Page 1852 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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2. Respite care is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Respite care is usually for short periods of time, however, depending on the circumstances a longer period may be considered. For example, if a carer’s health or medical needs impact their ability to care for a child.

3. The preferred option is for respite care to be planned and provided by a single carer household. If there was a circumstance that required a longer period of respite or unplanned respite care, every effort is made to maintain respite care arrangements with a single carer household or other carers that may have an existing relationship with the child.

4. The stability, health and wellbeing of a child or young person in out of home care is of paramount concern. For most children, the aim is to limit the number of placements and the amount of time that a child is out of their usual placement home wherever possible.

After careful consideration of the question, and advice provided by the Community Services Directorate, I have determined that the information sought is not in an easily retrievable form, and that to collect and assemble the information sought solely for the purpose of answering the question would be a major task, requiring a considerable diversion of resources. In this instance, I do not believe that it would be appropriate to divert resources from the provision of direct services, for the purposes of answering the Member’s question.

5. Please see response to Questions 1, 2 and 3. Respite care is used to respond to a range of individual circumstances some of which are planned and others unplanned. It could be used to facilitate for carers to have breaks, attend to urgent family situations, respond to a health crisis or respond to the individual needs of a child.

6. Yes, in limited circumstances. A child may be placed with a respite carer who is able to meet the needs of the child pending the outcome of the placement decision and possible reassessment of the carer. These types of arrangements are usually made in response to an urgent or escalating situation that may be unsafe for a child.

Children and young people—parental contact
(Question No 3060)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Minister for Children, Youth and Families, upon notice, on 19 June 2020:

(1) On what grounds may a supervised contact visit between children in care and birth families be terminated by a caseworker.

(2) Are birth parents allowed to explain to their children any restrictions that limit the kind, frequency, or duration of their contact with those children; if not, why not.

(3) Can a supervised contact visit be terminated if birth parents attempt to explain the restrictions that limit their contact; if so, for what purpose and how often does this occur.

(4) Who explains to children in care and protection what restrictions on contact visits have been placed on their birth parents, or are they left to assume that limited contact or changes in contact are the parents’ choice.

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