Page 2403 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 August 2015

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children aged seven to eight years with complex needs who have no previous diagnosis, and autism assessment of children up to the age of 12 years.

Families will have the opportunity to check on their child’s development through access to a range of health professionals. The popular speech pathology and physiotherapy drop-in clinics will continue to be available as part of the service. The service will be administered by the Community Services Directorate and based at the Therapy ACT building at Holder. It is likely that many of the clinicians will be former Therapy ACT staff.

The new service will not replicate existing services offered in the child development system. Its focus will be effective referral to relevant services through collaboration and partnership. The ACT child development service model is consistent with the human services blueprint—providing a service that is person-centred, capacity building, strengths based and focused on improving a child’s developmental trajectory and future life outcomes. It will take a better services approach, with a lead worker facilitating referrals to appropriate interventions, whether this is the NDIS or another mainstream service.

The service is designed so that clients will provide their details once. Although all three directorates are working together within the service, there will be a single service interface with the clients. The service will be simple to access and navigate. It will evolve with international best practice and as community needs change. The service will form a hub of diverse expertise not previously available in the ACT under one roof that other jurisdictions, I believe, will envy.

Priority will be given to those who cannot access other services, including the NDIS, or those who have particular vulnerabilities, including cultural, social and financial differences. The service will engage groups that may not seek out services by providing services where these groups meet, such as the child and family centres, schools and in non-government services. Most importantly, families who have concerns for their child’s development will be able to access specialists who can assist them on the path to early intervention.

I consider the new ACT child development service will serve us well in helping families identify developmental delay and disability and receive the services they need to improve outcomes for their children. By assisting families, the service will enable children to reach their full potential and help every child to participate in the social and economic life of our community. I look forward to the ACT child development service commencing in January 2016. I present the following paper:

Supporting children at risk of developmental delay in the ACT: The new ACT Child Development Service—Ministerial statement, 6 August 2015.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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