Early intervention is critical
There have been some dreadful stories of child abuse in the media recently with implicit complaints about child protection services. Sadly, these stories are not new.
We need to recognise that at least 5% of our population in NSW experience multiple disadvantage…long term unemployment, mental health issues, addiction, disability, poor education, domestic violence and social isolation. We see these people in financial crisis from time to time seeking help at our welfare centres.
These people are unlikely to be married but most of the women will have children, often with different fathers.
In these situations, the government must intervene and fund support services to the children and their mothers. Usually the support will need to be long term.
Until this occurs, no government inquiry, no political party, no minister for community services will be able to keep children safe.
Support to children in vulnerable families should be an essential part of our infrastructure in 21st century Australia.