Page 3099 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Child care—Conder Early Learning Centre

MS BURCH: I was asked about compliance visits to Conder Early Learning Centre School, which is the monitoring of compliance against the national law and regulations. There was an unannounced visit in November of 2014, an announced visit in May 2014 and an announced visit in May 2015. Assessment and rating visits happen every three years, and that last visit was in June 2013.

Adoption processes

Debate resumed.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (3.26): I thank Ms Lawder for drawing our attention to adoption, and I thank her and her office for the constructive ongoing dialogue on matters relating to a step up for our kids. I also acknowledge recent media interest around adoption matters. However, I have tabled an amendment to this motion to better reflect the adoption situation and policy direction in the ACT, and I now move that amendment:

Omit all words after “notes”, substitute:

“(a) in 2013-14, the adoption rate in the ACT was 8.3 per 100 000 children, compared to the Australian national rate of 3.9 per 100 000 children; and

(b) A Step up For Our Kids seeks to provide long-term care and stability for children under two years old after a period of 12 months on care and protection orders, and by allowing an application for enduring parental responsibility after a continuous period of 12 months in care or a total of 12 months in a two year period; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to recognise the benefits for children, young people and families in making sure that adoption processes give careful consideration to the circumstances of each child, that each adoption is in the best interest of a child and accommodates the need to appropriately work through issues around birth parents’ consent to adoption, and works with prospective adoptive parents in a collaborative manner.”.

Members will be aware that at the start of this year we launched a step up for our kids. This has at its heart a core aim to provide permanency and long-term stability for children and young people in out of home care who are unable to live with their parents. That is why we will shortly be bringing legislation to the Assembly to reduce the amount of time a child must be in stable foster care placement before being considered for adoption or enduring parental responsibility.

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