Monday, March 20, 2006

Another Labour Con Trick

To avoid the usual odium accompanying a Government's plans to track its citizens via ID cards Labour is pulling the oldest trick in the book.

Announcing an initiative to reduce violence and child homicide, David Benson-Pope (a well experienced expert in the child abuse arena) has agreed to consider ID cards for kids.

The notion is to track the kids at school - what has happened to taking the roll? Then following up the truants - then, that morning. Two occasions of truancy, notified to parents and the parents are truants as well on the third. Sheet home the accountability.

The problem is not with schools it is with parents - too busy, too uninvolved, too I have blogged here, and here. The child murders do not happen at school Cindy and David. They happen in homes (or more accurately houses) - and another thing, Lillybing was a toddler as were many of the other atrocious killings. School tagging would not sort that.

In a thoughtful post Lucyna discusses the traps inherent on relying on computer databases to sort out child abuse. As she points out databases track information, not people. The big error will be for the various agencies cooperating now, to think the computer will make the connections. The connections are made by people thinking and doing their job.

Interested managers and staff with the right understanding of what needs to be done AND THE INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN AT THE CENTRE OF WHAT THEY DO can do wonders, with or without a fancy computer system.

In all the tragic cases of children falling through the cracks (as DBP puts it), everytime there was more than one government agency with sufficient knowledge of the case that could have taken some direct action and prevented the tragedy.

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