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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 4046 ..


development from those who already know, or who have assessed the child. The therapeutic assessment looks at the impact of trauma on various aspects of a child’s life to identify any challenges, so the child and carer can be best supported to address these challenges.

The initial therapeutic assessment is completed by the CYPS Therapeutic Assessment Team or the Australian Childhood Trauma Group. Once completed a therapeutic assessment report is discussed with the child’s Care Team, including recommendations made, and supports the Care Team to prioritise the identified goals and strategies for the child.

Under A Step Up for Our Kids, the introduction of therapeutic assessments has been incremental. This is because the ACT decided that all children and young people in out of home care would benefit from therapeutic assessments regardless of the time they had been in care.

CYPS has been progressively completing assessments and has also engaged the Australian Childhood Trauma Group to assist in completing these assessments. It is expected that all children and young people in the care of the Director-General and in out of home care will have a therapeutic assessment by 30 June 2020.

Since the implementation of A Step Up for Our Kids, CYPS has reduced the number of ‘plans’ for children and young people in out of home care. Feedback has been that having multiple plans is confusing and onerous. The new client management system facilitates goals and actions from any assessments undertaken being recorded centrally and able to be drawn into the relevant plan as needed.

1. As at 22 August 2019, there were 690 children in the care of the Director-General where the child was in out of home care. All children and young people in the care of the Director-General have a care plan, while 401 of these children have had a therapeutic assessment completed which has informed their care plan.

2. A therapeutic assessment is completed by either the CYPS Therapeutic Assessment Team or the Australian Childhood Trauma Group.

An initial consultation is provided by a CYPS therapeutic assessor to the child’s foster or kinship carer within 5 working days of the child entering care.

3. All children and young people in the care of the Director-General have a care plan. Care plans are updated as needed and as information is received, including upon the completion of a therapeutic assessment. See answer to Question 1.

4.

a. A child or young person on a Care and Protection Order is eligible for a therapeutic assessment.

b. All children and young people in care have a care plan. The care plan documents the goals identified for the child (informed by various assessments including the therapeutic assessment), and actions for the care team to complete.

5.

a. The therapeutic assessment forms part of the child’s file and is made available to the Care Team. Members of a Care Team may include the carers, parents, school staff, treating professionals, other government services and community organisations. Care team membership is determined based on the individual needs of children and includes those who are part of the child’s support network.


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