Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

ACT gets share of funding to address drug issues

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michael Moore MLA, ACT Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care

The ACT Government will receive part of $11 million in Federal Government funding set aside for programs which aim to help parents cope with drug use by their children.

Federal Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said $407,000 would be provided for a Parent Education and Support Program in the ACT.

“The potential impact of drugs on children would be one of the biggest fears of most Australian parents,” Senator Vanstone said.

“Families need help in coping with this issue, whether it be in educating children about drugs or how to deal with a son or daughter who has fallen victim to drug abuse.

“This funding will be used to develop a parenting program designed directly at parents. Communication skills, children and adolescent developmental issues, information on the impact of drugs and links to local support services within the ACT region are all issues which will be addressed under the program.”

ACT Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care, Mr Michael Moore, welcomed the funding saying it filled a gap and recognised that parents needed support in dealing with the very complex issue of drug use.

“The ACT Parent Education and Support Program is both practical and family oriented because it is based on the premise that parents are the primary educators of their children, particularly in the area of values,” Mr Moore said.

“It recognises the sensitive and difficult nature of the subject matter of illicit drug use, which is often a barrier to discussion and potentially “taboo” within family boundaries.

“The program acknowledges that family values play an important role in parental approaches to the topic of drug use, and addresses the underlying parental concern that giving information about drugs may be interpreted as giving permission to use drugs.”

The Funding to the ACT will be used to implement the national Strengthening and Supporting Families Coping with Illicit Drug Use measure, one of a package of measures funded under the National Illicit Drugs Strategy.

The ACT Department of Health, Housing and Community Care will shortly call for Expressions of Interest from organisations wishing to register their interest in providing programs under the initiative.