Mothers at the Margins: Stories of Challenge, Resistance and Love
Posted: 15 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 13, 2015
Removal of children from the care of their mothers is one of the most fundamental forms of intrusion the state may have in the lives of mothers and children. In recent years, child protection intervention has increased dramatically in Australia. Drawing on focus group discussions with community workers and lawyers who assist mothers in their dealings with child safety authorities we consider a number of issues confronting mothers interacting with child protection authorities. Participants in our focus groups and interviews said that many mothers had insufficient information about processes and found it difficult to communicate with child protection workers. Participants were also concerned about the link between poverty, domestic violence and child protection intervention and the lack of support available for mothers trying to care for children in these situations. We emphasise the need for a strengths-based focus and the role of advocates in the child protection system.
This chapter presents the research findings of focus groups and interviews conducted in Brisbane, Queensland, with community workers and lawyers who support mothers in their interactions with the child protection system. By way of introduction, the legislative and international law frameworks governing child protection will first be canvassed.
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation