Disability and discrimination in statutory child protection proceedings

Author: McConnell, D.;Llewellyn, G.
Year: 2000
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Disability & Society
Volume: 15
Issue: 6
Pages: 883 - 895
Abstract: Families headed by parents with intellectual disability are among the most vulnerable in the community. Poverty, social isolation, and the lack of adequate support services all threaten their well-being. People with intellectual disability who are parents must also contend with out-of-the-ordinary treatment in statutory child protection proceedings. Legal scholars writing mainly in the North American context cite cases in which the children of these parents have been removed despite lack of evidence of abuse or neglect, or when evidence was refuted or, indeed, even when the parent was shown to be providing adequate care. In cases of substantiated abuse and/or neglect, support has not been given to the parent or parents before their children were removed. In this paper, we describe these discriminatory actions and discuss the political, social and institutional conditions that have lead to such extreme consequences for people with intellectual disability who also happen to be parents.

The Parenting Research Centre acknowledges and respects the diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this country and the Elders of the past, present and future.