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'Good Enough Parenting': Parental disability and child protection

Swain, P. A., Cameron, N.,

Academic Literature


This paper presents the findings of research into Children's Court practice in Victoria (Australia) regarding child protection matters involving parental disability. The research examined Court records of hearings and considered the practices of the Court in the light of the particular needs of parents with a disability. The research found that such parents were often unrepresented and that formal Court interventions only infrequently made recommendations regarding the support, training and advice such parents needed in order to retain or regain care of their children. The anecdotal experience of parents with a disability that their capacity to care was likely to be more harshly judged than that of non-disabled parents, was supported. The research also suggested that the assumption of a nexus between parental disability and inability to care must be challenged, given the imperatives of legislation and child protection philosophy.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Disability & Society

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Health and wellbeing, Safety and security

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