Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

New service to help 400 vulnerable young people

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julie Collins MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services
  • Deb O’Neil MP, Member for Robertson
  • Senator The Hon Mark Arbib,
    Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
    Minister for Sport
    Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
    Deb O'Neil MP, Member for Robertson

The CREATE Foundation’s new Newcastle office opened today to support up to 400 young people transitioning from out of home care in the Hunter region over the next two years.

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services Julie Collins were represented by Member for Robertson Deb O’Neil who said the Australian Government would provide $400,000 to CREATE.

“The new funding will allow CREATE to extend its CREATE Your Future program to the Hunter region through its new Newcastle office,” Ms O’Neil said.

“We know that young people in out of home care often find it very difficult to transition to independence. One study showed more than a third of these young people became homeless in their first year of leaving care.

“The unique program, developed by young people for young people, would help 18-25 year-olds improve their life skills at a very vulnerable time of their lives. 

“It’s about giving these young people the skills to connect to the community for essential support and resources and gain valuable knowledge on living independently.

“In addition they will have the opportunity to get involved in some practical activities such as cooking and writing job applications.”

Ms Collins said the Government was working closely with the CREATE Foundation through the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009 – 2020 to provide better support for young people as they move from out-of-home care into independent living.

“The Government is supporting the CREATE Foundation nationally to employ a project officer to contribute to the implementation including work on improving transitions for young people leaving care,” Ms Collins said.

“At the last Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services, Ministers also agreed to a nationally consistent approach to planning for young people leaving out of home care.

“This will help young people leaving care to access housing, education and financial assistance, find employment and receive help to develop and maintain their health and wellbeing and independent living skills.”

Senator Arbib said the Australian Government provided $1.2 million over three years to extend the CREATE Your Future program to Perth, Darwin and the Hunter region.

“The CREATE Your Future program will deliver two eight-week intensive life skills programs and eight workshops each year in the Hunter,” Senator Arbib said.

“The programs are expected to benefit around 200 young people each year, not just in Newcastle but as far south as Windsor and as far north as Taree.

“The Federal Government has also invested $550 million over five years to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to deliver new and better support and accommodation to homeless people across Australia.

“Under the Agreement, 38 of the more than 180 new or expanded homelessness initiatives are specifically targeted to youth including the development of seven youth Foyer facilities and support for young people leaving out of home care and juvenile justice.

“We know that supporting young people leaving care is something that the Government cannot do alone and I look forward to working with the CREATE Foundation to help young people.”