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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1279 ..

I remain acutely aware of the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the out of home care system and remain committed to driving change in this area, as shown by the work the Community Services Directorate is doing as part of responding to the recommendations from the Our Booris, Our Way review as articulated in the six-monthly implementation update which is also tabled today along with the snapshot report.

In closing, I assure members that I acknowledge the importance of the work undertaken in the government response to the Our Booris, Our Way review and A Step Up For Our Kids to the Canberra community. As such, I am committed to providing updates on subsequent reforms occurring within the out of home care system and providing the combined six-monthly progress report on an ongoing basis.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Children and young people—out of home care

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.10): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) care and protection orders in the ACT terminate when a young person reaches the age of 18;

(b) Australian and international research indicates that young people who exit care are more likely to leave school, be unemployed, experience homelessness, be involved with the criminal justice system, have children at a young age, and experience poor health and mental health outcomes;

(c) for these reasons, in 2012 the ACT Government commenced providing financial and casework support to care leavers up to age 25, and has enhanced such supports under its current out-of-home care strategy; and

(d) there is a growing national consensus that support for care leavers needs to include the option of remaining in care until age 21; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) commit in principle to support the extension of care to age 21, including for those exiting residential care and those unable to remain in a foster or kinship care placement;

(b) improve data collection on young people who have exited care to allow for robust evaluation of post-care support services, including any extension of care to age 21; and

(c) create a taskforce to review international best practice and then propose the best way to implement an extension of care to age 21 in the ACT, with a report of findings to be tabled in the Assembly by the last sitting day of June 2022.

I bring this motion before the Assembly today on behalf of young people in the care and protection system, as well as the many dedicated carers, youth workers, case

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