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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3350 ..


three priority groups: vulnerable children and families, with a focus on early years; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families; and families who have experienced domestic and family violence. In undertaking this complex work, we are drawing on the expertise of front-line workers, leaders, and policy workers in government and non-government services to develop a 10-year plan for reform. Importantly, the team has been consulting not only service users but also those who have chosen not to engage with existing services.

As Mrs Kikkert has noted, this government is committed to the timely delivery of adoption services and permanency planning for children and young people in out-of-home care. This budget invests $3.461 million over four years for the employment of staff who specialise in adoption and permanency. This will be invaluable in maintaining long-term stability of care, for appropriate placements, and for reducing the risk and impact of trauma experienced by children and young people in the child protection system.

Family group conferencing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families aims to reduce their involvement with the statutory child protection system. Ongoing family group conferencing will be supported with $1.4 million over four years in this budget. As I said in question time today, the pilot has already demonstrated early success. This budget initiative will help to build on that success.

The government invests $2.729 million over four years, through this budget, to expand the scope of the new child and youth protection services client management system. This additional funding for the new client management system will allow better integration with key stakeholders, enabling a real-time exchange of information with staff in the field and sharing of safety and wellbeing information about children and young people.

This budget invests in our community through services that support the most vulnerable Canberrans and enable individuals to participate and be included in their local communities. While addressing immediate needs and working closely with the community sector, the government remains focused on a long-term vision for our community and the strategic reforms our services need to equip them into the future. I commend these initiatives and this budget to the Assembly.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (5.39): I rise to speak in support of the multicultural affairs measures in the 2018-19 budget. The ACT is a progressive and inclusive place and we are a progressive and inclusive government committed to celebrating diversity and multiculturalism and to building social cohesion. As members know, the 2016 census revealed that Australia has an ever-expanding and diverse community. The ACT is no exception. We are one of the most multicultural cities in Australia, comprising people from 180 different countries around the world, with 32 per cent of people in the ACT being born overseas and 35,000 households speaking a non-English language.

The government continues to implement the ACT multicultural framework 2015-20 to effectively support the delivery of services to people from culturally and linguistically


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