Shafia murder trial reveals Negligence and Failure of Child Protection authorities
The Shafia murder trial now under way, is revealing gross negligence by child welfare authorities in the Kingston area:
In their opening address to the jury last month, prosecutors detailed how staff at Sahar's school twice called youth protection after hearing the girl complain about her home life When Sahar tried to kill herself in May 2008, she got no assistance from her family, and her mother said something to the effect of, "if she wants to die, let her," Fortin testified. Sahar also made other allegations of abuse and alienation from her family, prompting the assistant principal called youth services. Batshaw Youth and Family Centres social worker Jeanne Rowe was sent to the school, where she met Sahar, who pleaded with her not to call her parents. Testifying on Wednesday, Rowe said she explained to Sahar that it is mandatory to contact parents when a report is made. "She was very, very scared of her parents knowing about the report," Rowe testified. "She just denied everything. She just said, 'It's not true. It's not true. I want to go home.'" . ...
The following year, just two months before the Shafia siblings died, another school official held a meeting with the family to express concerns that Sahar and Geeti were frequently late or absent from class. Geeti had accumulated 40 absences and was failing all of her classes.
During that meeting, Shafia and Yahya said they didn't know what to do, Nathalie Laramée testified in French through a translator.
The girls opened up once their parents left the room, she said.
"Sahar was telling me, 'You know, Mrs. Laramée, I did not translate everything my father said because there were a lot of lies in this,"' Laramée said. "'Let me repeat to you, my sister and I are afraid in the house. We are afraid when our father is there.'"
At a meeting with Geeti and a teacher two weeks later, the girl begged to be removed from the home, Laramée said.
Having worked in child protection, I cannot comprehend the actions of those responsible for ensuring the safety of this girl. Why was she not removed from the home, with so much evidence of her fear - most glaringly her begging to be removed? I am curious whether there will be an inquiry into the conduct and negligence of child welfare authorities once the trial is concluded.