McConnell, David; Llewellyn, Gwynnyth; Ferronato, Luisa
August 2002
International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family;Aug2002, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p270
Academic Journal
Parents with intellectual disability are considered to be at increased risk of state intervention in the care of their children with high child removal rates reported. To explore this phenomenon, the authors conducted an interview and observational study of court process and decision-making accompanied by a record review in the New South Wales (NSW) Children's Court in Sydney, Australia. The study findings highlight several reasons that help explain why parents with intellectual disability are over-represented in care and protection proceedings and their children more likely to be placed in out-of-home care. These reasons include enduring beliefs about parental (in)capacity, the diagnostic-prognostic rationality of decision-makers, the need for parent compliance in an adversarial system, lack of suitable support services; and, poorly resourced legal representatives. Implications for policy and for practice are discussed.


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