The Australian Government is discussing the introduction of meditation as a means to reduce psychological trauma to children who are abused or have to sit through court sessions. The trauma that a child at risk of abuse or other legal conflicts undergoes has been long debated and often accepted as a bitter truth.
Children at risk of abuse who need to be moved to care for a safer existence often need to attend Children’s court. However there have been criticisms in the Ombudsman's report on child protection services last November. This report accuses these courts for being too adversarial and not always acting in children's best interests.
In this new radical method of dealing with such issues parents, children, foster carers and child protection workers will be able to be involved. Judicial conveners will have the power to make decisions on where children live. If the results from these meditation sessions are unsatisfactory, the issue will then be taken up by the court.
Now the child protection workers and judicial conveners will be trained to meditate with the at-risk children and their families to cope with this trauma. This new system is expected to start in the second half of this year. Earlier small scale attempts at meditation have been made. Under this new system all cases will go through the meditation process.
The Attorney General Rob Hulls says that this may also mean the child be protected from attending court sessions.
"The adversarial nature of the Children's Court proceedings means that child protection workers are spending a lot of time in court…It's very important that we have these new child protection resolution conferences, where people can sit around the table away from the court in an environment where it's far more amenable to trying to resolve the matters in the best interests of the child."