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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3713 ..

1. On a case by case basis caseworkers develop individualised plans with parents with particular emphasis being placed upon ensuring information sharing with the parent is suitable and accessible for them. This may include calling on the expertise from disability specific services such as Vision Australia.

As a requirement of good practice, parents with a disability whose children have been deemed at risk would be encouraged and supported to engage with an advocate service to ensure that they have an independent service provider to help them navigate the child protection service system. Noting it should not be assumed that parents with a disability have impaired decision making capacity.

In the ACT through the Child and Family Centres there is the Healthy Start Program that is a national training initiative providing training opportunities for services that work with parents with a disability in the ACT. The workshops explore what is known so far about parenting with a learning difficulty and common barriers for working with this client group. Identification of parents with learning difficulties, communication strategies and interviewing skills will also be covered. It is hoped through raising worker awareness this will translate into improved outcomes for families, and enable workers to respond with an increased awareness and sensitivity to individual family needs.

2. This information cannot be readily attained as a data set is not currently held by Care and Protection Services.

3. DHCS provides targeted services to these community members through Disability ACT, Child and Family Centres and Therapy ACT, each of whom can assist to develop a personalised response for individual families.

There are a number of community based family support services funded by both the ACT Government and Australian Government to provide support to vulnerable families in the ACT. The Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, through the Family Support Program provides funding to 20 non-government organisations to provide services to children, young people and their primary carers that focus on enhancing parenting capacity and the wellbeing and safety of the children and young people.

Families with additional support needs resulting from parents with a disability are included in the target group for ACT Government funded services, and will continue to be within the target group for services funded through the framework under development for the provision of services to vulnerable and in need children, young people and their families.

Children—care and protection(Question No 983)

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

(1) Can the Minister advise whether any of the 2010-2011 budget allocation to Care and Protection Services will be used to support and deliver better outcomes for young people transitioning out of care.

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