What Will It Take?

I suppose everyone has their hobby horse. Social media certainly allows ease of access for the expression of their respective pet ponies these days.

For me, my preferred equine is the state of child welfare in British Columbia. That of course reverberates beyond my home province. And of late, the incarceration of children in Mr. Trumps prison camps has only expanded the discussion.

But, back to BC, a province I hope with all the optimism I can muster will one day provide the proper amount of resources to address the needs of its abused and neglected children. This includes the provision of sufficient means for families whose principal predicament is a lack of monies to provide suitable food and housing for their kids.

Here is a Facebook post I made today. I may not bring any new thoughts to the barren table of progress on child protection, but I am content to repeat myself here on my very modest blog.


One of the telling parts of this painful story (In the May 1st, 2019 Campbell River Mirror) is the lack of comment in the paper. I accept that I am almost seventeen years behind the times, out of date. I am a dinosaur. My protection career ended in 2002. Even with that, this story is as old as the child welfare hills. It speaks about massive bureaucratic expectations and failure, the ongoing failure of successive governments to provide enough workers to do this most demanding of jobs. Here is an extract from my novel about child protection, Like a Child to Home. I’ve quoted this passage before. I apologize for my boring repetition. I think, however, that it captures some of the weight and the demands of the job of being a child welfare social worker.


“But, sadly, I was tumbling into a bottomless lake, up to my floppy ears in administrative alligators…I sat in my office Monday morning…I was consumed by the overwhelming toll last week had taken on me. My legs and arms dragged me down in my chair, and I felt immobilized. If I’d had any sense, I would have taken the week off and flown to Cuba or some similarly warm and distant place.

The thing was that last week was no different from any of our work weeks. Each and every day is like an expedition to the escarpment. Along the way it gets hairier and hairier; supplies, resources, and personnel fall away. Giant apes throw rocks at you. Friends and fellow workers plummet into the deep canyon. Some scream; others simply plunge in resigned silence. You scramble up the cliff, clinging precariously to the stone by your bloodied fingertips, hoping the emotional pitons don’t pull loose. The demands of each day remain, heavy, as constant as a hard, thick, endlessly squalling West Coast rain. That’s the way of a rain forest; a damp union of souls and squalls.”


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