Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cart before the horse

This judge is talking sense in as much as he identifies the first three years of an at-risk child's life being the core of many future problems.

Retired family court judge, Graeme MacCormick says,"It is from disadvantaged children, those not given a good start in life, that most of our young and not so young criminal offenders come.

"We cannot afford more police, more court staff, more judges, more prisons, more accident and emergency and mental health workers, more wasted lives, than we already have."

But a national at-risk register? I don't trust the state to get anything right in respect of registers, follow-up and intervention. Go back a step further and ask, why do we encourage people who couldn't look after a kitten, let alone a child, to have babies? It seems senseless to continue to do this and then bang those babies onto an at-risk register as soon as they arrive, assuring ourselves that is enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree it seems unreasonable to put all babies on a register. But I do agree with the judge that we need to intervene with babies before they are ruined by bad parenting. I always thought that beefing up Plunket a LOT and getting help to mums in those early days would make a lot of sense. Plunket nurses could monitor those at risk and refer them to other agencies if and when required. - or in extreme cases report them to the appropriate authorities.