As a working mother, also studying double undergraduate degrees at university, it was like being struck by lightning. Our youngest son said at the time: "But Mum, isn’t that a funny old persons disease?" We laughed, but eventually the gravity of the situation took its toll, and I cried for weeks.
Paediatricians and other health professionals are well placed to advise on the health needs of children and young people in juvenile detention. With the right people, and a shared focus, we can ensure that child abuse of this nature does not happen in Australia again.
The cost of a treatment bed is far less than the cost of incarceration, which often is the alternative faced after months of addiction and waiting for treatment.