Roundtable focus on young people and families
The needs of children and young people with disability were the focus of the third meeting of the Australian Government’s Children and Family Roundtable in Melbourne today. The Roundtable also discussed the Gillard Government’s $1 billion Family Support Program.
Roundtable members – 14 child and family experts, including advocates, service providers and carers’ representatives – provide advice to the Government on child and family focussed policies, programs and payments across the portfolio.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, talked with members about Australian Government reforms to improve outcomes for young people and children with disability, particularly the National Disability Strategy and the work to build a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“We want all Australians with disability, their families and carers to get the care and support they need, regardless of where they live or how they acquired their disability,” Ms Macklin said.
“Children with disability and their families deserve a brighter future, and we’re working to deliver that through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”
The first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will start from the middle of next year, and will benefit thousands of people with disability. The launch will start in five sites across the country, two of which – in South Australia and Tasmania — will focus specifically on children and young people.
“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will give people with disability, their families and carers choice and control over the care and support they receive, and certainty that their needs will be met over their lifetimes.”
Roundtable members also discussed the National Disability Strategy and how to improve the engagement of governments and the community sector with people with disability, their families and carers.
The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, who chaired the meeting, said it was a good forum for discussion on ways to strengthen the Family Support Program.
“Over the past 12 months, the Family Support Program has assisted more than 800,000 Australians,” Ms Collins said.
“Today, there has been a lot of interest in the discussion paper about future directions for the Family Support Program, which I launched in October this year.
“Many thoughtful and constructive submissions were received ahead of a series of consultation meetings to be held across Australia early next year.
“These submissions provide views on a range of issues for the Family Support Program, including how to improve the planning and coordination of services, driving innovation and increasing access for Indigenous Australians,” Ms Collins said.
The $1 billion Family Support Program services are delivered by community organisations in about 2,300 locations across Australia.
Information about the consultations will be available at www.fahcsia.gov.au/FSPfuturedirections.