Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3057..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
The establishment of a children and young people commissioner as a member of the Human Rights Commission will also provide a further focus for the provision of quality services for children and young people in the ACT. The consultations-which occurred with children and young people to inform the role and functions of the ACT children and young people commissioner-will also inform future consultation methodologies.
In the meantime, new arrangements are being put in place that will improve quality assurance. A new advocacy, review and quality function has been established, which will coordinate service review functions in the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, and include an internal review function for complaints management.
In implementing the agreed recommendations of the reports, The Territory as Parent and The Territory's Children, other service priorities remain. These include the introduction and debate of an amending bill arising from the review of the Children and Young People Act. Recruitment of foster carers and their training, as well as support for kinship carers, also remain as delivery priorities.
In relation to our ongoing work, we will continue the collaborative approach to child protection reform and establish new directions through the examination of best practice models and evidence-based policy and practice. The service reforms that have occurred in the past six months aim to meet immediate demand. Future service initiatives will be informed by evidence-based research commenced with the Institute of Child Protection Studies and other consultants.
The recent consolidation of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support into a central location will also provide for consistent practices. New outreach models of service delivery will be put in place to ensure that children and young people and their families receive the care and support necessary to make their future more hopeful.
Significant progress has been made in implementing the reform program. Child protection workers, foster and residential care agency staff, foster carers and others have contributed to the reforms. This level of commitment is necessary to sustain improvements in the support of children and young people in care in the ACT.
Mr Speaker, I commend to the Assembly the second six-month status report on the implementation of The Territory as Parent and The Territory's Children reports.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Papers and statement by minister
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations): For the information of members, I present the following papers: