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Continued investment in the Youth at Risk Initiative (YARI)

The Labor Party has announced continuation of $13 million of funding over three years that will be directed to 42 services operating as part of the Youth at Risk Initiative (YARI).  A further $2 million would be added to meet future demand for this service.

PeakCare congratulates the Labor Party on their ongoing support of YARI.

As discussed within PeakCare’s Position Paper, Government Portfolio and Departmental Program Arrangements, child protection responses are predominantly designed to cater for young children and are often inadequate in addressing the needs of marginalised young people in their teenage years.

A group who is often especially disadvantaged by the lack of available, sufficient or relevant government or non-government services or restrictive eligibility criteria includes marginalised young people who:

  • are in care
  • are subject to dual orders, or
  • should be receiving assistance from the child protection system but who, due to their age, are perceived as being in less need than younger children of protective interventions.

These young people often include those who are homeless, rough sleeping, young people leaving a youth detention centre and / or who have mental health or substance use issues.  Young people who are particularly vulnerable include those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

PeakCare has also strongly advocated in the past for improved support and assistance to young people in their transitions from care to independence, as described within our Position Paper, Children’s and Young People’s Transitions.

PeakCare now looks forward to hearing more from the political parties about ways in which a cross-government, cross-sector policy and practice framework can be developed for better protecting the interests of marginalised, vulnerable and at risk young people.

If you have a view or opinion about Labor’s continued support of YARI or a related matter, please enter a comment below or email us at election2012@peakcare.org.au.

Lindsay Wegener, Executive Director, PeakCare Queensland

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I commend this iniative to increase funding to youth at risk services. With the increasing number of children and young people coming to the attention of the child protection services and entering out of home care, funding to support services for young people in the community and to develop the skills to gain employment and live fulfilling lives is essential. MIchael Tizard, State ManagerQld, The Benevolent Society

    March 1, 2012
  2. I applaud the Labor Party’s initiative to extend the YARI funding for a further three years. Not only are there increasing numbers of children and young people coming to the attention of child protection services, more young people are coming to the attention of youth justice services. Positive outcomes for children and young people depend on flexible, age-appropriate services that are able to engage and assist those most marginalised.

    March 1, 2012
  3. Lucas Moore #

    Labor’s decision to extend the YARI funding makes sense and should be applauded however; a number of young people transitioning from care to independence still experience a disconnect between the child and adult/youth service systems. To acheive a better outcomes in this area CREATE Foundation urges the Labor Party to follow the lead of other juridsictions (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-22/act-govt-foster-support/3844374?section=act) and introduce a lesgiatlive framework of support for young people who have transitioned out of our care system.

    March 2, 2012
  4. Shelley Wall #

    This is indeed a worthwhile initiative and this commitment is good news. However, there is a lot to be done in order to assist young people to navigate the transition from care to independence. I call on the next government to consider the issues raised in PeakCare’s position paper on this issue and ensure this is given a high priority. Shelley Wall, Manager, Mercy Family Services [Residential Care & Transition Services].

    March 3, 2012
  5. Gail Slocombe #

    It is commendable that Labor recognises the needs of young people and the community agencies which service them by increasing funding in this current financial situation. Whilst one can always ask for more because there is unmet need within the community, I ask that work also continue on a rigourous reduction in ‘red tape’, duplication and other administrative burdens on agencies and government departments. The National Child Protection Framework seeks better corodination of services to young people and improved support for their transition to adulthood. I look forward to some long term solutions to provide meaningful support for young people who cannot live with their families – better integration of services from all levels of government, better support to ensure that schooling can be maintained and further education encouraged and a more responsive system to prevent homelessness. Investing in people when they are young and vulnerable will save money over the lifespan.

    March 5, 2012

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