Nobody’s Children Inquiry

Recommendation 1
Open minded consideration should be given to the serious possibility that
policies like those concerning illicit drugs actually harm children of drug
dependent parents.(Page 1)

Recommendation 2
Interventions to combat child neglect and abuse should be fashioned in the light
of the large and growing body of knowledge of risk and protective factors
including risk factors embedded in existing drug policy. (Page 3)

Recommendation 3
In the light of the heartening early experience with the IMPACT service for the
support of families, particularly mothers, where there is a dual diagnosis of
drug and alcohol and mental health problems, an estimate should be made of
the number of people who would stand to benefit by it and the service expanded
to cater for these. If necessary Commonwealth money should be secured to do
so. (Page 3)

Recommendation 4
It is critical that the most intensive efforts be made to support troubled families
from the early stages of pregnancy. (Page 8)

Recommendation 5
The policy response of government to child protection and substance abuse
should no longer be treated as if they were largely distinct and separate
problems: a holistic approach is required. (Page 10)

Recommendation 6
The Government should expand the capacity of co-residency services in the
ACT such as Karralika for drug dependent parents and their children. (Page

Recommendation 7
Strengthening the capacity of drug dependent parents to fulfil their
responsibilities as parents should be the focus rather than unrealistic insistence
that they overcome precipitately their chronic relapsing mental health condition
of drug dependency. (Page 15)

Recommendation 8
The provision of maintenance treatments in the ACT should be designed to fit in
with the needs of drug dependent parents to care for their children. (Page 19)

Recommendation 9
The ACT should follow the lead of Scotland in committing itself to improving
the evidence base for quantifying the children at risk as a result of substanceiv.
using parents and for developing a legislative framework that supports drugusing
mothers. (Page 20)

Recommendation 10
There should be an intensification of measures that support drug dependent
parents in the lead up to birth and in the crucial first two years of life. (Page 27)

Recommendation 11
The Government should look into the relative financial implications of, on the
one hand, continuing on the existing course regarding child protection and, on
the other, an approach that removes impediments in drug and other policy
settings that contribute to child neglect and abuse. (Page 30)