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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3724 ..


Care and Protection Services may also provide advice and support to carers on court processes and offer financial support to ensure that carers have the practical necessities to provide day to day care, depending on the circumstances of the care. Kinship and Foster Carers are entitled and receive the same financial support dependent on case circumstances.

2. Information given to carers is based on the complexity and needs of each child or young person involved. Each situation is unique therefore information must be tailored to address the individual needs and circumstances of each child and young person and the needs of the foster or kinship family.

3. I am advised that the Department does not have a standard equipment kit that is given to all carers. This is due to the unique and complex nature of each placement, which is assessed on the individual needs of the child or young person, and those of the carers. Care and Protection Services have had an operational resource room since 2005. The resource room includes items such as spare clothes, overnight bags, toiletries including nappies, books, toys and games. The items in this room are utilised to supply children and young people as needed.

In addition to the resources in this room, the Legacy Laurel Club has developed ‘personal care kits’ for children. Caseworkers distribute these kits as needed, but particularly in emergency care situations. These packages include personal care items and a soft toy.

At times equipment is not needed as the children and young people coming into care may bring their personal property with them. The Department may also provide vouchers so that goods and services may be purchased, and in some cases the Caseworker will purchase goods on behalf of children and young people.

4. The equipment provided to children and young people is not consistent across all Caseworkers as each case is assessed individually with each child or young person’s unique needs being addressed. Caseworkers complete a financial plan as part of care planning, and work within the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support Contingency Guidelines.

5.

a) An offer of $40,000 was made to the Grandparent and Kinship Carers group at meetings in August and December 2009.

b) The $40,000 was to be provided in the form of a grant or grants. The money was to be used for items such as library books, toys and car seats. The group had previously asked the Department for items such as these.

c) I have been advised that the offer was to the Grandparent and Kinship Carers group, which was subsequently incorporated as Grandparent and Kinship Carers (ACT) Inc. The group refused the offer and declined to discuss the issue further saying that they wanted $200,000 per annum on an ongoing basis. A further offer of the $40,000 without prejudice to future discussions was also declined.

d) I was further advised that as the group were adamant that there was nothing further to discuss, there was no requirement to confirm the offer in writing. The meeting was attended by five members of the group, including the current president, and three staff from the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support.


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