What happens when a child is not safe at home?

  • Nov. 30, 2017 2:30 p.m.

One would think a child’s greatest protector would be his/her family. Sadly this is not always the case. A child’s caregiver can sometimes be unable, or even unwilling, to provide a safe environment.

Social workers can only remove a child from a home if they are in immediate danger, but in 2016 more than 7,000 of the province’s 890,000 children were in care.

How is the decision made to remove a child from the home? Who makes that decision? What about the rights of the family? Couldn’t the child be supported within the family? Where does the child go if removed from the family? Is the child always better off when removed from an unsafe situation?

Join the Philosophers’ Cafe as Peter Birch helps sort out these difficult questions.

Birch worked as a ministry social worker for 32 years. He started his career as a child protection social worker, managing a generalized caseload in East Vancouver. His duties included providing support services to families, conducting child protection investigations, placing children in foster care, completing adoption home studies and acting as guardian to children in foster care.

In 1988, he became a team supervisor and over the next 23 years worked in ministry offices in Revelstoke, Campbell River and Courtenay. He oversaw the delivery of various ministry programs and services including child protection, foster care, adoption, youth services and youth probation.

Join us Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Berwick Comox Valley.

This is the latest in a free speaker series held once a month where a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation – or just sit back and listen. Organizers welcome the public to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy.

At this session, Birch will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.

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