Catholic Social Services plea to leaders to protect children

Catholic Social Services Australia has appealed to the new government to make child protection a priority as both state and federal leaders come together for the first time since the election.

In an open letter to the participants of the Meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Executive director Frank Quinlan said there was great hope in the words by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who said it was time to deal with problems facing the nation.

Being held today, the meeting is an historic milestone as it is the first time all leaders are Labor.

Mr Quinlan wrote it was time to look towards a National Child Protection Framework such as the one being proposed by the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia's Children.

Mr Quinlan added Catholic Social Services wold also like to voice their stacne on ther issues which are on the agenda such as a the pre-election commitment to a dental heath program.

"It is our view that assistance should be targeted to low-income earners and should go beyond funding for check-ups," Mr Quinlan said.

"As a member of the National Oral Health Alliance, we support its call for provision of a free basic course of dental care every two years for all holders of concession cards," he said.

Education - including investing in Early Childhood and the secondary school computer fund - were also brought up important issues Catholic Social Services wanted to present their position on.

"The Federal Government's commitment to universal access to pre-school is an important and welcome development," he wrote.

"Guaranteeing the opportunity for all children to benefit from pre-schooling
at age four and to be helped in timely fashion with any medical problems that could later impede their educational progress will be major contributions to the desired educational revolution."

Climate change and the housing crisis were also sticking points with the letter stating "all measures addressing climate change should be designed to avoid undue burdens on low-income Households" and that consideration must be made for low-income households now in the private rental market.

Catholic Social Services open letter to COAG (19/12/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Social Services

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Catholic agencies hit back at Govt over welfare-to-work (CathNews 24/05/06)
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20 Dec 2007