Protecting babies or punishing victims?
New Australian legislation would seek to remove newborns born to mothers who are the victims of domestic violence and place them in foster care. Excerpt from the article:
"The new legislation will also extend to pregnant woman who suffer domestic violence. In those cases, the women will be asked to sign a PRC ordering them to either leave their partner, move in with a relative or seek help through domestic violence counselling.
While the PRC process has been operating for several years, current laws state they can only be applied to a parent after their child is born rather than while it is still in the womb.
Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said the changes were designed to put the child first and provide the strongest possible incentive for troubled mothers to turn their lives around.
"I make no apologies for taking this bold new approach to child protection, which ensures we are putting the best interests of the child at the centre of every decision we make," Ms Goward said.
The new laws are awaiting final approval from Cabinet before they are submitted to parliament.
"Whether it is raising the stakes on early intervention or improving access to open adoption, these reforms are about providing families and caseworkers with the support and tools they need to ensure vulnerable children have a safe home for life," Ms Goward said."
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