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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1332 ..

this morning the ABC reports regrettable homophobic threats at ANU, which is very disturbing. That was why, yesterday, I tabled a bill to change the definition of consent to a positive affirmation definition. By this simple amendment, we hope that it will be easier for victims of sexual violence to get the justice they deserve.

While I appreciate very much that there has been a $2.5 million investment in addressing family violence, a level of investment never seen before in Canberra, there are still some glaring gaps. Not least of these, of course, is the need to provide emergency crisis accommodation for women and children who are fleeing violence. The level of investment in crisis accommodation for this cohort has not increased, despite increased awareness and increased rates of reporting. This is an oversight, in my opinion. Whilst I continue to hear about women and children sleeping in cars, I will continue to advocate for further investment in this space: the space of crisis accommodation and the next step on, the exit point from crisis accommodation, which for many people is public housing.

Finally, while I hear that the ACT will now follow the national plan to reduce violence against women and their children, I have to state some concern that this indicates a lack of specified, dedicated ACT focus on the issues. The strategy that spanned 2011 to 2017 was this city’s first plan of this nature. It now seems that it may be the only one. It is important that we keep a specific and dedicated focus on a range of responses and means to prevent further violence against women and children here in Canberra.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

A step up for our kids—out of home care strategy update

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (10.18): I am pleased to present the first of the six-monthly progress, or snapshot, reports on the out of home care strategy 2015-20, A step up for our kids: one step can make a lifetime of difference.

This transformational strategy places a strong emphasis on preventing children and young people from entering care by providing intensive family preservation services and transitioning children and young people out of care and into permanent, stable family settings as quickly as possible. It also aims to improve outcomes for children and young people in the care of the Community Services Directorate—CSD—Director-General by providing more flexible, child-focused services. As Minister Gentleman said in his foreword to A step up for our kids:

This strategy is unabashedly child-focused. The vision for the strategy is Children and young people in care—growing up strong, safe and connected.

A step up for our kids makes a commitment to hearing the voice of the child or young person, ensuring a better understanding of their needs and providing personalised

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