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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2514 ..

SACY provides therapeutic case management support, family mediation and limited short-term respite care to support de-escalation of family conflict and effective mediation. A recently published evaluation by the Youth Coalition of the ACT shows that many of the young people involved in the pilot program were able to return home safely. In these cases, SACY successfully increased understanding of family dynamics and improved communication in the home. In the cases where a young person was not able to return home, young people were diverted away from homelessness through the strategic use of respite accommodation or making alternative arrangements for the young person.

The Government is committed to progressing reform and recognises that legislative change is a key priority. The Government notes that a comprehensive review of the Children and Young People Act 2008 (CYP Act) will be important to address the discreet elements of legislative reform required and progress the Government’s legislative reform agenda. These changes will be informed by lessons learned from the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as from other Australian jurisdictions and our own experiences in the ACT.

(2) See (1)

(3) See (1)

(4) See (1)

(5) See (1)

(6) See (1)

(7) This question has previously been answered, see CSD QON No. 78 from the Inquiry into referred 2019-20 Annual and Financial Reports and Budget Estimates 2020-21.

In 2018, Family Group Conferencing commenced in the ACT specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and since that time has continued to deliver the program to families that consent to participate. Any decision to extend this service to all families is subject to future Government funding decisions and resourcing.

The Government notes that Family Group Conferencing is one of several service models to enable families to contribute to solutions that support the safety and wellbeing of their children. Other models may also be an appropriate option for families.

The Government will continue to make child protection decisions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the ACT. This will, at times, require an immediate response where a child or young person is at risk of abuse and neglect.

The ACT Government continues to support families to engage with restorative practices and intensive supports to reduce the likelihood of statutory intervention. As part of a maturity pathway approach, Family Group Conferencing has provided important lessons on family- and community-led decisions to respond to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care.

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