Page 1615 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2016

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, are all swimming facilities at special schools across the ACT currently operating?

MR RATTENBURY: Again, I have not received any advice that there are any problems, nor have I received any complaints. But I will check that matter and report back to the Assembly.

Community services—human services blueprint

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Housing, Community Services and Social Inclusion. Minister, can you provide the Assembly with an update on the implementation of the better services reform program?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Burch for her question on better services, which was launched by Ms Burch and the Chief Minister in west Belconnen when she was the Minister for Community Services. The $3.2 million investment in three better services initiatives is seeing an improvement in the support for Canberrans and, ultimately, the quality of life of a vast number of Canberrans. We are seeing Canberrans benefit from the right service at the right time—a service that is right for them.

Better services considers the person within the context of their circumstances and their community. Better services strives to assist one person on a journey through the community services system and in their community rather than one person up against a set of problems and a number of different service providers that may fix some but not all of the problems. The three initiatives are showing us a new way of working so we can work together, collaboratively, and make a real difference in the challenging lives of diverse Canberrans.

Each initiative has its own stories of success: the human services gateway is helping clients to connect to the services they need. For example, in February, a young mum entered the gateway. She had recently left a domestic violence situation and was facing homelessness. The gateway was able to support her to submit rental applications and access domestic violence support services, emergency relief providers and employment coaching. She has now secured private rental accommodation and is being supported to maintain her new job.

The strengthening families initiative is working with families to coordinate their services and supports whilst also building the confidence, capability and strengths of the family. A single father involved in the strengthening families initiative recently reported:

My Lead Worker helps me see that I’m worthwhile doing what I’m doing. So, I am making the right decisions. Even though I’m taking 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, she points out that there’s progress. “This is where you were, and this is where you are. And you are doing that” … She’s been a rock, she gives me hope.

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