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Tuesday, 8 May 1984
Page: 1747

Senator WALTERS —My question is to the Minister for Social Security. As additional financial assistance to foster parents who choose to care for severely handicapped children is an entitlement that does not incur the application of the means test, why is it that departmental officers call on these wonderful people to inquire into their private financial position?

Senator GRIMES —I have no idea of the circumstances about which Senator Walters is questioning me. I will certainly seek information to see whether this is happening and, if so, whether there is an explanation of why it is happening. I imagine that the only reason people would visit those who were going to foster children, be they handicapped or otherwise, would be first of all to ensure that they were capable, economically and otherwise, of doing so, and secondly, to see whether they needed any assistance. However, I will seek information for the honourable senator.

Senator WALTERS —I ask a supplementary question, Mr President. Does the Minister require the name and address of one of these couples? They opted for a severely handicapped child and then were questioned about their financial situation.

Senator GRIMES —That would certainly assist me in providing the answer. I would be happy to get the answer for the honourable senator as soon as possible.