I have no doubt that this book will become an invaluable tool for family and children's court judges and magistrates, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, police and the many other professionals who work in this field.'
The Honourable Alastair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
A ground-breaking, comprehensive, honest, well researched and courageous book that should be essential reading for all politicians and professionals involved in both the Family Court of Australia and state child protection systems.'
Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs AO
Child abuse in the context of parental separation and divorce is not a malicious allegation, nor a misunderstanding. It is a real and growing problem with very young children as the primary victims.
Child Abuse and Family Law draws on pioneering research to identify the causes, features and impact of child abuse in parental separation and divorce. The authors argue that professionals working with these families need to better understand the specific and often severe nature of this abuse to improve outcomes for both the children and their families.
The authors develop a much-needed practice framework for all socio-legal professionals involved in the family law system. Using case studies, they take a multi-disciplinary approach to outline strategies for family lawyers, child legal representatives, social workers, child protection workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, health workers and teachers.
Table of Contents
Foreword by The Honourable Alistair Nicholson
Introduction: A new problem
1: A new understanding of child abuse in the context of parental separation
2: Child abuse, family violence and family law legislation
3: Family law legislation and the protection of children
4: Child sexual abuse
5: Other forms of child abuse
6: Managing families and their problems
7: Managing the family law service system
8: Case presentations: The professional's contributions
Thea Brown is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Family Violence and Family Court Research Program at Monash University. She has served on Family Court committees and on the Commonwealth Family Law Pathways Advisory Group.
Dr Renata Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Law at Monash University and a member of the Victorian Bar. She was Deputy Registrar in the Family Court and is author of Domestic Violence in Australia 3rd edition.