Page 4298 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013
framework around which decisions are made to ensure we continue to meet best practice. The Children and Young People Act 2008, which commenced operation in 2009, is a large piece of legislation developed over several years. Whilst it is beyond the scope of the recently released discussion paper to describe the key features of the legislation, it is noteworthy that the ACT has reinforced the development of kinship care as a preferred option and strengthened the focus on early restoration and permanency.
The most significant development in recent times has been the steady growth in kinship care. This has increased the number of case management positions in Care and Protection.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Minister, has the government looked at reviews and changes to the out-of-home care system in other jurisdictions?
MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest. The ACT is aware of several other jurisdictions that are currently reviewing their existing out-of-home care arrangements. The ACT has been in contact with other states and territories about various aspects of their out-of-home care development, including accreditation and monitoring, out-of-home care standards, assessment tools and other policy and practice areas.
At present, the New South Wales department of family and children’s services are undergoing a review. On the 21st of this month, members of the New South Wales parliament announced sweeping reforms to existing legislation in order to strengthen the child protection system. New South Wales currently has 18,000 children in out-of-home care and, like every state in Australia, is looking to provide the best model of care to give their most vulnerable children the best chance of a better future.
Likewise, the Queensland commissioner, Tim Carmody, has released the Taking responsibility: a roadmap for Queensland child protection report. That report recommends a range of reforms to the system which, if accepted by government, would fundamentally alter the role of the state in the delivery of care and protection in Queensland.
Can I just say also that it is built on a partnership between government and non-government agencies. I will take this opportunity to thank all those involved across the agencies for the work they do with our vulnerable children.
Women—Women’s Information and Referral Centre
MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Women. I refer to the recent announcement of the closure of the Women’s Information and Referral Centre. Minister, have you formulated a plan as to how these services will be provided?
MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Jones for her question. We are certainly in active conversation with a number of women’s groups. I have made the assumption that your question is about when we will release the What’s on for women calendar for the first