Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2525 ..
If a person has had their welfare checked and police cannot see any reason why their personal safety would be at risk, police will report the sighting and mark the missing person as located on ACT Policing’s database. ACT Policing will then notify the reporting guardian or parent and offer further support services if relevant. Under the Children and Young People Act 2008, ACT Policing only has the power to return a young person to their guardian/s if police believe they are in an unsafe environment.
The initial contact between a young person who has run away and ACT Policing is generally via its general duty officers.
The first step for ACT Policing general duty patrols is to submit a Supportlink request detailing the background of the situation and the type of support they require, or consent to.
A referral is then submitted and Supportlink allocates it to the appropriate agency. This agency then attempts to make contact with the family and/or child. The family must consent to such a referral being made and there is no obligation for the family to accept the support offered.
Should police deem that the situation falls under mandatory reporting guidelines, a report is submitted to Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) as regulated by the Children and Young People Act 2008. Mandatory reporting laws aim to identify children and young people who are being abused or neglected.
ACT Policing employs four Youth Liaison Officers who work within the Community Engagement Team.
If a child or young person repeatedly runs away from home, or continually comes to police attention, general duty police patrols may decide to alert ACT Policing’s Community Engagement Team of the situation.
Once notified, ACT Policing’s Youth Liaison Officers will collaborate with partner agencies (CYPS, Education etc.) to provide a holistic overview of and context for these behaviours and attempt to identify potential gaps in supports available.
The next step is for a decision to be made between the involved agencies as to who is most appropriately placed to speak with the child/family about additional, or alternate supports available.
Eligibility for the Safe and Connected Youth pilot is based on the age, geographical location and child/young person and their family willingness to engage with the program. In the future it is proposed the respite facility will be able to provide short term respite accommodation, in conjunction with therapeutic case management, to work with both children and young people and their families to resolve issues which contribute to children and young people being at risk of homelessness and having no safe place to live.
Crime—drug driving(Question No 351)
Mrs Kikkert asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 25 June 2021: