Page 4296 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister Burch as the minister for children and young people. Is that right? Sorry, you said the minister for children, youth and family support, but there is not one. So is it the minister for children and young people?
Ms Berry: Yes.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you. Minister Burch.
MS BURCH: The Community Services Directorate has identified the need to review and refresh the current service provision of out-of-home care for children and young people who come into the out-of-home care area. The government is committed to supporting the best possible services and practice to children and young people in care. As such, the Community Services Directorate is currently developing a five-year out-of-home care strategy to guide the delivery of out-of-home care services from July 2015 through to June 2020.
The aim of the strategy is to ensure the supply and quality of out-of-home care placements for children and young people in the care of the director-general. The discussion paper has been released as one of a suite of consultative activities designed to support development of the strategy. The release of the paper signals the commencement of the second stage of a community-wide consultation. The first stage saw the delivery of an issues paper which was released in September of this year, and that noted a rage of current challenges facing the ACT’s out-of-home care system.
The Community Services Directorate is seeking to increase the flexibility of that out-of-home care system in response to an increase in demand and in the complexity of the needs of the children and young people in care.
The discussion paper also has a strong focus on strengthening support arrangements for children, young people and their carers in the out-of-home care system. We know that the role carers play in the lives of young people who come into care is a critical one, and the discussion paper seeks to solidify the valuable role carers play and the voices they have.
The next step in the out-of-home care strategy process is underway with the release of the discussion paper, and the community feedback will inform the options that will be put to government in the first half of next year.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.
MS BERRY: Minister, what consultation options have stakeholders been provided to complement the development of this discussion paper and the future direction of out of home care in the ACT?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her question. As mentioned, the discussion paper has been released as part of a consultative activity designed to support development of the strategy. The delivery of an issues paper, released in September of this year, aimed to identify the current challenges facing the ACT’s out of home care system.