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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1732 ..


In relation to the motion before us, I note that training on how best to work with and support detainees with FASD should be part of the constellation of staff training on responding to trauma and mental health. I note, again, that it is a complex issue. The directorate seeks specialist expertise to provide components of the training from a number of external sources, such as ACT Health, to deliver specific training from the youth drug and alcohol program and the Australian Childhood Foundation. Staff are informed about the youth level of service case management inventory and the CHART program, which are delivered by the CYPS case managers.

As I informed the Assembly previously, the Blueprint for Youth Justice Taskforce that I established last year is specifically looking at some emerging challenges and the need to better support young people with disability and mental health concerns who come into contact with the justice system. This will be taken into account.

Madam Speaker, the staff at Bimberi work in a very complex environment with young people who have complex needs. There are no silver bullets, but CSC will continue to ensure that these committed staff have access to the expertise and training they need to support the best possible outcomes for young people at the centre.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (5.49): To those who have chosen to address this important topic today, clearly foetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a serious problem, one that we need to be aware of and respond to. This is a very large topic. It could easily involve education and other prevention efforts, our schools, our health system and so forth.

Today I have chosen to focus on some of our most vulnerable children, those who find themselves detained in Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. As the research makes clear, kids with FASD are more likely to end up in a detention centre than their peers are, and the harm that can come to them whilst in lock-up is also greater. I would like to just reiterate what the chief justice said in Western Australia. He said that FASD:

... is an increasing problem in our courts. It is one of those conditions that are almost certainly chronically underdiagnosed ... It is a condition that is inherently likely to put them in conflict with the justice system.

It seems as though the youth justice system is a good place to start when it comes to addressing this issue.

I look forward to hearing back from Mr Rattenbury on how the current behaviour and clinical screening practices at Bimberi have been enhanced in line with the national guide to diagnosing FASD and how training Bimberi staff will include FASD as they work closely with Bimberi young people.

I assume that a future report will also let this Assembly know how this information is being used to improve detainees' case management plans. I look forward to seeing the ACT participate fully in the collection and sharing of data relating to FASD so that a more accurate picture can emerge not just from our territory but across Australia. I am also glad that we can soon expect a national FASD strategic action plan, and I expect


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