Child Removal Should Only Be A Solution Of Last Resort

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8th September 2010, 02:56pm - Views: 747

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Child removal should only be a solution of last resort

The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) says the removal of children

from their families only addresses the symptoms and does not tackle the causes of

child abuse and neglect. 

The NSW peak is responding to a report being released today by the Centre for

Independent Studies that claims the current system is too focused on family

preservation, at the expense of children at risk. 

ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum acknowledges the system is far from perfect, saying

the staggering rise in the rate of substantiated abuse in Australia over the last 10

years, from 24,732 in 1999 to 54 621 in 2009, is incomprehensible.

“Yes, we are failing these children, but that is because there is not enough work

being done to prevent child abuse in the first place,” Mr McCallum said.

“We need a system that places a far deeper emphasis on family support initiatives

that ensure vulnerable children can grow up in safety within their own homes.

“Removing a child from their family should be seen only as a solution of last resort

because of the emotional trauma it causes and the long lasting negative impact it can

leave, as we’ve already witnessed with the child migrants, the Forgotten Australians

and the Stolen Generations.

“Long-term solutions must be a priority. Prohibition and punitive responses only

entrench, inflame and divide.

“We must do more for vulnerable children and families in a restorative and

preventative way.”

The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies is the New South Wales peak  

body representing non-government organisations which provide services to  

vulnerable children, young people and their families. The organisation has

been operating for over 50 years and is supported by more than 100 member



For interviews please contact: 

For all other media enquiries please contact: 

Andrew McCallum                    

Libby McCalman 



Communications Officer, ACWA

Mob: 0409 221 414        

        Mob: 0418 659 525



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