Marriage at the heart of a crucial commitment to children
8 September 2011
|The child protection system is experiencing more strain than ever before, according to Professor Patrick Parkinson AM.|
In an opinion piece in the National Times, Professor Parkinson writes that
there are some alarming signs of a rapid deterioration in the wellbeing of many teenagers - especially teenage girls.
"We used to be called the Lucky Country.
"There are now a very large number of children and young people who need all the luck they can get.
"There are multiple reasons for this, but one major reason is the growing fragility of family life.
"The chances that children will reach the age of 15 without two parents at home has almost doubled within a generation.
"About 12 per cent of kids now start out life without a dad in the home.
"Family breakdown is a risk factor for children.
"About one in five suffer serious adverse consequences.
"One of the issues is that conflict between the parents doesn't necessarily end on separation.
"It often just changes what people argue about, as any family lawyer will tell you. Financial stress is another issue.
"Going from one household to two makes both households poorer, even with all the extra financial support that government provides."
Professor Parkinson this week launched a new report providing a comprehensive overview of the state of Australian children's wellbeing is a call to action to address the multiple and serious challenges it details - For Kids' Sake - Repairing the Social Environment for Australian Children and Young People.
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202