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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3725 ..

e) The group did not take up the offer.

f) As the group did not take up the offer, no assistance was required.

g) As the group did not take up the offer there were no accountability arrangements necessary.

Children—kinship carers(Question No 993)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Children and Young People, upon notice, on 30 June 2010:

(1) How many kinship carers has the Minister met and spoken with since her appointment.

(2) What were the outcomes of those meetings and discussions referred to in part (1).

(3) What policy and response/action decisions did the Minister make as a result of those meetings and discussions referred to in part (1).

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

1. I have met with several kinship carers and the various groups representing kinship and foster carers. I am continuing to work with the kinship carers and have committed to meeting them regularly.

2. I have had broad ranging discussions, including but not limited to subsidies and contingency payments, training, procurement, support, respite, case management and parental responsibility. For outcomes see (3).

3. I have asked my department to thoroughly brief me on what they are doing to support kinship carers and foster carers. I also called a special briefing on the previously unmade claims of 'institutionalised abuse' that were made by Vice-President (now President) Ms Marion Le of Grandparent and Kinship Carers (ACT) Inc in Budget Estimates. I was satisfied that this was not the case but will continue to monitor the relationship between kinship carers and the department with input from their representative bodies, who I meet with regularly and which are represented on Departmental Committees.

There are three further issues which the kinship carers raised which relate to specific actions:

a. A handbook for kinship carers: the Foster and Kinship Care Handbook was already under development by the Department and is almost complete. The final draft will be provided to the Out of Home Care Committee (on which kinship carers are represented) meeting in July 2010, to finalise and complete the Handbook for publication.

b. A factsheet on court processes: The Kinship Carers and the Children’s Court factsheet was also already under development and further consultation with Kinship Carers is occurring.

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