Child Protection Matters in the Northern Territory

8 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Nicholas Petrie

Nicholas Petrie

Formerly, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)

Louise Kruger

Formerly, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)

Date Written: July 1, 2014

Abstract

In this paper the authors argue for the implementation of mandatory alternative dispute resolution in child protection matters in the Northern Territory, save in exceptional circumstances. The authors propose a model of alternative dispute resolution based on 'family group conferencing', which was developed in New Zealand in the 1980s and successfully implemented in a number of jurisdictions. The proposed model is designed to meet specific demographic and child protection issues in the Northern Territory, where 84% of children in out of home care were Aboriginal in 2011-12. The authors argue that the successful implementation of their family group conferencing model will result in higher levels of reunification of Aboriginal children with their parents and better family unity within Aboriginal communities, whilst ensuring that the best interests of children remain the primary consideration in child protection matters.

Keywords: Northern Territory, Aboriginal, Indigenous, Child Protection, best interests of children, best interests, child, children, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Group Conferencing, Mediation, Australia

Suggested Citation

Petrie, Nicholas and Kruger, Louise, Child Protection Matters in the Northern Territory (July 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2473466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2473466

Nicholas Petrie (Contact Author)

Formerly, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) ( email )

61 Smith Street
GPO Box 1064
Darwin
Australia

Louise Kruger

Formerly, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) ( email )

61 Smith Street
GPO Box 1064
Darwin
Australia

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