Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Development problems hit 1 in 4 kids: study

Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley has described the results of a groundbreaking study into child development as frightening.

The study of five-year-olds in Perth has found more than one-quarter could have social, intellectual or behavioural problems in later life.

For what is believed to be the first time in Australia, about 4,500 children were surveyed on social skills, literacy, physical health, maths, bahaviour and communication ability.

Professor Stanley says the figures are frightening because the children surveyed are typical of those in any Australian city.

The Early Development Index is an assessment of social, emotional, intellectual and physical capacities at age five. The study found 26 per cent of the children were vulnerable in at least one area and 13 per cent were considered to be at risk.

Professor Stanley said the community and governments need to act now to prevent a great deal of problems in the future.

"I don't think there is anything more important in Australia at the moment, as I have kept on saying this year," she said.

"These environments that impact on early child development are the things that are driving all these negative outcomes five, 10 and 15 years down the track."

Professor Stanley says it is alarming so many children have been identified as being at serious risk later in life.

"I don't think it is just a parental issue, although there are quite a few things that parents can do," she said.

"It does fall on local governments, on state governments and even on the Federal Government, to look at the kinds of family-enabling policies, family-enabling environments and to give parents support."

She says the findings would be similar anywhere in Australia.

"If you translated this across the country it would probably marry very closely with the kinds of children and the kinds of risk profiles that they had," Professor Stanley said.

"So I don't think this is going to be any different than many of the inner-city populations that you'd see across Australia."

She says many factors are making life difficult for new parents and in turn, their children.

"You can't tell people not to divorce but ... broken families are a very negative thing," she said. "Increasing and stressful hours of work are actually very negative for family functioning, an increased violence in the community, an increased violence within the home."

By At Risk Children 26 November 03

WHEN THE PUNISHMENT IS THE CRIME AND PLANTING THE SEED In New South Wales today if you get into trouble with the law you have little or no defence. Unless you're wealthy enough to get yourself a lawyer and even then the odds you will escape justice are minimal because of the infrastructure and resource of the government opposed to your Legal Aid Status. I am not saying Legal Aid cannot help you but I am saying they have become overworked and under resourced.

Zero Tolerance for Families
A three-strikes plan, which uses the threat of fines and jail to (force) parents to meet their parental obligations after divorce, could be introduced under a draft proposal from the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing the Family Law Act.

Fatherless Society "80-20 rule Vs 50-50 rule" family law
A Federal Parliamentary inquiry has heard that more children will grow up without fathers unless changes are made to family law. The committee is considering whether separated parents should share equal custody of their children.

80-20 Family Court rule irrational: Martian
A Martian came down from Mars and he noticed that children were the products of a father and a mother. When the family split up the children were still the products of a father and a mother.

Australia to tackle child abuse and rescue impoverished children?
A national report on child protection in the Northern Territory has blasted the system, saying it has abandoned the most impoverished children and families in Australia.

ATSIC call to smack kids?
The ATSIC commissioner said the high levels of regulation was not unlike the attention focused on Aboriginal families that led to the creation of a Stolen Generation of Aboriginal people. Mr Hill said he did not condone violence and admitted he did not smack his own children, but he stressed he wanted the issue of child discipline debated among Aboriginal people and community leaders.

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW
Patmalar Ambikapathy the Children's Commissioner, HOBART Tasmania spoke to Gregory Kable a caseworker at Justice Action at the Controlling Crime Conference at Redfern in Sydney yesterday and we both realised how parallel our ideas about crime prevention were.

Judge renews child detainee release call
A Family Court judge, for a second time, has appealed to Immigration Minister, war criminal, Philip Ruddock to address the issue of children in detention.

Partnership to tackle Aboriginal children's health issues
Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley has called for a sense of urgency in tackling the serious health problems facing Aboriginal children.

Graffiti: What they see is what you get
Father David Equal, a community leader has described the graffiti as the response to neglect by Australia's leaders, and the mainstream media, who have discriminated against people, recently.

Ruddock to challenge Family Court ruling
Ruddock said it is unfortunate the Full Court of the Family Court made the decision. He said a successful High Court challenge could see the children returned to detention.

Men told to change role but what for?
Fathers must take an equal role in parenting before their marriages end in divorce if changes to child custody laws are going to work, Pru Goward said yesterday.

Parents on the inside leave children on the edge
They have been dubbed the forgotten generation - the innocent casualties of their parents' crimes. New research shows that in 2001 14,500 NSW children had a parent in jail. And 60,000 NSW children under 16 have experienced the incarceration of a parent, more than half enduring the trauma of separation before they turn five.

States to cooperate on school curriculums but social skills don't rate? State and territory education ministers say Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's heavy-handed threats to school funding will not assist their ambitious initiative to develop consistent school curriculum’s in key subjects.[?]

Family Law: Shared parenting arrangements
My children were four and two years of age and it's been fourteen years since I seen my children who are now adults. I don't know where they are because the government fragmented us by order of the Family Court of Australia, which should be called, the Anti-Family Court of Australia. Big yawn!!!

School Curriculum needs balance? Life Skills and Academic Skills go hand in hand man Colin you need to be the students friends not their judge. Only when you can invite the students into the decision making process will you get an obligation by them to change their behaviour, because you Colin could lead by example and not by power.

Australian fathers under terrorist attack-by its Politicians
Ruthless terrorists tactics are used by the state deny devoted fathers their children, and place vulnerable children at risk when they are denied their fathers protection. Five hundred thousand Australian children are denied contact with their father usually resulting from orders of the state by the Family and other Courts.

When is Michael Richardson going to remove the offending Family Court affidavit from the NSW Parliament website? Criminal: Hills district MP Michael Richardson. When is he going to remove these uncorroborated lies and family court pleadings on the confidential Family Court affidavit from the NSW Parliament website?

NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.

Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.

Parents call for feedback on social skills
Parents are calling for the same level of feedback on their children's social development as on their academic progress, according to a national survey.

Call to update suicide prevention strategy: study
A four-year study of suicides by people under the age of 18 in New South Wales, has found little difference between rates of suicide in rural and regional areas and cities.

Alcohol is just the beginning
People who start using alcohol by their mid teens are more than twice as likely as others to experiment with different drugs and to become dependent on drugs a major Australian study has found.

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

The Seed
Respect, you only get out what you have put in. What about Life Skills, Communication and Conflict Resolution. Evolution, perhaps some children and adults miss the whole or part of the course. I did, and so how surprised do you think I was when I realised my parents missed the course as well. Things like Compromise, Win Win, Empathy, and Love. Invisible energy and other skills like public speaking, how to Relate, Assuming, Blaming, Forgiveness, Freedom and Discrimination. This is how I learned respect. If you don't know what it is then how do you relate?

The Law According to Gregory Wayne Kable
I was sharply separated from both my children aged just 4 years and two years and sent to prison for the manslaughter of my wife. I cared for my children when my wife worked and I believe that I still had a responsibility to them even after the crisis situation and tragedy. I wanted to reassure them now and find out how they were doing.