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Shane Dunphy: Children branded 'lifers' are almost never a priority

PEOPLE involved in child protection -- be they social workers, community child care workers or foster parents -- spend a lot of time talking about "an ideal world". In an ideal world, children would not need to be protected: the moral obligation of caring for the young and vulnerable would be somehow hard-wired into each of us and childhood would be a calm, happy, safe time.

In an ideal world, the government of our nation would believe the care, health and welfare of our children was the most important issue and ensure it is always the first item on any agenda of planning and expenditure.

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