Source: (2011) Law and Policy. 34(1):80-103.
A qualitative study explored the private realities of forty-five Australian Indigenous
parents and carers who had experiences with child protection authorities.
Interviews focused on the nature of the relationship between parents and authorities,
how these regulatory encounters served to enlist or dissolve cooperation, and
how child-focused outcomes could be delivered. The descriptions of encounters
with authorities challenged the public hope for reconciliation between government
and Indigenous Australians through reports of procedural injustice, failure by the
authority to communicate and demonstrate soundness of purpose, and through
lack of interest in identity affirmation and relationship building. In spite of these
perceptions of integrity failings in how child protection authorities have operated,
a positive role was acknowledged for authoritiesâ€™ future involvement, albeit with
different strategies from those currently experienced. How this progression might
be facilitated by principles of restorative justice and responsive regulation is
discussed. (authors’ abstract)
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