Assignment 3 – Application of child welfare law to a case study
Taken from course outline: The third assignment requires students to integrate what they have learned about assessing the service needs of families with the provisions of the legislation applied in B.C. You will be provided with a case scenario and required to indicate which sections of the Act apply, what evidence you would seek to present and the
recommendations you would make with respect to the application of the Act (5-6 pages).
Molly Ramage has three children by different men and has struggled to bring them up. Molly cannot be certain who the father’s are.
Details of the children are as follows:
Richard Ramage: DOB- 5.8.2005 – aged 9
Richard has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and he remains in a mainstream school.
Peter Ramage: DOB – 20.3.2006 – aged 7
Peter has learning difficulties which has been diagnosed as autism and whilst he was previously in a mainstream school has recently been accepted in a SEN school.
Sarah Ramage – DOB- 25.4.2009 –aged 4
As of yet Sarah has shown no obvious sign of special needs.
Two years ago, Molly had a mental breakdown and was admitted into hospital. The two eldest boys were accommodated by the child welfare agency with temporary foster parents, whilst the youngest child Sarah was looked after by Molly’s mother, Connie.
When Molly was released from hospital, she demanded the return of the children, but was unable to cope with them and severely neglected them. Again, the child welfare agency and Connie stepped into look after the children at Molly’s request. The two eldest boys are again accommodated in foster care by the child welfare agency and Molly’s daughter is being looked after by Connie, this continues to date.
When the children were living with their mother there were elements of neglect. Richard, Peter and Sarah’s teachers at the local elementary school all noted that the children often smelt of urine, appeared ‘unwashed’, as they looked grubby and had holes in their clothing.
The school also reported that even though the children were never hungry their pack lunch never contained any healthy food such as fruit and vegetables. There were also numerous unexplained absences from school and following their move to live outside the care of their mother, it was identified that the children required extensive dental treatment.
All of the children however show a very close attachment to their mother and if their wishes and feelings could be expressed they would say that they would wish to remain with her.
Molly has recently begun living with Frank, who has a criminal record of violence and sexual offences. Molly has indicated to the children’s social worker that as soon as she feels up to it, she wants the children to live with her and Frank. Molly remains on medication and requires regular medical appointments.
Both the child welfare agency social worker and Connie are concerned about Molly’s intentions for the following reasons:
(i) The issues around the children being neglected and Molly’s mental stability still being in question;
(ii) Frank’s criminal record and the potential risks to children he may pose.
Answer all questions:
1, Define the areas of law surrounding the powers and responsibility of the child welfare agency in relation to protecting and meeting the needs of these children.
2, What is Molly’s current legal position regarding her children?
3, What support could be given to Molly to successfully request the return of her children and retain them? (Within your answer address the legal responsibilities the child welfare agency has to assist this family under the Child, Family and Community Services Act and other relevant legislation bearing in mind the individual needs of each child).
4, Should Molly remove her children from their placements without complying with the support you have suggested:
a. Outline what legal action can be taken by the child welfare agency to immediately protect the children;
b. Critically analyze whether it may be more appropriate to exclude Frank from Molly’s home.
5, What advice would you share with Connie to protect her grandchildren and what areas of the law are relevant for her to care for Sarah on a long term basis.