ACT Labor fund more youth workers to keep our young people on track

On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people in Australia.

Every year we are investing record levels of funding in our community, building a stronger local health system, investing in better schools and teachers, maintaining a strong local economy and creating more local jobs than ever before.

ACT Labor knows that investing in our young people is the best way to build our cities future and make Canberra even stronger. 

We need to make sure that every child and every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Our young people need to feel that they are valued as members of our community and their basic needs are met.  We do this by making sure they have accommodation, that they stay engaged in education and training and that they are able to get a job.

We already work across government to provide the services and programs that our children and young people need.  We have developed strong partnerships with the community sector to support young people and their families to deliver outcomes for our most vulnerable youth.

We have a Children, Youth and Family Services Program which keeps the focus on providing services and support at key points in their lives.

But there is more to do.

If re-elected, ACT Labor will provide $2.5 million over four years to keep our young people on track – engaged, connected and valued as members of our community.

Policy Costings

ACT Labor will provide $2.5 million over four years to employ five additional youth outreach workers to engage and support our young people and their families in the community at key transition points in their lives.

ACT Labor’s plan to keep our young people on track

 

2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017

TOTAL

Recurrent

$0.6m

$0.62m

$0.63m

$0.65m

$2.5m

Total

$0.6m

$0.62m

$0.63m

$0.65m

$2.5m

How will additional investment in youth workers help?

Our youth outreach workers in the community sector actively work to engage young people across Canberra who are at risk of disconnecting and help them get accommodation, continue in education and training and help them get a job.

The funds will allow for the expansion of the current Youth Engagement Service, delivered under the Children Youth and Family Services Program in partnership with community organisations.

The expansion of the Youth Engagement Services across Canberra will allow the program to help more vulnerable young people to engage and re-connect with support services, with a focus on early intervention and providing wrap-around services.

It is through this direct support and engagement that we are able to make a real difference to the lives of young people and their families at the most vulnerable points in their lives.

How will this extra support work?

We are already delivering youth engagement services across Canberra.  We use our regional networks and key partners which include:

  • Northside Community Service/Anglicare (in the Inner North/Gungahlin Network);
  • Belconnen Community Service (in the Belconnen Network);
  • Woden Community Service/Southside Community Services/Anglicare (in the South/Weston Network);
  • Communities@Work/YWCA of Canberra (in the Tuggeranong Network); and
  • Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation (across the ACT).

Key features of the Youth Engagement Services include:

  • Street outreach on Friday and Saturday evenings;
  • Open access (or ‘drop in’) activities in safe places that are appropriate and accessible to young people;
  • Evening recreational activities at locations that young people are likely to congregate; and
  • Money to support engagement and connections with family and/or to other services (such as phone cards, bus tickets, meals, family outings).

Youth Engagement Services are likely to have a short to medium term involvement with a young person and will actively engage and transition the young person to their strengthened support network and/or to medium to long term services that will meet their needs.

Youth Engagement Service providers will work in partnership with families and other service providers, including Case Management Services, to support the young person’s engagement and transition.

The current Youth Engagement Services Program commenced on 1 March 2012 following extensive consultation with the sector and research of contemporary best practice.  The Government currently allocates annual funding of $861,850 for the program, and if re-elected ACT Labor will increase this by more than $600,000 a year.

The increase in funding will provide up to five additional youth engagement workers across the Belconnen, Gungahlin/North, Western/South and Tuggeranong networks.