Too many kids dying

The Commission for Children and Young People has released new data revealing the deaths of dozens of vulnerable children who are known to child protection authorities. It sparks calls for families to have access to more support, which will help them receive appropriate advice.

Australian Catholic University Institute of Child Protection Studies director Professor Daryl Higgins says the current system is harsh.

“We tend to wait until risk is elevated, until it meets a crisis threshold. And then we often jump in with quite drastic action such as child removal.

“If we embedded those supports in places where families already are, offering support at the earliest opportunity, we can minimise families reaching crisis levels. That level of primary support can be offered through maternal and child health services, through local GPs, through specialist support.”

More investment is needed to support families and improve access to parenting resources, particularly following contact with a child protection service. This level of support can be better delivered with a public health approach that strengthens funding and support for primary universal services.

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