Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

$12.3 million for 27 Reconnect services across Australia

Twenty-seven services across Australia will receive over $12.3 million in Howard Government funding over two years to provide support to young people and their families.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today announced continued funding for Reconnect services following an independent assessment on the level of service provided in urban, rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

“This funding helps young people, between 12 and 18 years, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to reconnect with their families, communities, education, training and employment,” Mrs Ley said.

“The Reconnect Program allows young people and their families to access early intervention programmes such as counselling, family mediation and practical support.

“As well as providing direct assistance, Reconnect services also provide group programmes, undertake community development projects and work with other agencies to improve the outcomes addressing youth homelessness.

“For example, Southern Youth and Family Services in Wollongong, NSW, has been providing adolescent and family support services to the community since 1999. The service focuses on rebuilding family relationships and securing safe and stable accommodation options for young people.

“The Reconnect Program has proven to be highly successful, with two-thirds of young people and families reporting an improved level of engagement with their family at the end of their support period.

“Since 1999, Reconnect services have helped more than 50,000 young people, who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their families in communities across Australia.

“This funding recognises the efforts and the effectiveness of Reconnect services and the people who work in them who provide an early intervention service for young people and their families across Australia.

“The Howard Government is committed to assisting Australia’s youth to remain connected to their families and communities,” Mrs Ley said.