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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .

Page.. 2071..


I present the following paper.

National Disability Insurance Scheme—Implementation Report and Role of the ACT Government—Six monthly report—June 2016—Ministerial statement, 2 August 2016.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

A step up for our kids

Ministerial statement

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.12): Madam Deputy Speaker, as the Minister for Children and Young People, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Assembly today. I am very pleased to provide an update on the training and development available under a step up for our kids—one step can make a lifetime of difference—the ACT government's new five-year strategy to reform the out of home care system in the ACT.

Since the strategy was launched on 22 January 2015, most of the elements of the strategy have been put in place. During the June sitting this year, I provided the Assembly with an update on the implementation of a step up for our kids, which focused on the programs by Uniting, who work intensively with vulnerable families to help them develop skills to parent their children safely.

I was pleased to recently attend the opening of Uniting's Children and Families ACT service and hear firsthand from a parent who had participated in their program just what it had meant for him and his family. I also provided the Assembly with an update on the progress of the birth family advocacy service, which supports parents when they are engaged with child protection.

Today I would like to provide an update of the work we have commenced under the strategy to develop a trauma-informed, therapeutic culture across the sector. This work involves training and development with carers, Child and Youth Protection staff, staff from our non-government agency partners, as well as changes in the way we identify what therapeutic supports children coming into care need. All this is aimed at ensuring that any adult caring for or involved with children and young people in care understands that trauma has had a significant impact on the child's life and to help adults create a sense of safety and stability for children, focusing on their developmental age and building safe and secure relationships to help healing.

But what does it mean to be trauma informed, and what impact can therapeutic care have on a child or young person who has experienced trauma? To articulate what better supported and informed responses look like when responding to a child who has previously experience trauma, I provide the following example.


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