Noth­ing can take the place of par­ents


Dear edi­tor,

CBC News has been re­port­ing that Child, Youth and Fam­ily Ser­vices Min­is­ter Char­lene John­son has per­mit­ted two chil­dren to be taken from their par­ents be­cause the par­ents are men­tally in­ad­e­quate to meet their de­vel­op­ing kids’ needs.

Chil­dren are vul­ner­a­ble be­ings. That’s why we call them chil­dren or, in French, “en­fant” or in­fant, which bet­ter de­scribes their de­pen­dence on par­ents and other fam­ily sup­port. Yet the state in its wis­dom has cre­ated a phrase ‘ loco par­en­tis,’ Latin for ‘in place of par­ents’ when in truth noth­ing can take the place of par­ents, but there may be many things that could sup­port par­ents in their role as care­givers.

Yet, ab­so­lutely noth­ing can re­place one’s own par­ents. Nev­er­the­less, too of­ten, we see the state or govern­ment plac­ing it­self in a pri­mary role and foul­ing up the whole process when a vig­i­lant sup­port­ive role would have served quite nicely. In that re­gard, given the cost of re­moval and the need for sup­port staff, why could a few well­trained sup­port work­ers not per­form shift duty in the home on a con­tin­u­ing ba­sis?

I am sure, or I would ex­pect, the du­bi­ous so­lu­tion of re­moval is fraught with many fu­ture prob­lems and should only be used when all else fails. Sus­pect, too, is the com­ment that an IQ test was given to the par­ents and they didn’t ob­tain a sat­is­fac­tory score.

I ask, what type of per­son ad­min­is­tered this test? Was it a trained psy­chol­o­gist or a so­cial worker? How long was the fam­ily in­ter­ac­tion ob­served prior to the re­moval of the chil­dren? What train­ing was given to the par­ents to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion? Were the par­ents phys­i­cally abu­sive? Was an E.Q. test or emo­tional in­tel­li­gence pro­ce­dure used be­cause if the par­ents are su­per with their emo­tional sup­port, no state or stranger can re­place that kind of sup­port.

Too of­ten, state work­ers them­selves if scru­ti­nized closely enough are of­ten found want­ing and may in­deed be pro­ject­ing their prob­lems upon in­no­cent fam­i­lies. Ob­vi­ously then, this case ac­tion re­quires a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the home, the par­ents, the kids, their sup­port work­ers and the so­cial work­ers at­tached to the fam­ily.

This, to­gether with a pro­fes­sional psy­cho­log­i­cal anal­y­sis of the com­plete pack­age, should be car­ried out be­fore any child is ripped from his or her par­ents’ arms.

Aubrey Smith Grand Falls-Windsor

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