8 March 2011

Keeping Children in care past 18

| johnboy
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The Minister for Young People Joy Burch has announced her response to the discussion paper process kicked off last year on “life transitions for young people in care”.

The ACT Government has given in-principle support to extend the age limit for supporting children in formal foster and kinship care arrangements beyond the age of 18, ACT Minister for Children and Young People Joy Burch announced today.

Following an ACT Government discussion paper issued last year on transitioning out of care, Ms Burch today in the ACT Legislative Assembly delivered a speech in the ACT Legislative Assembly outlining the Government’s response.

Ms Burch said a framework outlining these transitional supports would be determined following consultation with stakeholders.

“The new framework could consider things such as accommodation needs, assistance with education and training, as well as help in accessing health services and finding employment,” Ms Burch said.

“The level of support needed could vary on an individual basis, and we would expect that as young people gain more experience and maturity the need for support would reduce.”

Ms Burch said the support age cut-off was an issue identified from research and the responses to the consultation process from the ACT Government’s recent Discussion Paper Maximising Potential: improving life transitions for young people in care. All other Australian jurisdictions provide support beyond the age of 18.

“As the parent of young people in the care of the Government, we should strive to provide support to this group of young people the same way other parents in the ACT support their young people to transition to independent living.”

So having had the discussion paper process we’ve decided to have care after 18 but have not yet decided exactly how that’s going to work?

Progress of a sort we suppose.

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