Page 1097 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009
plan provides a common policy framework and direction for service delivery. The ACT children’s plan encompasses antenatal, infancy, the early school years and middle childhood. It promotes both universal and targeted services to address the needs of specific groups of children between zero and 12 years.
The range of initiatives has continued to expand in the territory. For example, the child and family centres provide an integrated one-stop-shop model of service delivering universal and targeted services to families through purpose-built centres at Gungahlin and Tuggeranong. Early intervention and prevention services operating from the centres include:
• the Smith Family’s learning for life program, which offers financial assistance to families for the duration of their children’s school life
• the integrated family support project, a joint initiative of the government, the commonwealth and community family support agencies, assisting vulnerable families with children aged zero to eight, providing a coordinated and integrated case management response aimed at preventing the involvement of the statutory child protection system
• The Canberra Hospital midwifery program provides outreach services and antenatal clinics, connecting parents with other services
• the Triple P positive parenting program provides support to parents who are identifying difficulties in managing their children’s behaviour. This program has expanded across centres and school sites in the territory
• the Venus program, an initiative of Fernwood women’s health clubs, empowers women and provides information to improve their lifestyle, health and wellbeing
• Relationships Australia provides outreach relationship counselling for families with young children, enabling families to enhance their capacities as parents.
These services are provided through cooperation between government and many non-government agencies, and I take this opportunity to thank them all for the work they do in supporting children and families in the territory.
The government has supported, supported in principle and noted 17 of the 18 recommendations made in the report. Many initiatives proposed by the report reflect current work being undertaken or will complement or augment future program developments. I thank the committee for delivering this important report and I commend the ACT government response to the Standing Committee on Health and Disability report The early intervention and care of vulnerable infants to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Hunter) adjourned to the next sitting.
Mr Corbell presented the following papers: