Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4241..
consultation with stakeholders. I am advised that the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (OCYFS) is working with the ACT Foster Carers Association and Out of Home Care (OOHC) sector to develop draft guidelines for a "code of practice for foster carers". A large amount of work is detailed below in response to question 3.
The Vardon Report recommended the development of a charter of rights within the Children and Young People Act 1999 (Recommendation 3.7). Government agreed in-principle to this recommendation. My department is working with the Office of the Public Advocate, the Human Rights Office and CREATE Foundation on the draft charter.
(2) The work on the code was a joint project of OCYFS, the ACT Foster Carers Association and the non-government OOHC sector.
The consultation process for the draft charter of rights is the final stages. The process has included sessions with children and young people in care.
(3) The Government has made significant resources available to carers and staff to improve the quality of care for children and young people in the ACT since 2004. This includes:
- the development of a three day uniform training program for foster carers;
- a review of contingency payments to carers;
- increased funding for the ACT Foster Care Association ($80,000) to expand the support provided to kinship carers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers ($16,000 in 2004);
- appointment of the Placement Manager within OCYFS to authorise carers and assist in the coordination of carers and placements for children and young people;
- the recruitment of 42 staff for Care and Protection Services;
- a range of vocational training programs for staff, including staff of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service, to increase their skills and expertise;
- the allocation of all children and young people in care with a caseworker;
- establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kinship and Foster Care Services to improve service delivery to Aboriginal and Torrs Strait islander children and young people, and
- an increase in the number of children and young people placed in foster care through the funding of an additional 21 specialist foster care places, at a cost of $1.28m.
Children—child protection workers
(Question No 1324)
Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability and Community Services, upon notice, on 17 October 2006:
(1) What is the current work load management tool being used by the Department to determine case loads for child protection workers;
(2) Is the work load management tool proving to be effective; if not, why not.
Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
(1) The current process of allocating cases within Care and Protection Services is as follows: