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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3714 ..

(2) What mechanisms currently exist within Care and Protection Services to support young people who are transitioning out of care.

(3) How are young people involved in the planning for their exit from care and at what age does planning begin.

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

1. The Care and Protection budget allocation includes funding to Out of Home Care agencies which includes transition planning as part of their case management frameworks. There are also contingency payments that can be drawn upon for young people over the age of 18 years. For example payment of vocational / educational programs that have not yet been completed.

2. Young people leaving care in the ACT have an individual Leaving Care Plan which focuses on key areas that need to be addressed in preparation for leaving care, including living arrangements, education, training, employment or means of financial support, now with particular reference to the Australian Government ‘earn or learn’ requirements, health and mental health and support networks.

Once a young person attains 18 years of age, the Out of Home Care and community support agencies may oversee a young person’s Leaving Care Plan and provide the young person with needed support and follow up.

Some young people in long term foster care continue to live with their carers. For those moving onto independent living arrangements, material support to establish themselves is available through Commonwealth and Territory funds

Authorised foster carers may continue to receive subsidy payments until the young person in their care has finished their secondary education/training past 18 years.

A Compliance Officer within the Department monitors the development of all care plans, including leaving care plans.

3. In line with the legislation and current policy, a Leaving Care Plan is developed with a young person at least one year prior to their transition from care. Care and Protection Services procedures encourage staff to commence the development of a Leaving Care Plan soon after the young person turns fifteen years of age.

The young person and relevant support agencies/services working with the young person are involved in the preparation and planning for their transition from care. Young people receive a ‘time to fly’ kit, which contains important information and contacts for young people leaving care.

The Child Protection Case Conference Team within Care and Protection Services prioritises case conferences for all young people leaving care. The young person is invited to attend and contribute at this conference.

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