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Thursday, 14 February 2013
Page: 1569

Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minor Program

(Question No. 1303)

Ms Gambaro asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in writing, on 27 November 2012:

(1) In respect of Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors (UHMs) carers, since 1 December 2007, by way of monthly breakdown, (a) what is the total number of carers, (b) how many have been required to undergo police checks, and (c) how many carer applications have been refused as a result of the police checks.

(2) In respect of UHMs carers' assessment applications, (a) what is the timeframe for an application to be completed, and (b) what is the current backlog of outstanding carer assessment applications.

Mr Brendan O'Connor: The answers to the honourable member's question is:

(1) (a) While the Department keeps records of the carers of individual clients, statistical information on carers is not maintained. At any one time, a carer may provide support to more than one UHM. Providing the statistics would require manual examination of hundreds of individual files and records and would be an unreasonable diversion of resouces.

(b) As part of the carer assessment process, all non-relative carers must undergo a police check. All adults residing in the carer's property must also undergo police checks.

(c) Carer applications are assessed by state welfare agencies. The Department is not aware of any carer applications refused as a result of a police check.

(2) (a) While timeframes differ between state welfare agencies, most carer assessments are completed within six to eight weeks.

(b) Most carer applications are assessed within six to eight weeks. As at 21 December 2012, there were 45 carer applications outstanding nationally.