Page 4878 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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MR CORBELL: There is alternative emergency access should it be required.

Children and young people—care and protection

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, what do you understand to be the standard procedure to be followed before and after the directorate makes an emergency placement of a child or children for residential care with an organisation that is not approved as a suitable entity under the Children and Young People Act?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. I think she is making reference to the Public Advocate’s report to which the government will provide a fulsome response. I am hoping to have something through to me next week, so I think that is a very quick turnaround—

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the minister cannot redefine the question. It was a very specific question. It did not refer to the Public Advocate’s report. It asked her about the procedures. I would ask you to ask her to be directly relevant.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Minister, Mrs Dunne’s question was quite specific.

MS BURCH: Yes, and I was getting to that, Mr Speaker, and I will do so now. The practice of the unit in the Community Services Directorate that manages emergency placements is to have a set of guidelines and some policies and procedures. As has been identified, some of those are currently under review. But there is a clear form of practice leading up to the placement and then following the placement, and that includes notice to the Public Advocate and also going through the court processes.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, did the directorate follow those standard procedures in the cases identified in the Public Advocate’s recent report, particularly the procedure to be followed after the placements were made; and, if not, why?

MS BURCH: I think some of that information will come back in the government’s response. It was about those emergency placements in relation to NBSS. Certainly the advice through to me from the department has been that this was a placement that was necessary given the children at risk and that extensive calls were made to find a placement agency. Oversight case management from another agency was put in place—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MS BURCH: and certainly—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members.

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