Leaving Care Kits for young people in NSW

LEAVING CARE KIT

Recently Jan was presented with a Transitioning from Care Kit by the National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) delegates Kimberly and Chris, and CREATE Foundation representative, Bianca Edwards.  This kit will be shown to MPs to gain their support for a Motion that has been placed on the Notice Paper to seek a stronger commitment from the Government to fulfil its obligations to provide young people with Leaving Care Plans. 

CREATE Foundation is the peak body representing the voices of all children and young people in out-of-home care. As an advocate for children and young people in care CREATE ensures that their voices are heard by key decision makers in government and out-of-home care sector stakeholders. CREATE believes that consultation and participation is the cornerstone of good practice and fulfils this commitment through the development and support of NYAC.

NYAC provides a national forum for young people with a care experience to have a voice about issues in the care system, in order to improve the system and the lives of children and young people with a care experience.

CREATE hosts a NYAC summit each year which brings together the NYAC delegates from each state across the country with a focus on developing plans that address key issues impacting on children and young people in care.

One of NYAC and CREATE’s goals is to increase support available to young people and adults who are transitioning from care by developing a Transitioning from Care Kit. These kits include state specific information to enable young people to have access to relevant information and resources.  It has been developed in consultation with young people who have a care experience and who understand the need for the resources.

The kit provided has information specific to Queensland as there has been no funding allocation from the NSW government towards these Transitioning from Care Kits.  In Queensland the Government has provided a budget allocation of approximately $70,000 for the production and distribution of these kits.

In Budget Estimates Committee, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward was asked if NSW would be funding the production and distribution of the kits. The response was:

“While Community Services is aware of the QLD Transitioning From Care Kits they are not being considered in NSW”

The Greens are committed to raising awareness about the importance of supporting young people in their transition from care and a petition is available on the website to provide support for improving the delivery of this important resource. To help with this important campaign download the petition here, or call Ella Buckland on 9230 2204.

Greens join the campaign to Say No to Income Management in Bankstown

Fom 1 July 2012 compulsory income management will be introduced in Bankstown. The NSW Greens have joined the campaign to Say No to Income Management – Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere!

What is income management? Income management or welfare quarantining means half a person’s Centrelink payment is managed by Centrelink. People targeted will be issued with a “BasicsCard” only to be used to buy certain goods in selected shops. Centrelink can use this money to pay bills like rent and power but not others such as phone bills.

Public meeting: Senator Lee Rhiannon will speak at a public meeting at 1pm on 15 December 2011, at the Civic Tower, 66-72 Rickard Rd, Bankstown. Click to download a copy of the  No to Income Management in Bankstown Leaflet.

WHY DO THE GREENS OPPOSE INCOME MANAGEMENT?

It doesn’t work – international research shows that welfare quarantining doesn’t keep children or families healthy and out of poverty.

It’s expensive – welfare quarantining means more money spent on red tape and staff salaries. $38 million has been budgeted for the 10 trial sites alone.

It’s impractical – the BasicsCard forces families to shop at particular stores, usually the large stores where goods may be more expensive.

Other solutions are available – there is strong evidence that voluntary income management programs and family budget planning can help reduce poverty.

Check out other posts about Jan’s questions in NSW Parliament about Income Management by searching this site under “Income Management”.

Visit the websites of Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Senator Rachel Siewert  for their work in the Australian Parliament on compulsory income management.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?

Join the campaign to Say ‘NO’ to income management, not in Bankstown not anywhere! Visit www.sayno2gim.info to endorse the campaign and sign the petition.

Find and like on Facebook and follow on Twitter @say_no_2_gov_im

Tell the decision-makers what you think

Write to your local MPs and Federal Ministers. As income management requires the support of State Governments, also write to the NSW Premier and NSW Minister for Family and Community Services.

Premier Barry O’Farrell

GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001

Ph 02 9228 5239

Fax 02 9228 3935

office@premier.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward

Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000

Ph 02 9228 5413, Fax 02 9228 5501

office@goward.minister.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services andIndigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin 

Federal Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph 03 9459 1411 Fax 03 9457 5721

jenny.macklin.mp@aph.gov.au

Budget Estimates Hearings 2011

Budget Estimates Hearings were held at State Parliament betweeon Monday October 24th and Friday October 28th. The hearings provided Jan with an opportunity to ask Ministers and senior Beaureucrats a range of questions covering her portfolio areas. Jan asked questions in two manners – firstly during the actual hearings and secondly with written questions on notice that were submitted after the hearing. Jan’s questions and the answers she received are provided in the attachments below: 

Attachment one: Questions Jan asked during the public hearings