Desperate measures: new report shines a light on children relinquished into state care
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission today launched a report finding that 50 or more families each year are surrendering the day-to-day care of children with disability to the state. Acting Commissioner Karen Toohey says that Desperate measures: the relinquishment of children with disability into state care in Victoria is the first report of its kind and shines a light on what has been a hidden problem in our disability system for many years.
"Relinquishment is a tragedy that is preventable and demonstrates a system under pressure. If prevention and early intervention were of greater focus, fewer families would end up in this situation.
"Children experience trauma, grief, fear and confusion. They spend periods in inappropriate accommodation, such as long periods living in respite facilities or moving from place to place," Ms Toohey said.
"Our research showed that one in four of the children placed in respite centres were still there six months later. In at least one case reported to us, a child has been living in respite for two years or more.
Desperate measures makes 28 recommendations that range from understanding the problem better and improving recording of instances of relinquishment and their causes, through to early identification of families at risk and prevention strategies.
For a copy of the report http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1650:desperate-measures-new-report-shines-a-light-on-children-relinquished-into-state-care-21-may-2012&Itemid=3