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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 8 December 2011) . . Page.. 5922 ..


may require greater support than young people who are not in the care of the territory parent during this life transition.

In October of last year the ACT government released the discussion paper entitled Maximising potential: improving life transitions for young people in care which provided transitions for building on our current arrangement for services for young people transitioning from care to adult life. Following this process, in March of this year I reported to the Assembly that support for young people may be needed up to the age of 25, and in the 2011-12 budget the government appropriated $2.07 million over four years for the purpose. This investment will provide a new support and assistance service for young people transitioning from out-of-home care up to the age of 25, which will commence this year. The operations will be within both the Community Services Directorate and the community sector.

In August I announced that the ACT government would introduce amendments to the Children and Young People Act 2008 to include the provision of support and assistance for young people transitioning from out-of-home care up to the age of 25 to ensure that this budget measure was reflected in a legislative framework, which is the bill I present today.

I would like to thank all the young people, community service providers, youth organisations, carers and government agencies for participating and providing feedback to the office.

While young people who have experienced out-of-home care remain with their carers well beyond the age of 18, the research tells us that some who transition from out-of-home care achieve poorer life outcomes and that they are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged social groups. The government recognises that young people leaving care need support in transitioning from out-of-home care, support to overcome barriers and support to achieve positive life outcomes in areas such as health, housing, education, employment, relationships and parenting. This is why the government has provided and will continue to provide for a transition from out-of-home care program, including amendments to the Children and Young People Act to enshrine the provision of support and assistance for young people transitioning from out-of-home care.

This approach is premised on evidence of a continuum of changing needs of young people as they transition towards adulthood. The proposed legislation recognises the need for ongoing yet often intermittent assistance, as young people grow older, in order to develop the necessary social skills and networks to support their move to adulthood.

The government has already demonstrated a commitment to improving outcomes for Canberra’s young people transitioning from out-of-home care, through the budget initiative to extend support from 18 to 25. The focus will be on developing young people’s decision-making skills, planning for the future, self-esteem, building supportive relationships, and developing communication and social skills to support their transition.


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