Shifting the child protection juggernaut to earlier intervention
Humphreys, Cathy, Harries, Maria, Healy, Karen, Lonne, Robert L., Mendes, Philip, McHugh, Marilyn, & Sheehan, Rosemary (2009) Shifting the child protection juggernaut to earlier intervention. Children Australia, 34(3), pp. 5-8.
"For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong (M.L. Mencken, US writer and social commentator).
Nowhere is this quote more apt than when applied to finding over-simplified solutions to the complex problem of looking after the safety and well-being of vulnerable children. The easiest formula is, of course, to ‘rescue children from dysfunctional families’, a line taken recently in the monograph by the right wing think tank, Centre for Independent Studies (Sammut & O’Brien 2009). It is reasoning with fatal flaws. This commentary provides a timely reminder of the strong arguments which lie behind the national and international shift to supporting children and families through universal and specialist community-based services, rather than weighting all resources into statutory child protection interventions. A brief outline of the value of developing the resources to support children in their families, and the problems with 'rescuing' children through the child protection system are discussed.
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