Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Funding to help families coping with drug use

Families across Australia who are coping with the adverse effects of drug use, will be given crisis help and support with $3.6 million in new funding from the Howard Government.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today announced that 13 organisations across Australia have been selected to receive funding to deliver support to families experiencing such difficulties.

“The funding will support projects in regions including ACT, Shepparton, Geelong, Redfern, Perth, Brisbane and Sunshine coast, Blacktown and the Wheatbelt as well as Indigenous specific projects in Darwin and the outer suburbs of Brisbane and Adelaide,” Mrs Ley said.

“The projects are part of the Howard Government’s National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS) and Supporting Families Coping with Illicit Drug Use (Strengthening Families) measure.

“The Strengthening Families measure is an early intervention, family focussed component of the wider National Illicit Drug Strategy and is specifically directed towards family support rather than the health, education or criminal aspects of the Strategy.

“This funding will assist many Australian families cope with the hardships and pain involved when a loved one uses drugs.

“Some of the projects include a brokerage fund in Victoria, ACT and Tasmania, which will support children of drug using parents by giving them the opportunity to participate in normal childhood activities like playgroup, music lessons and sporting activities, Mrs Ley said.

“Three Indigenous specific projects will also receive funding to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families, including kinship carers in Darwin, the outer northern suburbs of Brisbane and Adelaide.

“Four of the 13 projects will also provide counselling and other support to families where a young person has a drug problem.

“This support will be provided in the form of education, counselling support services, advice and referral services and targeted projects for families.

“The Howard Government is committed to investing in support for families and young people and this funding will provide much needed assistance to these families,” Mrs Ley said.