Nothing can take the place of parents
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