Child protection proceedings in the Childrens Court of Queensland: Therapeutic opportunities lost
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This article examines the extent to which the child protection jurisdiction of the Childrens Court in Queensland1 has adopted the principles and practices of therapeutic jurisprudence. Data were obtained from the Queensland section of an Australia-wide study on children's courts, which drew upon documentary sources plus interviews with judicial officers and other stakeholders. Five characteristics of a therapeutic approach are considered. Results show that while there are some therapeutic principles evident in the focus of the court on the best interests and well-being of the child, reforms of substantive child protection laws in Queensland have had little impact on court proceedings, which remain adversarial. More could be done to use the authority of the court productively in responding to the significant social welfare needs of children, young people and families who are parties to child protection proceedings and whose lives are so profoundly affected by its decisions.
Australian Journal of Family Law
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Counselling, Welfare and Community Services