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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 4 Hansard (17 March) . . Page.. 1279..


Family Services Unit-move

(Question No 197)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, upon notice, on 17 February 2005:

(1) When was the decision made to move the Family Services unit from the Chief Minister's Department to the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services;

(2) What are the reasons for moving the unit from the Chief Minister's Department to the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services;

(3) What are the costs associated with moving the unit;

(4) Why has the relocation of the unit not been broadly promoted in the community when the move from Education to Chief Minister's Department was made very public;

(5) Is the Minster aware of any confusion this move may have caused since it has not been broadly promoted.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Chief Minister, Mr Jon Stanhope MLA, announced new Ministerial and Portfolio responsibilities on 4 November 2004. The Administrative Arrangements 2004 (No 5) reflect the make up of portfolios, administrative units and functions.

(2) Prior to 4 November 2004, the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (the Office) was its own administrative unit, separate to the Chief Minister's Department but reporting to the Chief Executive, Chief Minister's Department. The Administrative Arrangements 2004 (No 4) reflect the make up of portfolios, administrative units and functions.

The broadening of human service responsibilities by aligning the Office with the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services reflects the Government's commitment to providing a holistic approach to human services delivery in the Territory. This approach recognises that our clients often have complex needs that require teamwork across different delivery areas.

(3) There were no costs associated with moving the Family Services Unit from the Chief Minister's Department. The Office is a separate appropriation.

(4) The move of the Office to the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services was one of several changes made by the Chief Minister in establishing Ministerial portfolios following the election of the second Stanhope Government. The Chief Executive, Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services has been meeting regularly with community sector organisations since the Administrative Arrangements occurred.

(5) No. The transfer arrangements only serve to strengthen the partnership with the community in the delivery of services to the most vulnerable clients who are in need of support.


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