Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2373 ..
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary question. Madam Speaker, the 2016-17 budget, as you would be aware, provided $2.47 million over four years for enhanced child protection case management and coordination. This involved building stronger analytical capacity inside child and youth protection services, as well as stronger independent oversight external to CYPS. $1.9 million established a specialist case analysis team comprising a team leader and four child protection experts. Case analysis explores the risks and vulnerabilities related to a child’s safety and whether there are sufficient protective factors to mitigate these vulnerabilities.
The practice themes elicited from each case analysis are collated and used to inform the training priorities for staff and the development of practice guidance, policies and procedures. A further $562,000 was invested in developing a quality assurance mechanism with members who are independent of CYPS.
The Child and Youth Protection Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee has been established by the director-general to strengthen the quality of child protection practice in the ACT and to foster ongoing improvements in the child protection system. Its membership includes two child protection experts from other jurisdictions who are able to offer a fresh perspective on ACT processes.
I also recently announced an independent review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection and out-of-home care systems, as we seek to address one of the most serious challenges for child protection, not just in the ACT but around Australia.
This review will examine case planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people known to ACT child and youth protection services. It will be conducted by a team led by skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with experience in child protection and will work alongside the Child and Youth Protection Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee.
MR STEEL: What can members of our community do to be part of the implementation of A step up for our kids and support vulnerable children and young people in need of safer environments?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary question. Foster carers and kinship carers are the backbone of our out of home care system. Carers open their hearts and their homes to the most vulnerable children and young people in our community. Since becoming minister I have heard many stories of how caring has transformed people’s lives; not just the kids who receive love, support and a more stable life but also the carers.
Through a step up for our kids, the ACT government funds a consortium of out of home care providers—ACT Together—to provide trauma-informed, therapeutic care options to support children and young people in need of care. ACT Together have set