Parents Helping Parents

104-10824-112 Street, Edmonton, AB  T5H 3H3, Phone: 780-429-9925;




November 1, 2000


[For reason given elsewhere, the person originally named in the letter is not identified in this reproduction. The mother's and child's names were deleted for obvious reasons of privacy.]                                                                                                                       


Psymetry                                                                              Ms. Margie Frans

11936 – 100th Avenue                                                         Unit Supervisor

Edmonton, AB   T5K 0K5                                                   North Central

Via Fax:  414-6424                                                             Via Fax:  422-3422


Attention:          Mary Jane Henning


Dear Ms. Henning:                                                                                                       


RE:                   Your Report Concerning the Children of

                        [mother's name deleted] and ["Source B"]


                        I am contacting you at this time on behalf of [Source B], the father of [child's name deleted] born 17 April 1992.  An Authorization signed by [Source B] is attached for your records, allowing me to act as his family advocate in this matter.  I have accepted advocacy responsibility on his behalf in my capacity as Family Advocate of Parents Helping Parents.  As I have only located to Edmonton two months ago, may I provide a brief overview of PHP.  The organization was founded eight years ago in Manitoba to provide support services to people experiencing difficulties with child welfare and divorce related matters.  I attach letters of recommendation as written by the former Premier, the former director of Child Welfare, and the current Director of the Law Society of Manitoba for your consideration.  If you have any questions about PHP, please do not hesitate to contact me.


                        The following are my reasons for contacting you at this time.  You are, of course, aware that an assessment was undertaken by yourself and your colleagues which involved [Source B].  He advises that, to date, he has not yet received copy of the report developed from this process. 







Letter to Psymetry and Alberta CFS

November 1, 2000                   Page 2





                        It is frequently the case that, when the child welfare system is a retaining party to a case, a psychology practitioner will sometimes provide copy of any report to only that party.  It is also the case that family members asked to co-operate in the process sometimes do not know that they should establish their right to any report prior to their agreement to co-operate.  Lawyers for parties are often legal aid contracted, and as such, fail to protect the interests of their clients in any meaningful way.


                        Certain ethical and credibility considerations arise when the practitioner provides report only to the government agency involved.  In the first place, there is a duty of care owed to the family members participating, which therefore makes them entitled to analyze the quality of the report and the recommendations made there.  Without receiving the report, the parties involved become “guinea pigs”, which is contrary to a duty of care owed to them by the practitioner.  In addition, the credibility of the report is seriously undermined as the practitioner “gives the appearance of ” being a favoured professional of the child welfare system, thereby willing to undermine the principles underlying duty of care.  The reputation of the child welfare system is also brought into disrepute as it gives the appearance of accruing all power unto itself without consideration of the rights of others involved.


                        From what I know of the Alberta Child Welfare system, I do not believe they would wish to abrogate the duty of care owed to family members who agree to participate in a psychological assessment.  I am almost certain that this practice is longstanding and simply hasn’t been examined in modern light for some time.  I also feel confident in saying that I presume that good faith was intended by the staff of Psymetry and Alberta CFS, and look forward to resolving this issue with you.


                        In this spirit of good faith, I will ask [Source B] to contact the offices of Psymetry to make arrangements to pick up the report written about his family.  In the meantime, should there be any questions arising from this correspondence, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Yours truly,


Parents Helping Parents





Louise Malenfant

Family Advocate