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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . .

Page.. 1171..


the process claiming it was grossly corrupted and misleading. Of particular concern was the jury not being presented with critical information about whole-person impairment until the final day. Chief Minister, what actions have you taken to ensure the citizens jury was not misled and was given all the information it needed to make an informed decision?

MR BARR: Yes, the jury was an excellent process. I met with a group of about a dozen of the jurors when they presented their report, including those who presented the minority report, to the government. I thank them for their work and I thank democracyCo for engaging the process.

MS LAWDER: I could echo Ms Le Couteur and say that I am not quite sure what the answer was there; but, to the next question: Chief Minister, what processes were in place to ensure that the process was independent of government and not able to be manipulated to result in the favoured outcome?

MR BARR: I would refer the member to the information that is publicly available on that in regard to that question.

MR COE: Minister, again, what actions have you taken to ensure that the citizens jury was not misled, or is this just another governance issue in your directorate?

MR BARR: As I said, I have met with the jurors and I am confident in the process.

Children and young people—adoptions

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Youth. Minister, a number of people have reported that they attended a carers meeting on 9 April 2018, at which ACT Together said they will no longer be assisting foster carers with adoption applications and that all such applications are now on hold. If correct, this is out of step with the commitment to permanency outlined in A step up for our kids and contradicts the CSD's website on adopting a child from out of home care. Minister, what do you know about this meeting, and what exactly did ACT Together tell carers regarding the current state of adoption in the territory?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question, and I welcome the opportunity to provide some clarity on this matter to the Assembly and to the public. I have to say, of course, that I was concerned to see some comments on social media this morning suggesting that the Community Services Directorate and ACT Together would no longer be progressing adoptions. I can assure the Assembly most categorically that this is not the case. There was a meeting, as Mrs Kikkert said, yesterday evening with carers. Child and youth protection services, CYPS, attended that meeting, at the invitation of ACT Together, to speak to carers about permanency and the adoption process. At the meeting a number of items were addressed, including enduring parental responsibility and the adoption of children and young people in care.

I am assured that CYPS reiterated their support to carers and delivered the following key messages: CYPS remains committed to supporting carers to provide the best


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