Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1784 ..
(2) How many young people entered a residential care home whilst pregnant.
(3) What resources are provided to young people in residential care to either discourage or prevent unwanted pregnancies.
(4) What specific supports or services are provided to a young person in residential care who becomes pregnant, including mental health and emotional support.
(5) What extra supports or services, if any, are provided to help young people to progress through pregnancy and prepare for motherhood, assuming that pregnant young people are able to live in residential care.
(6) What arrangements are made for a young person in residential care who gives birth to a child.
(7) What extra supports or services, if any, are provided to a young person in out-of-home care who gives birth to a child and can the Minister include those designed to benefit both the mother as well as the child, including mental health and emotional support.
Ms Stephen-Smith: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
1) Over the past five years, five clients in ACT Together’s Community Adolescent Program (CAP) have given birth since turning 18 years of age. Of these clients, four became pregnant post 18 years of age and one became pregnant at 17 years of age.
2) None that ACT Together are aware of.
3) Young people who appear to be becoming sexually active and/or at risk of pregnancy, are encouraged and supported by ACT Together to engage with medical professionals to help educate and promote safe sex practices and contraception. Many young people access services through the Junction Youth Health Service (the Junction). Therapeutic Specialists from the ACT Together’s Therapeutic Services team work closely with residential carers and young people to support therapeutic care, which may include support around issues that could lead to the risk of a pregnancy (e.g. risky sexual behaviour).
Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) become involved when parental consent is needed for any invasive procedures for the purpose of birth control (e.g. Implanon).
4) Referrals to appropriate community services such as Maternal and Child Health (MACH) nurses, the Junction, Winnunga Nimmityjah’s Centre Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program, Uniting Newpin Program, Child and Family Centres, Barnardos Intensive Intervention Services Family Support Program and General Practitioners. Young people in CAP transitional housing are also provided the opportunity to live semi-independently in a transitional property with case management and youth worker support. Where appropriate referrals to Headspace and or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) occur with the young person’s consent. Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) also provides young people with prenatal case management support.
5) Referrals to appropriate community services would be considered, such as
• Circle of Security, program to enhance attachment and security between parents and children