Tuesday, 22 June 2021 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 6144 – 6145
The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:13): My question is to the Minister for Child Protection. Can the minister update the house on the direction of the future support of young people with complex needs currently carried out under the Transition to Adult Life Intensive Program (TALI), which I am advised will cease at the end of June. With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: According to my information, this program was launched in 2018 with support to those aged between 15 and 25 with complex needs in Upper Spencer Gulf, in Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla. At the time of the launch, the minister indicated that the program would be invaluable to young people who face multiple barriers transitioning to adult life from a residential or commercial care placement.
The Hon. R. SANDERSON (Adelaide—Minister for Child Protection) (15:14): I thank the member for his question. The Transition to Adult Life program was, as stated, in the Upper Spencer Gulf. It was a pilot program over 18 months. I visited many of the young people. It involved having mentors with lived experience and then new, younger children who were still under the guardianship of the minister.
When I met with them, I saw their life story books they were working on and I heard about the programs they were undertaking. The majority of them saw getting their driver’s licence as one of the main features, which, in the country, it is. We extended the program by a further year because the young people weren’t yet through the program, so it did take a lot longer than expected to go through it. It was evaluated and, based on that evaluation, we extended it by a year to let the children who were already in the program complete the program. On the figures and the evaluation at this point we won’t be going forward.
Given that things like driving lessons were one of the major factors, I have been looking at other ways. There are Rotary Club courses that are available for learning to drive. We also have I think 10 lessons available for young people in care that are funded through our department. So we are looking at other ways that we can support young people, not just in the Upper Spencer Gulf but across the whole state.