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Very little is known about the ecology of the refugee parenting experience in pre-resettlement contexts. This article presents research that is part of a larger study seeking to explain why refugee parents are appearing in the South Australian child protection system. In particular, the research highlights the need for parenting education as an early intervention. The study’s findings also point to the need for universal definitions of the terms ‘child welfare’, ‘child protection’ and ‘child maltreatment’ by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, its implementing partners, practitioners and researchers in order to reflect better the receiving nation systems of child welfare.

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