Forget failed parents and prioritise children

OUR SAY: TODAY Meghan Harris has written about Toowoomba mum Nadine Wright, and her quest to see residential care facilities for children closed down.

She believes residential care is a resurrection of institutionalised care and that it is not a suitable environment in which children should be raised.

I can't imagine many would disagree with her.

Two things I know to be true: The very vast majority of people who work and volunteer with children in 'the system' are caring, kind-hearted and hard-working, and they're doing an admirable job.

Secondly, the system that is responsible for protecting children is broken. Utterly broken.

Want proof?

Look at the volume - and detail - of child abuse cases heard in District Court.

Or think of the 145 children in residential care in our south west region. (At a cost of $326,000 per child, per year. That's more than $47 million dollars.)

Child Safety's top bureaucrats repeatedly say that the department acts in the best interest of Queensland's children.

But we care too much about failed parents and giving second chances when none is deserved.

So many couples in this state are desperate to become adoptive parents. The system needs to be overhauled to prioritise adoption.

Until things change, you will keep reading these editorial columns from me.
 



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