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Child protection reform

By johnboy 25 October 2006 7

The Canberra Times has a story on much needed reform of child protection in the ACT and sadly buries it under a headline about drug testing abusive parents.

Such radical thinking as considering the siblings of at-risk children to also be at-risk (that is, to consider the bad parents to be the risks, not the children individually) is long overdue but better late than never.

It is, however, going to see a lot more children taken away from their parents.

What’s Your opinion?

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7 Responses to
Child protection reform
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Thumper 7:39 am 26 Oct 06

Taking kids away from their parents, whatever the reasoning, is fraught with danger. For instance, Aboriginal kids that have now become the Stolen Generation.

The Stolen generation were removed because that is what the government thought at the time was the best thing to do. It back fired in the end.

By removing kids today from their parents we could see the same sort of issues arising in future.

However, I think overall this is a positive step forward and one that will ultimately be to the benefit of both children and, hopefully, parents.

Jey 6:25 am 26 Oct 06

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kayellar.
I’m very aware of the ridiculous workload of child protection workers.
In reference to a particular case, after giving it some thought, yes the ability to drug test without having to get a court order would have been very handy.
It may have resulted in that child being now ‘safe’ opposed to otherwise, which I am confident is the case.

Kayellar 10:40 pm 25 Oct 06

I work in the Community Sector and see the results of children who are and are not taken away from ‘bad’ parents (and also ‘bad’ siblings). It really is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Quite often due to over work or a lack of information a child will not be taken away, or only temporarily. But then there are the parents who mess up once and when they have the next child the officials are waiting at the end over the delivery bed with a catchers mit ready to take the child. Having said that, we are most likely going to hear about the most extreme cases, rather than the 99% of cases that work well and the choices made were positive (usually more positive for the child than the parent). While I think that it is fantastic that there are more processes being put in place to remove children from harm, I do have 2 reservations:

1) Are Care & Protection going to have the capacity to take on the extra case loads? I have seen several cases ‘fall through the cracks’ in the last few weeks alone, and as a worker, this is very frustrating.

2) Where are the children supposed to go once they are removed. Once a child is taken out of their home, it can create a whole other set of problems, such as abuse by/within institution/foster family, loathing and mistrust, self-destructive behaviour, etc.

This is not a simple situation, and drug testing parents is not going to make all the problems disappear, but as long as it is handled properly it will a step in the right direction.

gaelhope 4:44 pm 25 Oct 06

It’s about bloody time they removed the other kids in the families. There’s nothing more sickening than taking an abused kid into care, knowing that there are other (often younger) siblings left in the care of these monsters. Screw the parents. Protect the kids. And…recruit more foster-carers (and pay those saints more than $32 per day per kid)

Jey 3:17 pm 25 Oct 06

Ok, so this drug testing will mean child protection will be able to automatically order that it be done, rather than having to get a court order for it to be done which is now the case?

Thanks for posting the story, JB.

simto 3:11 pm 25 Oct 06

Well, if the parents don’t get their shit together, at least the kids are removed from them.

Child protection is pretty much always going to be a minefield, and incredibly easy to attack: the very definition of a kid at risk is that they’re going to have more problems than kids who aren’t at risk.

An injection of commonsense into it, though, is always a good start. Pity it’s taken so long to get it…

VYBerlinaV8 2:33 pm 25 Oct 06

Having to take children away from parents is really tough on kids, but perhaps motivates the parents to get their shit together (although they often don’t).

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