Friday, 27 June 2008

Housing dept under scrutiny over neglect

Better monitoring of public housing may have uncovered the problem earlier.

Questions have been raised about the role of public housing authorities in a case of alleged child neglect in Canberra.

A woman has been charged with neglect for allegedly allowing her four children to live in squalor.

The 35-year-old appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court yesterday and was remanded in custody.

The court heard police found the children alone in a house, in the inner-north suburb of Ainslie, which was littered with dog faeces, moulded food and rubbish.

But better monitoring of public housing may have uncovered the problem earlier.

Housing ACT have many questions to answer in relation to this case.

If there were regular inspections on properties where we can cleary see there is a mess then that should have been attended to by housing authorities.

They have some 40 housing managers to service over 11,500 properties, clearly they're under pressure and more resources may be needed.

The Housing Minister needs to really respond in saying why this property was not picked up during regular inspections.

Meanwhile, doctors are calling for a new parenting program to be rolled out in Canberra to help reduce cases of neglect.

Australian General Practice Network CEO Kate Carnell says the parenting scheme has been trailed successfully in Brisbane at a cost of about $20 per family.

"This is a program that's now been evaluated," she said.

"What it shows is that if it was rolled out right across Australia you would end up with 72,000 fewer parents reporting problems with depression, nearly 100,000 fewer parents using coercive parenting practices, a whole range of really good data that runs off the back of this."


Government must do more to support families

The Government needs to do much more to support familles so parents can afford to feed their children and to prevent children from neglect.

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