The Greens’ Meredith Hunter is all worked up about youth drop in services shutting down as we move to a brave new Child, Youth and Family Services Program:
“This new service delivery program has been fraught with problems in design, tender, communication and delivery for the past year, and I have repeatedly called on the Government engage with the community, and listen to the frontline workers, young people, and their families”
“This call has fallen deaf ears, and after months of confused messages, and considerable stress for all concerned, we are now seeing some youth centres and the essential “drop in” services they offer, shut down, or severely reduced.”
“While I do understand the need to restructure the way services are funded, and appreciate some of the new focus in service delivery, I am concerned the government may have thrown the baby out with the bath water when it comes to youth services”
“Drop in provides a opportunity for vulnerable young people to build lasting and trusting relationships with youth workers in a safe environment, without being pressured into programs with formal referrals. It allows rapport building with those young people who are often wary of adults, and creates a bridge to support services for when a crisis does occur,” Ms Hunter said.
I’d be curious if any of our readers have used these services and if so how was the experience?
UPDATE: Chris Bourke has responded:
A suite of seven new services worth more than $4 million will provide unprecedented levels of support for young people who are homeless or enduring housing issues, acting Minister for Community Services Chris Bourke said today.
“Young people battling housing problems or homelessness will be able to count on more effective support than ever before through this new approach,” Dr Bourke said.
“The ACT Government will provide more focused help to address issues at an earlier stage and better assistance to young people in need of housing or homeless assistance.
“The new model is based on wide consultation with the sector in the ACT and latest evidence.”
The Government has also produced a list of youth services.
None of which is the same as a drop in centre.