There is a radical call this morning for Governments to encourage poor/disadvantaged families to have fewer children.

Bond University dean of medicine, Prof Peter Jones, writes in Medical Journal of Australia that too many children are being placed in care and ‘politically charged’ discussion is needed

Policies to discourage disadvantaged families from having too many children could help address the rapidly rising number of children in out-of-home care in Australia, an academic paediatrician has suggested.

In the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, Prof Jones wrote that a range of interventions needed to be trialled and implemented to reduce out-of-home care numbers, which he saw as indicative of a failing of society, rather than “an expected consequence”.

“We need to ask politically charged questions, such as should we be developing policies that encourage disadvantaged families to have fewer children?” he wrote.

Prof Jones told Guardian Australia that capping child support benefits for up to two children could be among strategies geared at reducing the number of those in out-of-home care.

“It’s a tough call, it’s out of kilter with how our system currently works … [but] there are other countries that make these decisions in the best interest of the community,” he said.

The topic of debate on Sunrise this morning, surprisingly the commentators were in total agreeance with the need to discuss this further and make some big changes to help families.

Do you think there is a big need for further discussion around this topic?

Share your comments below.

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  • this is a pretty controversial topic. People should really care about the children that they already have and focus on raising wonderful people


  • One way would be for Drs. agree to tubal ligation if a Mum requests it. They are reluctant to agree if the Mum is young enough to maybe decide she wants more children. I know one Mum who already had 4 children and asked for a tubal ligation. These days there is more risk of it being faulty becuase they no longer cut and tie the tubes. They put clips on them which can come open. I personally know of one Mum who now has an an additional baby because one of her clips came open. She has an xray showing one clip open and the other one still closed.


  • I can understand the idea of having no more children if you can’t afford to look after them yourself. Not sure how they are going to implement the idea though.


  • I totally agree with this. It is not fair for families to have children when they cannot afford them. They expect everyone else to pay for them! Why should the rest of the population slave away to pay taxes which go to help support people who just keep popping out one kid after another? Some are only doing it for the child support payments and so that they can stay on the dole. I am saying this as a sister of a brother who has 5 kids of his own, plus his partner has 2 older children who were taken from her at a young age because she couldn’t care for them. I think if you aren’t prepared to be able to support your family and have no means to do so then you should be politely asked to have contraceptive implant.


  • It definitely needs discussion.
    I know a family who have no jobs and cant support themselves yet keep having children, pregnant with a 5th child now. They don’t even look after the children they already have, They rely on other people


  • I saw this discussed on Studio 10 the other day. One of the panellists said if you have one child and require welfare to live, then you should be told no more children until you are in a position of being able to support them without welfare. Which is a brilliant idea, if you can’t support the kids, don’t have them. But very difficult to put into practice


  • There are certainly too many children born to disadvantaged and unfortunate situations, however I don’t know how we control this and/or if we can, really. Capping seems too strict a rule on something that is a human right. It’s more about educating people so they have other options, and to learn that you can change the culture.


  • It seems wrong to me, so punish those who can’t afford things but cutting down they money they receive if they have more than 2 children. How about tax the rich more who have more than 2 children!!


  • Hmm, I don’t know. Being a fostercarer ourselves I sure see the problem.
    But capping child support benefits for up to two children as a strategy to reduce the number of those in out-of-home care sounds to me absolutely not the right way.


  • Definitely a topic which needs further discussion especially in light of the fact that the world in general needs to slow population growth – we are fast outgrowing our planet.


  • An interesting topic, that is for sure.


  • I think it’s a great idea as the result clearly speaks for itself that the children suffer from neglect and poverty.


  • Government baby bonus should be restricted to 3 babies maximum. You want more, you can pay for the rest. Dumbing down of Australia started with the baby bonus. 1 baby a year and over 6 kids means income for 30 years on family support funded by tax payers. Also parents then have to stop work to look after them…..and so the cycle repeats itself creating generations of welfare dependent parasites.


  • In my experience, working among families who now find themselves homeless and also among the kids now living on the streets who’ve fled their family home (surprisingly most from “well to do families”, I don’t believe this is well founded.
    The children of those families who are homeless are extremely well cared for, their parents insist that they attend school, although because of their circumstances, few readily admit to anyone that they have no structure to call a house around them. Home is far more than having a building around one after all.
    The children who’ll I refer to as “street kids”, often come from well to do families I’ve discovered. Some report horrific abuse (most from personal investigation afterwards prove to be fact).
    I believe that there are few children from well to do families in care because these families have the ability to challenge child services legally, with high powered lawyers, whereas those with a lower income do not have this advantage. So, their children are taken into care.
    Again, from my experience, a child can live in a wealthy neighbourhood, attend a high class school, and live in an exceptionally clean home, but they still suffer abuse, the parents are just better at hiding the abuse from others.
    To even begin to equate one’s income to one’s ability to raise children is fraught with danger, I hope that it never happens. Haven’t we given the Government enough control over our lives???

    • I don’t think you get the issue. They’re simply saying if you can’t afford kids without being on welfare, then you should be limited to the number of kids you have whilst dependent on welfare. That’s a good thing


  • This is sounding more like a communist country everyday, why not stop the generous baby bonus to everyone, that might save a few dollars which could then go to helping disadvantaged people. Sounds also to me like the rich want to control the poor. All on welfare spend all their money so it only goes back into the system anyway and keeps the economy going. Most of it on rent helping those who have investment properties and supermarkets.


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