When is enough enough? the burgeoning cost of child protection services

Ainsworth, Frank, and Hansen, Patricia (2014) When is enough enough? the burgeoning cost of child protection services. Children Australia, 39 (2). pp. 93-98.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that at 31 December 2011 there were 5,098,694 children and young people in Australia under the age of 18 years, while for the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's report on child protection indicates that there were 48,420 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Australia. The likelihood is that almost 95 (94.96) per cent of Australian children and young people were not abused or neglected in that period; and this is a cause for national celebration. These figures are good reason to praise the parents and caregivers of the 5,050,274 children who were not abused or neglected. We argue that there is a need for an emphasis in the political debate about child protection that focuses on children who are not abused, in order for the issue of child abuse and neglect to be placed in proper perspective. The lack of perspective in the current dialogue simply results in an unending demand for more resources for detection-focused services. Instead, there has to be increased emphasis on preventative services for vulnerable families who fail to meet community child-rearing standards. These exacting standards of parenting can only be achieved through parent education and the provision of intensive and extensive family support services, combined with sensitive monitoring of at-risk families. Accordingly, this article is written in a dissenting voice.

Item ID: 33500
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-7776
Keywords: child abuse and neglect; detection; prevention; cost
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2014 04:32
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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