Journal Article

Disability and Decision‐Making in Australian Care Proceedings

David McConnell, Gwynnyth Llewellyn and Luisa Ferronato

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 270-299
Published in print August 2002 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Disability and Decision‐Making in Australian Care Proceedings

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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.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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