When families have reached the critical mass of their coping strength and can no longer manage the care of a child with high support needs, there is no formal process available to them in Queensland with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, the department that is responsible for the care of their child at the point of relinquishment.
The children involved in these cases usually have support needs that consist of a complicated intermingling web of issues, from a variety of different disability, medical and safety categories.
Families are left to their own devices to find a safe way forward to meet needs of all family members.
This is a time of horrific stress and grief for these families. Added to their personal burdens are the bullying tactics forced on them by department employees and others when it becomes known that their child is to be relinquished into state care. These tactics commonly include guilt trips, threats, veiled threats and other psychological attacks. There are families who have experienced a staggering range and number of barriers placed in their path, when attempting to find a solution in their grief-stricken states, for their impossible care situations.
It is to be hoped that this inhuman practice of attacking parents in crisis by tax payer funded employees will be stopped.
Parents on this journey are already overwhelmed by distress and these government subsidized bullying practices are an affront to the human dignity of the parents fighting for the best interests of their child.
There are at least four different paths that families have to choose from in order to relinquish their child when they reach breaking point.
- Dropping the child off at a government office,
- Leaving the child in hospital and refusing to collect them,
- Refusing to collect their child from school or respite and
- Trying to work with the department to find a different solution to the full state care default position.
Families who have the respite option, usually choose that as it is often the safest for their child.
Families who do not have this option have more serious hurdles to contend with, especially since their child will most often have significant medical and or safety issues.
For example, with regards to the hospital path; firstly the child needs to be in hospital and secondly these families may have already had numerous past distressing hospital experiences and be aware that hospitals do not have the staff or the experience to cope with these cases unsupported by the family. This is why the parents of these children are forced to spend 24 hours a day at the hospital with their children for any medical admission.
Few families chose option four as it is too difficult and too personally damaging. Two cases are known and both have caused harm to parents and other family members involved.
Please click on the experience of one family provided in this link: Couple forced to give up son | Sunshine Coast Daily.
Thank you to journalist Bill Hoffman for caring.
To support an end to relinquishment of children with disabilities like this page or the Disability Watchdog facebook page on the homepage.
Categories: Relinquishment of Children