Tag: Child welfare

“You obviously have something against Nicole Ryan,” declared a reader of my column last week. In it, I’d questioned the Supreme Court’s decision not retry Ryan on charges she’d hired a hit man to kill her husband. “I’m not sure what it is,” the reader continued, “but it was extremely distressing to deal with the […]

One hopes Nova Scotia’s prosecution service will find compelling legal grounds to appeal last week’s Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision overturning Fenwick MacIntosh’s conviction for sexually abusing children. The accusations are too serious and the legal issues too important not to appeal. But whatever the outcome of the legal process—and, indeed, without waiting for […]

Remember that Cole Harbour kid who had so many complex emotional issues and acronym-saturated syndromes the province’s community services department decided the only possible solution was to put him in a residential care facility where he could be helped 24 hours a day on a long-term, continuing basis? And remember there wasn’t such an institution […]

Is it possible nanny-state community services officials have decided to punish the grandparents of a boy who dared question their decision to send him out of province for treatment by dumping him back in their laps with minimal supports, setting them—and him—up for I-told-you-so failure? That seems the most rational conclusion after reading the vague […]

I’ve been writing about child protection issues since 2004 when I got interested in the story of a Halifax couple embroiled in a highly publicized, 67-hour, shots-fired standoff with police. The issue: Children’s Aid had seized their five-month old daughter, not because of anything the couple had done to the child—in fact, evidence indicated they […]

Nova Scotia’s Community Services Department has upped the ante: last week it severed family access to a troubled Cole Harbour teenager it had shipped off to an Ontario residential care facility last year. It will now apply to family court “to vary the current order with respect to access,” thus legalizing the elimination of the […]

Forget dueling interviews, competing psychologists, contradictory studies, even the difference between physically assaulted and “placed in a position of control.” Ask yourself one question: is the 15-year-old Cole Harbour boy at the centre of the controversy over his care better off now than when community services shipped him off to Ontario 13 months ago? A […]

I’ve only met Trevor Zinck once. Back in 2007 when I was working on a story about the far-too-many children who fall through the cracks of our child welfare system and he was a fresh-faced NDP MLA, we both attended a meeting examining other, better child welfare models. Afterward, Zinck handed me his card, offered […]

For Family Court Judge Beryl MacDonald, the question seemed simple. Does she have the authority to order the minister of community services to provide a service the department, by policy, doesn’t offer? Her answer, delivered during a family court hearing this week, was equally simple. She does not. The legal issue may be simple; the […]

The real question, Dr. Charles Emmrys testified, is, “What works?” What doesn’t work—what research shows doesn’t work, he adds—is shipping troubled kids out of their home provinces, away from family and community, and into residential institutions where they are more likely to be warehoused than treated. Emmyrs, a Moncton-based clinical psychologist and court-recognized expert in […]