Media Release: Friday, 4 July, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated Federal and State Governments for creating a national child protection framework but called for a “fence at the top of the cliff” to help stop child neglect and harm in the first place.

ACL National Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton welcomed yesterday’s Council of Australian Governments decision to improve information sharing among States and Territories and thereby enable easier detection of children in need of protection.

“This is a sensible and long overdue move which should help ensure that children at risk aren’t falling between the gaps of State and Territory boundaries,” Mr Shelton said.

“However, Governments also need to be doing far more to prevent children from facing these situations in the first place.

“Number one is the need to promote families as our frontline defence against child neglect.  “Research shows that marriage provides the most stable environment for children and this should be foremost in our thinking when formulating policy for the protection of kids.

“The very sad cases of child neglect and harm we are continually confronted with as a nation should cause us to take stock of the underlying causes. A central one that needs to be addressed is the breakdown of the family and limited assistance for parents in fulfilling their vital role.

“We also need to be assessing other aspects of the modern day environment that are undermining healthy family relationships and the nurturing of children.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan