Child protection regional visit

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Child Protection. Minister, can you inform the house about your visits to the regions as Minister for Child Protection?

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: One moment, member for Flinders. The Leader of the Opposition and the Premier will cease verbal sparring or they can do it outside. Could you please repeat the question.

Mr TRELOAR: I can repeat it, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Child Protection. Minister, can you inform the house about your visits to the regions as Minister for Child Protection?

The Hon. R. SANDERSON (Adelaide—Minister for Child Protection) (14:37): I thank the member for Flinders. He was my host—a great host—when I recently visited both Ceduna and Port Lincoln and was able to see firsthand the beautiful coastline between the two as we drove quite some distance between his electorate offices. It is quite amazing how far our country members have to travel.

In my time as a minister, I have made it a point to visit as many children under guardianship, their carers—foster and kinship carers—agencies, residential care homes and the staff in the Department for Child Protection. In the past few months, I have been able to visit several regions. My most recent visit to the regions started in Ceduna, which is a uniquely placed remote location on Eyre Peninsula. The sense of community is very strong, and it is clear that the town has a good working relationship with the Department for Child Protection to take care of families and children who live there. There is a lot of early intervention and prevention work already being done.

The DCP office in Ceduna were very welcoming, putting on a shared meal with staff, carers and children for my visit. I was also made very welcome by the manager of AFSS, Kath Micka, and her staff over morning tea. Later that day, I visited some residential care facilities run by AFSS. I went on to visit the community lounge and was most impressed at the joint effort between the Red Cross and the Street Beat team to see how they deliver a range of services, such as active outreach, community-focused foot patrols, new phone activation, driving lessons, bus services and pastoral care. I met volunteers who were currently undertaking the painting of a mural, working in the op shop and generally helping out in the facility.

It was also great to visit the Youth Hub centre, also in Ceduna, and hear about their plans for expansion and the many activities that they run. It is a very successful support for place-based Work for the Dole opportunities as well as offering after hours activities. In Port Lincoln, I visited the DCP office where I was able to meet the staff and hear about the valuable and important work that they do. I also went on to visit Centacare who have been excellent hosts across the regions, including Whyalla, Ceduna and Port Lincoln. In Port Lincoln, they hosted a morning tea for carers, children and included AFSS in that morning. I went on to have further very productive meetings with Centacare and AFSS.

I have also recently visited Port Broughton where both the Kadina and Port Pirie officers were holding a family fun day and had lots of wonderful activities that were run and supported by all the service providers in the area, starting with a health hustle, beanbag toss, cookie decorating, jewellery making and face painting. Whilst I was there, I had a firsthand opportunity to talk to carers and children under my guardianship and hear about their experiences and their wishes for their future. Of course, there was the obligatory lovely barbecue lunch that we really enjoyed.

I have also recently visited Port Augusta and Whyalla and was very fortunate to visit a camp located near Quorn on the Pichi Richi Railway line that played host to many children and young people and their carers as a cultural carers’ camp. This included storytelling, painting, bush tucker and hiking. I would like to commend the hard work done by Jeannette and Carmel, who are kinship carers themselves who identified the need for this cultural camp to bring carers together to share their stories and experiences and to learn more.

Another highlight of the trip to Port Augusta was a sports day between the competing towns of Port Augusta and Whyalla DCP officers. It was a fantastic day and there will be hard-fought competition next year because Whyalla won the day. I am sure that Port Augusta will be keen to win that back next year.


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