AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
The office of the Australian Prayer Network is currently closed to allow staff to take annual leave and will not re-open until Monday 17th June 2013.
This newsletter is an abridged version which has been pre-prepared by editorial staff prior to their departure. Thank you for your understanding.
- NT CHIEF MINISTER TO REMOVE NEGLECTED ABORIGINAL CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS
NT CHIEF MINISTER TO REMOVE NEGLECTED ABORIGINAL CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS
Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles says his government will remove neglected Aboriginal children from their parents and place them in adopted homes if necessary. Mr Giles, the first-ever indigenous state or territory leader, said governments had failed Aboriginal children because of fears they would be accused of creating a new Stolen Generation, but he would not be put off by such accusations. “Whatever we do has to be about making parents take responsibility for their kids,” Mr Giles said. “And if they won’t, we are prepared to provide alternative solutions. If that means those kids are loved and cared for by other parents, then so be it.”
Mr Giles said despite the federal intervention, only one Aboriginal child had been adopted in the last decade. “There are situations where nobody has been prepared to support a permanent adoption of a child for fear of Stolen Generation,” he said. “There is a line-up of families out there who say, ‘If you want help with children, we’ll be happy to foster a child.’” Mr Giles said there would not be a mass grab of children but he and his cabinet were ready to consider cases of child neglect on a one-by-one basis and move to protect them. “There would be negotiations with biological parents, but there has to be a point where you take necessary steps to protect children.”
Mr Giles said the legal mechanisms for adoption were already available, but governments had been reluctant to act. The result, he said, was that in towns across the Territory, numerous children wandered in high-risk situations, often fearful to go home to homes awash with alcohol and violence. “Where there are couples who wish to provide love and support for children who are neglected and not cared for properly, and it can be determined that the parents will not be able to look after their kids properly till they’re older, then we need to make that opportunity available,” he said.
“You mean to tell me when we’ve got all these alleged cases of chronic child sexual abuse, children running around on petrol, going on the streets at night sexualising themselves in some circumstances, and there’s only one permanent adoption, for fear of Stolen Generation? “That is not standing up for kids.” Mr Giles said he wanted the public to know he was prepared to act and said his Cabinet was fully behind him. “If you’ve got kids who aren’t being looked after by their parents, there’s only so many times you can try and intervene to get that right,” he said.
“And if it’s not working, and those kids’ lives are falling apart in front of your eyes, make a decision. “It’s not like we’re coming in to take kids, but where individual issues come up, we will take that decision. “People were too scared of Stolen Generation. And I believe that’s why there’s a lot of kids out there with such social dysfunction.”
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports