Sunday, April 24, 2016
Their Day in Court
Parents of removed kids accuse MCFD of heavy-handedness, NeurVana's Kenney gets his day in court
NeurVana Recovery and Wellness Inc.
MCFD shut down NeurVana Recovery and Wellness centre in December 2013.
earing dates for NeurVana's petition for judicial review have been set for June 28 and 29, 2016 in the B.C. Supreme Court. Parents of the youths taken during MCFD's December 2013 raid look forward to NeurVana's day in court after two years of silence and no explanation from MCFD officials for their invasive actions.
In sworn affidavits filed with the B.C. Supreme Court, parents of the removed youths say they are "deeply disheartened" and "disappointed" by the heavy-handed conduct of BC government officials in removing their children from NeurVana's premises without consultation or regard for their wishes.
"Had I been given the choice, I would have preferred (my son) to remain in the care of NeurVana's staff rather than be taken away by (MCFD). He was taken out of NeurVana without my permission and without any prior consultation with me, his parent. We were never given coherent reasons why the children were removed," said Carl Prescott, parent of youth removed by MCFD. "I am deeply disheartened by (MCFD's) decision to intervene and remove the children from NeurVana…It is an absolute shame that an organization like NeurVana that was able to help kids (like my son) was shut down."
The dismay of parents is compounded by the fact that MCFD officials have still not provided a rationale to them for such drastic actions. Following the conduct of MCFD and Interior Health officials in Dec. 2013 and ensuing months, NeurVana was forced to cease operations and the reputations of all involved were damaged.
"I had a very positive outlook on NeurVana and, had I been given the option, I would have preferred my son to remain at NeurVana rather than be removed by (MCFD). However, I was not contacted by (MCFD) until after my son had been removed," said Diana Besoi, parent of a youth removed by MCFD. "While I was at (MCFD's) office, I was not provided with any further explanation regarding my son's removal from NeurVana's premises. I have not had any further contact with (MCFD) or received any documentation about the removal of children from NeurVana"
"Had I been given the opportunity by (MCFD), I would have chosen to have my daughter stay at NeurVana rather than be removed," Cindy Kinzinger, parent of a youth removed by MCFD.
Rodney Kinzinger, parent of a youth removed by MCFD said that no one has ever told him or his wife why their daughter was removed, adding "Our daughter's situation had become pretty dire…After seeing the NeurVana premises for ourselves, both (my wife) and I believed NeurVana was the ideal option for our daughter."
"The (MCFD) social worker sounded cold
and clinical over the phone, and offered no words of comfort. From
the manner in which she spoke to me she made me feel like I had done
something wrong and my son was being taken away from me,"
Sharon Lauze, parent of a youth
removed by MCFD. "During his time in the program I saw a drastic
improvement in my son's health and in his demeanor, and I am
confident that had he not attended (NeurVana's) program he would be
very a very different person than he is today."
Sworn Affidavits by parents of removed youths, court filings, and media resources can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1TNHjcS.
NeurVana was founded in 2011 by David Kenney, an educator with 25 years of experience working with youth. A residential wellness centre in Kelowna, B.C., NeurVana provided a mix of programming to help youth approach behavioural and emotional challenges in a new way and realize their potential. Throughout the two years in operation, NeurVana helped over 100 youths find a new path to healthy living.
As of December 2013, NeurVana employed 16 full-time team members with extensive educational experience and backgrounds working with youth. NeurVana also employed 10 part-time employees and had contracts with local professionals to support with program delivery such as yoga, fitness classes, and art therapy.
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