Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1982

Volume 7 Issue 1

Proposals for Legislative Changes in Relation to Neglected Children and Child Offenders in Tasmania

LL. M. Kate Warner


1 The University of Tasmania

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All the Australian states are either in the process of or have completed reviews of their child welfare legislation. The Australian Law Reform Commission has also completed its report on the reform of the child welfare laws. In Tasmania the Report of the Committee of Review into the Child Welfare Act 1960 and Social Welfare Services (the Roe Report) was tabled in December 1980. The following comments are directed to the two parts of the report dealing with children in need of care and children’s courts and young offenders. A draft bill is in the process of preparation incorporating the substance of these proposals.

Those who looked forward to proposals which seek to meet the criticisms of the welfare approach to juvenile offenders and the assimilation of offenders and deprived children have been disappointed. The report proposes the development of a community welfare orientation by seeking to change the emphasis from remedial institutional services to preventative community based services, but it fails to deal with other fundamental criticisms of the existing system. The failure to reduce crime through the criminal justice system, the hypocrisy injustice and subjectivity of the welfare approach and the ambivalence and confusion inherent in the existing system are not adequately resolved.

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