A matter of trusts

The provincial Greens' election platform states the Liberals' constant restructuring has undermined the "ability of the ministry of children and family development to adopt a proactive and positive approach to child protection" - an opinion shared by Ted Hughes in his independent review of that system. But, in the same plank, the party promises to launch its own restructuring process, which would decentralize the ministry by establishing "local social trusts." Confronted with that apparent inconsistency, leader Jane Sterk told Public Eye, "There is a need to do something different. And it can happen as a transition - nothing can be abrupt, But if you're getting a result you don't want - a stable level of children in care in perpetuity than you need to do something different."


Good grief, please, no!

The problem with MCFD, as has been demonstrated repeatedly, is not organizational structure. The problem is a lack of resources and political will to adequately care for children whose families cannot care for them at home. And continually demanding that the system reimagine itself just diverts political attention and resources, making things worse, not better, at the front lines where the children are served.

And if you have a stable level of children in care, why is that a bad thing? As long as we have an imperfect society and families who cannot care for their children on their own, for whatever reason, there will be a need for MCFD's services.

So we can and should look at root causes (child poverty, better family supports, etc) if we want to minimize those numbers. But if anything, we should expect them to go up with the current economic problems and setting arbitrary targets for reductions will probably just mean ignoring children who need help.

And there she goes again.

No, no, it's not about having a plan or a strategy that works, the answer is to simply throw more of the taxpayers hard earned money at the problem and it will go away.

Well that's not the answer. There are few challenges as complex as child protection and care. It's a multi faceted issue with layer upon layer of complexity and specific interest groups who all seem to have the answer but lead with their "cap in hand". Not to mention the landscape changes each day. It requires constant review and modificaton, full stop.

Well I for one applaud the Liberal Government, the leadership at MCFD, and the thousands of front liners for their efforts. Children in Care has leveled, Out of Care options for families have increased, Child Care has been addressed even though the rug was pulled out from under the country by the Federal Conservatives, Children with Special Needs are cared for along with their families and in the face of a very difficult Aboriginal problem, the Liberals still move forward even though they are constantly criticized by those who simply don't understand the issue or the immensity of the problem.

For left wing political advocates there will never be enough resources thrown at this issue. Indepndent reports, independent offices and advocates will always criticize and ask for more, but most of the electorate understands that I think.

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