Child protection and parenting
Child protection and parenting
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Text: Child Protection and Parenting
[An image of a suburban house appears on screen.]
[Vision changes to an image of a young mother, Meena, talking with her two young daughters in a kitchen.]
Meena: I’m going to work now.
[Vision changes to an image of the older daughter looking pleadingly at her mother.]
Older daughter: But mum it’s the school holidays! We want to go to the movies.
[Vision changes to an image of Meena squatting down and explaining the situation to her daughters.]
Meena: I know but I have to go to work. I’ll be home at 4 o’clock.
[Vision changes to an image of Meena pointing at a clock.]
Meena: There’s your lunch in the fridge.
[Vision changes to an image of the two daughters standing with the fridge door open.]
Meena: Be good, and don’t go out or open the door to anyone. I’ll call you from work.
[Vision changes to a split-screen image of Meena talking on the phone with her daughters.]
Older daughter: Bye mummy.
[Vision fades to black.]
[An image shows of Meena approaching the open front door of her house.]
Meena: Meena! Mareem! What’s happened?
[A doorbell rings and an image shows of a middle-aged woman, Susan, standing at the front door.]
Susan: Hi Meena, don’t worry the children are at my place. I saw them playing on the street.
[Vision changes to an image of a pink bicycle and pink scooter lying on the road.]
[Vision changes to an image of Meena looking worried.]
Meena: Oh no!
[Vision changes to an image of Susan reassuring Meena.]
Susan: It’s ok. I took them to my place. They’re watching TV.
[Vision changes to an image of the two daughters sitting in front of a television.]
Meena: Oh sorry. I told them to stay inside—I will have to beat them to teach them to listen.
[Vision changes to an image of Meena standing in the kitchen, her hand raised against her eldest daughter.]
Susan: I don’t think that’s a good idea.
[Vision changes to an image of Susan looking surprised.]
Susan: They’re too young to understand, Meena. If you hurt them, someone will report you to the police and child protection.
[Vision changes to an image of Meena standing in the kitchen, her hand raised against her eldest daughter. A bright red circle with a diagonal line strikes through the scene.]
[Vision changes to an image of Meena looking incredulously at Susan.]
Meena: But they’re my children, it’s not the government’s business—or anyone else’s!
[Vision changes to an image of Susan explaining the situation to Meena.]
Susan: Child protection’s job is to protect children. They will come if they think children are in serious danger.
Meena: OK, OK, I won’t beat them, but what can I do? I have to work. There’s no one to stay with them. They must obey me and stay at home.
Susan: Well, that’s another problem—the children are too young to stay alone. Child protection will look at that too.
[Vision changes to an image of Meena looking frustrated.]
Meena: What can I do? I have to work.
Susan: Well, I can look after them sometimes. Have you thought about child care? Can anyone else help you?
Meena: Thanks, Susan, it’s so hard here in Australia. You know I’ve got no family here.
[Vision changes to an image of a calendar with each day of the week marked by a photo of the two daughters accompanied by a different adult minder.]
Susan: Can you call some of your friends? Look, come in for a cup of tea and we can talk about it.
[Vision changes to an image of Susan looking warmly at Meena.]