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Catholic Welfare supports PM's call on custody debate

This is the full text of the Media Statement from Catholic Welfare Australia:

Equal shared parenting does not suit all children

Catholic Welfare Australia encourages the Federal Government to ensure vigorous community debate around the issue of 'rebuttable joint custody’.

With its network of over 50 Member Organisations involved in family and relationships services, including Centacare agencies across Australia, Catholic Welfare Australia knows only too well the complex and sensitive issues about parenting after family breakdown.

“We wholeheartedly support the view that fathers are parents too and that children should have male role models and active fathering in their life following the breakup of a relationship,” said Spokesperson for Catholic Welfare Australia, Fr Joe Caddy. "No one can dispute the important role fathers play in their children’s life."

"However, having equal parenting may not be the best solution in many cases,” he said. “After family breakdown, children are caught up in the complex and competing needs of family readjustment and the reality of living between two households.”

“From our work we know that complex situations cannot be solved by simple solutions,” said Fr Caddy. “The question needs to be asked ‘whose best interests does ‘rebuttle joint custody’ arrangements serve?’. We believe that it will not be in the child’s best interests in all situations,” he concluded.


19 Jun 2003