More Support for Young People in Care

NT Government

Every Territory child and young person deserves to feel supported and cared for.

Today the Territory Labor Government has passed the Territory Families Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.

Now, support for young people leaving out of home care will be extended through the transition to adulthood until the age of 22.

The new provisions validate that a young person is entitled to receive assistance, including financial assistance to maintain appropriate living and support arrangements.

The Bill aligns the Northern Territory with the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia who have committed to providing young people leaving out of home care with extended support.

Other aspects of the Bill include:

introducing the provision of voluntary prenatal support services to families to prevent an unborn child being in need of care and protection when born;enhancing cross-agency cooperation and information sharing through the development of the client information system; andenabling a child safety data exchange and access scheme.

The passing of this Bill reflects Government’s ongoing work to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

Quotes from Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing, Kate Worden:

“This Bill will achieve better life outcomes for Territory children, young people and families. Supporting children, young people and families before reaching crisis is critical in both improving outcomes.

“This legislative package supports government objectives by working to ensure Territorians are safe in their community and can access support when needed from a service system empowered to be proactive, communicative and coordinated.

“The Territory Labor Government knows that not every child is ready to leave home at the age of 18 years, and children develop differently. Some young people need more time to find their feet before being able to live independently.”

Northern Territory Government

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