Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2016) . . Page.. 2018 ..


protection, which led to the development of a national report card around legislated transitioning for care plans. The researchers found that factors identified as likely to inhibit a young person’s positive transition included multiple changes of carers and workers, unstable accommodation at discharge, inadequate income, lack of preparation for leaving and goal setting, and unresolved anger towards family, workers or the system. It also found a concerning number of young people were leaving care without any plan at all. While this work is now somewhat dated, my office is advised that these issues are still live ones and that there can be a lot of difference in the quality and relevance of leaving care plans.

While I am supportive of the amendments in this bill to support more responsibility for planned development to sit with a carer, it will be essential to revisit this in future to ensure that every young person has had the opportunity to develop a genuine, robust and impartial leaving care plan and that any issues of real or perceived conflict of interest are handled directly and delicately by the government agency that will always retain some supervision and responsibility for those children.

I believe that these same factors and possible concerns also ring true regarding the provision of protected information and will require the same need for ongoing evaluation and review.

It would also be remiss of me not to mention the recent inquiry and reports into family violence in the territory. It is clear that these serious and well-considered reports have shown that government must never stop searching for improvements across a range of agencies in our shared goals of protecting vulnerable Canberrans. The Glanfield report in particular made a series of concerning observations about the care and protection system and the many recommendations that have been considered by the government and that we, as a community, will need to continue to monitor.

Madam Speaker, in closing I would like to acknowledge the openness of the responsible minister’s officers and willingness to brief all interested members of the Assembly on these issues and to note Dr Bourke’s comments in his tabling speech that some of these changes will take many months to further refine and define before implementation. It is far better to get the balance right and the foundations laid well than to rush off into a brave new world and have unintended consequences. I welcome Dr Bourke’s remarks in that regard and I am pleased to support the bill this evening.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (9.08), in reply: Madam Speaker, as Minister for Children and Young People I am pleased to talk to the Assembly about the proposed amendments in the Children and Young People Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 being debated this evening. The purpose of this bill is to enact the final set of legislative changes needed to give full effect to important elements of a step up for our kids. This follows on from the previous three amendments to the Children and Young People Act 2008 passed in 2015.

The amendments go to the intent of a step up for our kids to ensure that children and young people are placed at the centre of decision-making and the focus is on their best


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video