State of Neglect: call for law change to protect children

SPECIAL REPORT

A review has been ordered into child neglect laws in NSW on the back of a shocking case uncovered by the Mercury last week and described by the magistrate as one of the worst ever seen.

NSW is the only jurisdiction in Australia whose laws mean there is no jail sentence as a deterrent for offenders like the Illawarra mother who the magistrate noted would have faced a harsher sentence “had the level of abuse these children endured been suffered by animals”.

Today we are calling for a change to our laws. We can no longer remain the State of Neglect.

Police say they were overwhelmed by the presence of faeces and urine stains, including on this couch in the loungeroom and (inset) in the children's bedrooms.

Police say they were overwhelmed by the presence of faeces and urine stains, including on this couch in the loungeroom and (inset) in the children's bedrooms.

‘House of horrors’: Confidential report shows FACS tried in vain to help neglectful mum

A confidential Family and Community Services report into the family at the centre of Wollongong’s ‘house of horrors’ child neglect case has revealed department caseworkers tried in vain to help the mother in the months leading up to an intervention by police. SHANNON TONKIN reports.

UOW Associate Professor Julia Quilter says NSW is an "outlier" in terms of penalties for child neglect. Picture: Christopher Chan

UOW Associate Professor Julia Quilter says NSW is an "outlier" in terms of penalties for child neglect. Picture: Christopher Chan

Need for alternative sentencing for child neglect: UOW law expert

NSW has the weakest child neglect penalties in Australia according to a University of Wollongong legal academic.

Associate Professor Julia Quilter, a former criminal lawyer, said NSW was the only jurisdiction in the country where these offences carried a fine-only penalty. LISA WACHSMUTH reports.

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward. Picture: AAP Image / David Moir

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward. Picture: AAP Image / David Moir

FACS told to review adequacy of child neglect penalties

The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has been asked to review the adequacy of child neglect penalties after the Mercury revealed an Illawarra mother allowed her three children to live in a house smeared in human faeces. ANDREW PEARSON reports.

Enough is enough: stop devaluing our kids

The weakness of current penalties for child neglect in NSW is an absolute outrage.

They simply must change; for the good of the children involved as well as those who are set to be sentenced on them. Read more of the Mercury’s editorial. 

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