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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3615..

necessarily indicate truancy. Schools make judgements about whether or not an individual student may have been truanting. Instances of alleged or perceived truancy are then followed up by the school with the support of the department and other agencies where required. This information is not held centrally or tabulated into truancy rates.

(2) The department has not developed a system for recording truancy in years K-6 as this has not been identified as a significant issue by primary school principals. The department does have a system of identifying truancy rates for students in Years 7-10. Attendance records are only recorded as truancy when high school principals have strong evidence that truancy is the reason for an unexplained absence.

Children-foster carers

(Question No 1626)

Mrs Burke

asked the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, upon notice, on 29 June 2004:

(1) How are foster carers financially compensated when a child in their care damages property owned by the carer and what is the process for claim;

(2) Who is responsible to pay for damages to public property that is caused by a foster child in foster care;

(3) If in the unfortunate situation that a foster child physically assaults their foster carer and economic loss is suffered by the carer, who is responsible to pay compensation for the loss;

(4) What does the family services manual say about financially compensating foster carers for damage caused by a child in their care;

(5) Are foster carers covered by any form of insurance taken out by the A.C.T. Government with respect to caring for foster children; if not, why not;

(6) Do any of the six foster care agencies in the A.C.T. take out specific insurance to cover themselves or the children in their care with regard to their role as a foster care agency; if so, (a) what is this insurance and (b) is taking out this insurance a mandatory requirement placed on foster care agencies by the A.C.T. Government;

(7) How many foster children in the A.C.T. over the last five years have finished high school; if this information is not gathered, why not;

(8) What is the rationale behind 'care orders' for foster children ending at age 16;

Ms Gallagher

: The answer to Mrs Burke's question is:

(1) The Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (the Office) will compensate carers for damage to property owned by the carer. The carer should notify the foster care agency caseworker (ie Barnardos) who will notify the department caseworker. The care plan for the child should be reviewed. Some care plans will already anticipate this event when there is a history of such behaviour. Caseworkers and carers then consult on validation and remuneration and when the claim is substantiated, compensation is authorised and paid

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