Saturday, February 14, 2009

Institutional Care & Abuse: Who's Watching Out?

I find it really hard to take that the executive director of any kind of facility housing and carrying out service to troubled young people would call those children who reported abuse "liars" and "the best cons in the world." That just doesn't sit right, at all. Hmm, wonder if there's a little projection going on there?

Clearly there must be some kind of comprehensive investigation into the facility, it's operating practices and history and response to complaints of abuse and substandard care.

Here in BC it's difficult to find who will take on the kind of oversight that is required. Families often find themselves left out in the cold when they start complaining and advocating for their young people, or vulnerable family members when it comes to abuse in institutional and/or care settings. Life becomes a nightmare, wondering whether your child, or people are safe and being cared for adequately and in an ethical manner. It's a crucial issue with the aging population becoming more and more vulnerable and requiring care, both and home and in facilities.

The sensational title of this story is quite inappropriate too, in my opinion. The CBC is really becoming so "tabloid" in their hype of stories, I miss the days of journalistic integrity.

Alberta drug rehab centre abused us, former teen patients allege

Executive director calls them 'liars,' former patient denies abuses

CBC News. February 13, 2009.

Excerpt:

More than a dozen former patients and staff of the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre allege the residential program manipulated people into treatment, held them against their will and administered abusive therapy.

Other allegations against the centre include one patient who was treated but claimed she was not an addict at all. One patient alleged she was sexually assaulted by a fellow patient, while another said she was attacked in a closet at the centre.

Patients alleged that when they reported abuse to the centre, they were either told they were liars or it was their own fault...

Another former patient, Bodana Kibble, alleged that Dean Vause, the centre’s executive director, is “a power-hungry monster.”

After six months of Vause declining to be interviewed for the story, The Fifth Estate’s Gillian Findlay went to the centre with a hidden camera to confront him.

He denied the allegations, calling the former patients “liars,” and insisted no abuse has ever been reported to him.

“But I would just say to you Gillian, be careful because I’m telling you I’ve worked in this field for 25 years. They’re the best cons in the world …,” said Vause.

“But I think that’s part of the pathology, the difficulty of working in addictions. It’s tough because you’re going to have people turn on you because you confront them."

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The Fifth Estate: Powerless

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