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Thread: How bad does it have to be for DOC's to get involved?

  1. #1

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    Default How bad does it have to be for DOC's to get involved?

    So this might not be the right place to ask this, but I couldnt work out where else it could go. So please move if its wrong.

    I heard a story today about a couple whose newborn baby has been removed from their care by DOCS. This bub was onlly born about a month ago, prem but not too prem, and the couples first born. From what I understand, the couple have been told that they wont be able to have their bub in their care for at least a year. (I also know that the grandfather is being investigated for doing bad things to kiddies.. and they live with this man, even though they are moving out asap)

    I dont know too much about the story, but it has me wondering how bad it would have to be for bubs to be removed? I mean I know of some awful situatiions where DOCS were notified but nothing ever happened. So I assume there is more to the story than Ive heard, but surely it wouldnt just be the situation with the grandfather surely??

    So Im just curious as to how bad things have to be for DOCS to get involved, and to remove a newborn from their parents? (I know Im asking for hypotheticals, but Im just curious is all. I know DOCS tries to keep families together as much as possible, and from experience things must be really bad for them to take a child away) (Oh and I dont like asking, but its got the better of me)


  2. #2

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    Defiantly more to the story, in my experience it takes a hell off a lot and needs alot more proof before docs does much at all.

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    For them to even come under DOCs notice with a newborn there had to be multiple contacts with a mandatory reporter. Police, hospital staff, teachers, doctors...there are many. There is an at risk notification when a woman is pregnant.
    No I highly doubt it would be just the grandfather. You never really know what other people's true lives entail.

  4. #4

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    Thats what I was thinking. I have heard of some shocking stories where docs have been notified, by friends/family/schools and have not been able to do anything. It just seems strange to take a bub so young?

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    If the parents were unable or unwilling to protect the child from the grandfather (and there were serious concerns about him) this would be enough to remove a young baby.

    Young babies are so vulnerable, and unfortunately sometimes are removed from parents at birth or before they even leave hospital if the parents are unable to care for or protect them from harm.

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    Every state in Australia has different legislation and processes etc. I know that in QLD there can just be one notification for action to be taken, but I believe in NSW there needs to be several reports before the matter is investigated. I know that it seems horrible to remove a newborn baby from his/ her parents, but on the other hand they are the most vulnerable and rely soley on their caregivers to ensure their care and protective needs. If the parents arent able to demonstrate an understanding of the concerns regarding the GF and cannot demonstrate their ability to prioritise their little one's safety by continuing to live with the GF, they are unlikely to be able to protect that child from harm...

    Its hard to say without knowing all the facts!

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    Thanks HotI, that does make sense. I would assume though that docs would work with the parents to help them get care re-established with the child asap?

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    Normally that is what DOCs (or similar) also want to see happen- for bub to be back with family. If the parents are willing to work with them and do the things required to show that they can protect the bub, the process should go quicker.

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    thanks HotI

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    Removal of newborns is more common than you would think. I've had dealings with several foster carers in the past month who have had bubs from hospital discharge. I hadn't noticed how frequent it was coming up until just recently...

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    Oh really BG? I find that to be so sad (because I dont like the idea of babies been taken away from families, but also the need to have them taken away). Im thinking the nurses must notice something wrong, especially if its a first born then?

  12. #12

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    In my experience there needs to be alot of evidence. I have reported (mandatory in my work) a number of times over the years, and have been told many times that they gather reports from a variety of sources. The more reports from a variety of sources, the faster the case is acted on. That's why, even if you feel something you have observed isn't THAT bad, when put into consideration with something several others may have reported, a clearer picture is built - and it's very important to actually tell someone.

    That said though, if there is only one piece of evidence, but it's a big piece (like obvious bruising or something) the wheels will move much faster - usually within hours.

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    Thanks Ausgirl.
    That makes sense.

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    It is sad, but I think, in the grander scheme if thing, a living environment is far mie important than biology. One lady I was speaking with had a seven year old in her care that had been there from four days old. He knew his bio mum but the courts granted perm care of him to the foster carers until adulthood so there must have been overwhelming evidence that it was safer for him. I only noticed cos the two boys shared the same first name do I asked!

    Familial care orders are also very common, even for new new birds. I am assuming there is string evidence as to why the parents are unable/unfit to care for the babies in these cases. I have a huge amount if admiration for foster carers who take on a new born, knowing they will bond, but the child may be removed from their care in a week, month, years...

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    Totally agree BG, I always figured it must be bad for them to take a newborn.
    Growing up, I always wanted to be a foster carer. DH and I have talked about it and have said we will look into it in the future when our babies are older. But Im not sure if I am strong enough to handle the uncertainty of it all.

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    I am going through this at the moment. Not me obviously but our nieces and nephew may be coming into our care. I can not speak for other states but i can for WA and i can say now that i really want to slap anyone who said that their child was removed for no reason ect. There is A LOT involved in removing a child from the care of their parents. I am seeing it first hand. My nephew was only 2 weeks old and close to starvation, they have had multiple reports form family, friends, complete strangers and health professionals. there are also violence reports and the police have rang DCP and asked why on earth these kids are still in their mothers care. But DCP maintain as much as they want to take the children they cant cause there is not enough evidence that they can use in court.
    Any way long story but i guess what im trying to say id that i would bet money that there is more to the story than you have been told.
    I really hope that they are able to sort them self out so their child can have a happy, stable , safe family life!

  17. #17

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    From my experience (professional, not personal), there is far too much that has to be done before DCP gets involved.

    We had clients many years ago (the downside to doing a portion of legal aid work!), who had 3 children all of whom were in and out of care. When their fourth baby was born she was seized by DCP from the maternity ward within hours of her birth. TBH all I can think is that that little baby had it lucky. Her brothers and sister weren't anywhere near as fortunate. 15 odd years later I still have a little cry at times thinking of what those children were subjected to.

  18. #18

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    Oh Mummabear, it does sound like a saga. i suppose that the upside is that the dcp is doing everything it can to make sure they are making the right decision for the children?
    I have no doubt that they dont remove children without good cause, with this case I suppose I was in shock because the newborn, is that a newborn. She was born less than a month ago. She was prem (think 34wks ish gestation) because mum was experiencing pregnancy related issues. As you said I do hope its sorted out with the bubs best interests taken care of.
    I also hope that your nieces and nephew's situation is resolved soon for you too. It must be heartbreaking to go through such a situation

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