It is possible to avoid taking a child into care by strengthening the family, providing additional supports and helping reduce the risk to the child.

The costs of preserving a family are usually many times less than the lifetime community cost of taking a child into care, but everywhere governments are reluctant to invest in prevention.

Examples of possible preventative action include:

  • Anger management training for parents/carers
  • Respite care for at-risk parents/carers
  • In-home support, including practical provisions
  • Security of housing
  • Direct support for costs of raising children
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Protection from abusive partners and former partners
  • Support services for the child (counselling, education support, health care)
  • Alcohol and drug programs
  • Parenting skills training
  • Temporary removal during risk-periods, for either the child or the parent/carer
  • Household management skills
  • Counselling for parents/carers
  • Advocacy help to access support services over the range of family needs

The Alliance recommends that prevention, including early intervention and additional resourcing for families, is a compelling option that will reduce community cost and improve outcomes.