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Doing Harm While Doing Good: The Child Protection Paradox

NCJ Number
Child & Youth Services Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: April - June 2012 Pages: 146-157
Frank Ainsworth; Patricia Hansen
Date Published
June 2012
12 pages
This study discusses the issue of removing a child from parental care in child abuse and neglect cases.
Every Australian citizen expects state and territory governments to protect children from child abuse and neglect. Protecting children from harm is seen as good. This however is not a simple matter. The ultimate act in protecting children is to remove them from parental care. This causes trauma for the child and pain and distress for parents no matter how inadequately they may have been caring for their children. In that respect removing a child from parental care does harm to parents and children. This article explores the paradox of doing harm while doing good. The article has an Australian focus but the authors think that this issue affects child protection services in many countries. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.