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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1288 ..

think anyone who has been a young adult knows how much support young adults need from their loved ones.

Many carers of children in out of home care have exactly the same experience, and they continue to live with, or otherwise support, the young adults that they have cared for through the statutory system. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Indeed, sometimes young people who have been in statutory care want to move on. They want to exit themselves from the system, at least for a little while. The really important thing is that they always understand that they can come back—that they will continue to get that support. So it does not need to be continuous. That is going to be a really important part of the consideration.

We have long acknowledged that we must have a role in supporting young adults after they have exited out of home care, and we have committed already to making this support stronger. So my amendment to Mrs Kikkert’s motion strengthens what she has suggested the Legislative Assembly should be calling on. In relation to data, we have retained that “exploring ways to improve data collection for young people who have exited care”. It is not a straightforward matter; you are talking about a relatively small number of young people. I think in the 2018 report we had 42 young people exit care. There would need to be individual data collection in relation to young people exiting care and their experiences, and they would therefore need to be willing to engage in that process. We cannot force them to provide us with data, and the numbers are so small that the capacity to capture them in a wide data set would be quite difficult.

Mrs Kikkert has pointed out that the 2018 paper highlights the importance of data. We absolutely agree with that, but it is not a straightforward matter, as Mrs Kikkert seems to suggest, that we obviously should have this data. She makes it sound as if it is really easy. It is not easy to collect that kind of data. We would really have to work at how we were going to do that. But we do agree that it is a really important thing to try to better understand, so we are very happy to support that part of the motion. With that, I again thank Mrs Kikkert and I thank Mr Davis and his office for their collaboration in the amendment.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (3.39): I support the amendments proposed by Minister Stephen-Smith. I thank Mrs Kikkert for her motion, and I am glad to have been able to work with Minister Stephen-Smith’s office to strengthen the motion to support the extension of government support to young people in the care and protection system.

The parliamentary and governing agreement commits the government to improving the extended care system for 18- to 21-year-olds in out of home care. The ACT Greens have a strong and comprehensive policy to improve child and youth protective services, including by enshrining the right to extended care to at least 21 years of age, as well as reforming the Children and Young People Act to create an external merit review system, develop a charter of rights for parents and families in the out of home care system, and implement the Our Booris, Our Way recommendations.

This is an issue that runs at the heart of ending inequality and intergenerational poverty, particularly between First Nations and non-Indigenous people. It speaks to

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