James Barber has some interesting, and controversial, things to say about child welfare. He is deputy vice-chancellor RMIT University and can lay claim to a long list of academic and literary achievements.
In the Sydney Morning Herald of 6th July he had this to say:
‘…using hard data…actuaries and mathematicians can make vastly better decisions about children at risk than social workers can.’
He says that:
‘If social psychology has taught us anything, it is that humans are very poor judges, susceptible to erroneous influences over which they have no control and to which they are oblivious.’
I suspect this all makes for chair-squirming discomfort for many of us. Yet he is speaking about the welfare of the children of our communities; something of enormous importance. And so I am inclined to listen to what he has to say…and to try and find out more about what he has to say. He speaks highly of EBP, or evidence based practice. This idea, while becoming something of a mantra in recent years, simulaneously seems like a really important idea.
There are many children in many parts of my family, and many more in what I consider my community. I need to do some more reading I think.