Child Abuse and Neglect: Research and Innovation by Roy McMurtry (auth.), Jerome E. Leavitt (eds.)

By Roy McMurtry (auth.), Jerome E. Leavitt (eds.)

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A child who is brought, with the consent of the person in whose charge the chil dis, to a court to be dealt with under this Part; ii. a child who is deserted by the person in whose charge the child is; iii. a child where the person in whose charge the child is, cannot for any reason care properly for the child, or where that person has died and there is no suitable person to care for the child; iv. v. a child who is living in an unfit or improper place; a child found person; associating with an unfit or improper vi.

Yet if they take a child into care and believe he should remain in care, they are equally subject to attack and placed in an almost defensive position to justify doing so. If they agree to return a child to his own home, in keeping with the second phase of policy pressure, and something goes The wrong, they are again subjected to serious criticism. assumpti on expressed in the medi a appears to be that the soci al work judgment was always faulty. This makes for a no-win atmosphere, in which everyone suffers.

When a child is too young to communicate, or in the second stage, to comprehend the consequences of hi s wishes, then the lawyer has no alternative, if he acts for the child, but to look to an adult from whom he can receive instructions. In Ontario a recent analysis of this problem by the Law Society of Upper Canada indicated that in such circumstances the office of the Official Guardian should be asked to intervene because of that office's wide statutory jurisdiction and responsibility to protect the rights of children in what might be considered a Guardian Ad Litem role.

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