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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . .

Page.. 251..


Portfolio priorities 2018

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (11.24): I am pleased to have the opportunity to present some of the priorities for 2018 for my portfolio responsibilities of community services and social inclusion; disability, children and youth; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs; multicultural affairs; and workplace safety and industrial relations.

This government continues to invest in our community to ensure that all Canberrans have opportunities to participate. As one recent example of our commitment to engagement and participation, in October last year 49 carers and members of the broader community took part in a deliberative process that will lead to a 10-year ACT carers strategy. I thank the carers and other participants for their valuable insights and positive engagement with this process.

In December I launched the result of the panel process—the carers strategy vision, outcomes and priorities statement and carers voice panel report. The new carers strategy will be a framework to better support and recognise Canberra's 48,000 carers. Next steps for the strategy include developing actions and initiatives to deliver on the vision, outcomes and priorities. The final ACT carers strategy, including the first three-year action plan, will be developed and released in 2018.

As members would be aware, in every speech I have made in this place on priorities and achievements I have talked about the importance of early intervention and prevention across the human services system. This philosophy underpins policies across the human services directorates under this government. In the budget review tabled earlier this week the government committed $1.527 million for a measure called early intervention for vulnerable children and their families phase 1. This project is now known as early intervention by design, following conversations with stakeholders.

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to inform the Assembly about this important project being led by the Community Services Directorate but undertaken collaboratively with the Education Directorate, ACT Health and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. This group, as many will be aware, has been known as the human services cluster and is now known as the supporting our community cluster.

The early intervention by design project is aimed at improving the integration of early intervention services across the service system to improve long-term life outcomes in three priority areas: vulnerable children and their families, with a focus on early childhood; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children; and families who have experienced domestic and family violence. We know that early intervention is applicable across the system, across the life cycle and in relation to many different


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