Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1283 ..

provide insights to a clearer way for improvement, to help make visible another reality.

Lastly, I call on the ACT government not just to make a clear commitment but to begin this important work by creating a task force to reveal what is being done in Australia and what has been done internationally to ascertain best practice and then propose the best way to implement an extension of care to age 21 in the ACT. For example, the UK is currently trialling a Staying Close program, where those who exit residential care remain a part of the community, visiting the house for dinners, birthday celebrations and Christmas parties, whilst enjoying ongoing contact for 10 hours each week with support workers in the home. This is a real opportunity for us not just to note what others are doing but to become a model that other jurisdictions will seek to learn from.

As the task force takes on its important and exciting task, they should consider recommendations such as those from Monash University and academics Philip Mendes and Justin Rogers. First, extended care needs to be applied universally to include youth leaving all forms of care, including residential care. Second, the system needs to be flexible enough to allow young people to exit and enter as needed, capturing both those who move away for work or study but still need a home to return to, and those who may not fully understand their future needs at age 18. Third, exploration absolutely needs to include young people with lived experience. And, fourth, it is vital that there be ongoing monitoring and review of the effectiveness of policy and practice implementation.

To these, I would add my own recommendation that special attention needs to be paid to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care leavers in culturally appropriate ways. As a dear friend Dr Bray said, “It is incredibly fulfilling to one’s mental health and sense of identity to be grounded in the language, dance and culture of a person’s ancestry.” We need to make sure that every opportunity is taken to achieve this. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (3.24), by leave: I move:

(1) Omit paragraph 1) c) and d) and substitute:

“(c) in 2015, the ACT Government enacted amendments to the Children and Young People Act to extend the continuum of care subsidy payments for eligible care leavers up to the age of 21;

(d) young people aged up to 25 years and their carers can access post care support in the form of:

case work coordination;

planning and oversight of therapeutic interventions;

assistance to access their care records and life story work;

practical material support and/or time limited brokerage;

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video