The Community Services Center in Taiwan-do they help anyone?

A few weeks ago I sent an e-mail to the Community Services Center (“The Center”) in Taipei. From their website (community.com.tw/) they claim to provide counselling services to members of the foreign community in Taiwan. Despite sending them a reminder e-mail last week, I have not even had a courtesy reply.

I wrote to them to find out if they could put me in touch with other fathers in the same situation as me (denied access to their child by the child’s mother). I even volunteered my services as a counsellor as I would like to help others in the same situation as me make it through the rain.

So I am a little sickened (although not entirely surprised given my experiences of this country) not to even receive a reply from them.

Has anyone else had any experiences with “The Center” ?

I would love to give you some advice, but during these past years I have been there and done that… There is absolutely no help you will receive here. Hire an expensive lawyer or a couple if you like, and you will more than likely get the judge to side with you which they always seem to do, but as for enforcement of visitation rights, yeah right.

As for the Community Services Center, if you can get in touch with them they are extremely nice, but there is nothing they can do. With me they tried to mediate, but the good ole’ ex refused to talk to them. So in the end all they could do was advice me to hire a lawyer again.

Therefore, I have one more trick up my sleeve, if it doesn’t work I guess it is time to throw in the towel and hope that my child is not too brainwashed into hating me 'cause when the ripe age of 14 arrives I will be back in Taiwan. Since that is when my child is allowed to decide whether to live with the ex or myself.

It is all up to your ex. Good luck.

I think they have a fairly untrained volunteer staff running the front office part. I think your best bet would be phoning them and getting referred to the appropriate person, though I don’t think they can help you with legal matters much.

I talked to some friends of mine, who are involved with advocacy and social issues like this. The response was

[quote]I started discussing with J a little bit. We both think it is not helping if we just try to solve this kind of problem one after another case (or they can just find a lawyer as the respond suggested!) We think it’s probably necessary to advocate now. We should highlight the issue about Taiwanese people and the government mistreating foreigners in a very inhumane way sometimes.

Legal Aid Foundation (tahr.org.tw/index.php/english-version/) are 2 organisations J recommends, and I also it is important to get organised with them now. Moreover, there are a lot of experts and scholars, who focus on human rights, can be consulted, I’ll be very pleased to help if that’s needed.

I’m sorry that there seems to be no way fast and easy, but I do think it’s time to make the government feel some pressure now. J and I are always ready to help here.[/quote]

They’re a fairly well-known group, with good connections, and this is definitely their area. Like they say, getting organized - forming a group and a campaign - is the way to push for a permanent solution in the form of legislation or revised policies. Without these things it’s always you against them. Getting them onside may take a while, but it seems like the best way.

Thanks for your advice Loretta.

I resent my e-mail to the director of the Center and received a quick and thorough reply. They don’t know of any support group for fathers denied access to their children, whether amonst the foreign or local community, but offer individual counselling. Sure they can’t provide legal assistance, however I am hopeful that my lawyers can obtain the enforcement of the provisional order we have just received. I am not divorced yet, and would certainly not accept to give my wife full custody, so for the time being I should have equal rights with with her as regards access to our son. Unfortunately my son happens to live with her (she snatched him from me with the help of some thugs eight months ago and has denied me access since), and it seems here that possession is 9/10’s of the law when it comes to children.

It would be good if the law would change here so as to put the child first, to value his right and need to have contact with both parents above everything else. A provisional order to give the denied parent the right to see his child should be quickly issued and quickly enforced, there is no excuse for anything else. My wife and her lawyer managed to play with the court and slow the process down, by making pathetic excuses not to turn up to the court session. I am sure in most developed countries this would not be tolerated. God knows how difficult it will be to reestablish the bonds with my son when I see him after what will be 9+ months. All this suffering is not necessary and would not happen if there was a modern and humane legal system.

I’ll check the links you gave.

Cheers,

Paul

Hi Everyone
I am Steven Parker - the Director of the Community Services Center. I am glad that we have now been able to be in touch with Paul. I don’t how what happened to Paul’s first messages and don’t even want to guess here; the good thing is that we have been in touch. We are here to help the community in any way we can, either directly or by pointing people in another appropriate direction. we don’t have all the answers but we try to to do what we can.
As to what we can offer in a situation like this? There are no specific support groups set up for a situation like Paul’s but we do offer individual counseling and mediation where the other partner is willing to come in too.
As for legal representation we have a couple of people that we suggest international people to go and see. I will talk to Paul and pass those contacts on to Paul directly if he wants them.
Our volunteers and staff are fantastic and committed and know how to re-direct a call for help if they are unable to handle that themselves.
I know the wonderful people who run this site and I hope I am not breaking any posting rules by putting our telephone and web up here for others who may have questions. Please call us on 02 28368134 or check the web for information at community.com.tw.
Steve

Hey Steve, do you guys still have the used-English-books-borrowing/exchange thing going on?

Hi,

Yes, they still have plenty of books to borrow or trade.

I have had wonderful advice from The Center and highly recommend it for anyone in need!

Megan