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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4246..


Children—needs

(Question No 1333)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability and Community Services, upon notice, on 17 October 2006:

(1) In what way have strategies been developed and given more rigor to provide for the identification of high-needs children and young people since 2004;

(2) How effective has any pilot project or program been in regard to therapeutic services and placements for children and young people since 2004.

Ms Gallagher

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) This question arises from recommendation 3.1 of The Territory as Parent report (2004). The Government agreed to implement this recommendation and work remains in progress. The work undertaken within the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (OCYFS) and in collaboration with other agencies includes:

    • Through the voluntary and mandatory reporting provisions of the Children and Young People Act 1999, Care and Protection Services receive information concerning children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect and more readily identify children with high needs.
    • All reports are risk assessed. The risk assessment tool has been strengthened, as demonstrated by a reduction in the number of appraisals and an increase in the number of substantiated reports.
    • Review and training of staff has been conducted concerning the revised policies and practices.
    • Clear and improved interactions with other organisations have improved the identification of children and young people with high needs through reports and improved working relationships.
    • Additional placement opportunities are available for children and young people identified as having high needs.

(2) The effectiveness of programs such as Turnaround has been assessed through external evaluation and been found to be an effective service to meet the needs of young people with high risk needs. While many of the other programs, such as the specialist foster care placements, the ongoing provision of the One Stop Shop and the Stabilisation, Assessment and Transition program are in the first twelve months of operation, there are indications that they are successfully meeting the needs of their client groups.

Children—care and protection

(Question No 1334)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability and Community Services, upon notice, on 17 October 2006:

(1) What is the status of the proposed national project, at a ministerial council level, for the purposes of compiling "statistics from all jurisdictions, reporting on abuse in care, and to develop nationally robust strategies to improve the safety of children and young people while they are in care";


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