Page 4871 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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Depending on the child’s age, we have kits available which have nappies, formula, pyjamas. We can give people cots. We have got a range of items that we make available to anyone who needs them.

Minister, can you tell the Assembly what is provided in a kit when a child is placed during an emergency action?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I am happy to bring some advice back on the details that are in the kit. Certainly, some of these placements—the type of emergency placement and the speed at which it is made and the time of the night—are different, but I am quite happy to take some advice about what is the standard practice and what would be in an appropriate kit for an emergency placement.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary.

MS HUNTER: Minister, how many kits have been issued since May 2010?

MS BURCH: On that level of detail, I would have to bring it back, and I am more than happy to do that.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, was a kit provided at any time to a grandmother who has complained to you personally that when she was given care of her grandchild at the airport she received a child in a nappy and a singlet—no cot, no means of transporting that child to her home? Was she ever provided with a kit?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question and I know that there have been a number of comments and commentary raised over the last week or so around emergency placements and some comments made by foster carers around their experience. I met with the foster carers this week and I have committed to meeting with them in two weeks time. I have asked for some further details on these matters so that I can explore exactly what happened in certain circumstances.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary.

MS LE COUTEUR: For how many days do foster and kinship families have to wait to receive these kits?

MS BURCH: I think I mentioned, in referring to Ms Hunter’s question, that it depends on the timeliness of the placement as well. Some placements are planned and are well organised; some are not so well planned, just by the nature of the removal of the child and the risk that the child is in and the placement that is there. So it is variable. There is no set time—that within X time, something will be provided. But rest assured that the directorate would provide all the information, all the necessary equipment, or make arrangements for that equipment to be purchased, provided or somehow sourced to all placements, whether they are kinship or foster carers.

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