Some people just should not breed

 

LEAVING children in dangerous homes because it is preferable to "keep families together" is wrong and must stop. Never again can such an excuse be made for what is inexcusable.

The brutal truth is some people do not deserve to breed.

They have no clue what it means to be a parent and kids in their care become casualties of a broken welfare system.

For every Mason Jet Lee and countless others whose names we never knew or have forgotten, there are so many more who can, and must, be saved.

Instead, we have a useless child safety net - at huge taxpayer expense - that puts the "rights" of adults before those of children.

When I read that a Child Safety worker in the utterly heartbreaking case of Caboolture toddler Mason Jet Lee thought her job was to check on the well-being of his mother, Anne Maree Lee, I nearly screamed.

Can she be serious?

 

Queensland toddler Mason Lee suffered shocking abuse and was let down by the system that was meant to protect him. (AAP Image/GoFundMe)
Queensland toddler Mason Lee suffered shocking abuse and was let down by the system that was meant to protect him. (AAP Image/GoFundMe)

 

Apparently yes, according to coroner Jane Bentley's damning report this week. And I quote: "CSO6 (child safety officer 6) apparently had no idea of her basic role or even that her job was the protection of children. When asked to do a safety check of the family, she thought she was just going there to see if Ms Lee was ok, 'whether [she] was there … and whether she was all right'."

Well, Ms Lee is still alive, and spending time behind bars, as is her former partner William Andrew O'Sullivan who delivered the final, fatal blow to the tortured toddler.

Mason was never all right. He should have been rescued, not abandoned.

The welfare of children must always come first.

Yet by some skewed rationale, keeping families together remains a priority, even at the expense of those littlest members who are unable to defend themselves.

Reframe the paradigm!

The Government's own website says: "We support parents and families in their important job of caring for their children at home … and the delivery of services to build families' capacity to care for and nurture their children."

 

Mason Lee's mother, Anne Maree Lee, has been jailed over his death. Picture: 7 News
Mason Lee's mother, Anne Maree Lee, has been jailed over his death. Picture: 7 News

 

In light of recent tragedies - and the scathing coroner's report into the 2016 death of Mason Lee - this statement is so far out of step with reality it's not funny.

Any fool can see that some families are so fundamentally flawed that no amount of intervention can fix them.

Many parents are themselves victims of dysfunctional homes, and have learned destructive behaviour.

While they are not solely to blame - because they are doing what has become their normal - they lack the tools to rise above and rehabilitate.

The only intervention that makes sense is to break the cycle. Remove children from the care of incompetents and place them with people who will do a better job.

The same government department charged with protecting children also administers adoptions. With a growing waitlist of couples desperate to adopt, why is no-one connecting the dots?

The department acknowledges there is a lack of "local" children, with most adoptees born overseas.

It identifies two reasons for the shortage: increased welfare support and changing attitudes towards single parenthood.

 

Andrew William O'Sullivan, stepfather of Mason Lee.
Andrew William O'Sullivan, stepfather of Mason Lee.

 

In other words, it has become more attractive for people to keep their kids. This is not necessarily a good thing.

The government crows that these days "most parents are able to care for their children".

But who is rigorously monitoring the quality of that care? Certainly not the Department of Child Safety.

If people are demonstrably unfit to parent, they must forfeit the privilege to do so.

Latest data shows only 26 children a year are adopted in this state - 11 from overseas, seven by step-parents and eight "local".

Contrast this to the 1554 kids harmed within 12 months of welfare workers deciding they were safe, and the 58 known to the department who died last financial year.

Were the foster care system in better shape, it could help protect at-risk children but it too is flawed, as the 2015 death of Logan 12-year-old Tiahleigh Palmer starkly illustrated.

By the government's own admission, there are three times more kids needing care than there are foster carers.

Child safety has become a misnomer. Rectifying this requires tough calls. Remove kids from toxic families. Anything less is criminal.

Originally published as Some people just should not breed



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