Australian children are removed from their families more often than anywhere in the Western world, nearly twice as often as in the US and almost three times the rate in New Zealand, a parliamentary inquiry into child welfare has heard.
There is also “a culture of removal and a culture of victim blaming”.
Mary Moore, convener of the volunteer Alliance for Family Preservation and Restoration, told the NSW parliamentary committee yesterday that children were being taken into care based on the opinion of case workers where no harm had occurred “but because they have concerns the child might suffer harm in the future, and they’re then in care until age 18”.
Paul Jean holds his daughter, Dani Isabella Jean, shortly before she died on May 4, 2013. She was found tangled in her foster mother's bed sheets. EDMONTON - Paul Jean believed for more than a year that his six-week-old daughter had died in foster care from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Mother fighting to get children back after wrongful conviction.
A Perth mother is fighting to regain custody of her four children, after she was wrongfully convicted of a serious assault against one of them. The 28-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assaulting her 16 month old daughter in 2010.
She claims that despite her innocence, her lawyer advised her to confess to the crime. “I was told if I didn't, I would probably never see my kids again and that I would probably go to jail for a very long time,” she said.
SELF-DESCRIBED hippies from northern NSW are suing the state's Department of Community Services for removing their two healthy children from their care without a good reason. The couple - who cannot be named despite wanting to tell their story and not being guilty of any offence - were last week awarded legal costs, believed to exceed $50,000, for the fight to have their children returned.
They could not afford a lawyer so represented themselves in court. The mother told The Australian that the money would be used to pursue DOCS further. A judge has found their children were taken for no good reason, in an apparent abuse of power by welfare workers.
For Meredith and Elliott Gordon, life has dramatically changed since welcoming their daughter, Kathleen, into the family.
The West Ryde couple first met their daughter when she was eight months old and came into their care as a foster child.
Last November, after caring for her for two years, they adopted Kathleen – a process that would have taken longer if it was not for reforms the NSW government introduced last year to encourage foster parents to adopt the children in their care.
A Northern Territory woman who was placed into child protection more than 50 times over six years has told a royal commission she feels let down by the system.
A Northern Territory girl was placed in child protection more than 50 times over six years, during which she missed years of school, went to the dentist just once and wasn't treated for scabies, the royal commission has been told.
Jacinda "Cini" Walker has called on supporters to stand up against the Queensland health system during a Facebook live video update on Saturday.
Cini Walker, the mother of four-year-old Chase Walker-Steven who was at the centre of an Amber Alert on Friday, has issued a call to arms for her supporters to stand up against the Queensland health system.
Law Society of SA: New child protection Bill is fatally flawed Chloe Valentine’s grandmother explains why urgent changes needed. Lawyers slam new child protection Bill.
THE State Government has been forced injto another embarrassing backflip after being caught out attempting to stop young victims, who have been failed by the child protection system, from suing for compensation.
Written by Neda Vanovac and Eleni Roussos - ABC News
Almost 1,800 children have been abused or neglected in just one year in the Northern Territory, and Territory Families failed to protect almost a quarter of them from more abuse, a new report has revealed.
The NT children's commissioner has released her annual report, finding that the number of notifications potential harm to children has more than doubled in the past five years.
Last year alone, there was a 20 per cent spike in reports, with 20,465 notifications received by the department for 10,851 children, or almost two reports per child.
Almost half of all notifications related to neglect, and almost of third of cases related to emotional abuse.
The Coalition plans to cap the removal of children for the next four years before DOCS would be asked to slash numbers by more than 20 per cent.
Under the plan, most of the more than 16,000 NSW children in foster care would be looked after by charities and the private sector.
Policy documents show the handover to the non-government sector would begin immediately if the Coalition wins the election.
The policy revelation came as the Coalition yesterday pledged a $120 million fighting fund for preventive health initiatives a day after The Daily Telegraph's People's Parliament unanimously voted for health policies to focus on prevention measures.
Liberal Community Services spokeswoman Pru Goward said that, despite fewer removals, children would be safer.
She said DOCS was now so overloaded it was failing.
Parents would be asked to enter contracts and prove they had combated problems such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence for a period of up to two years before their children could be returned.
A family preservation model would be adopted, with a focus on early intervention.
VULNERABLE foster children were placed in homes with carers who had serious criminal records, including rape, assault and drugs charges, with the full knowledge of the state government.
The Sunday Telegraph has obtained a leaked 2010 internal report that raises concerns with senior management in Family and Community Services (FACS) about five carers with serious criminal records.
One foster carer on the mid-north coast had an 18-page record, including two convictions for rape, three for assault, five for stealing, four for domestic violence and one of malicious wounding. The carer had done significant jail time.
The carer and his wife were paid $128,000 in foster payments each year to care for 10 children from 2005 onwards.
The State Opposition says mistakes made by the Department of Community Services over the removal of a young girl from her family should have been fixed earlier.
The Opposition's community services spokeswoman Pru Goward says a five year old girl was wrongly removed from her family and the mistake was only rectified after the intervention of the deputy ombudsman.