Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Funding For Youth Homelessness Services Extended

An extra $85 million over four years will be committed to the Australian Government’s highly successful Reconnect program, which serves as the primary early intervention response to youth homelessness, Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion announced today.

The Reconnect program, which is currently delivered by 100 service providers around Australia, will be continued following findings which showed the program to be very effective.

‘Two thirds of young people reported an improved relationship with their family at the end of their support period with Reconnect,’ Senator Scullion said

‘Ever since the Prime Minister convened the Youth Homelessness Taskforce in 1996, youth homelessness has remained the most intensive area of Australian Government activity on homelessness.

‘The extension of Reconnect further supports the Australian Government’s commitment to tackling the causes of youth homelessness.

‘Over 55,000 young people, as well as 30,000 group participants, have been assisted since Reconnect was implemented in 1999,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘The program provides early intervention support to young people aged between 12 and 18 years, who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and their families.

‘Its aim is to improve the level of engagement of young people with family, education, training, employment and the community.

‘Reconnect service providers also undertake important community development activities and work with other agencies to increase the community’s capacity to intervene early into youth homelessness.

‘This funding of will allow the continuation of this successful and positive program for Australia’s young people and their families.

‘I am also pleased to confirm the Government is extending funding for the 103 Youthlinx services around Australia, which provide support and activities to strengthen family relationships and encourage community involvement,’ Senator Scullion said.