FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES—BANKSTOWN INCOME MANAGEMENT PILOT QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women—

  1. What arrangements or agreements are in place between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink to provide information about people living in Bankstown who have been referred to the Department?
  2. What class or type of referral to the Department will qualify a person, living in the Bankstown area receiving Federal Government welfare benefits, for income management?
  3. What community and social service programs currently funded by the Department are located in the Bankstown area? Please provide a complete list.
  4. What percentage of people referred to the Department living in the Bankstown area are receiving early intervention programs including Brighter Futures?

 

Answer—

  1. Bilateral negotiations have commenced with NSW Government and Commonwealth officials meeting to plan the implementation of the trial. These negotiations will include information sharing arrangements between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink.  
  2. The Commonwealth has stated targeted income management will apply to vulnerable families and individuals including parents referred for income management by state or territory child protection authorities; people assessed by Centrelink social workers as being vulnerable to financial crisis, which could include people referred by public housing authorities because they are at risk of homelessness due to rental arrears; and people who volunteer for income management.
  3. In 2010-11, Community Services provided funding under the following funding programs in the Bankstown LGA:
    Community Services Grants Program: $1,615,845
    Children’s Services Program: $2,043,463
    Early Intervention Program: $2,889,438
    Keep Them Safe: $45,000
    Out-of-Home Care: $2,456,301
    Supported Accommodation Assistance Program: $2,097,294
    Strengthening Communities:  $2,137,969
    Total: $13,285,310
  4. The Department of Family and Community Services does not collect data on this basis.

Homeless Young People QWN

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services. How many young people in New South Wales who are identified as homeless have been in care and how many of those received a leaving care plan?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the Hon. Jan Barham for her question and interest in this important area. I know that she has done a considerable amount of work in relation to these issues and I have taken particular note of her questions in order to answer them appropriately. The New South Wales Government acknowledges the complex challenges and barriers that young people face in accessing and sustaining appropriate accommodation. In 2010-11 the Commonwealth Government and the New South Wales Community Services jointly contributed $134 million to fund approximately 350 Specialist Homelessness Services to provide accommodation and support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Approximately 39 per cent of the Specialist Homelessness Services in New South Wales are targeted at young people. This equates to approximately 138 youth-focused Specialist Homelessness Services in 2010-11, with funding of approximately $48.3 million.

In relation to the honourable member’s question, I am advised that supported accommodation services currently do not record whether or not clients have been in out-of-home care when they request accommodation and other homelessness services. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 provides for assistance for young people who are transitioning from out-of-home care to independent living. Assistance can include help to find accommodation, to undertake education and training or to access income support and healthcare. It also may include referrals to counselling services. Transitioning to independence is a key priority area under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, and New South Wales is working closely with the Commonwealth to improve outcomes for young care leavers.

New South Wales is contributing to the planning of a nationally consistent approach to leaving care and a review of the Transition to Independent Living Allowance. Community Services has implemented a case planning framework and electronic templates for case planning and review that will support consistent case planning, including on leaving care. Objectives addressed in the eight measures of wellbeing in the case plan template focus on supporting the young person’s successful transition to independent living. A key priority of the New South Wales Homelessness Action Plan is a “no exits into homelessness” policy to ensure that young people leaving out-of-home care have access to long-term supported housing. Community Services is working with non-government organisations to implement the Homelessness Action Plan. It leads 32 projects targeting specific client groups. This includes assisting Aboriginal young people leaving out-of-home care to successfully transition to independent living, preventing their homelessness.

 

BANKSTOWN INCOME MANAGEMENT PILOT QWN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women—

  1. What arrangements or agreements are in place between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink to provide information about people living in Bankstown who have been referred to the Department?
  2. What class or type of referral to the Department will qualify a person, living in the Bankstown area receiving Federal Government welfare benefits, for income management?
  3. What community and social service programs currently funded by the Department are located in the Bankstown area? Please provide a complete list.
  4. What percentage of people referred to the Department living in the Bankstown area are receiving early intervention programs including Brighter Futures?

 

Answer—

  1. Bilateral negotiations have commenced with NSW Government and Commonwealth officials meeting to plan the implementation of the trial. These negotiations will include information sharing arrangements between the Department of Family and Community Services and Centrelink.  
  2. The Commonwealth has stated targeted income management will apply to vulnerable families and individuals including parents referred for income management by state or territory child protection authorities; people assessed by Centrelink social workers as being vulnerable to financial crisis, which could include people referred by public housing authorities because they are at risk of homelessness due to rental arrears; and people who volunteer for income management.
  3. In 2010-11, Community Services provided funding under the following funding programs in the Bankstown LGA:
    Community Services Grants Program: $1,615,845
    Children’s Services Program: $2,043,463
    Early Intervention Program: $2,889,438
    Keep Them Safe: $45,000
    Out-of-Home Care: $2,456,301
    Supported Accommodation Assistance Program: $2,097,294
    Strengthening Communities:  $2,137,969
    Total: $13,285,310
  4. The Department of Family and Community Services does not collect data on this basis.

SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES PACKAGE

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Premier, and Minister for Western Sydney—

  1. In regard to the priorities established in the Federal Government’s $230 million ‘Sustainable Australia – Sustainable Communities package’:
    1. Considering that population growth in non-metropolitan coastal areas has seen an increase from 4.9 million to 6.8 million people with an average rate of more than 146,000 people a year, is there sufficient focus on regional infrastructure development for New South Wales in this package?
    2. If not, what will the Government do?
  2. What role will the Government play in the Sustainable Regional Development Program which will support strategic assessments under national environmental law in up to seven additional regional and coastal growth areas?
  3. Which regional and coastal growth areas in New South Wales will be assessed under this program?

 

Answer—

The Government is taking an active role in developing a whole-of-government approach to regional infrastructure development. For example, Infrastructure NSW is being established as part of the Government’s 100 Day Action Plan to develop strategic infrastructure planning for NSW.

The Government is committed to engaging with the Commonwealth on funding and delivering optimal infrastructure outcomes for Regional NSW, including through the assessment and allocation of funds under the Federal Government’s “Sustainable Australia-Sustainable Communities’ package.

Children and Young People in Kinship Care

KINSHIP CARE
31 May 2011
Page: 24

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women. Will the Minister advise the House how many children are in kinship care in New South Wales? What percentage of children in out-of-home care does this number represent?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the Hon. Jan Barham for another detailed and very interesting question. I will refer it to the Minister for an answer. I look forward to reading the answer as much as the member does.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: On 31 May 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked me in my capacity as the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women a question without notice regarding kinship care. The Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women has provided the following response:

  •  
      1. As at 30 June 2010, there were 8,844 children and young people in out-of-home care placed in relative and kinship care.

      2. This represents 50.8 per cent of all children and young people in out-of-home care as at 30 June 2010.

Regulation of Early Childhood Education Childcare and Childcare Licensing Fees

CHILDCARE SERVICES
1 June 2011
Page: 29

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services. Will the Minister confirm whether childcare services are still required to enter into service agreements with the Department of Family and Community Services, even though the Minister for Education is now responsible for parts 12 and 12A of the Children and Young People (Care and Protection) Act? Does the Minister for Family and Community Services agree with the Hon. Greg Pearce’s assessment of licensing fees for childcare centres on 4 December 2008 wherein he stated childcare licensing fees are “a prime example of the Government’s grab for tax and cash through its half-baked mini-budget … which will hurt employers and families”?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the Hon. Jan Barham for her question. I am very impressed with the research that is going on. Importantly, this research is going into Hansard. It is research that has a base to it. Unlike the Opposition, which takes all of its research from the newspapers—

The Hon. Michael Gallacher: Last week’s newspapers.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: That is right, last week’s newspapers. Then they take it out of context when they get it out of the newspapers. So they are not even satisfied with what is in the newspapers. However, it is a detailed question. Obviously, I will need to get a detailed answer from the Minister and come back to the honourable member.

Leaving Care Plans

LEAVING CARE PLANS
25 May 2011
Page: 23

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services. Will the Minister advise what percentage of children and young people in the care of the Minister have leaving care plans? Do all leaving care plans make provision for care leavers to be assisted in applying for the Federal Government transition to independent living allowance?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Once again I thank the honourable member—are you honourable?

The Hon. Jan Barham: Yes.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I like the honourable Greens. Actually, I am really pleased to see that they have got over their little rebirthing period when they stopped wearing ties and there were two factions. This is an important and detailed question and I will refer it to the Minister and obtain an answer as soon as I can.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: On 25 May 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked me in my capacity as the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women a question without notice regarding leaving care plans. The Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women has provided the following response:

 • Your Next Step: Information for young people leaving care is to assist young people. This resource includes information about the Federal Government’s Transition to Independent Living Allowance.

• Carers of young people leaving care are given a resource Leading the Way: Preparing young people for leaving care A Guide for Carers. This resource includes tips to help the carer prepare the young person, as well as a guide on entitlements including the Transition to Independent Living Allowance.

. The O’Farrell Stoner government supports leaving care planning for children and young people. Currently, planning for some children and young people may be more involved than for others based on individuals’ circumstances and needs. More information about leaving care planning can be found at www.community.nsw.gov.au/

2. Leaving care planning for young people leaving care with a goal of independent living is undertaken in consultation with the young person, to meet their needs given their particular circumstances. This work usually commences when they turn 15 years of age to allow them to prepare for this important event. Where appropriate for the young person, assistance in applying for Transition to Independent Living Allowance would be included in the Leaving Care plan.

In late 2010 two resources with information on leaving care for young people and carers were developed and distributed:

Details about the resources were also sent to peak bodies and relevant agencies.