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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3776 ..

(5) What additional support did the ACT Government provide to the young people who were transitioning off orders during this period of the pandemic.

(6) How many of these young people are currently in stable accommodation, and how many are studying and/or employed.

(7) How many young people in care have turned 18 years old since 1 January 2021.

(8) What specific steps have been taken to identify these young people, identify gaps in supports for them, and fill those gaps.

(9) When is the current review of the Children and Young People Act expected to be completed, and when is it expected that proposed amendments will be tabled.

(10) Since the motion was passed, have there been any changes to data collection involving young people in care who have turned 18; if so, what changes.

Ms Stephen-Smith: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) It was intended that the updated out of home care strategy would be completed by the end of 2021. Unfortunately, detailed consideration within Government has been delayed due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, it is now likely that the updated strategy will be completed and released in the first quarter of 2022.

(2) The Community Services Directorate has progressed the development of the next stage of A Step Up for Our Kids during the ACT Public Health Emergency, including lockdowns. Contingency options have been developed to ensure the continuity of services for children, young people and families post 30 June 2022.

The ACT’s lockdown restrictions which commenced 12 August 2021 coincided with the last phase of the scheduled engagement activities to inform the design of the next Strategy. The ACT Government worked with community partners to ensure engagement activities continued. This has included using online discussion platforms and receiving written feedback to capture the experience of a diverse range of stakeholders.

The new stage has been informed by significant review and consultation on the benefits and challenges experienced in out of home care since implementation of the A Step Up for Our Kids Out of Home Care Strategy commenced in 2015. During the five years of implementation from 2015-2020, the Community Services Directorate heard from a diverse range of stakeholders on their reform experience. The experiences of people who have engaged in child protection and out of home care were central to the consultation process with additional targeted activities commencing in early 2021.

An overview of feedback and insights shared by stakeholders is captured in two

Listening Reports. The Stage One Listening Report was publicly released on the YourSay web platform in August 2021. The Stage Two Listening Report has now been released.

(3) In May 2020, Children and Families Secretaries and Community Services Ministers considered point in time data on the number of young people in care turning 18. This data was used to estimate the size of the cohort and assist in providing additional

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