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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3712 ..

develop communication skills;

identify and manage sensory difficulties and develop play skills;

implement specific behaviour management strategies to address specific behaviour problems; and

provide counselling and support for the family unit.

The ACT Department of Education and Training (DET) facilitates the organisation and delivery of two day workshops and information sessions to parents/carers of students on the Autism spectrum as part of the Positive Partnerships: Supporting School Aged Students on the Autism Spectrum initiatives. Workshops were held in Canberra in March 2009 and May 2010 and a third workshop is planned for August 2010. These initiatives are funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) through the Australian Government’s Helping Children with Autism package. This Positive Partnerships initiative is being developed and delivered by the Australian Autism Education & Training Consortium (AAETC).

Therapy ACT staff deliver these sessions together with colleagues from DET and the Autism Association.


The ACT Government 2009-10 budget provided Therapy ACT with additional funding for twelve therapy positions, eight of these were for additional Speech Pathologists. In February 2010 the Therapy ACT Autism Service (TAS) was expanded to increase the number of therapists available to provide intervention, play-based therapy and playgroup programs for younger children (under 8) with a diagnosis of autism.

In 2009-10, Therapy ACT implemented a Demand Management Strategies Plan which was aimed at increasing the effectiveness of available resources and decreasing waiting times for services. The additional therapist positions and the implementation of other demand management strategies has led to a reduction in waiting times.

The Government will continue to monitor the need for additional resources.

Children—care and protection(Question No 982)

Ms Hunter asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 23 June 2010:

(1) What supports are available, within Care and Protection Services, to parents with a disability whose children have been deemed at risk.

(2) How many families and children in the ACT are in the situation referred to in part (1) and how many are engaged with the Care and Protection system.

(3) What is the ACT Government doing to address concerns in the community that positive outcomes for these families are hard to achieve because of a lack of family support services.

Ms Burch: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

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