Tuesday, December 16, 2003

ACOSS urges C'wealth to invest in families

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is urging the Federal Government to abandon any plans for a pre-election tax cut and instead increase benefits for families.

ACOSS says the rate of family tax benefit and income support falls way short of the real cost of raising children.

ACOSS deputy president Sue Ham says families have more to gain from a review of the rates than a general tax cut.

"Instead of cutting taxes for the well off, we'd be far better investing in our families and in our young people," she said. "And so family tax benefit and income support should actually reflect the costs of raising children."

By Fundamental Group Unit 16 12 2003


Beattie's 'shame' on foster children
Child abuse will be a major issue at the next Queensland election after a damning audit of the state's Families Department found a chronic failure to properly investigate abuse. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie yesterday admitted he was "shocked and ashamed" after most cases of child abuse in foster care were shown to have been mishandled.

Jordan's death could have been prevented
BABY Jordan had his tiny toes crushed one by one, was hit so hard his bottom teeth went through the roof of his mouth, and was subjected to repeated punches to the stomach. The seven-month-old's torture and suffering ended only when he choked to death on his own vomit.

But there are Keys!
Charles Dickens said, "Life is a secret and you haven't got the key." "And you never will have." True, that you cannot see or know your future! But there are keys and you may need them in order to survive. Also the skills you have are the resources you have to survive events that occur in your life. Some people don't get through it. Some people do. Some people have better results than others do.

Valuing children now!
The 2001 legislation specified where a child could legally be hit, which only perpetuates the view that physical punishment is normal and a parent's right, Bernadette Saunders, of the Child Abuse and Family Violence Research Unit at Monash University, says.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?