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​Researching Reform: Trend tracker - The welfare of the child and criminal sanctions

Date:1 JUL 2014

The newly established Family Court now officially the home of family law begins a new chapter in the history of child welfare which promises to make the system more child focused and family friendly. At the same time a growing trend imposing criminal sanctions for behaviour which negatively affects children seems to be pulling at the system. But will this new drive to criminalise parents and carers bolster the new Court or undo the good intentions behind the reforms and provide nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory for

As a phenomenon in its own right criminalising parents for bad behaviour appears to be a growing trend and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2012 more than 10 000 parents were jailed over their children’s truancy and several cases last year saw parents imprisoned for failing to disclose the whereabouts of children involved in care proceedings. This phenomenon though is not exclusive to

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