Saturday, March 10, 2007

Childcare Scandals

The Australian on Thursday reported the appalling and overwhelming number of childcare protection instances that have been reported to the various State departments charged with handling the welfare of children. Unfortunately this is a ‘too little, too late’ solution to the huge crisis affecting child welfare in this country.

Leadership begins at the top, and while John Howard and his team require espouse their well publicized ‘9 Australian Values’ they do little to demonstrate it or actively follow it. Their hardline policies which support the big end of town, and religious pursuit of wealth and economic progress, will inevitably result in suffering for those who do not succeed.

Long term solutions where real ‘ care and compassion’ are exercised at all levels of government, with genuine support for the underprivileged and suffering will make a huge difference to the stress on struggling Australian families, and almost certainly reduce the number of children casualties. More funding for mental health programs in schools, reduction in the amount of gambling and alcohol related facilities will also assist. While the Liberal government along with their State counterparts reap a huge reward from the vast gambling industry in Australia, the amount of stress brought into families from gambling, along with the abuse of alcohol, contributes significantly to deteriorating family situations. When this is combined with a lack of support for mental illness, crumbling social structures which are needed to support families in crisis, is it any wonder that hundreds of thousands of families release their stress on the most vulnerable in this society – their own children.

A complete change of attitude is needed to begin reversing this horrendous situation before Australia reaps a reward of damaged children developing into angry, unhappy adults.

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