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The high number of young children reported and re-reported to statutory authorities throughout Australia calls into question the effectiveness of contemporary risk focused frameworks for guiding interventions with young children, particularly in relation to cumulative concerns associated with neglect and emotional harm. We argue that the siloed nature of institutions and the risk frameworks which have underpinned child protection practice for two decades have not been effective in shaping collaborative, early responses to many children who would benefit from greater access to services at the primary and secondary levels of intervention. A conceptual model for strengthening the interface between these levels is proposed which uses supportive linking and assertive outreach as important interventions to develop “systems of care” for very vulnerable families. Improving this interface requires greater understanding across all service levels of the need for collaborative systems of care to improve parenting ‘capability’ and ‘connectedness’.


Institute of Child Protection Studies

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Journal Article

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