On 6 November 2013, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released a special report on MCFD's abuse of funds (narration in Cantonese)

B.C. Children's Advocate: Ministry Squandered Millions, Improved Nothing (CP | By Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press Posted: 6 Nov 2013)

VICTORIA - The British Columbia government needs to stop wasting millions of dollars on ill-conceived initiatives and start taking direct action to help aboriginal children and youth, the province's children's watchdog said Wednesday.

In a scathing 92-page report that includes detailed tables of expenditures, B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond said the Ministry of Children and Family Development has spent roughly $66 million in the last dozen years on "big, blue sky initiatives." However, there is no evidence that a single aboriginal child or family has received better service as a result.

"So what was that money spent on? A lot of talk, planning, meetings, consultants, a lot of deliberation mostly without MCFD or service providers in the room, all of which combined to result in not much of anything concrete in terms of services," Turpel-Lafond told reporters Wednesday.

The report, "When Talk Trumped Service," says between 2002 and 2009, nearly $35 million was spent on the Regional Aboriginal Authorities, an initiative to transfer the responsibility of child welfare services to the community level. However, Turpel-Lafond said the money was spent on hiring consultants, planning and facilitating meetings, and producing "materials of questionable practical value."

The ministry then spent another $31 million on what is now known as Indigenous Approaches, said Turpel-Lafond, which was meant to transfer authority over child welfare services to individual First Nations communities by providing funding for various projects.

"This initiative could in fact more accurately be described as a series of ad-hoc contracts, marked by a lack of overarching policy and direction, initially limited financial controls and poor overall accountability," she said.

The ministry also provides another $90 million annually to 23 delegated aboriginal agencies, authorities that are delegated by the ministry to deliver child welfare services to First Nations families, said the report.


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On 14 July 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. handed down an unprecedented judgment J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 1216. This is the first case in Canadian legal history in which child protection workers are found liable for misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the standard of care. Findings therein confirm our views and support the merit of our cause. Continuous litigations between JP and the MCFD are summarized in JP Aftermath. Our commentary on the Plecas Review Part 1: Decision Time was published on 4 January 2016. If you have evidence of misfeasance or abuse of children in foster care, please come forward and contact us.
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  20. Wrongful Removal of Christina Harrison's Baby
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  23. "Married to the State: How government colonizes the family"
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Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Findings and Recommendations
  3. MCFD Cyber Monitoring
  4. Programs with Questionable Policy Basis or Outcomes
  5. Poverty: An Arena of MCFD Scrutiny
  6. Financial Costs on Removed Children
  7. Revisiting the Known Safe Place: Foster Home
  8. First Nation Would Write Their Own Approach
  9. Aboriginal Children Removal Rate Per Capita
  10. Replenishing Depleted Inventory
  11. Government Modus Operandi
  12. Financial Incentives to Service Providers
  13. Remarks
  14. References

Our Comment on "When Talk Trumped Service"

Introduction

On 6 November 2013, the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) published a 92-page special report titled "When Talk Trumped Service: A Decade of Lost Opportunity for Aboriginal Children and Youth in B.C." (hereinafter known as the Report). The Report is a review of the results of Ministry of Children and Family Development’s (MCFD) spending on Aboriginal child welfare services over the past 12 years.

The Report confirmed many of our findings in the child protection industry. What we find astonishing is that this is the first time a Crown official publicly admits abuse of financial resources, lack of accountability, racketeering and corruption. Although no such wordings were used directly in the Report, the findings and criticisms amount to the same. Self-serving bureaucrats and service providers in the child protection industry have been very successful in preserving public trust to believe that MCFD is using tax dollars efficiently to protect children. The Report casts double on the trustworthiness on those whose financial wellbeing and job security depend on the funding of MCFD.

Findings and Recommendations

The Report contains a number of findings and five recommendations accompanied by some suggested actions (page 57 to 62 of the Report). The Report is archived below and we will not repeat the RCY's recommendations.

Problems identified by the Report pertaining to services for Aboriginal families include but not limited to:

Specific Problems Identified by The Report

Problems Described in General Terms

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has awarded money for projects but often assumed little or no management or responsibility for initiatives launched. Huge amount of money ($66 million, may be more, in the last 12 years) spent on "talking" without serving a single child (the second paragraph on page 4).
  • incompetence,
  • lack of leadership and accountability
MCFD's policy and administrative principles are prone to undue political influence and lobbying by consultants and others with the ability to convince government to fund programs with questionable policy basis or outcomes (the third paragraph on page 4). influence peddling
A significant amount of tax dollars has gone to people who provide no program or service to directly benefit children (the third paragraph on page 4). fraud (transfer of wealth to service providers who provide no service) and corruption
The provincial government cannot provide a clear record of expenditures (the third paragraph on page 4). incompetence, poor management, lack of accountability
Government publicly applauds the imminent success of worthless talks and has little or no evaluation of real achievements and financial controls on these endeavours (the first paragraph on page 5).
  • consistent with our observation that service providers define the quality of their services and force their "clients" and society to buy and accept with "satisfaction"
  • propaganda containing misleading messages and fabricated information to sway public opinions to support more funding and preserving a failing oppressive modus operandi, this works well in specifically in a poorly-informed targeted population
Hover your mouse to pause the slide show and to view photo description.

Judging from the dates of the documents reviewed (in Appendix 1 starting from page 66), most of these documents were released before 2010. This suggests that the problems identified by the RCY are not new. Beyond doubt, these problems confirm abuse of tax dollar, racketeering, corruption, lack of accountability and leadership.

The fact that MCFD can wasted $66 million on talk without delivering service, get away unnoticed for 12 years and no bureaucrats or politicians held responsible indicates lack of accountability, insufficient oversight and serious structural corruption. We are not suggesting that there are no good bureaucrats in the Ministry or politicians in the provincial government. We define structural corruption as a systematic misuse or abuse of public resources that produce results short of reasonable expectation of society and serve the narrow interest of service providers and the presence of uncorrupted bureaucrats is inadequate to correct the problem.

Corruption could entails a wide array of illicit behaviour such as bribery, extortion, fraud, nepotism, graft, embezzlement, falsification of records, kickbacks, influence peddling, political campaign contributions. The problems identified by the Report qualify for fraud, embezzlement (the misappropriation of funds that have been entrusted to one for care or management) and influence peddling (illegal practice of using one's influence in government or connections with persons in authority to obtain favors or preferential treatment). The following are some typical features of a system prone to structural corruption and these features are all present in the child protection industry:


Features that Spawn Structural Corruption

Presence of Such Feature in the Child Protection Industry

concentration of power in bureaucrats protected by union Section 30 of the CFCSA grants absolute power to remove children at the sole discretion of bureaucrats, many of whom are protected by the BCGEU
weak or non-existent check and balance on a timely basis the B.C. Ombudsperson, the RCY have no power to correct MCFD's wrongdoings or abuse of power, Section 35 hearings are often a rubber stamping legal ritual (in which parents often hear rationale like erring on the side of caution); check and balance from the judiciary, if any, is at the earliest years later after removal
little transparency in decision making a risk assessment model with many subjective judgment, at times, based on hearsay or perception, is used to determine child removal; in most cases, parents are not given any concrete reason(s) of removal until many months later
restrict access to information to prevent the public from making educated decision, hence unable to prove corruption prevent people from obtaining information surrounding child removal by:
  • using privacy as excuse to avoid dissemination of information that could harm or embarrass the industry; on the contrary, they fully disclose the personal identifiable information
    if doing so serves to promote the industry or to discredit opposition (see MCFD Propaganda)
  • using lawsuit to threaten those who share information or publish individual cases (this oppressive ruse was used when we published the "Removal of 1-Year old S. from Mel in Victoria, British Columbia (December 2007)" case)
  • using costs to deter those who apply for information under B.C.'s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIPP Act)
absence of regulatory systems permitting discretionary decision making MCFD's child protection workers are not required to register with any regulatory body, hence are not abide by any professional code of ethics
weak or non-existent oversight and enforcement system many people consider the Office of the RCY established in 2006 a child welfare watchdog and there is sufficient oversight and are ignorant that the RCY has no power other than access to information and submitting reports to the Legislature Assembly
a naive and apathetic society use powerful propaganda to portray an illusion of transparency and accountability and suppress parents from going public by using fear and retaliation for the purpose of creating blind faith on government
opinion

MCFD Cyber Monitoring

Suppressing different opinions for the purpose of keeping the public uninformed is a key feature of corruption. Some Canadians may think that a democratic government will not monitor public opinions expressed in the cyberspace unless there are criminal elements involved. CBC published an article titled "Atleo likens aboriginal child welfare to residential schools" on 25 February 2013. In the third paragraph under the heading "Facebook page monitored?", the government monitored Cindy Blackstock's (the executive director of the family caring society who is seeking more federal funding on child welfare in the First Nation) personal Facebook page, scrutinized all her speaking engagements and refused to meet First Nations leaders who were working with her.

In addition to mounting surveillance on parents under scrutiny, MCFD uses similar tactics on those who disagree and seek ameliorative changes and meaningful reform. Mudslinging those who speak against the industry as radical, anti-government, unlawful renegades is a common tactic used to discredit opposition. Oppressed parents are prohibited to go public under the pretext of protecting the privacy of children. Those who have children under 19 years of age often fear retaliation and remain silent. Needless to say, MCFD is one of the most frequent visitors of our web site and is combing every page to find faults to discredit and punish. Why bureaucrats in MCFD are paid to monitor cyberspace, an activity that has little to do with child protection? Abuse or misuse of manpower in MCFD to engage in activities unrelated or counter productive to its mandate is common. This sheds more insight on the extent and the depth of corruption in the industry not covered in the Report.

Programs with Questionable Policy Basis or Outcomes

Corruption in the child protection industry: retaliation on those who disagree, unveil wrongdoings and those who get their children back in court

The Report raised the interesting notion of undue political influence and lobbying by consultants and others with the ability to convince government to fund programs with questionable policy basis or outcomes. Consultants are hired to facilitate meetings that almost never addressed the actual difficulties children and youth were experiencing, produce materials of questionable practical value. Although this criticism pertains to Aboriginal service rendered by MCFD, funding programs with questionable policy basis or outcomes is common in all MCFD operations. For example, parents are often forced to take worthless parenting skills and anger management programs. While the practical value of these programs are questionable, government funding and a guaranteed demand by compelling parents to attend under the duress of child removal or the bait of returning removed children certainly represent a lucrative business to service providers in the psychotherapy business. Some psychotherapists (especially those on MCFD's approved list) obtain their client referrals to do assessment or provide counseling mainly, if not exclusively, from MCFD. Since their livelihood depends on state sponsored child removal, they are, of course, firm supporters of the industry.

Supported by various breeds of self-serving service providers, worthless and expensive programs are often applauded as a success by self-praising bureaucrats to mislead their political masters and the public to believe in the value of the racket. Research conducted by service providers carries little research value. Many of these reports comprise of opinions collected from service providers directly benefit from the child protection industry or those who are on public payroll sharing the same attitude of raising public spending on questionable social services.

At times, ignorant parents approach the industry to seek help from these programs with questionable policy basis or outcomes. Some end up being helped by having their children removed.

Poverty: An Arena of MCFD Scrutiny

Child poverty is often used as a cause of fund raising. Incidentally, the Report named poverty as an arena that could become a child protection concern (the first paragraph on page 5). Being raised by poor parents is less fortunate but not always miserable. To justify MCFD's budget and its value of existence, the child protection industry could inflate the number of child abuse cases by the following:

  1. exaggerate some minor problems and present it as a serious child safety risk, often using the tactic of mixing true and false information;
  2. accuse parents of doing something they did not do, often using their children as pawns to coerce parents to admit guilt in court;
  3. fail to explain or add ambiguity to the definition of child abuse (Dr. Mercola cited Shaken Baby Syndrome as an example in his article titled "The Child Abuse Laws Which Could Destroy Your Reputation");
  4. open new arena in which children can be removed from their parents and placed in foster and subsequently adoptive homes.
MCFD and subsidiaries

Poverty is a convenient excuse to remove children from poor families under the pretext of child protection. Be mindful that there is no law in Canada prohibiting poor parents from raising their own children. Using child protection law [Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) in British Columbia] to deprive the right of poor parents from raising their own children is an act of abuse and barbarism.

Few parents are aware that MCFD will be notified when they apply for income assistance (more commonly known as social welfare) if they have children under 19 years of age. Application of income assistance is a clear evidence of lacking financial means to care for children. Of course, parents who approach government for financial assistance risk losing custody of their children. Young single mothers are the prime target of this child protection arena. For the ease of action, some income assistance offices locate within close proximity of MCFD offices. The photo on the right is an example of the foregoing. The Fraser Region Surrey Guildford-Fleetwood Child Protection & Family Services of MCFD (604-586-2895) locates at 4-15355 102A Avenue, Surrey, B.C., V3R 7K1 while Employment & Income Assistance Offices (604-586-5388) is at 1-15355 102A Avenue, Surrey.

Furthermore, if the $66 million wasted in "talk" in the last 12 years were used in fighting poverty, each Aboriginal child would have received $12,181.62($66,000,000/12) x (4,515/10) = $$12,181.62 each year (assuming 10% of the average number of Aboriginal children of 4,515 from 2002-03 to 2012-13 fiscal years were removed due to poverty). This does not include tax dollars wasted in other non-productive and counter-productive activities of MCFD.

Financial Costs on Removed Children

max $ 1,987,004 5,289 4,788 9,581 $ 221,789  
average $ 1,550,826 4,341 4,515 8,856 $ 174,770  
min $ 1,330,591 3,522 4,211 8,049 $ 152,306  
Fiscal Year MCFD Operating Expenses
Budget (in $000)
  Number of Non-Aboriginal children in care in BC     Number of Aboriginal children in care in BC   Total Number of children in care in BC $ spent per child per fiscal year Premier's Name
2002-3 $ 1,558,430 5,289 4,292 9,581 $ 162,658 Gordon Campbell
2003-4 $ 1,451,472 4,875 4,211 9,086 $ 159,748 Gordon Campbell
2004-5 $ 1,381,568 4,677 4,394 9,071 $ 152,306 Gordon Campbell
2005-6 $ 1,577,388 4,615 4,542 9,157 $ 172,260 Gordon Campbell
2006-7 $ 1,836,295 4,550 4,721 9,271 $ 198,069 Gordon Campbell
2007-8 $ 1,866,644 4,449 4,788 9,237 $ 202,083 Gordon Campbell
2008-9 $ 1,987,004 4,278 4,681 8,959 $ 221,789 Gordon Campbell
2009-10 $ 1,402,713 3,885 4,643 8,528 $ 164,483 Gordon Campbell
2010-11 $ 1,333,693 3,743 4,630 8,373 $ 159,285 Gordon Campbell
2011-12 $ 1,330,591 3,522 4,527 8,049 $ 165,311 Christy Clark
2012-13 $ 1,333,291 3,871 4,235 8,106 $ 164,482 Christy Clark

Data Source:

  1. MCFD budgets released in various fiscal years.
  2. Table 3 of a special report titled "When Talk Trumped Service: A Decade of Lost Opportunity for Aboriginal Children and Youth in B.C." published by the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) on 6 November 2013

2002-2013 Native and non native removed kids ratio
MCFD budgtet and removed kids graph

The data above suggest the following:

  1. Despite the total number of children removed dropped from 9,581 (in 2002-3) to 8,106 (in 2012-13), the total tax dollar spent on MCFD's budget per child is higher ($162,658 in 2002-3 versus $164,482 in 2012-13). This implies cost control failure and/or undue political influence and lobbying.
  2. The drop in number of children in care (9,581 in 2002-3 versus 8,106 in 2012-13) is accompanied by a higher MCFD budget on a per child in care basis ($162,658 in 2002-3 versus $164,482 in 2012-13). A plausible explanation is that service providers in the child protection industry are minimizing the chance of drawing unwanted public attention by keeping the number of children removed lower and yet preserving a more lucrative profit margin in their business. Such shrewd strategy will ensure success of the industry for a long time.
  3. After the record high in 2002-3, another local maximum was reached in 2006-7. The notable increase in MCFD operating budget is a response to the Sherry Charlie inquiry. This supports the following:
    1. Government often responds by dumping more money to placate public outcry without first identifying the root problem. Money is not always an almighty solution. Extra funding in the wrong hands could worsen the problem. A higher MCFD budget means more jobs and business opportunities to service providers and a larger tax burden on society.
    2. The number of children in care is budget driven. It confirms the view of Dr. Mercola in his article titled "The Child Abuse Laws Which Could Destroy Your Reputation" that the money funneled to states (provinces in a Canadian setting) and child protective services actually encourages accusation of child abuse and child removal. The foregoing is supported by:
      • the trend analysis of MCFD's operating budget (orange curve in the line graph on the right) and total number of children in care (green curve) exhibit the underlying patterns of behaviour the two time series data are similar; and
      • the correlation coefficient between MCFD operating budget and total number of children in care is 0.6.

A correlation coefficient of 0.6 derived from a sample size of 10 fiscal year suggests positive correlation. Non-zero correlation coefficient implies correlation but does not always imply causation. Causal relationship must be investigated in light of other relevant factors. Service providers in the child protection industry are able to control the demand of their service due to the absolute statutory power of removing children and a high likelihood of success in obtaining court sanctioned custody orders. Statistics from 1999 to 2001 reveals that MCFD stands a 98% chance of success in Section 35 presentation hearings and obtains interim custody orders. Parents will have to wait for months, or more likely years, before they are given an opportunity to present their case in court.

In "British Columbia (Director of Child, Family and Community Services) v. G.(R.), 2001 BCPC 32" Docket: 92-3735, Registry: Vancouver, the judge defined what is considered and not considered in presentation hearing. She put the onus of proof on parents and erred on the side of caution and granted interim custody to the director (hence ensuring a prolonged separation between parent and children), alleging that foster care is a known safe place. Note that access is recommended but not ordered and cooperation with MCFD is an evaluating factor considered by court. This means if parents refuse to cooperation with MCFD, court will consider such non-cooperation as an aggravating factor in deciding interim custody. This proves MCFD's absolute power to control demand of its service.


19980318 Judge Exposes BC Policy of Removing Children from parents

In 1998, Judge Robin Smith of the B.C. provincial family court indicated that a waiting period of a year and a half should be expected before a child protection case is heard in court (after a Section 35 hearing). This will guarantee placement in foster homes for the next 12 to 18 months. If other delaying tactics (such as mediation and agreement of temporary custody from parents in exchange of more generous visitation terms) are used, MCFD could easily extend a waiting period of 2 to 3 years before a child protection case is heard in court. Service providers are motivated either by job security or financial incentives to create more cases and prolong their involvement. It is safe to contend that the number of children in care is budget driven, namely, the more tax dollars allocated into child protection, the more child abuse cases and more child removals.

This analysis also confirms a well known phenomenon that civil servants will doing everything they can to use up the budget before fiscal year end. This self-serving act is intended to avoid budget cut and to protect jobs of excessive government employees. If there is surplus money in the budget, they will spend it dry (like buying unnecessary supplies, upgrading equipments while the old ones still serve their purpose well) before the fiscal year ends. Although no public servant will publicly admit this, this practice is common in government, especially in MCFD.

On 18 March 1998 (during the NDP era), 14 new social workers apprehended 71 children from their parents in just two months in the small town of Quesnel in British Columbia with a population of 8,856 in 1998. In a rare instance, Judge Robin Smith (a family court judge in 1998) found this so appalling that he went public to express his concern on the excessive undue child removal in Quesnel. He noted that only 5 of the 71 removals were justified. Be mindful that the test of granting interim custody order in Section 35 hearings is extremely lax. Assuming foster homes are known safe places, judges often err on the side of caution and make interim custody order in favor of the Director of MCFD. Even in such lopsided test, only 5 out of the 71 new removals were justified. This demonstrates how serious the abuse of child removal authority is.

It is noteworthy to remark on the following:

  1. This child removal spree occurred two months before 18 March 1998. The fiscal year end of provincial ministries is 31st March. The spree raised the number of children in care and created a gradual fait accompli to lend support step by step in seeking a large budget and hence enhance job security for child protection workers. In our experience of assisting distressed parents, child protection workers in small town are generally more aggressive in removing children and more inclined to prolong their involvement than their counterparts in larger cities. This is probably due to the lack of sufficient seizable children to secure their jobs in sparsely populated small towns.
  2. Judge Robin Smith, the Interior Regional Administrative Judge in 2013, complained of hearing delay due to judge understaffed and heavy caseload in February 2012. MCFD often seeks long trial period, citing many witnesses and evidence, to ensure a remote hearing date (hence a prolonged child in care period) and cancel the trial shortly before hearing date. This frequently used MCFD scheduling tactic contributes to the court congestion and mitigate the ability of the judiciary to hear other cases on a timely basis. As a result, some criminal cases were dismissed because of a breach of charter right. Inadvertently, many criminals walk free because of MCFD's abuse of process.
  3. In early 1998, 8 existing child protection workers (or social workers in the LifeSiteNews article above) were removed for retraining. They were replaced by 14 new workers. The news article does not explain why the small town Quesnel with a population of 8,856 in 1998 suddenly needed more child protection workers or what retraining program entailed. Given the aggressiveness of the new workers and the horrendous arbitrary child removals, the 8 existing child protection workers probably did not remove enough children and were retrained to be more aggressive in exercising their child removal authority.

Revisiting the Known Safe Place: Foster Home

3 foster parents were arrested in an international child pornography bust codenamed Project Spade in November 2013

In their infinite wisdom, judges often make custody orders in favour of MCFD in CFCSA proceedings assuming that foster homes are known safe place. We have expressed our doubt and concern on the child safety in foster home. Empirical evidence does not support such assumption.

At the point of writing (14 November 2013), Toronto police announced that at least 348 people were arrested around the world as part of Project Spade, including 50 in Ontario and 58 from other parts of Canada. School teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors and foster parents are among those facing charges in the wide-ranging operation that can be traced back to the child pornography business operating out of Toronto’s west end.

Foster parents were among those facing charges of in possession of child pornography and they are entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of vulnerable children after being removed from their parents. This news adds to the mountain of evidence refuting that foster homes are known safe place, rendering decisions made based on this faulty assumption irresponsible.

In addition to murder and sexual abuse in foster homes, we have witnessed love abundant foster parents not providing basic necessities like shampoo to removed children for an extended period of time. MCFD have paid foster parents to provide these necessities and yet does not monitor whether tax dollars are grafted.

First Nation Would Write Their Own Approach

Hover your mouse to pause the slide show and to view photo description.

In 2008, MCFD took a "revolutionary" change. First Nations would write their own approach. After arriving at agreements with Aboriginal tribes, child removal authority is delegated to MCFD funded Aboriginal service providers. Table 1 of the Report (from page 30 to 32) named the authorized Aboriginal agencies handling a total of 3,376 open files as of 31 March 2013 costing $90,953,018. On the surface, putting removed Aboriginal children within their own ethnic community would preserve their heritage and culture. This approach appears to be culturally sensitive and would gain more acceptance from the Aboriginal community.

This scheme is indeed a very shrewd move. Since 2006, more than half of the children removed are Aboriginals. MCFD knows that this will inevitably attract unwanted attention and skepticism. Their problem will grow exponentially when removed Aboriginal children die in foster homes. Death of 19-month-old Sherry Charlie in September 2002 sparked an inquest that haunts every child welfare minister.

By delegating child removal authority and fund Aboriginal service providers, MCFD shrewdly creates die-hard supporters of the state-sponsored child removal regime and mitigates resistance from the largest victim - Aboriginal communities. If death of Aboriginal children occurs, MCFD can deny responsibility and shift public focus back to the First Nations. This resembles the gesture of Pontius Pilate washing his hands before giving the order to crucify Jesus to avoid responsibility for His death. When the livelihood of these newly acquired service providers becomes dependent on state-sponsored child removal, they will be on the same page with their employer. While MCFD continues to receive federal subsidy from the removal of Aboriginal children, Aboriginal agencies will become its shield when atrocities occur. This wise tactic kills several birds in one stone.

Despite who does the dirty work of child removal, it is still an inhumane and oppressive act and has no place in a civilized society. There are compelling reasons to believe that modern child protection is a derivative of the now renounced residential schools. Our views are elaborated in "MCFD & The First Nation" and will not be repeated here.

Aboriginal Children Removal Rate Per Capita

Former auditor general Sheila Fraser estimated First Nations children were eight times more likely to be in care than other Canadian kids (quoted in "First Nations children still taken from parents" The Canadian Press published on 2 August 2011). She pointed out that in British Columbia, of all the children in care, about half are aboriginal – even though aboriginals are only about 8% of the population. Her findings are more or less the same with a 2006 study conducted by a Vancouver accounting firm. Data in British Columbia show that an Aboriginal child stands a chance of removal 10 times higher than a non-Aboriginal child. Federal subsidy on a per head basis makes Aboriginal children high value targets in the child protection industry. They are used by the provincial government as a tool to obtain transfer payment.

In Figure 3 of the Report contains a bar chart on page 20 indicating the number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children removed by MCFD from 2002 to 2013. 2002-2013 Native and non native removed kids ratio , the number of Aboriginal children removed exceeded the number of non-Aboriginal children since 2006 (when the red curve crossed the blue in the chart above) and remains the higher since then. Analysis discovers that more First Nations children in care than at height of residential school system. In a 2005 study, removal of Aboriginal children doubles the size of the cohort forced away from their homes and into residential schools during the late 1940s and 50s.

March 31, 1999 March 31, 2000 March 31, 2001
(A) Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD 2,961 3,078 3,534
(B) Total Number of Children "in care" of MCFD 9,813 9,523 9,956
(A)/(B) 30.17% 32.32% 35.50%
(C) Aboriginal Population in BC in 2001 170,025
(D) Total Population in BC in 2001 3,160,565
(E) Non Aboriginal Population in BC in 2001 (D)-(C) 2,990,540
(F) Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD per capita (A)/(C) 2.08%
(G) Non Aboriginal Children "in care" of MCFD per capita [(B)-(A)]/(E) 0.21%
Ratio between Aboringial and Non Aboriginal Groups (F)/(G) 967.91%

Data source:

In the Freedom of Information application discussed earlier, MCFD disclosed that the only ethnic group of removed children statistics kept is Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. From a research prospective, ethnic statistics of removed children should be kept to study the impacts of cultural differences on child protection concerns. This suggests that only keeping removed children statistics between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups is primarily for the purpose of claiming federal subsidy.

MCFD monopoly

Replenishing Depleted Inventory

Removed children are inventory in the foster care business. From time to time, they deplete because of the following reasons:

  1. die while in the "known safe" place of foster home because of homicide, suicide, accident and natural cause (according to the fatality statistics released by MCFD, there are 139 deaths from 2001 to 2012);
  2. leave foster care after reaching 19 years of age;
  3. adopt in the adoption market (another lucrative industry in which MCFD is involved);
  4. return to natural parents after a lengthy removal (a small minority).

In 2009, one of our members obtained the time series data of the ethnic breakdown of child removal by way of a Freedom of Information application from MCFD. MCFD alleged that no further ethnic breakdown on the non-Aboriginal group is available. The data provided by MCFD in 2009 (highlighted   yellow   in the table below) are new removals in the corresponding fiscal years. When compared with the total number of children in care in Figure 3 of the Report, an average of 3,198 new removals are needed to maintain an average of 8,856 children in care. The differences (representing undepleted inventory in foster homes) are highlighted   red   below.

These data indicate that about 3,000 new removals are needed to maintain an average of about 9,000 total number of foster children to support the foster parenting industry.

max 5,289 4,788 9,581 1,830 1,631 3,458  
average 4,341 4,515 8,856 1,717 1,481 3,198  
min 3,522 4,211 8,049 1,634 1,343 2,977  
Fiscal Year Number of Non-Aboriginal children in care in BC Number of Aboriginal children in care in BC Total Number of children in care in BC
(A)
Number of New Non-Aboriginal Removals in BC Number of New Aboriginal Removals in BC Total Number of New Removals in BC:
Inventory Replenishment (B)
(A) - (B) =
difference
2002-3 5,289 4,292 9,581 1,830 1,528 3,358 6,223
2003-4 4,875 4,211 9,086 1,634 1,343 2,977 6,109
2004-5 4,677 4,394 9,071 1,716 1,514 3,230 5,841
2005-6 4,615 4,542 9,157 1,827 1,631 3,458 5,699
2006-7 4,550 4,721 9,271 1,650 1,501 3,151 6,120
2007-8 4,449 4,788 9,237 1,644 1,370 3,014 6,223
2008-9 4,278 4,681 8,959        
2009-10 3,885 4,643 8,528        
2010-11 3,743 4,630 8,373        
2011-12 3,522 4,527 8,049        
2012-13 3,871 4,235 8,106        

Data Source:

  1. Table 3 of a special report titled "When Talk Trumped Service: A Decade of Lost Opportunity for Aboriginal Children and Youth in B.C." published by the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) on 6 November 2013
  2. Data provided by MCFD per Freedom of Information application in 2009.

Government Modus Operandi

MCFD

MCFD is one of the most problematic ministries in government. Its huge budget, absolute power to remove children (hence the ability to control the demand of services in the child protection industry), lack of check and balance provides fertile soil to spawn corruption and abuse of tax dollars. Even the judiciary is unable to ensure that CFCSA orders made are carried out. The Supreme Court of Canada decision "Catholic Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto v. M. (C.), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 165" allows child protection workers to play god. Contempt of court when they willfully disobey court orders is unheard of. When legal counsel of parents closely aligned with the attitude of the parent against the Director, MCFD proceeded to remove the counsel from the CFCSA proceedings (Director of Child Family and Community Service and T.T., 2008 BCPC 114"). Lopsided law and court decisions have brought the administration of justice into disrepute. Our views are further elaborated in the "Flaws of CFCSA".

Service providers in the child protection industry adopt a very successful strategy to use massive public resources to target a very small percentage of the population, often those from the grass root social class. Public apathy and ignorance are also keys to their success. Fear and retaliation are often used to ensure that victims will not go public to unveil the corruption.

Whenever an incident draws unwanted public attention to an agency, government uses similar ruses to fend off criticisms and create an appearance that some responsible measures have been taken to restore accountability. Similarities between modus operandi in handling controversies arising from Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) and MCFD are discussed at MCFD Mounted Surveillance.

To preserve the status quo which serves the best interests of service providers, the modus operandi below are effective to divert unwanted public attention:

government modus operandi

Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)

keep the public in the dark by minimizing release of information under the pretext of national security interest (CSEC) and privacy (MCFD) When interviewed by the media on wrongful child removal cases, various ministers of MCFD always told reporters that they cannot comment on individual cases to protect the confidentiality of the families, the MCFD does not make removal decisions lightly and will return children to their parents only when it is safe to do so. These ministers include:
  1. Tom Christensen (in 2009)
  2. Mary McNeil (in 2011)
create an appearance of accountability retained retired judge Edward N. "Ted" Hughes in 2005 to act as watchdog who has no binding authority to implement recommendations made or to overrule wrong/oppressive child removal decisions
create a watchdog office with no real power to oversee the agency/ministry or to overrule bureaucratic decisions, hence no meaningful check and balance
On 26 Nov 2013, Alberta's Human Services Minister Dave Hancock used the establishment of child and youth advocate office in 2012 to argue that substantial improvement has been made (video time marker 1:44). The child protection industry is so predictable.
Representative for Children and Youth advocates for:
  • improvements to the system of services for children, youth and their families
  • initiate reviews and investigate government agencies that provide services to children in B.C.
  • independently reviews and investigates deaths and critical injuries of children and youth receiving services

Note that the Representative has the power to investigate a child’s critical injury or death, not the power to punish those responsible or to make binding decisions to rectify the problem or to improve service quality.

protect the status quo by not changing legislations that grant absolute power and continue to fund the operation of the agency/ministry the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) that empowers removal of children based on an opinion remains in force
wolf in sheep skin

Contrary to their benevolent public appearance, MCFD's child protection workers are indeed law enforcers. The photo on the right was sent to us uninvited by a mother who had children removed. This reflects the attitude of those whom MCFD calls clients. Defined by section 4(2)(a)(v) of the Social Workers Regulation as exempt persons, they are not required to register with any professional governing body such as the British Columbia College of Social Workers (BCCSW). Hence, they are not abide by any professional code of ethic. Despite their lack of law enforcement training, bureaucratic child protection law enforcers have more power than the police and provincial court judges. They could enter homes to investigate with the police without warrant, access records in the custody of public bodies and remove children under 19 years of age at will.

Since government (or more precisely the people) indemnifies child protection workers against damages and legal costs of lawsuits, they fear little repercussion in exercising their child removal authority. At the point of writing (10 November 2013), the litigation "J.P. v. B.G. 2012 BCSC 938" of a tort claim against the Attorney General for alleged public malfeasance of bad faith on the part of the Director and the MCFD was on-going. This lengthy trial has cost taxpayers very dearly and exposed them to risk of absorbing damages that the court may award to the victimized mother. Motivated by job security and backed by the deep pocket of taxpayers, they are the most powerful bureaucrats in government. The 2011 video documentary "Powerful as God" (Ontario) speaks to this effect.

Financial Incentives to Service Providers

The Report criticized spending $66 million or more in the last 12 years on "talking" without serving a single child. This is just a drop in the bucket compared with other abuse in the Ministry. Abuse of tax dollars is common in government. Scandal in the Senate of inappropriately claiming expenses by Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin (uncovered in 2013) is another example. Conducting seminars in high class hotels is another form of wine and dine party for service providers at taxpayer's expense. The seminar outline linked is an example in which MCFD is a participant and presenter (page 8).

In view of their skills and academic credential, financial reward for service providers in the child protection industry is immense and out of portion in most cases. Using the 2012-13 financial figures previously discussed, dollar value of a child to service providers is approximately $1,644,820 every 10 years in care. Children with special needs are even more valuable commodities to service providers. Two Level 3 children could generate an income of $3,113.12 per month (2009 rate) to foster parents. Most foster parents believe that this is a tax-free income and do not report their earnings in their income tax returns.

age distribution of removed children age distribution of adopted children

The 3D bar charts above depict the age distribution of newly removed children and adopted children in B.C. Raw data can be found in our "Child Protection" Statistics Centre. The median age of children removed in B.C. is within 4.5 to 5.5 years of age. The following are notable:
  1. the most frequently removed children (known as modeThe value or item occurring most frequently in a series of observations or statistical data. in statistics) are of 1 year of age or under, they are also the most wanted children in the adoption market;
  2. the most frequently adopted children are of 6 years of age or under.

Removed children constitute a good portion of adopted children in B.C. Once MCFD obtains continuous custody order on these children, the human inventory is ready for adoption. There is a catalog called Adoption Bulletin - Children’s Profiles in MCFD's web site providing basic information of children in waiting to potential adoptive parents. The difference of 5 years in the modes between the two time series data suggests that removed children may stay in foster homes for 5 years before they are disposed in the adoption market. This represents a lucrative business opportunity for foster parents.

Many removed children will stay in care until reaching age 19 or be adopted in the lucrative adoption market where MCFD plays a key role. The latter is further discussed in "The Adoption Industry in British Columbia". Most of this blood money from taxpayers supports the lifestyle of service providers rather to improve the well being of children in need.

Remarks

The Report focused exclusively on the MCFD's services to Aboriginal families. It only reveals the tip of an iceberg and does not address the root problem in the child protection industry spearheaded by MCFD. Other wastes, such as legal fees paid to defend child protection workers in lawsuits and damages paid, are not included in the Report. Furthermore, abuse of tax dollars and lack of accountability pertain not only to "services" rendered Aboriginal families but to other ethnic groups as well.

News footages on Corruption of Child Protection Services which summarize our findings

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Corruption in this industry is so sophisticated that there is no head to cut off. Operations are so shrewdly structured that it is almost impossible to convict perpetrators and racketeers in a court of law. Whoever betrays the principle of accrual of power and money, others betray him. The only way to stop this corruption is by cutting off the involuntary supply of human inventory. Child removal authority is oppressive, harmful and has no place in a civilized society.

State-sponsored child removal is a clear and present danger to our nation, families, society and children. Ironically, the child protection industry is the largest institutional risk to the safety of children as evident by the abuses, critical injuries and deaths of children "in care". Service providers in the industry are indeed brilliant to devise such a lucrative scheme to rip off taxpayers using despicable means and get away unnoticed and unpunished for such a long time. We cannot think of any other scheme that is comparable in term of scale and success in concealing its hideous nature and in garnering support from naive and gullible people.

The Report indicated that MCFD cannot provide a clear record of expenditures. This observation is consistent with the experience of many interested parties seeking financial, factual and statistical information. MCFD at times provides incomplete, misleading or wrong information. For instance, when asked the amount of money spent on foster homes, MCFD alleged that they do not pay foster parents for warehousing removed children. They maintained this position until they were asked to explain the Foster Family Care Home Monthly Rates in MCFD's web site. This suggests either incompetence and/or dishonesty. It is not surprising that the RCY found the same problem. We shudder when bureaucrats of this caliber have the absolute power to remove children from their parents and have access to the deep pocket of taxpayers.

A service provider snoozing over 30 minutes on the job during a supervised visit. Supervised visit is an oppressive invention frequently used in the child protection industry. Parents are watched by a supervisor appointed by MCFD when seeing their children in a place and time specified by child protection worker. Fault finding supervisor watches like a hawk, takes notes during the visit (as you can see the service provider was holding a pen and a note pad while snoozing), at times provokes parents to act and reports what had transpired. Usually, incriminating information is reported and used in court to support removal or other invasive actions.

Under the pretext of child protection, state sponsored child removal is a systematic attack on civilians. Children are forcibly removed against the will of their parents. In many cases, parents are prohibited to know the whereabouts of their children and may only see them on short supervised visits for prolonged period of time. This amounts to enforced disappearance of personsArticle 7 2(f) of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act defines "enforced disappearance of persons" means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time. and an inhumane act intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to mental health. Article 7 1(f) and (k) of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act define such acts as crimes against humanity.

The Report examined a number of issues, identifies some problems and recommends some actions. Implementing these recommended actions will certainly require fundings and will support service providers to seek a larger budget in the future. In another word, the Report implies that budget cut will undermine services to Aboriginal children. Despite the occasional run-in with MCFD, the child welfare watchdog often recommends actions that require more funding that serves the best interests of service providers.

It failed to examine the following fundamental issues:

  • Are there compelling reasons and just cause, supported by good evidence, to remove these children from their parents?
  • Are there better alternatives short of removal?
  • Are children better off in foster homes?
  • Are the perceived child protection concerns authentic? If yes, can the problems be solved?
  • Are the "services" imposed by MCFD effective and cost efficient?
  • Are there any wrongful removals? If yes, who should be held responsible?
  • Why should taxpayers indemnify wrongdoings of bureaucrats?
  • Is too much tax dollars put into the wrong hands?

Above all, this Report does not investigate the abuse of child removal authority, the backbone that supports the child protection industry. Such oppressive power can be used to target any individual or group of people. It is a serious threat to our safety and freedom. In view of the absolute power and lopsided law, no meaningful reform is possible to restore accountability without changing child protection law and elimination of indemnification.

The RCY gives a ray of hope to some naive parents with children removed. Their illusion soon fades when they discover that the RCY has no mandate to assist parents and no power to rectify wrongdoings on part of MCFD. Thus, this watchdog does not have the will or the teeth to bite. Many distressed parents were told by the Office of the RCY that the RCY will not get involved unless removed children die or are seriously injured in foster homes.

Section 20 of the Representative for Children and Youth Act empowers the RCY to make a special report to the Legislative Assembly if the representative considers it necessary to do so. However, there is no law obliging the MCFD to accept and implement any recommendations made. Given this legislative limitation in power, tax dollars spent in the Office of RCY are primarily for producing reports. Reports that criticize MCFD or the industry, suggest limiting the power of child protection workers or reducing MCFD's budget could sit on the shelf. This Report received a polite acknowledgment from the Minister. Whether the recommendations suggested will be implemented remains to be seen. Bureaucrats know that they will stay in their positions much longer than their political masters (be mindful that MCFD has a minister high turnover). As long as they can sway the minister not to implement changes or to stall any reform process before he or she steps down, they protect the status quo and prevail. When the next minister takes office, this cycle repeats itself. If this Report shares the same fate of the Ted Hughes report published in 2006, tax dollars spent in producing this Report are wasted in talk and do nothing to improve the welfare of children in need as well. Ironically, this mirrors the main criticism of talk trumped service in this Report.

Problems created by state sponsored child removal pertain not only in Canada but also in most English speaking nations, where governments have the statutory power to remove children from their parents. Aboriginals are always the prime victim in countries with a colonial background. Abuse of the Aboriginals in Australia caused by the child protection industry creates similar atrocity known as the Stolen Generation. Destruction of families is an effective and powerful weapon to defeat and subjugate a people, rendering them vulnerable to exploitation.

Findings in the Report are not new to us. We have already published similar findings based on the empirical evidence and voiced our concerns on abuse of tax dollars, abuse of tax dollars and corruption in the child protection industry. The only difference is our effort and findings does not cost taxpayers a penny. Be mindful that RCY is a bureaucracy that cost taxpayers $7.31 million a year in the 2011/12 fiscal year. This bureaucracy will become a political defence to create an illusion that the government is doing its due diligence to ensure accountability.

Information in this web site withstands the rigours of attacks, criticisms, skepticism and malicious falsehood. As new events unfold and new reports are published, our assertion of corruption and abuse of power in MCFD is confirmed. History will prove that our cause is correct and serves the best interests of a free and democratic society, and above all, children and families.

References


[This page was conceptualized on 7 November 2013, published on 17 November 2013, last revised on 28 March 2015.]