ACT out-of-home care system ranks last

The CREATE Foundation represents all Australian children and young people in out-of-home care. Five years ago they released a comprehensive survey of kids in care, and they recently released another such survey to see what has changed in the past five years. Academic experts have called these surveys ‘solidly researched’.


The latest survey is full of extremely worrying results. Of Australia’s eight states and territories, the ACT is ranked worst across a broad range of measurements. In a speech in the Assembly today, I highlighted some of the biggest failures in our care and protection system:


· The ACT is last for providing stable placements to kids removed from their homes.

· The ACT is also the worst, both for removing kids from placements against their wishes and for consulting children before moving them.

· Our kids are least likely to report feeling safe and secure after being removed from their homes.

· The ACT is last when it comes to listening to children in meetings that involve them.

· Our young people report more trouble in accessing doctors, dentists and counsellors than in any other jurisdiction.

· Our kids are least satisfied with their learning at school.

· Too many of those who exit care end up homeless, jobless and in trouble, yet the ACT is again last when it comes to young people who report even having an exit plan.

· The ACT was ranked last in overall satisfaction by those in the system.


I simply cannot understand how, in the wealthiest jurisdiction in Australia, we can allow our care and protection system to fail this badly. I have called upon the ACT Government to hear the voices of the children and young people in this survey and to take immediate action. I will continue to hold them accountable until serious improvements are made.



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