Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 6 August 2015) . . Page.. 2405 ..
We recognise that after family, a teacher is often the most important person in a child or young person’s life. Schools and teachers play a pivotal role in supporting children and young people in care. Improving education, training and employment outcomes for children and young people is a fundamental aim for a step up for our kids. That is why we are working closely with the Education and Training Directorate and our community service providers to support the education and training needs of our community’s most vulnerable children and young people. We want to ensure that all children and young people in care have the opportunity to have their potential realised and receive the support they need to pursue their own education, career or life goals.
In parallel to the step up for our kids, the Education and Training Directorate have published the engaging schools framework and have developed the network student engagement teams. Under this framework, the Education and Training Directorate have committed to develop appropriate responses for all children and young people in ACT government schools.
Alignment between the strategy and the engaging students framework presented an opportunity to consolidate efforts and to work together to achieve improved educational outcomes for children and young people. This work is being progressed through the establishment of a new improving educational outcomes committee. This committee will work on maturing existing systems to improve the educational outcomes for children and young people in out of home care or on youth justice orders.
The committee will support appropriate communications between key sectors, including the statutory system, educational institutions and out of home care providers. The committee will also form operational working groups for those students not engaged in mainstream education to consider specific individual requests for assistance, for engagement and for flexible learning options. The committee has senior representatives from the Community Services Directorate, the Education and Training Directorate and key non-government out of home care providers.
The operational working groups provide a pathway for staff to escalate matters which are unable to be resolved at the operational level. The working groups will be tasked with troubleshooting issues, facilitating flexible learning options for individual students, and mobilising resources to provide a holistic, coordinated response to children and young people who are not engaged in mainstream education.
Schools will also play a greater role in understanding and recognising the impact of trauma on children and young people in care. Under a step up for our kids, children and young people will undergo a therapeutic assessment aimed at providing a holistic response to their needs across a wide range of areas in a child’s life. A child’s therapeutic care team will work collaboratively to implement the case plan to address these needs. A child or young person’s educational professional may be a member of this team and will be an integral part of the process.
On 1 July I launched the new Child and Youth Protection Services. This service is a result of combining care and protection services and youth justice services. Bringing together youth justice and child protection will help us to work better with our