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The Monroe …. emmm, Munro Campaign!

The Monroe Munro Campaign – it’s not about Marilyn!  Or is it?

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was one of the most celebrated actresses of all time.  Born Norma Jeanne Mortenson, she was almost smothered to death at the age of two, sexually assaulted at the age of six and spent most of her childhood in a sequence of foster homes and orphanages.  At the age of 36, she was found dead of an overdose that was adjudged “probable suicide”.

The Munro Report is not about Marilyn Monroe’s tragic life, or is it?  Perhaps a more purposeful and better functioning child protection system during the period of her childhood may have prevented at least some of the sadness of her life that was tragically cut short.  Whilst too late for Ms Monroe, perhaps the lessons to be learned from the Munro Report will help to prevent much of the sadness experienced now and in the future by other children, young people and families.

The Munro Review of Child Protection

The final report of the Munro Review of Child Protection has recently been released with far-reaching recommendations for changes to the ways in which child protection services are administered and delivered in the United Kingdom.  Commenced in June 2010, the Munro review comprehensively explored the experiences of children, young people and families who had contact with child protection services and the impact of current policies, systems and practice on their experience.

So what does the Munro Report have to do with child protection policies, systems and practices in Queensland? The UK Department of Education has released a handy review of the report, which includes a number of references to “child protection services in Australia”.  Beyond this very important and specific reference, the Munro Report contains other information and recommendations that PeakCare believes are of enormous relevance to Queensland.  The Report challenges all of us to carefully evaluate the implications for Queensland and take the action necessary to improve our policies, systems and practices informed by the findings of this milestone report.

The Munro Campaign

Over oncoming weeks, PeakCare Queensland will make use of Our Practice Blogs, Facebook and web-site to facilitate our shared exploration of the implications of the Munro Report.  A highlight of the Campaign will be a “live-to-air” panel discussion where you will be invited to participate – either “in person” or “on-line” as an audience member.  The panel discussion will be PeakCare’s version of a Geoffrey Robertson “Hypothetical” with a touch of the ABC’s “Q and A”!

For those of you who may not be familiar with Geoffrey Robertson’s “Hypotheticals”, check out this Hypothetical that was conducted about “Closing the Gap”.

Critical to the success of the Campaign will be your involvement – so stay tuned as PeakCare advised you about the points within our Campaign when you will be able to contribute your valued thoughts and opinions.

Lindsay Wegener – Executive Director, PeakCare

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Lauren Thompson #

    Great blog! I too am extremely concerned about the current Child Protection System with the use of decision making assisted tools.

    Life is complex, situations are complex and family dynamics are extremely complex. How could one ever imagine that the outcome from entering details of a family on a computer system constitues good, solid and accountable practice. What happened to professional discretion? I worry about what this means for vulnerable children and families and I worry about what this means for professionals in the sector. Indeed the sector in itself is changing and perhaps these computer assisted decision making tools are a response to the broadening of qualifications needed to work in the sector. I heard that the department is increasingly being manned by those professionals trained in criminilogy. Not to diss criminology but does it truly have a place in working with vulnerable and disadvantaged people? I don’t know but I wonder.

    No matter how sharp, refined and clever these computer tools are, they are just that; a tool. They do not posses the varied, dynamic and intellectual abilities of humans working within human relationships. They are not infallible or the be all and end all. I suggest they may have some use as a guide, but this desire to streamline everything equals the dealth of professional practice!

    I ask myself who this benefits, and I suspect it is not vulnerable children and families!

    June 10, 2011

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