Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1766 ..
Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (11.19): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
I am pleased to present the Children and Young People Amendment Bill 2018 to the Assembly. The bill amends the Children and Young People Act 2008 to clarify the way care and protection appraisals are carried out, consolidate responsible person delegations and enable subdelegation within an approved care and protection organisation, and correct unintended consequences of previous amendments, including the power to revoke carer authorisation.
These amendments respond to the ACT government’s commitments to remove legislative barriers to effectively undertake appraisals and to fully realise the 2016 reforms to enable responsible person subdelegation under A step up for our kids—one step can make a lifetime of difference, the ACT government’s out of home care strategy 2015-2020.
The amendments that relate to appraisals seek to protect children and young people at risk of abuse or neglect by removing the legislative barriers to effectively carrying out appraisals. These amendments were prompted by the ACT government’s commitment to improve responses to family violence guided by the response to family violence 2016 and, in particular, to respond to recommendation 9(a) of the report of the inquiry Review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT, known as the Glanfield inquiry.
The bill aims to balance the rights of children and young people with the rights of parents and people with daily care responsibility. This is important because children have the right to special protection due to their vulnerability, particularly in circumstances where abuse or neglect is alleged or perpetrated by a parent or person with daily care responsibility.
The bill recognises that children and young people can be profoundly affected by violence within the family, even when that violence is not directed at them. These amendments enable a better response to the needs of children and young people in situations of family violence, by protecting and promoting their best interests.
In addition this bill ensures informed case management decisions are made by individuals within an organisation who have a closer relationship to the child or young person. A responsible person is an individual of an approved foster and kinship care organisation in the ACT who is approved by the director-general to be responsible for services provided by the organisation. This is generally the chief executive officer of the approved organisation.
The proposed amendments will ensure that the responsible person may sub-delegate responsibility to a nominated position at the appropriate level within an approved kinship and foster care organisation. The nominated position will be someone who is in the best position to make informed decisions about the care of a child or young person. The proposed amendments also clarify the requirement to authorise foster and