Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Braithwaite, Ivec, & Harris: "Seeking to Clarify Child Protection’s Regulatory Principles"

Valerie Braithwaite (Australian National University), Mary Ivec, and Nathan Harris (Australian National University) have posted Seeking to Clarify Child Protection’s Regulatory Principles, Communities, Children and Families Australia (2009), on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Child protection systems are expected to scrutinize the care offered to children and to coordinate the provision of improved quality of care. They are under stress in many developed countries with burgeoning caseloads and a mixture of positive and negative outcomes. Because child protection systems seek to change the course of parenting, they can be thought of as highly formalised regulatory systems that cut across one of our most entrenched informal systems, how parents raise children. This paper asks whether the stress experienced by child protection workers, support agencies and families alike is associated in part with failures to satisfactorily address three basic regulatory principles: identifying the purposes of the intervention; justifying the intervention in a way that is respectful of broader principles of democratic governance; and understanding how the informal regulatory system intersects with the formal child protection system. Child protection interventions are plagued by multiple purposes that are not necessarily compatible; non-transparent processes; and high risk of counter-productive outcomes.


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