Safe & Connected Youth Program

Safe & Connected Youth Program (S&CY)

Safe and Connected Youth Program aims to provide support for children and young people under the age of 16 and their parents/carers and family, who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

  • 30% of homeless people in Australia are under the age of 18.
  • 1 in 200 people are homeless in Australia on any given night.
  • 27,688 young people aged between 12-24 years are experiencing homelessness, account for one quarter of the total homeless population in Australia.

The Program is funded by ACT Government and is an integrated service model provided by the following community organisations:

  • Conflict Resolution Service, to provide mediation to families where young people are at risk of homelessness due to family conflict;
  • Northside Community Service, to provide therapeutic casework; 
  • Woden Community Service, to provide therapeutic casework; and
  • Marymead.

CRS CEO Melissa Haley says that family conflict is one of the highest contributing factors to youth homelessness. The ongoing support from the ACT Government is key to ensuring families can remain engaged, connected, and strong.

At present, CRS, NCS and WCS work closely together to provide early intervention support to children and young people who are experiencing family conflict, who may still be at home (at risk of homelessness), or moving in and out of homelessness. The aim of the early intervention support is to assist children, young people, and their families to improve family functioning, mitigate the risk of youth homelessness, and improve overall wellbeing of participating family members.

On the 10th September 2020, ACT Minister for Children, Youth and Families Rachel Stephen-Smith allocated money to build fit-for-purpose accommodation for young people under the age of 16. The fit-for-purpose accommodation site will be based on the Ruby’s model in South Australia. Ruby’s is an evidence-based model, providing young people with a safe place to stay while also working with families to resolve conflict and improve relationships. The S&CY team will work in close partnership with the provider of the Ruby’s refuge model.

“It is really exciting to be a part of a successful collaborative Program and we look forward to continuing the important work,” CRS Family Support Program Manager, Hamish Guthrie said.

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