Friday, November 11, 2011

A Public Information Release - Ayn Van Dyk

By Ron Unruh in Help Bring little Autistic girl back to her daddy ·
A Public Information Release Ayn Van Dyk November 11, 2011

On June 16, 2011 Derek Hoare experienced the unthinkable shock of learning that his nine year old daughter Ayn had been removed from her school by the Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFD). He was informed that the action was designed to ease his load of responsibility but in fact it created an intolerable burden. Four and one half months have passed since their separation. It is crucial for readers to know that Derek continues to provide care for his two sons, one of whom is also autistic and he has never complained to anyone about the complexities or problems of raising three children, two of whom are severely autistic. He has done this cheerfully for years and all three children are happy and thriving.

Ayn will celebrate her tenth birthday on December 14th but not with her family. When she was born and Derek saw her for the first time, his heart was hers. Since that day in 2001 Derek has given all he is for her. He is not accused of harming her. In fact his life has been dedicated to nurturing and understanding her. Ayn is autistic.

Ayn has been torn from her family for no apparent reason other than a perception that she was an unmanageable, deteriorating child and that far from the truth. On June 12th she climbed a backyard fence and stopped in a neighbour’s yard to play but she could not be found until three hours later. Ayn is not out of control. She is a wonderful caring child. Being autistic, she does have difficulty explaining what she wants but she has an astute understanding of body language and she has a very strong will. Although Ayn is verbal and possesses a large vocabulary, she still struggles to share with others her desires, fears, and thoughts.

Presently in foster care, Ayn asks for her father constantly and she continues to affirm that he is coming. She is confident that her daddy would not abandon her. Yet the Ministry of Children and Family Development continues to keep her from his care and custody. On Oct 18 the MCFD sought court approval for temporary custody for 90 days. In Derek’s communication with MCFD he is met by repeated procedural delays. It is yet to be determined whether a court trial will be required to settle this case. The Case Conference is scheduled for January 23, 2012.

When Ayn was living in her father’s home she was in no greater danger than her disability naturally initiates or expects. Since Ayn was apprehended following her absence from her family premises, it is a conspicuous observation to note that while she has been in Ministry care she has been heavily medicated (drugged) and yet has twice escaped in the past four months. Her second escape occurred during her bathing time and she was later found naked and wandering near a main street. She was recovered and returned to foster care. It is reasonable to query why the MCFD can absolve the caregivers for inadequate safety precautions while maintaining a punitive posture to Derek and Ayn.

It is of interest to note that the Ministry’s own policy document states "a family is the preferred environment for the care and upbringing of children and the responsibility for the protection of children rests primarily with the parents" (CFCSA 2b) and "decisions relating to children should be made and implemented in a timely manner" (CFCSA 2g). CFCSA stands for Child, Family and Community Services Act.

Derek is angry and in pain and yet discounts his own agony because in his mind Ayn is all that matters in this case. She does not deserve to experience this traumatic interruption to normalcy. She does deserve to be treated as a significant citizen with rights. She shouldn’t have to be troubled with thoughts of whether she did something very wrong or whether her family does not want her any longer. She has no capacity to comprehend the Ministry's legal squabble. She knows only that she has been forcefully removed from those whom she loved and who love her and with whom she has be every day of her life before this horror. So now they wait, past Ayn’s December 14th birthday, past Christmas and New Year, for a “Case Conference” in which Derek will still not have opportunity to argue for Ayn’s return. Instead he will receive a scheduled date when that will happen, a date which in all probability will be a year or more away. Of course this cannot be what our community expected when we created this child welfare institution. MCFD could give Ayn back to her daddy right now.

Please help to tell Ayn’s story and thereby help her to come home. She is very special. She is a sweetheart. She needs to be with me her daddy, with her mommy and with her brothers. They love her so dearly.

Derek Hoare


  1. Loving families of children with disability, continue to be oppressed and victimized by their own governments whose system of social services was developed to bolster, not destroy. Imposed foster care is simply a throw back to the ideal of institutionalism of persons with diversity; which goes against basic human rights.

    My daughter suffered similar fate and is now an angel. Families of children with disability must not be forced to relinquish custody, nor coerced out of home placement.

    SAMANTHA'S LAW was developed in the Province of Alberta as a direct response to the archaic and wrongful practice of segregating families. It is a movement that I have recommended to the Court, be incorporated across the country for the benefit of all Canadians. Politicians in the USA and UK have approached me to develop similar legislation in their locales; surely Canada can do the same!


    "The Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program to have separate legislation from that of child protection services."

    Amendment to the Alberta FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities) Act,
    Section 2-3, Manual Amendments: Policy and Procedures in Family Centred Supports and Services
    Retroactive December 2006.

    In Celebration of the Importance of Life & Loving Memory of:
    Samantha Lauren Martin, June 4, 1993 - December 3, 2006.

  2. What a disgrace to inflict this suffering on Ayn and her father Derek.

  3. I feel your pain Derek. My son was kidnapped at age 16 1/2 (10 years ago) by a council in SE England. We only reconnected 3 years ago, but cannot close the gap that they created.
    It is time that these Stalinistic criminals in all governmental offices of the English speaking countries are held to account.
    Myself, my son and the rest of the immediate family are all in PTSD since then.
    R. Ostertag
    (780) 757 9349

  4. All those who are involved in this crime need to be held accountable. Ayn should never have been taken from her family. The school should never have participated in this abduction. Derek and other parents who have been the victim of child protective services should be getting massive awards for damages, and the guilty parties should be sent to jail. This is kidnapping, no question about it.

  5. When a child goes missing, parents freak out and worry about who will be next... A stranger abduction is the least of my worries. The more I read about this, the more scared I become - this could happen to ANYONE! And there seems to be nothing you can do to stop it. You're at the mercy of bad luck and the whims of others. This is absolutely crazy. Something needs to be done to stop this kind of thing from happening. Children are suffering because of this and no one who has the power to do something about this seems to care!!!

  6. I think we all need to remember there are always two sides to a story. In my professional history working with social workers (I am not one), I have never known a situation where a child was removed who was in a safe situation. There must be much more to this story, as social workers do not simply take children from parents for the mere reason of easing their level of responsibility. Even for really challenging situations, they would recommend respite care prior to ever considering apprehension.

  7. To Anonymous just above: I am very glad that you read this post and hope you will read more. Our goal is to increase awareness of Ayn's story and many more similar stories that quite frankly are rather unbelievable. Many, including myself, would have thought as you do that SWs to not do this and other avenues of supported are investigated first. We would likely even read this in their policies. However, this story is true as told, it did happen and it is unbelievable that people who are meant to protect children could be so cruel. It is also unbelievable that SWs are not more knowledgeable about autism and other disabilities. It is also unbelievable that they would take hher from a loving home where she was never observed. They certainly are not questioning her father's parenting ability as they left his two boys with him and one is also autistic.
    You are right there are always two sides to every story - this is one side and we have all been waiting for now 161 days to here MCFD's side to the story!In the meantime an innocent little girl and her family continue to suffer.
    I encourage you to do some research, become more aware of what is actually happening and help us to increase awareness!

  8. To Anonymous at November 22, 2011:

    That is what Child Protective Services always says (that there "is more to the story") because they know that people will then think, "mmmm, well the government wouldn't just take a child from good parents."

    But that is EXACTLY what has happened here. Derek Hoare is an exemplary parent. He loves all of his children, and works 24/7 to ensure that his children thrive.

    So, Anon, at November 22, 2011 - 3:14 PM, I suggest you do a bit more investigation, since CPS - everywhere - will apprehend children without needing to, and (strangely enough!) will very often ignore real cases of abuse (which actually gives them good publicity, and helps people such as yourself keep your job).

    Please, if you are at all concerned about the welfare of children - find out the facts of the agency or ministry that you work for.

  9. Should I live in fear, I have two sons both with special needs, although not as ``special`` as Ayn
    Will i be proven to be overburdened with my fulltime job and being a mom and wife.
    Instead of this measure why can the government stop hiding its dirty little secrets and help families more financially to allow the time and help needed to unburden families instead of putting bandaid solutions into effect. Good lord if being stressed and overburdened is a crime then i can name a list or 10 of people i know who have children with special needs and not who could be taken away and put in parent prison as I have thought of a name for this stupidity

  10. @010:28 Dec 27, Dr. Marcella Davis, CA
    Being cited for safety...oh my goodness this is Outrageous!!! ..where is the court who is this Judge?..How and why has this been approved? Here we have a very loving family not with 1 but 3 autistic children if this was a true safety issue all children would have been removed that is the law !! We aren't talking about placing a 10 yr. old autistic child in a normal loving foster home environment WE ARE TALKING LOCK DOWN!! (A SPECIALIZED HOSPITAL) on a 5150 for EVALUATION !!! MY BLOOD IS BOILING!! SHAME ON YOU (CPS)!!!!! Education needs to be ordered to all who work @ CPS why wasn't there support set-up an Opportunity for both child and parent to receive the support that is needed for if that was the case?...An opportunity for an IPP w/ behavioral set-up A team of specialist Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Neurologist and a primary Physician this isn't the 60's ppl w/special needs move through significant life challenges and changes daily education and raising awareness may it be because of behavioral or mental health reasons is needed this is Outrageous the long term affects you are being done to this child along with her other autistic siblings is CATASTROPHIC!!! IT MUST STOP!! my heart goes out to you Derek and your family may God grant you courage and send a million Angels to watch over you and your Special Angels!

  11. People ask me why I believe in God and the afterlife, and the answer is because there's got to be justice somewhere. Those who have done this to Ayn van Dyke and her family have so much to answer for.