ACT Labor invests in more support for our vulnerable families

ACT Labor is building a city that extends the opportunity to every Canberran to be fully engaged in their community.  We believe it is important that we continue to support the most vulnerable in our community and lend a helping hand to those who need it, when they need it.

We are building a community that encourages and supports the children and young people of Canberra to reach their full potential.

While Canberra is a vibrant, healthy and relatively prosperous city, some of us need support to get through difficult times.  In keeping with Labor values of supporting those most in need in our community, in government we have delivered a number of services that support vulnerable and disadvantaged families.

In the past seven years alone, the ACT Labor has grown funding for Child Protection Services by more than 45 per cent, and the recent 2012-13 Budget saw an additional $25 million invested into supporting our most vulnerable families.

We have worked with our community sector partners to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community, and as Liberal governments around Australia slash vital frontline services that provide direct support to families, ACT Labor is delivering increased support.  But there is more to do.

If re-elected, ACT Labor will deliver $7.4 million over four years to provide additional services to vulnerable families.

 

Policy costings

If re-elected, ACT Labor will deliver $7.4 million over four years in recurrent funding to provide additional services to vulnerable families.

 

ACT Labor will

Establish a trauma recovery centre, at a cost of $2.2 million over four years, to provide an early intervention service for young people exhibiting complex behaviours

Commit $1.4 million to expand the successful Parents as Teachers program

Expand therapeutic intervention services for young people by investing an extra $1.2 million over four years

Increase the number of youth engagement workers across the ACT by investing an additional $2.5 million over four years

ACT Labor’s plan to provide more support to our most vulnerable families

 

2013-14 ($m)

2014-15 ($m)

2015-16 ($m)

2016-17 ($m)

TOTAL ($m)

Trauma recovery centre

0.53

0.55

0.56

0.58

2.22

Parents as teachers program

0.35

0.36

0.36

0.37

1.44

Therapeutic intervention service

0.30

0.31

0.32

0.32

1.25

Youth engagement service

0.60

0.62

0.63

0.65

2.50

TOTAL

1.78

1.84

1.87

1.92

7.41

What we have already delivered

ACT Labor has a strong record of delivering more services, more targeted support and increased funding to support the most vulnerable in our community.

In the 2012-13 ACT Budget we invested $25 million targeted at vulnerable children and young people, including $15 million in additional funding for the out-of-home care sector, $5.3 million for Child Protection Services with a focus on early intervention, and $5.5 million for youth justice reforms.

In this term of government, ACT Labor has:

  • Passed legislation to provide a more rigorous checking system for people working with vulnerable people including children and young people;
  • Provided extra support for kinship carers through Relationships Australia;
  • Provided a dedicated kinship carer team within the Community Services Directorate to provide timely advice and support to kinship carers;
  • Funded an increase in out of home care places of almost 90, from 461 to 550 places, in the 2012-13 Budget to ensure children taken into care have appropriate supported accommodation;
  • Provided funding to locate a dedicated Care and Protection worker in the Child and Family Centres;
  • Established a dedicated transition team to work with children coming out of foster care to make sure they have the supports and tools they need for a happy and successful adult life;
  • Created in partnership with the community a comprehensive youth justice blueprint that includes a strong focus on early intervention, prevention and rehabilitation;
  • Established the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, the first youth detention facility created with a focus on Human Rights to make sure children have the best opportunity to rehabilitate;
  • Implemented the After Hour Bail Service to reduce detention rates for young people; and
  • Provided more than $3 million to fund 14 youth homelessness services.

 

Policy initiatives

ACT Labor will establish a trauma recovery centre to support children recovering from abuse and neglect, at a cost of $2.2 million over four years

The trauma recovery centre will provide an early intervention service that would stop young people exhibiting complex behaviours from entering the high needs part of the out of home care system and the juvenile justice system.

The centre will help children recovering from abuse and neglect, and promote recovery from developmental trauma through provision of therapeutic services.

Under this program, a team of experts including infant or child psychiatrists, researchers and nurses will assess each child’s developmental and therapeutic needs and the support needs of those involved in caring for the child.

 

ACT Labor will expand the successful Parents as Teachers program, at a cost of $1.4 million over four years.

The Parents as Teachers program operates out of the ACT’s three successful Child and Family Centres, and provides parents with an extensive curriculum delivered by experienced professionals in their homes for the first three years of a child’s life.

The program empowers parents with the knowledge and skills to handle complex parenting situations.  The individual relationship between the parent and adviser allows targeted interventions based on areas of concern.

Parents who have participated in this program have identified that the Parents as Teachers program helped address their feelings of isolation, gave them confidence in the parenting skills and helped them to access other services.

The Parents as Teachers program allows for engagement with parents prior to children being born; long term relationships with vulnerable children and their parents (up to three years); and positive relationship with the service systems.  This initiative will further enhance ACT Labor’s investment into prevention and early intervention responses to vulnerable children.

 

ACT Labor will provide $1.2 million over four years to expand therapeutic intervention services for young people.

The therapeutic intervention services deliver high quality child-centred and family-focused professional therapeutic interventions. Since ACT Labor introduced this service there has been a high demand and this new commitment will expand the program to even more ACT families.

This funding will be used to provide extra psychological services.  These services will link to the trauma recovery centre and provide extra support and outreach to vulnerable children and families and help build resilience and skills.

 

ACT Labor will provide $2.5 million over four years to expand the youth engagement service.

As previously announced, this funding will be used to increase the number of youth engagement workers across the ACT and will allow a greater scope and connection as well as better linking vulnerable young people to vital services.