Page 738 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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I note that we are not resting on our laurels. We continue to implement improvements and to work with partners across the sector, through the blueprint taskforce, to take stock of our progress and identify further opportunities to improve outcomes for young people who are in contact with or at risk of engagement with the justice system.

Another example I would like to highlight is the Education Directorate’s safe and supportive schools policy. This policy is committed to providing positive and engaging environments where children and young people feel connected, respected and valued, where they can achieve success and fully engage in their education. It includes addressing bullying, developing positive behaviour support plans and other mechanisms to create a safe and supportive environment.

The second priority is to provide access to quality health care, learning and employment opportunities—all important considerations to ensure children and young people are given the best chance to succeed in life.

In the area of mental health, the ACT government has announced significant investment in new and expanded services that will benefit young people, including implementing the Black Dog Institute’s lifespan suicide prevention programs; expanding the size and range of services within the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, which is planned to include a dedicated child and adolescent mental health unit; and expanding early intervention programs for primary school children to provide identification and treatment for children at higher risk of developing mental illness.

The child and adolescent mental health service—CAMHS—includes community teams who provide office-based assessment, treatment and clinical management for children and adolescents aged up to 18 years who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties. CAMHS also provides specialist mental health services, including an educational and living skills day program, dialectical behavioural therapy program, and weekend mental health assessments for children and adolescents aged five to 17 years who present to the emergency department or who are already admitted to the paediatric ward. Additionally, CAMHS provides a specialist outreach program for adolescents and young adults who are experiencing first onset psychosis.

The child development service delivers a universal access model which uses a comprehensive intake service and drop-in clinics to identify and meet the needs of children with developmental concerns. The child development service also provides outreach to children who find it difficult to access the service in Holder.

In the area of learning and employment pathways, an example of how we are working to improve outcomes for children and young people can be demonstrated through the kickstart program. This program is designed to re-engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in school and set them on pathways to successful lives.

This government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people are provided with the support they need to access learning opportunities and meaningful education. We are seeing the positive impact of employing speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and allied health professionals to work

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