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  1. #1
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    Default Spin off - Preventing child abuse.

    I am overwhelmed lately with sadness for victims of child abuse. I keep reading horrible stories in the news and they haunt me for weeks. I think it is possibly the worst crime there is.

    I have some experience with the child protection system through some work I have done with foster kids. The current system is failing big time - we all know that. A big flaw seems to be too many resources need to be focused on removing/protecting children who are already abused and neglected.

    What is the answer for preventing abuse and neglect in the first instance?

    More family support? A better "village" system? Education? Forced sterilisation of prior offenders? More caseworkers? A license to have kids? Mandatory regular health checks? I don't necessarily agree with any or all of these possibilities.

    What can we do to make a difference?

    I am interested in your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    Well it won't be a popular view but I believe strongly in forced sterilization of repeat offenders. I believe you give up your rights when you knowingly repeatedly force society to cope with your mistakes.

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  4. #3
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    I am not familiar with the 'system' that's in place so can't really comment on what changes are needed there.

    I do feel that more community mind-ness, the village raising children so to speak may in some cases help.
    I believe that some (not all cases) parents end up in an abusive situation with their children because they feel overwhelmed and under supported. They may not have family nearby or relatives who are able or willing to support them. In these cases community could play a significant role.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyflower View Post
    Well it won't be a popular view but I believe strongly in forced sterilization of repeat offenders. I believe you give up your rights when you knowingly repeatedly force society to cope with your mistakes.
    Completely agree

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckduckgoose View Post
    I am overwhelmed lately with sadness for victims of child abuse. I keep reading horrible stories in the news and they haunt me for weeks. I think it is possibly the worst crime there is.

    I have some experience with the child protection system through some work I have done with foster kids. The current system is failing big time - we all know that. A big flaw seems to be too many resources need to be focused on removing/protecting children who are already abused and neglected.

    What is the answer for preventing abuse and neglect in the first instance?

    More family support? A better "village" system? Education? Forced sterilisation of prior offenders? More caseworkers? A license to have kids? Mandatory regular health checks? I don't necessarily agree with any or all of these possibilities.

    What can we do to make a difference?

    I am interested in your thoughts.
    Speaking from experience in my work a lot of the young parents (14-24 ish) that are under investigation from child safety, were themselves abused/neglected as children themselves and were under the departments care/still are under the department because they're technically still children. There is a massive cycle of abuse/neglect that is very difficult to break.

    The other problem is that people who are at risk of causing harm/neglect to children due to their social situations are declining the extra support that is offered after the birth of their baby so have no follow up or support because they don't want it. These people can't be forced to accept the additional help that is offered.

  8. #6
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    Just my thoughts, but first I think there needs to be a big focus on breaking the cycle. Screening of parents for risk factors at pregnancy health checks, and new baby clinics, and then offering support services such as free anger management clinics, parenting programs, drug rehabilitation, and counselling for past issues, with ongoing support.

    Better education, training and support for foster carers and make it easier for foster carers to adopt their long term foster children. If the birth parents have a history of abusing their child, and the child has been happily settled with foster parents for years then I don't agree with sending the child back to the abusive parent. ( I know a child for whom foster carer was 'mum' and she'd been with them for 5 years and was deeply loved and cared for, and then was suddenly forced to return to her abusive birth mum by the dept. It was devastating and traumatic for her and after a few months of being abused again she was returned to the foster mum, but still can't be adopted. It's wrong, so wrong, to put a child through that. She was a happy, well adjusted child with the foster family, now she's traumatised again).

    There have been cases of children of separated parents being given overnight visits with parents who have been convicted of assaulting them. (One terrible case where the judge told the girls to just 'lock their door' at night to keep safe from the father springs to mind). That should never be allowed. Courts need to take child abuse more seriously.

    Plus better mental health services. When people come asking for help, they need to get it.

    Better support for parents in general. Society needs to be more inclusive of children, more tolerant, and less judgemental over the little things that don't matter. Reduce stress on the parents, and it's easier to cope.

    Of course this is all a pipedream. It would require lots of money, and some of its controversial, and I know its not black and white and implementation is hard... It's a tough, complicated problem. :-(

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuppet View Post
    Just my thoughts, but first I think there needs to be a big focus on breaking the cycle. Screening of parents for risk factors at pregnancy health checks, and new baby clinics, and then offering support services such as free anger management clinics, parenting programs, drug rehabilitation, and counselling for past issues, with ongoing support.
    (
    I work as a midwife in the public health system in Queensland. Every single woman that sees us for antenatal care has a psychosocial and depression screening completed. The psychosocial screening asks questions about any major stressors (financial, loss of a loved one, housing etc), practical support when the baby is born, history of depression/anxiety/mental health disorders and whether that's affected relationships and employment in the past and if they've had/currently having counseling/treatment for it, history of childhood abuse, domestic violence, worried about safety of their children. The last question on the this is "would you like any help with this". My particular health district/hospital, I can offer social work, women's perinatal mental health, a program where child health continues the home visits for the first year, teenager specific parenting programs, indigenous woman support programs, alcohol and drug counseling.

    If the woman says she doesn't want any help with her issues (if she discloses them at all) and declines referrals to the above then I can not do anything about that except document that they've been offered and try offering them in a few visits time. There's also been cases where I've seen multiple admissions for suicide attempts, mental health, DV, drug/alcohol related problems in the chart to be told during the appointment by her that's never had a mental health problem before in her life.

    The only thing I can do (if necessary) is make a report of suspicion of child abuse and neglect for her unborn child because that is my legal obligation as a registered midwife in Queensland.

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    I feel it needs to be a multi level/layer effort. Services and education needs to be aimed at the individual, the families and the community. We all have a responsibility to the children in the world whether they are our own, the neighbours, the woman down the road or the children we see at the playground. I have recently been involved in a situation and have realised that some people really do not know what constitutes abuse and even if they did they would have no idea what to do. There needs to be both a top down and bottom up approach. The family law court needs to be looked at as well. Some of the decisions made are absolutely disgusting.

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  14. #9
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    I'd like to see measures in place to better encourage reporting of child abuse by members of the community. How many times after a child has died do witnesses suddenly speak up? I remember that being the case for poor Kiesha. This is one area where we shouldn't mind our own business, it's everyone's business!

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    I know a foster child who is still made to see his father even though the father abuses him. It has been reported every time!
    A friend that works in protective services and has been to many court cases has told me some awful stories. Like a child that was abused spoke up in court but because they used a word like 'flower' instead of vagina, it wasn't allowed to be taken in account.
    The system is failing so many children in so many ways.


 

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