Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3773 ..
(3) Where are children awaiting foster care housed during the period in which a permanent placement is being organised;
(4) How many children had to be removed from foster care in (a) 2001-02 and (b) 2002-03.
(5) For what reasons did these children have to be removed;
(6) How many foster parents resigned or otherwise indicated they would not be taking on foster care children anymore in (a) 2001-02 and (b) 2002-03;
(7) What were the reasons that these people resigned;
(8) What strategies are being developed/implemented by the Government to address the circumstances covered in paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
Ms Gallagher: The answer to Mrs Burke's question is:
(1) 7 children were registered on the placement panel as at 1 August 2003. These children were awaiting 'suitable' out of home care arrangements, ie. they may be in short term - temporary foster care or temporary residential care.
(2) Information indicating the current average waiting time for placement in foster care for children is not kept by the Department. The waiting time for suitable placement can vary considerably depending on the needs and complexities surrounding the children awaiting a placement. It can also depend on the availability of a suitable long term foster care arrangement that is appropriate for both the child and carer. This needs careful consideration to reduce the likelihood of placement breakdowns and ensure best outcomes.
(3) Children that are awaiting suitable placement are housed with suitable short term foster carers, or residential settings that are coordinated by the non-government agencies until arrangements are made for suitable long term care.
(4) (a) There were 27 incidents of children that had to be removed from foster care in the 2001-2002 period.
(b) There were 44 incidents of children that had to be removed from foster care in the 2002-2003 period.
(5) The reasons for removal of these children were various and included:
Unplanned move to another placement;
Youth Justice detention order;
Carer changed program;
Child/young persons request;
Conflict - Child/Young person and carer;
Conflict - Child/Young Person and Residential Unit;
Conflict - Other.
(6) Information is not kept by the Department on the number of foster parents who resigned or otherwise indicated they would not be taking on foster care children any more in (a) 2001-02 or (b) 2002-03.