Page 2735 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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Assembly on the progress of the youth support and transition team and their work within OCYFS?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest. Back in 2011-12 the ACT budget provided $2 million over four years to establish a case management service to work with young people in the care of the director-general who were transitioning from out-of-home care. The youth support and transition team provide targeted support to young people while they are in care and up to the age of 25 to establish their future living, education, health, recreational, social and family arrangements.

The team commenced in January 2012 and has provided direct support and assistance to 121 young people since that time. The support offered to a young person begins through planning meetings to develop their transition plan and to ensure ongoing support and assistance to implement and review their plan up to the age of 25.

The team is comprised of four full-time staff who specialise in working with young people around the provision of support, advice and advocacy. The team aim to begin communicating with young people from the age of 15. The department has established a children and young people information system that provides regular updates and alerts on the ages of young people in care and gives the team an opportunity to start planning their engagement with these young people as they begin their transition from out-of-home care.

The team has also developed collaborative working relationships with the Youth Law Centre, Centrelink, CIT, Anglicare Youth Services, House With No Steps, the Youth Coalition, Youth Housing, Aboriginal Legal Services and Barnardos, and has had significant involvement in Youth Week activities and events.

Some of the support provided by the team include developing living skills such as budgeting, cooking and cleaning. Whilst they may be basic activities that many of us take for granted, these seemingly small steps provide a solid foundation for future independence and autonomy for these young people.

Help is also provided to find suitable accommodation to pursue further education and employment opportunities and to locate and reconnect with family members and other significant people in their lives. Additionally, brokerage funding can be obtained to support transition for items such as furniture, educational resources, whitegoods or enrolment in specific courses, and supports to access priority services from key agencies such as Health and Housing.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what are some of the outcomes from this team?

MS BURCH: There have already been many positive outcomes from the team, including 37 young people obtaining independent accommodation and establishing their own place to call home. Four young people have commenced university studies, including degrees in computer engineering and medical science. One has engaged in an overseas gap year program before commencing university studies.

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