Articles on Child protection

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A number of egregious incest cases have been reported in Australia in recent years. shutterstock

Incest: why is ‘worst of the worst’ abuse so often ignored?

The once-taboo topics of domestic violence and institutional abuse are now front-page news, but repeated reports of incest have not registered in public awareness as evidence of a serious problem.
Some who survived abuse as children have waited a lifetime to be heard, and the royal commission has given people like John Ellis that opportunity. AAP/Jeremy Piper

A small act to give abused children a voice

The silencing of children has as long a history as child abuse itself. It is why we need royal commissions, books, and now a play: to allow children to tell us the truth of what was done to them.
Australians are living and working longer, marrying later and earning more that past generations. Hamed Masoumi/Flickr

Australia’s changing profile: fewer divorces, higher incomes, more rental stress

Divorce rates are on the decline in Australia, people are marrying and having children later in life, and more of us live alone. Our experts respond to the new report on Australia's welfare.
Broadcaster Derryn Hinch is a prominent campaigner for US-style sex offender registries, but it is important to be aware of their limitations. AAP/Dan Peled

Sex offender registers don’t mean we can assume children are safe

Western Australia was the first state in the nation to allow public access to a sex offender register online. The public needs to understand how it works to avoid a false sense of security.
Indigenous prisoners perform a welcome ceremony at the 2014 opening of Darwin’s $500 million prison, which is likely to be full by 2018. AAP/Neda Vanovac

State of imprisonment: if locking ‘em up is the goal, NT’s a success

The Northern Territory stands out for having one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world - much higher even than in the US - and it's hard to argue that this does the community much good.
Adoption should only be considered when other, less intrusive options, have been eliminated. Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

Adoption has a role in child protection but it’s no panacea

In response to the tragic death of four-year-old Chloe Valentine in South Australia, adoption has been raised as a solution to a "child protection crisis".
Social workers can successfully work with most families that find themselves in trouble without taking their children away. Nadezhda1906/Flickr

Child protection: how to keep vulnerable kids with their families

After a long period of expansion in the number of children living in out-of-home care, most modern child protection systems around the world have been labouring to prevent such placements. Instead, they’re…
Many Indigenous families fear the welfare system. AAP Image/Neda Vanovac

Empowering Indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect

In some jurisdictions of Australia, the rate of Indigenous children in foster, kinship and residential care on any one night has reached almost one in ten. This rate is almost ten times higher than non-Aboriginal…
Foster parents often receive inadequate emotional and financial support. prudkov/Shutterstock

Foster parents need more support to care for vulnerable children

When children are deemed at risk of abuse or neglect and are removed from the family home, they are placed in out-of-home care, either with foster parents, relatives or in residential facilities. The latter…
People with complex trauma appear like they are always anticipating or responding to a threat. file404/Shutterstock

Complex trauma: how abuse and neglect can have life-long effects

Experiencing trauma has significant implications for mental health. We’ve known this for some time but particularly since the early 1970s after observing and studying the effects of war on American servicemen…

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