Mrs ARMITAGE asked a question of the Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council -
(1) How much is the government currently investing in education programs to prevent teenage pregnancy?
(2) What is the breakdown of that expenditure?
The answer read as follows:
(1) The Department of Education has a Relationships and Sexuality Strategy aligned with the relevant content of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education. Topics include decision making and respectful relationships.
Some schools use their School Resource Package - SRP - funds to employ outside providers such as family planning, others use their own teaching staff or access support from school social workers. Department of Education officers work in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant organisations to provide information on current and best practice and to make links with the curriculum.
Population Health works with the Department of Education and the Department of Premier and Cabinet and a range of community sector organisations to implement the Making Choices Action Plan which is aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy. The Action Plan focuses on supporting the delivery of relationships and sexuality education in schools, increasing access to clinical services and increasing access to condoms, particularly in rural areas.
Population Health funds Family Planning Tasmania to undertake work with young people that focuses on preventing teenage pregnancy. Family Planning Tasmania are also funded to provide relationships and sexuality education to children and young people, to support teachers and other health professionals to teach relationships and sexuality education and to provide clinical services to young people.
(2) The amount invested is not quantifiable as it is not administered or funded centrally. Specific schools determine how they provide the support. There is no funding attached to the Making Choices Action Plan. The strategies contained within the plan are being implemented through the development of partnerships and using existing resources - staff - with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Family Planning Tasmania is substantially funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. It is not possible to quantify the total specific allocation of these funds to teenage pregnancy prevention because this is part of Family Planning Tasmania's core business and addressed throughout their clinical services and their education programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services has provided $56 000 to printing and distributing Talk Soon Talk Often, a guide for parents talking to their children about sex and related issues, including pregnancy.