There is an excellent article by Joe Tucci & Chris Goddard, examining the federal government’s discussion paper on the establishment a national framework for protecting children against abuse and neglect. It is a welcome thing that we are finally getting some national leadership on this issue. However, the article points out that the discussion paper focuses mostly on adults and families, giving little specific attention to the rights and voices of children. This is precisely why I think establishing a National Commissioner for Children is so important – to have someone consistently examining policies and actions from the point of view of what is best for the child, and being able to be an advocate specifically for children.
Tucci (from the Australian Childhood Foundation) and Goddard (from Child Abuse Research Australia) also highlight the limitations of using a welfare framework for dealing with major abuse of children, such as serious violent and sexual assault.