Indigenous Guardians Ad Litem are Needed in Child Protection Cases
15 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 18, 2013
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that in 2010/11 indigenous children were: 8 times as likely to be the subject of substantiated abuse and neglect; 9 times more likely to be on a care and protection order; and 10 times as likely to be in out of home care than other children in the Australian community.
In 2010 Bao-Er wrote an article published in the Law Society Journal of New South Wales (December 2009) titled "Indigenous Guardians ad litem are Needed in the Children's Court of NSW." In 2009, Judge Marien the then President of the Children's Court of NSW rejected the author's application on behalf of three Indigenous children for the appointment of an Indigenous guardian ad litem on their behalf in care and protection proceedings before the Children's Court (see Department of Human Services and “Kieran,” “Siobhan” and Robert Isaac NSW Children's Law News 11 November 2009.
This paper argues that urgent legislative change is required to ensure that all Indigenous children taken before Children's Courts for their care and protection need themselves to be protected through the court process by the appointment in each and every case of specially trained Indigenous guardians ad litem. The paper was presented at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights held in Sydney, Australia in March 2013.
Keywords: guardians ad litem, Indigenous, Aboriginal, Children's Law, child representation, Australia
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