Page 2798 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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(8) Who is providing the intersectional training at CARHU and what are the qualifications and skills of the trainer/educator;

(9) Is there a current interagency agreement between all agencies, intrinsic to child protection in the ACT, to clarify roles and responsibilities;

(10) How is the public informed or educated to understand the different roles and responsibilities at various interagencies;

(11) What service model is used to assist children 10 years and under who have sexualised behaviours;

(12) How is the effectiveness of the service model outlined in part (11) measured and by whom and by what means;

(13) On 17 October 2006 was the Minister asked in question on notice No. 1326 regarding what form of memorandum of understanding and suitable protocols have been developed between the Child At Risk Assessment Unit, Family Services and ACT Policing that clearly show that roles and functions are clearly defined for each agency, and that the Minister’s response was that a memorandum of understanding between the Department and ACT Health was entered into on 31 January 2005 and a review of the Memorandum is under consideration and that a meeting between ACT Health and the Department to progress the review met on 30 November 2006 with further meetings scheduled; if so, what final MOU’s are now in place in 2008;

(14) How has the Minister ensured interagency co-operations and training has occurred;

(15) What evidence exists to show that interagency co-operation between all services, integral to child protection since 2004, are in practice.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The MOU between the Child at Risk Health Unit (CARHU) and ACT Policing has been finalised and is in the process of being signed by both parties. CARHU is also covered by the MOU between ACT Health and the Office for Children, Youth and Family Services which translated into a four year Service Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services (DHCS) and ACT Health in 2007.

(2) The purpose of the MOU is to set out the working relationship between ACT Policing and CARHU in relation to the provision of services involving cases of allegations of sexual and/or physical assault where the person (victim) is under the age of 15 years.

The MOU aims to enhance an efficient and effective working relationship between ACT Policing and CARHU with regard to children and young people who have been sexually and/or physically abused; to ensure a timely and comprehensive investigative process, that children and young people are protected from further harm from abuse, that the process of investigation is conducted in a sensitive manner to ensure the best health and psychological outcomes for the child/young person and their families, and that the quality of evidence gathered meets the standards required.

The parties to the MOU are bound, by virtue of the conditions of their employment, to comply with all relevant legislation, including the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989.

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