ERIC Number: ED212386
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep-19
Reference Count: 0
Substitute Care: Does it Serve the Needs of the Children? Unit for Child Studies Selected Papers Number 14.
The issue of whether or not the basic principle guiding the placement of Australian children in need of care is applied in practice is addressed in this expanded seminar paper. It is pointed out that the principle stating that the child's welfare should be of paramount concern has been incorporated into Australian legislation in the Adoption Act and the Family Law Act. It does not appear, however, in the proposed Child and Community Welfare Act (circa 1981). The history of child welfare provision, Australian law, the psychological parent and bonding, and the biological parent are the topics initially taken up. Subsequently, the topics of the impact on the child of separation, early adoption, late adoption, and long- and short-term foster care are discussed. It is concluded that in Australian society, the child's ties with biological parents are overvalued. The proposed Child Welfare Act makes termination of parental rights increasingly difficult even though research findings indicate that adoption of young children is preferable to long-term foster care. To the extent that the law protects the rights of biological parents over the best interests of the child, the legal principle that the child's welfare should be of paramount concern is completely abandoned in practice. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Adoption, Attachment Behavior, Childhood Needs, Foreign Countries, Foster Family, Legislation, Parent Child Relationship, Parents
Unit for Child Studies, School of Education, University of New South Wales, P.O. Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia ($2.00; payment should be made in American dollars).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Education.
Identifiers: Australia; Biological Parents; Parent Rights; Placement (Foster Care); Psychological Parents; Separation Anxiety
Note: Paper presented at the Unit for Child Studies Spring Saturday Seminars (Kensington, Australia, September 19, 1981).