Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Helping at-risk youth through early intervention

A program to help young people across the Wide Bay-Burnett to avoid anti-social behaviour and criminal activity has received a funding boost from the Coalition Government.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today announced a $1.4 million grant from Round 6 of the Safer Communities Fund for a program to assist at-risk youth across the region.

“Hervey Bay-based organisation Trauma Assist will run the Youth Assist program which will work with 12-24 year old’s who have been referred as needing early intervention,” Mr Pitt said.

“We’ve seen recent reports in the media about break-ins and vandalism at businesses, particularly in Hervey Bay, and anti-social behaviour, which must be addressed.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community and businesses have quite rightly had enough of the senseless damage that costs them each time they have to clean up the mess and costs them when goods are stolen.

“This program aims to help young people, keep them in school, then get them into work and stop these destructive behaviours.”

Trauma Assist chief executive officer Sandra Holebrook welcomed the funding which will expand on early intervention activities the organisation has been piloting.

“This project will target up to 150 youth who can be referred by police and schools as well as youth justice and child safety services,” Ms Holebrook said.

“This is a unique trauma informed wrap around programme designed over a period of nine months to work with the participants on a range of activities including helping them gain employment, developing their personal safety skills to reduce violence and abuse in the community and learning about respectful relationships.

“We’ll also be working with the participants to develop the participants understanding of personal responsibilities to aid advanced decision making.”

Bundaberg’s Indigenous Wellbeing Centre received a $749,000 grant from the Safer Communities Fund for a project to assist 80 Indigenous youth and their families to provide opportunities for re-engagement with the education system, pathways to employment, and facilitating an improved sense of mental health, wellbeing, and cultural awareness.

The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre received a $416,856 grant from the Safer Communities Fund to help local youth and their family to re-engage them into education or employment and develop resilience.

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