Adding up 2 newspaper stories: Kerri Irvin-Ross letting social workers break apprehension law every step of the way

  • I was already pretty bothered by what I read in a Winnipeg Sun editorial at the end of January:
Manitoba Family Services Minister Kerry Irvin-Ross says she doesn’t know what government can do — if anything — to ensure front-line workers in her department’s child welfare system are complying with the law.
Talk about an abrogation of duty for a minister of the Crown.
The children’s advocate for Manitoba’s First Nations says some child welfare agencies are breaking the law because they’re failing to place apprehended aboriginal children with relatives in cases where they could be.
  • (Keep this concept in mind, the basic premise comes up again in the second story.)
Irvin-Ross says she doesn’t know what can be done about that. She says it’s up to individual child welfare agencies to determine the best placement for apprehended children. In other words, the NDP minister is washing her hands of the situation, which is shocking.
If child welfare agencies are failing to comply with the law by denying competent family members the opportunity to care for children relatives, it’s incumbent upon the minister to intervene… What the minister should be doing is calling for a review of the cases cited by Morgan and investigating generally the extent to which agencies are following this provision in the law.
    Instead, the minister is throwing her hands in the air and saying it’s not up to her to second guess the decisions of front-line workers.
Irvin-Ross is abdicating her responsibilities as a minister of the Crown. It is her job to oversee her department and to monitor its operations. When there are allegations of deficiencies like this one, it’s her responsibility to act.
“Woman’s son removed unfairly, court rules
MANITOBA’S highest court has waded into a messy child-welfare case, ruling a mother was improperly stripped of her son based on a finding she was unfit to parent.
As a result, a permanent order of guardianship that was granted to Child and Family Services has been overturned — paving the way for a family reunion.
“… in order to terminate the parental bond, the law provides that an inability to provide adequate care, supervision and control must be shown,” Justice Janice leMaistre wrote in a decision released this week. “Certainly there may have been concerns, but in my view they did not rise to the level of a child in need of protection and defined by the act.”
The mother agreed to a temporary order with a number of conditions, including scheduled visits, counselling and participation in parenting programs.
One such program went off the rails when the mother moved in with an older female “mentor” who was fostering her son. The mother accused the mentor of “running her home like a residential school” and also being physically abusive to her child.
  • (Note that none of the Child and Family Services worker, case manager, supervisor, whoever, took heed of this concern.
  • How is that possible when the government bends over backwards every chance it gets to make amends for the original version?)
Their relationship was terminated, and it appears tensions between her and CFS also were rising.
Following this, CFS moved for permanent guardianship.
 At a trial held in October 2014, a Queen’s Bench family court justice ruled against the mother in describing her as a “very substandard parent who constantly brings her child into danger.” He cited testimony from her case worker, which questioned the mother’s parenting skills and relationship with her son during supervised visits.
In the Appeal Court decision released this week, leMaistre said there was no basis for such a finding. …  There would have been no need to find the baby was in need of protection.
“He misapprehended the evidence and made findings of fact not supported by the evidence, thereby reaching an erroneous or unreasonable conclusion,” leMaistre said. She also criticized the CFS worker for providing vague, unsubstantiated evidence that painted the mother in a negative light.
  • (If the undisclosed goal is to seize children to feed the child welfare machine, is that … perjury?)
… LeMaistre said the trial judge didn’t give proper weight to the mother’s testimony, which included both denials of certain claims from the CFS worker and reasonable explanations for other issues.
  • So, this isn’t only a serious problem of “front line workers”  not following the law when it comes to ensuring children stay with relatives if apprehended.
  • It is obviously a problem of not applying the law to legally apprehend the kids IN THE FIRST PLACE.    
  • The Sun editorial concluded: “If Irvin-Ross doesn’t have the inclination or political will to investigate the very serious charges raised by Manitoba’s children’s advocate for First Nations, perhaps she should step aside and let somebody else do the job.”

12  I understand that the chatter around the tables at 529 the past few weeks is that the Sun may get its wish;

  • Irvin-Ross is expected to be there even MORE OFTEN in the near future to sample the menu and snuggle up to the owner, because she is rumoured to be following her colleagues Mackintosh and Howard into the sunset and avoid the messy business of defending her sorry-ass record and that of Greg Selinger on the doorsteps during the election.
  • Her hands off policy lets social workers break the law and break up families with no consequence.
  • I hope other mothers are as concerned as I am, that she may collect her political pension without having to explain herself for doing it.

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