Page 2736 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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Sixteen young people have obtained qualifications such as security licences, childcare certificates and disability support certificates. Further, two young people are undertaking study to obtain a security licence and first-aid certificate. Through these very tangible and positive outcomes, many of our young people have gained employment using qualifications and skills attained through their transition planning.

Additionally, the team have supported four young people while residing at the AMC or Bimberi to help them with their transition back into the community. The team has received numerous commendations from parents, young people, members of the community and professionals for the excellent service provided to young people and the benefit that future planning has for them as they consider their lives outside the system of out-of-home care.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what is the future direction and planning for the youth transition team?

MS BURCH: Evidence supports the need for a targeted focus on young people as they begin thinking about their future as young adults outside the scope of the care and protection system. Many of us have had experiences with parents, teachers and career counsellors or friends talking to us from a young age about what our future holds—will we go to university or get a trade or get a job? Indeed, many of us have had these conversations with our own children at various stages in their lives.

The government is committed to ensuring young people within the care and protection system get the same opportunities and have the same chances to pursue their own individual aspirations. The youth support transition team will continue to work closely with the community sector to improve outcomes of young people transitioning from care.

Discussions have commenced on work with Barnardos to develop a youth transition position—this was identified within the recent budget—in the community to enhance support to young people transitioning from care. The youth support transition team is but one building block in the lives of these young people, and we know there is more work to do. We are committed to continuing this valuable work.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, how important is it to develop transformational programs such as this for our young people in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in this. It is actually a vital piece of work, as these young folk move from the out-of-home care system, where they have often been disconnected from their family. We know that many pieces of research will say that they have less-than-ideal outcomes in securing further education, employment and secure housing. So the transition team plays an absolutely vital role in making sure that these young people have the opportunities and the security that many of us aspire to for our own families, and these children are no different.

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