Thursday, March 4, 2010

Children in care and the Courts

I subscribe to a number of Google alerts, one of them is child protection. These alerts keep me aware of what is happening in the world of child protection around the globe. What I have discovered that it doesn’t matter where you live the same problems we experience are happening in the four corners of the world. An article I read tonight is worth reading and raises more questions than are answered. You can find it here.

What this article tells us is that it is the poor who are the bad parents. That in the US, even though there are 500,000 children in care, and only 6% to 7% have experienced sexual abuse, two third come from poor families. How’s the next bit that tells us that 40% could have been returned home at the end of one week and 60% within three months. Are these figures known to the authorities? Do those in Families SA know how they damage the children they are suppose to protect often more than if they remained with their family. What is the percentage of families who are re-united with their children and those who are re-united are they done so within a three month time frame?

I love the idea that we should open up the courts for public scrutiny and hopefully make those who implement the laws more accountable. It is not possible for any one to enter the Youth Court and as I mentioned in a previous post some one can point their finger at you and tell the bailiff that you are a potential witness and without checking the accuracy of the statement the bailiff has the power to restrict your attendance in the court. Some one told me today that the Youth Court has no rules. Those who play in this court generally, are a completely different beast from those who play in the other courts. Of course what this means is that the court can be used to gag and stifle discussion which may be helpful in changing this abusive process. So who is benefiting from this cone of silence.

It seems undemocratic, dare I say it, un-Australian, to have an institution sanctioned by government which sits a part from government and which fails to question the nature of child protection and the credentials of those who are authorised to protect our children. Those  who work in the court system blindly accept what is told them by un-credentialed and poorly trained professionals. Those of us who are appropriately credentialed who face the court system are seen as the enemy and treated with contempt. The system remains unchallenged and those who maintain the system get to live in a state of ignorance while dispensing blind justice.

I am certainly feeling angry today. Does it show?

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