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Child Protection

What is child abuse? What is child neglect? Why does it happen? How does the justice system protect children, and what happens when a child protection agency intervenes in a child’s life? Justice Brownstone interviews two child protection lawyers from Victoria, BC: Crystal Buchan and Jennifer Barrett. This is a touchy subject but Justice Brownstone tackles it head on to find out what parents should do when a protection agency becomes involved in their lives.

Category: Episodes

Tags: abuse, child-abuse, child-protection, crystal-buchan, jennifer-barrett, lawyers

By Family Matters - December 5, 2010


  • Neil Haskett said

    What can be done to improve the integrity of Family Court and stop Children Aid Societies who file misleading, false information or disregard Judges orders?

  • Logan Rathbone said

    Terrific episode! I'd like to see one about the FRO.<br /><br />Like CAS, there's a lot of misunderstanding out there about FRO by clients and even some counsel. As an articling student with family duty counsel, explaining to clients FRO's mandate has proven to be one of the most difficult tasks. The process can be confusing and technical.<br /><br />People don't always seem to understand why they can't dispute the court-ordered amount by attempting to negotiate with the FRO, why the court can't make an order that payors get their licences back in certain instances, etc.

  • Justice Brownstone said

    Thank you for your suggestion. I have been in touch with the Legal Director at the Family Responsibility Office and we hope to be producing an episode about support enforcement in the future. <br />Justice Brownstone

  • John Dunn said

    What can a parent parties do when a CAS does not provide their client (parent parties) with disclosure. For example, a parent party asks Society for full disclosure of the file to be used against them and the Society refuses.<br /><br />Two Scenarios:<br />1. Before any orders are issued by the court for disclosure<br /><br />2. A year and a half after a judge has ordered disclosure and parent still waiting for such from agency who refuses to do so despite the judges order? (do they file a motion for contempt of court against Society in this case for not complying with judges order?)

  • Justice Brownstone said

    For legal information beyond what is provided on "Family Matters", go to AdviceScene.com. For specific legal advice about what steps to take in a particular situation, consult a lawyer.

  • Kendall Danforth said

    You may have heard my name on the current eye opener this morning. "Mother hits the streets to find help for her teenage daughter" <br /> Social services is so unorgainzed, there seems to be a lack of communication between the hospitals and social services, leaving a huge crack for these children and teens to fall through. I don't feel they are protected in Alberta. My child was brought to the childrens hospital after self harming herself once again but an escalating case with cuts on her throat, the calgary police put out a canada missing on her and when found she was brought there and assessed briefly, I was on my way and they let a 15yr old leave with a taxi voucher, I feel their is not enough rights for the parents to protect the child and no involuntary treatment we can access on our own. I guess just the extremely wealthy children get saved from suicide and mental health issues. Private treatment is a minimum of 21,000 for 32 days approximately. <br /> Im trying to keep her alive and she is being appointed lawyers to shorten her involuntary 5 day stay, so she could die sooner. Thats protection? I feel we need the laws to change on the situation and severity of it. <br /> I don't want my child to die due the lack of communication between the two parties, (hospital and social sevices) ie file sharing, as did baby Isabella? Is there anyway you could help me?

  • Jane Scharf said

    Now it is time to hear from parents and former foster children to see what this child welfare system is really all about

  • Lisa said

    Cindy, I second every word of your post. I have been going through similar issues. My husband involved the Ministry in an effort to avoid his child support obligations, and it's been a Kafka-esque nightmare ever since. My daughter has been completely alienated from me, we're on our fourth social worker in 1 1/2 years but they've never "investigated" me or even interviewed me with my daughter, they don't bother to read the file, they're young, inexperienced women who have way too much power, they usurp the role of the courts and don't even try to hide their biases.

  • Cindy said

    This was helpful thank you. However the CFS system and court system are presented as if they are functional. A few points I would like to make:<br /><br />1- my sister wanted legal advice but could not afford a lawyer. She applied for legal aid but was not allowed to use that lawyer until she was served by CFS. She did not get served until a few days before the court date and was only given legal advice the day before. So for the first 6 months that her children were in care she had no one to get proper advice from.<br /><br />2- When CFS wanted to extend the order for another 6 months not only had my sister not had legal advice, but CFS told us that if she decided to fight the order the 6 months would start after the court proceedings were finished. I have been told that it may take 3 months or more to even get a court date. Someone I know has her court date a year and a half from now. So these families can't stand up for themselves. <br /><br />3- what happens when the social worker makes numerous mistakes on a weekly basis (getting facts wrong, messing up appointment times etc), manipulates information, and punishes the parent as part of a strategy? This person is not held accountable and the mistakes aren't corrected on record even though they influence decisions that are made. There is a flaw in the system when one social worker has too much power and her superiors only know the information as presented by that worker (in my sister's case the supervisor and director only met my sister after the kids had been removed for 6 months and still have never met the children). <br /><br />4- the children were placed with me (auntie) for 4 months but then removed and placed in foster care to get the parents moving faster. This CFS strategy has had horrible concequences for the children and has devastated the family.<br /><br />This process has been terrifying for our whole family. We are good people and even though my sister has some things to work on, the rest of us are treated like criminals. We are afraid to say anything because CFS has twisted our words. This system needs a major watchdog. There are too many flaws and that is just not good enough when there are children's lives at stake. Thank you for your time.

  • Daniel Daley said

    I am having troubles with the CFs here in Victoria I have been stoped from seeing the daughter I raised because the social worker said she didn't agree with my exs and I having shared custody ,noone will give me answers to even why,,

  • Wanda Zamora said

    How do I as about My 11 year old is telling me to phone her once a week only because
    The father only wants me to speak to our daughter once a week I have recorded the call
    The threats to the police
    Please help

  • Amanda Gummow said

    I would like to view this episode. Where can I find another link that is currently active?

  • Nancy said

    Hi there. Please look on iTunes. It's a podcast. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/family-matters-justice-harvey/id378037185. We'll be putting them back on the site soon.

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