Child Safety Deptt. sends 8yr-old Oz boy to robber for months foster care

September 18th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, September 18 (ANI): A distraught Brisbane mother is suing the Queensland Department of Child Safety for flying her eight-year-old son to Western Australia to live with a convicted armed robber.
The 28-year-old womans solicitor Debra Daniels and state Opposition child safety spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said that the way the department had breached its power “tantamount to kidnap”.
However, Department of Child Safety acting deputy director-general Kath Mandla insisted that they had acted in the best interests of the young boy.
Daniels revealed that her client had entered a temporary care agreement with the department to place her son with a foster carer for a month, after she sought help for his apparent suicidal behaviour.
Under the written agreement, according to the solicitor, the woman retained full parental rights, was to receive contact details of the foster carer, and could revoke the agreement with two days” written notice.
She, however, was informed last Thursday that her son was being sent to live with his father, who served five-and-a-half years between 2001 and 2006 for violent armed robbery.
Daniels said that it had not been proved as yet whether the man was the boy’’s father, and that he was not even listed on the birth certificate.
Mandla, on the other hand, insisted that the woman, the man and the child each identified him as the father.
Though the mother-of-three revoked the order in writing, her son had not been returned to her.
She didnt even know where he was or how to contact him.
Daniels said that she had not heard any allegations that the woman was unfit to care for her son.
“The man (called on Tuesday) and he’’s enrolled him in school and is applying for custody,” quoted her as saying.
“(The boy) is in Western Australia, he’’s crying, he wants to come home, he’’s missing his brother and sister. The mother is very distressed. We just want the child returned,” she added.
Mandla said that the boy had been placed with his father after extensive checks were completed, and in consultation with his mother.
She said the boy had a long-standing relationship with his father and wanted to be with him.
According to her, staff dealt with thousands of parents who were struggling to cope with a multitude of issues, and sometimes could no longer care for their children.
“Sometimes there is another parent not living with the child who is willing and able to look after the child. In these cases, we are legally required to allow that parent to look after their child,” she said. (ANI)

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