Leading child protection expert Daryl Higgins joins Dave to discuss the national inquiry into local adoption.

The Breaking barriers: a national adoption framework for Australian children inquiry into local adoption report has been tabled in Parliament.

Professor Higgins, the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University, said he was disappointed that the report dismissed concerns about repeating the mistakes of past adoption.

“The report provides no analysis of what these mistakes are, and how the proposed national framework will avoid these,” Professor Higgins said.

“There is no need for local adoption in the way that has been proposed. The ideals that are sought – making decisions in the best interests of children to achieve stability and permanency –  can be done with existing orders and processes.

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“What is needed is practice improvement and support for existing structures, but more importantly the demand on the system needs to be reduced so that it is dealing with fewer cases of children in need of protection.

“The Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has failed to adequately respond to the concerns raised by researchers and others about the capacity to repeat many of the conditions of the past that we spent a lot of effort trying to understand.”

Professor Higgins has researched child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for more than 25 years.