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This paper discusses the need for a national early childhood intervention policy in Australia, including a universal approach to children's services as a platform for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, supporting families and enriching the lives of all children. It considers the literature on early intervention, including the theoretical and research base of successful programs and the link between early intervention and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It examines the way the child welfare and children's services sectors have grown and the imperative at the beginning of the 2lst century for a closer alignment of services. The United Kingdom's 'Sure Start' early intervention strategy is considered in so far as it attempts to develop a more comprehensive approach to child welfare by developing programs which are based on the research. Finally the paper asserts that recent strategies introduced by Federal and State Governments to promote childhood health and wellbeing are positive first steps, but need to go further to seriously address increasing numbers of children reported as suffering harm through abuse and/or neglect.


Institute of Child Protection Studies

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Journal Article

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