Mothers at the Margins: Stories of Challenge, Resistance and Love

Posted: 15 Apr 2016

See all articles by Tamara Walsh

Tamara Walsh

University of Queensland

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: April 13, 2015

Abstract

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

Walsh, Tamara and Douglas, Heather, Mothers at the Margins: Stories of Challenge, Resistance and Love (April 13, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764038

Tamara Walsh (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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