Friday, 27 April 2007

Canada: parents to sue child welfare officials?

OTTAWA — As a troubled 14-year-old, R.D. wrote a short story at school about her parents sexually and physically abusing her that caused child-welfare authorities to apprehend her from her home.
Sixteen years later, the family's sad saga reaches the Supreme Court of Canada as it considers Thursday whether child welfare agencies and social workers, whose responsibility is to protect their young charges, also have a duty of care to their parents...

N.B. With regard to this story, one well-informed commentator has noted:
The National Post reporter got it partly wrong. The girl in her fictional short story never accused her parents nor was she a "troubled" girl. The trouble came only later after social workers, and psychologists had repeatedly and suggestively questioned the fragile, shy, but intelligent young girl, from a very caring family. The imaginative, then 13 year old girl had probably had taken a cue for her "true story" from a soap opera or pulp magazine. She never was sent home that day and was separated from her parents ever since. A wise judge eventually lifted all charges against the parents.

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