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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 4 Hansard (24 March) . .

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I urge this government to listen to the elderly, to listen to the people who are the victims of Mr Fluffy, and not to have this one-size-fits-all approach but to provide the flexibility that is needed. I say, particularly with respect to the elderly, particularly with respect to those who have been in their homes for so long: do not be cruel; be compassionate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Children and Youth Services Ministerial Advisory Council

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (11.48), by leave: As the Minister for Children and Young People, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Assembly today about the interim Children and Youth Services Ministerial Advisory Council. I spoke to the Assembly in February about "A step up for our kids", the government's new five-year strategy to reform out of home care services in the ACT.

At the heart of this strategy is a simple aim, which is to give children in care better lives. We are investing in a range of new services for vulnerable children and young people to give children in care the most stable, productive lives possible and putting their needs at the centre. This additional investment of $16 million will transform our support for this community's most vulnerable children and young people. There are many initiatives with "A step up for our kids", including creating a continuum of care; providing training to carers and professionals to better take into account the trauma children and young people have endured; and placing more of an emphasis on securing a permanent home for a child or young person.

We want to improve the education, health, employment and social outcomes of children and young people in out of home care. By doing this we will address the major challenges faced by out of home care services, create a more sustainable system and most importantly help children and young people take a step up in their lives.

In July last year I agreed to a reform of the functions of the Children and Youth Services Council, a statutory body established under the Children and Young People Act 2008. Today I can inform the Assembly about the interim Children and Youth Services Ministerial Advisory Council, which has been established to oversee this major reform process designed to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage in the ACT.

The interim council will provide me with expert strategic advice with a particular focus on the implementation of "A step up for our kids" as the key initiative relating to the operation of the Children and Young People Act 2008. The interim council will perform an important governance function for implementation of the strategy by monitoring progress and reviewing information provided by the Community Services Directorate, considering presentations made by key representatives in delivery of strategy and meeting with key stakeholders.


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