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Type: Journal article
Title: Beyond political imperatives and rhetoric in child protection decision making
Author: Delfabbro, P.
Citation: Communities, Children and Families Australia, 2009; 2(1):38-44
Publisher: Australian College of Child and Family Protection Practitioners
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1833-6280
Statement of
Paul Delfabbro
Abstract: This article provides a response to the critique by Braithwaite et al. (this issue) of current approaches to child welfare in Australia and other similar countries. The present paper underscores concerns that political imperatives and media scrutiny have led to a system that focuses more strongly on protecting children, minimising risk and assessing families rather than the provision of community-level interventions to prevent abuse and enhance child wellbeing. The paper highlights the difficulties associated with a sole reliance on self-regulatory systems in the child protection context. Drawing from evidence related to actual intervention or out-of-home care cases, this paper draws attention to the need for balance in the child protection system. Although there may be evidence of overregulation and extension in current government practices in many cases, the variety of family problems and complexity in cases suggests the need for a mixture of regulatory systems. Finally, while the paper agrees that risk assessment tools and “need-based” approaches to resource allocation have led to an overemphasis on tertiary interventions at the expense of prevention, it is argued that risk assessment and tools (if used appropriately and in context) have a place in primary interventions, as is certainly the case in the broader area of public health provision.
Keywords: Rhetoric
Child protection
Child protection decision-making
Rights: Copyright status unknown
Description (link):;dn=652402890467511;res=IELHSS
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Psychology publications

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