WEST KELOWNA: The BC Office of the Ombudsperson has launched an investigation into the conduct of the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) regarding their apprehension of a child in February.
CL, the mother of the child, began filing reports to the Ombudsman in March citing numerous failures to follow appropriate procedures, overreach, medically and physically endangering her child, and violations of her and her child’s rights.
CL lives in the riding of MCFD Minister Katrine Conroy. CL contacted her MLA in July requesting a meeting about the situation but Conroy’s office informed CL that Conroy would not speak to her and that CL’s letter and all supporting personal documents had been forwarded to MCFD. CL never consented to share any of these documents.
CL states, “My child is being harmed and abused in MCFD care. My son needs and wants to come home. They are not acting in my child’s best interests, and they never have. They replaced his long-time physician with another doctor who took him off the prescribed medication that had successfully treated his illness and, instead, put him on psychotropic drugs that didn’t treat his illness and made him feel sick. … a social worker, interviewed my son and asked inappropriate leading questions which made him so upset that the next time he saw her, he physically assaulted her. The sixth set of foster parents (in as many weeks) broke my son’s mountain bike and then did not have it fixed, so my son cut a finger off trying to fix it himself. They also put my boy into a car with a man who was driving while apparently impaired. And COVID precautions are being ignored in the foster home. My son was sleeping on a couch for weeks because an unapproved housemate was staying in his bedroom. My son told me that the man was severely depressed and mentally unstable and that he believed the guy planned to kill himself. A few days later, the man drowned. And there are even more concerns.”
Helen Ward, President of Kids First Parent Association of Canada, says, “CL contacted us after reading media reports about the ‘bus dad’ case against MCFD in which Kids First was an intervenor. Parents face a serious power imbalance when they are in conflict with government agencies, especially with MCFD child protection services. Courts seem to presume that MCFD interventions are always in the best interests of children, but there is much evidence of a long track record of tragic deaths, violations of procedures, overreach, and violations of children’s and parents’ Charter rights. We hope that this investigation by the Office of the Ombudsperson will improve the situation for this family and for all parents and children.”