure should be taken to make sure the child suf­fers min­i­mal dam­age in that process.

Drop­ping off a kids in the mid­dle of the night at the home of a com­plete stranger with very lit­tle of their own be­long­ings is down­right cruel and dam­ag­ing, and it’s hard to imag­ine how it can be done. It’s an out of sight, out of mind at­ti­tude that is go­ing on.

So­cial work­ers not fol­low­ing up for days is ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able no mat­ter how short­handed they are.

Doc­u­men­ta­tion not get­ting com­pleted is some­times as much lazi­ness and in­com­pe­tence as it is due to short­age of so­cial work­ers.

There is a short­age of foster par­ents in this prov­ince and the big­gest rea­son is likely be­cause they are treated with com­pla­cency and an in­sult­ing dis­re­gard. This sys­tem sim­ply sucks just like the health­care sys­tem that has a can­cer pa­tient wait­ing be­cause there is no bed.

How to in­ject a heart in any sys­tem whether it is health care or child­care should be the or­der of the day in our prov­ince. It is pa­thetic and a na­tional em­bar­rass­ment to have sys­tems as crit­i­cal as th­ese in such sham­bles. And, it seems, no mat­ter how many pricey of­fi­cial in­quiries are done, the gov­ern­ment just doesn’t get it.

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