Minister’s own belt her over smacking line (Aust)

The West Australian March 13, 2010

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney found little support for her hardline stance against smacking in foster families yesterday, with even her own Liberal backbenchers saying the policy was an overreaction. Ms McSweeney has backed her department’s decision to bar Cardup couple John and Patricia Wieske from becoming foster parents because they admitted to child protection officers that they very occasionally used physical punishment to discipline their children. She said that foster children who had come from abusive situations could be traumatised by the knowledge that foster parents smacked their own children because they would think that they were next.

But many MPs said that parents should not only have the right to discipline their own children with a smack but foster kids as well. And foster parents contacted _The West Australian _to claim the Department for Child Protection had turned a blind eye to some foster parents who smacked their own children because they were desperate to place abused children in a safe environment.