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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . .

Page.. 3081..

Times have changed since children who could not live with their birth family were simply subsumed into a big family, becoming another sibling to add to the mix. Instead, we now realise that children coming into care often display very complex behaviours that require a non-traditional approach to parenting. Supernanny techniques will not work on some of our extremely traumatised children; this means that carers need to adapt their responses on a day-to-day basis to meet the needs of children or young people in their care.

Carers are the ones who have to get up in the middle of the night and calm a scared and frightened child. They guide a child's behaviour when the only method the child has to stop their pain is to lash out and hurt someone. They support the child when they have difficulty making friends at school because it is the fifth school that they have attended in the last year. And they manage the myriad appointments, contact visits and meetings for the child, simply because they care. They create an environment where, as with "biological children", they place the needs of the child over their own and welcome children into their home.

I want to thank every carer for the dedication they show towards children in out-of-home care. I would also like to thank our government and non-government agencies who support carers each day. Finally, I am very pleased to hear about the ways in which this government is working with carers. I look forward to continuing to celebrate the valuable role that carers play in the lives of our vulnerable young children, and I thank Ms Lawder for bringing the motion to the Assembly today.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.42), in reply: Thank you to Mr Gentleman, Mr Rattenbury and Ms Berry for their support of this important recognition of the many carers in our community and the community organisations that work in this space. I would like to thank those members also for their useful comments and insights on this topic.

We have heard that there are many young people who need foster care. They may have complex or not so complex needs. I acknowledge once again the foster carers and also the kinship carers who provide care every day and every night. In closing, I add a brief appeal to anyone in our community who may be considering becoming a foster carer—to contact one of the many great organisations that provide foster care or even contact the directorate for more information. Thank you once again for your support of this motion.

Motion agreed to.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—needle and syringe exchange program

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.43): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

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