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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 170 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

a classic warning sign that something may be wrong. That service reconnects them with the school and also looks to see if anything can be done to assist. There may be some problems occurring at home.

We have the Canberra Outreach Support Service. That provides mobile, after-hours support to young people throughout the ACT. We also have the AXYS Youth Service which works with schools and community organisations to deliver health awareness and education programs to youth. For some youths who have difficulty with accommodation, we have the supported assistance accommodation program which provides alternative accommodation services for at-risk youth. That is structured to accommodate specific target groups with a range of services to meet individual needs. Those services include the Barnardos transition program, the Barnardos young mums group, Canberra Community Housing for Young People, Canberra Youth Refuge, Castlereagh House, Galilee lift program, and a raft of others. Staff employed at those services are able to identify and address issues faced by young people at an early stage.

I am not going to go into them, with only a minute left, Mr Hargreaves, but we also have the various substitute care programs within Family Services which provide a continuum of services, from emergency accommodation to long-term residential or foster care accommodation for young people who are unable to live at home. We have a number of other non-government groups which assist. We have the Galilee day program and the Marymead high support program. We have various educational programs to assist young people, including trying to assist young people from harming themselves.

Mr Hargreaves, maybe there are ways to coordinate programs better, but we do have a raft of programs to assist young people. There are many points you raised and I have commented on some of those individual points. I think we generally do a pretty good job. There are areas where we will be assessing how well we go. It is very important that we ensure that our services deliver. That is something that this Government has been very keen to do. Sometimes we have incurred criticism from your side as a result of our attempts to do that. What we are about is ensuring that we deliver services, and we have a good, wide range of services which can provide help for our youth.

MR CORBELL (4.53): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, if you listened to the Minister and the comments he has just made to the Assembly this afternoon you would think that the Government's response is pretty much there, is pretty right and is addressing the issues. You would think it is handling the problems faced by young people in our community. You would think that there was not much to worry about. You would think that the Government's response had it all in hand and it was really just a case of a bit of tweaking around the margins. Well, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to tell this place that that is simply not the case. I think it is unacceptable for this Minister for youth and family services to say in respect of the issues facing young people in Canberra that the Government's response is an adequate one. It is grossly - - -

Mr Humphries: He was not saying that.

MR CORBELL: You will have your opportunity, Mr Humphries. I am sure you will get up and speak quite eloquently. Why do you not sit there and be quiet for a little while?

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