Child worker cross-examined
by Kelly Pedro
The lead child protection worker continued testifying yesterday at a trial to decide if seven children of a Christian fundamentalist family need protection from their parents.
Under a sweeping publication ban, the worker and other witnesses can't be identified and details of the trial cannot be published.
Lawyer Michael Menear, who represents the children's father, cross-examined the worker about the agency's procedures when investigating alleged child abuse cases.
The children were removed from the family's Aylmer home last July amid allegations their parents hit them with a stick and medically neglected them. They were returned within weeks after their parents agreed to interim terms including not using corporal punishment and letting child protection workers interview the children.
Sitting in the front row of the small courtroom, the parents showed little emotion, rarely looking at each other.
But during breaks they appeared more relaxed, talking and smiling with the interpreters and each other outside court.
Madam Justice Eleanor Schnall is to decide if the seven children need protection and whether they will be removed from their home.
Schnall will also decide at trial's end what information -- if any -- can be published.