The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) opposes legislative amendments proposed by Labor to automatically remove future children from a parent found guilty of killing or seriously harming their own children.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum says while the Labor Bill is well intentioned, the incredibly complex issues associated with child protection requires a sophisticated, systematic response that cannot be tackled using ‘crystal ball’ legislation.
“There are already legislative powers and mechanisms in place to protect children in these circumstances,” Mr McCallum said.
“Legislating for future possible misdeeds is unnecessary and falls into the realm of mandatory sentencing that takes the onus off competent professionals who are making competent and real time decisions about real life cases,” Mr McCallum said.
“This one-size fits all approach to child protection is not helpful.
“The focus should always be placed squarely on the best interests of each and every child and ensuring that the systems in place are safe and secure.
“Legislation that tries to predict future behaviours is problematic and removes the capacity of professionals to make well intentioned and informed decisions in the best interests of the child.”
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is the New South Wales peak body representing non-government organisations which provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.