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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5792 ..

Recommendation 3 refers to after-school hours care at the four special schools in the ACT. While not technically respite, that lack of appropriate placement, particularly for teenagers with a disability, is placing greater stress on respite services and impacting on working careers. Recommendation 6 is for greater support for ageing carers and ageing care recipients. Recommendation 16 is for greater scrutiny of the disability sector through the development of an official visitor scheme.

Recommendations 17 and 18 refer to better management of complaints and promotion of complaint processes. Recommendation 20 is the development of a minimum mandatory qualification for workers. Recommendation 14 is for the development of better measures to ensure that government and government funded disability services are in compliance with the national disability service standards. Recommendation 9 is about the importance of flexible respite options and particularly weekend respite.

I would like to thank my fellow committee members, Ms Amanda Bresnan and Ms Mary Porter, for their input and contribution to this report, and, in particular, on behalf of all the committee members, I wish to express our sincere thanks to the committee secretary, Ms Grace Concannon, for her much appreciated support and valuable contribution to this report by the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services on respite care services in the ACT, Love has its limits. I commend this report to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.29): I would like to speak briefly to a couple of the recommendations and draw out some of the points which Mr Doszpot has already mentioned. I too would like to thank my fellow committee members: the chair, Mr Doszpot, and Ms Porter. This was a very collaborative inquiry, and, as Mr Doszpot said, it was not easy at times hearing some of the quite distressing stories from parents and carers. The recommendations that have come forward reflect the evidence which was heard from people.

I too would also like to thank Grace Concannon, the secretary to the committee. She has done a wonderful job in drawing together all the evidence and information we received and in putting together this report and the recommendations. I know it was not an easy job, because there was quite a volume of information we heard and received. I thank Grace for the effort she has put in with this report.

I would like to highlight a couple of the recommendations. Mr Doszpot has already done that with a number, but I will do that also. I want to go through recommendation 4, which refers to having after-school care programs established at the four government special schools, which are the Woden school, Black Mountain school, Cranleigh and Malkara.

One of the things we heard is that providing meaningful and adequate after-school respite was quite an issue, particularly with some of the changes that have come about with these schools. Obviously, this is the sort of support which parents or carers require to enable them to go to work if they need to or just to deal with those aspects of their life which they have as part of their caring role. This is a key recommendation that came out about providing those meaningful and adequate after-school services. I hope this is something which is acted upon as a priority.

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