Media release – Monday, 2 May 2022
A newly-announced $1.4 million Federal grant to support young people who have (or have had) a parent in custody and are themselves at risk of entering the criminal justice system is very welcomed.
The Federal funding will support The Next Step project, a place-based community mentoring program aimed at young people aged between 12 and 21, which is run by SHINE for Kids.
The program will be delivered in three locations with high youth crime rates and a strong SHINE for Kids presence: Western Sydney NSW, Frankston VIC, and Townsville QLD.
Each location will support 15 young people and 15 volunteer mentors annually – a maximum of 90 young people and 90 mentors over two years.
Speaking during a visit by the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, SHINE for Kids CEO, Julie Hourigan Ruse said the investment will change lives for the better.
“We are very grateful to the Federal Government for investing in this program, which will take another important step towards breaking the cycle of intergenerational offending,” Ms Hourigan Ruse said.
“The program matches a young person with a consistent, adult mentor for a 12-month program of structure activities to counterbalance lifestyle risk factors, like abuse, neglect and trauma.
“This targeted program will change lives and ensure more young people get the support they need when they need it.”
The Next Step program also actively supports young people to re-engage with education, vocational training and employment as well as re-connect with community and culture.
Where appropriate the program engages with the young person’s family/carers including extended family and kinship networks.
Many of the young people involved in The Next Step will also require additional support from SHINE for Kids to access critical services in the community such as health and mental health services, community youth justice, community corrections, legal services, court related matters, and emergency accommodation.
For more information on SHINE for Kids, visit: www.shineforkids.org.au
Media contact: Billy Briggs 0474 697 235
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