NEWS Take the kids off abu­sive par­ents

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - GARY SHIPWAY

THE head of the Ter­ri­tory Stolen Gen­er­a­tions Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion has stopped short of call­ing for sack­ings, but says the Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment must change its think­ing about early in­ter­ven­tion and take atrisk chil­dren from vi­o­lent and dys­func­tional fam­i­lies.

Ter­ri­tory Stolen Gen­er­a­tions Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man Eileen Cum­mings has reaf­firmed her po­si­tion and told ill-in­formed out­siders not to in­ter­fere with claims of a sec­ond Stolen Gen­er­a­tion.

“Just save the kids,” she said. Mrs Cum­mings said the Chil­dren’s Com­mis­sioner’s re­port into the rape of a twoyear-old girl showed the neg­li­gent think­ing be­hind not re­mov­ing chil­dren from dan­ger­ous fam­ily sit­u­a­tions.

The 102-page re­port from Chil­dren’s Com­mis­sioner Colleen Gwynne de­tails mul­ti­ple in­stances of sex­ual abuse of the two-year-old vic­tim’s sib­lings.

Ms Gwynne’s re­port found the lit­tle girl and her four sib­lings were the sub­ject of re­ports re­lated to sex­ual abuse, phys­i­cal harm, ne­glect, emo­tional harm, fam­ily vi­o­lence and parental sub­stance abuse.

Mrs Cum­mins said us­ing the claim of a sec­ond Stolen Gen­er­a­tion as a rea­son to not take a child away from such dan­ger­ous fam­ily cir­cum­stances was “fool­ish”.

“That fam­ily has been a con­stant worry with peo­ple in Ten­nant Creek and it amazes me that this was just al­lowed to go on for good­ness knows how long. It is an ab­so­lute dis­grace. They need ev­ery staff mem­ber they can hang on to, but there needs to be a good hard look at what they have been do­ing and how it can be done bet­ter.

“I don’t know why they never took that child away from her fam­ily.”

Mrs Cum­mings said she had talked to peo­ple from Ten­nant Creek, some of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion peo­ple, who be­lieve Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies ser­vices should have done some­thing years ago.

“Given the fam­ily’s well known his­tory they could not un­der­stand why they never took that child,” she said. “There needed to be ac­tion in this case and ev­ery other case where there is vi­o­lence and child abuse. This has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with a sec­ond Stolen Gen­er­a­tion and any­one who says it does is just plain ig­no­rant.”

MIN­IS­TER FOR FAM­I­LIES DALE WAKE­FIELD EX­CLU­SIVE COL­UMN P12

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