Saturday, June 11, 2005

Child & Family News

Child Beater

CKNW, (Jun, 11 2005).

VANCOUVER(CKNW/AM980) - Vancouver Police have
a woman in custody, accused of attacking her own daughter
yesterday. Police say the woman was on a supervised visit
with her 4-year-old girl at the Ministry of Children and
Families office on Kingsway. She was left alone briefly but
that was all the time needed to try to smother the little girl.
Staff managed to stop her and the woman was arrested.
The little girl is in stable condition.
Girl allegedly attacked by mother
The Province, (Sunday, June 12, 2005), p. A10.

A young mother is in custody after allegedly trying to smother
her four-year old daughter during a supervised visit at a govern-
ment office on Friday.

Vancouver police say the incident took place in the 3600-block
Kingsway Road at a Ministry of Children and Family Develop-
ment office.

During the visit, the mother was alone with her daughter and
tried to smother the little girl, say police.

Jeremy Berland, assistant deputy minister, said the assault
was a complete surprise to staff and it remains unclear how it
happened. He said at one point, the person supervising the
visit was knocked down while trying to intervene. Two other
staff members who heard the commotion also rushed to stop
the assault, said Berland.

"It's deeply disturning to us," said Berland. "We're very
concerned about the condition of the child."

The little girl was in stable condition yesterday.

Berland said he could not comment on whether the mother
has a history of violence, or what initially led the ministry
to take custody of the child.

Supervised visits are ordered by the court to ensure that
a child in the custody of the ministry is able to have contact
with it's parents.

"We supervise visits when there's a concern about something
a parent might say, or do, but in this circumstance, there was
no indication of violence," Berland said.

No charges have been laid.
Working group for family justice strays away from legal
aid dispute

CKNW, (Jun, 10 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A new report out tackles reform
to B.C.'s family justice system, but don't look for any action on legal
aid funding.The report recommends a move away from an adversarial
approach, and more towards mediation.

Its findings were put together by a working group made up of govern-
ment, lawyers, and judges. Its chair -- Jerry McHale - says it deals with
system changes.While the report aims to make a system that is more
accessible, it does not tackle government cuts to legal aid.
Feedback is now being sought on the report's recommendations.

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