Sarah Courtney,Minister for Children and Youth
The safety and wellbeing of our young people, particularly our most vulnerable, is an absolute priority for the Tasmanian Government.
In July this year, we accepted in-principle the recommendations of an Expert Panel for improving our support for Tasmanian children and young people with highly complex needs.
The Expert Panel was established in response to our review into the Many Colours One Direction Program in the Northern Territory.
Today I am releasing an Implementation Plan which responds to the recommendations of the Expert Panel, and provides an update of progress made against that Plan since July.
The Plan details the steps we are taking to better meet the complex needs of young people and, importantly, develop services and programs for them here in Tasmania.
The Government has since established a cross-sectoral oversight group of individuals with relevant experience and expertise from Government and non-government organisations, including Aboriginal Community Organisations.
The group has now endorsed the Implementation Plan and will continue to have oversight of its roll-out.
In readiness to respond to the Panel’s recommendations, the Government already set aside $500,000 of seed funding to progress the development of Tasmanian based programs.
Under our Plan, we expect to have new programs operating in Tasmania by the end of 2022.
The release of this plan represents an important step forward in our commitment to establish programs for young people with exceptional needs here in Tasmania.
In addition, I can also advise that as part of our transition away from MC1D, the service agreement between the Department of Communities and MC1D has now concluded.
In line with their wishes and the support of their families, two young people remain in the Northern Territory with the connections they have established while participating in the MC1D program.
Both young people remaining in the Northern Territory will continue to access a range of support services as negotiated with them and their individual care teams.
The transitions for these young people have also been made in line with the recommendations of the Expert Panel regarding interstate placements.
Any future placements interstate will carefully follow the recommendations of the Expert Panel and procedures within the Department of Communities have already been modified to ensure this occurs.
The Tasmanian Government is committed to improving outcomes for Tasmanian children and young people, particularly those who have complex needs and who are in out-of-home care.
We want all children and young people to overcome the challenges they face, reach their potential and lead fulfilling and productive lives.