Olivia* is a single mother who came to the Parents Legal Centre (PLC) in Vancouver to find out how she could get a supervision court order removed, which allowed the Ministry of Children and Family Development to monitor her care of her daughter. The ministry had concerns because of her substance abuse during pregnancy.
While supervision orders are often necessary for a time, they are intrusive. They allow a government social worker to show up unannounced to observe how the child and parent are doing. The terms of a supervision order can also require someone to participate in random drug tests, and programs and counselling to address the child protection concerns.
Drugs were in Olivia’s past, however. She attended alcohol and drug (A&D) counselling, parenting and family workshops, and was subject to random urine drug screens. She also completed all levels of a recovery program, which taught her the skills to become a self-sufficient mother.
Her effort paid off and the ministry did not renew the court order, allowing Olivia to care for her child without supervision.
She also benefitted from the Parents Legal Centre’s wraparound services. “They gave me advice and information in regards to all ministry dealings. I’ve also had lots of help with applying for full guardianship of my daughter, applying for my Indian Status and Canadian Passport, and finding suitable housing,” she said.
“I appreciate how they contributed to my confidence of being a single mother and tackling all of the important issues I need to sustain a healthy life with my daughter. I feel a lot more empowered to get things done and all the things that mommies do,” she added.
*To protect the client's confidentiality, we have not used her real name