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Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Providing flexible help to young people in need

Young people coming out of institutions like juvenile justice will continue to be supported by the Australian Government with the Minister for Community Services Nigel Scullion today announcing a NSW South Coast organisation will now deliver the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) program nationally.

Senator Scullion said the Australian Government is continuing its commitment to improving the lives of young people by committing $260,000 to administer the program in 2007-2008.

At the launch in Ulladulla today, Senator Scullion congratulated the new national provider, Southern Youth and Families Services (SYFS), for their commitment to strengthening young people and families across Australia.

‘SYFS will now deliver one-off financial support of $1,000 to young people aged 15 to 25 years, who are about to, or have exited formal state based care or informal care, such as juvenile justice; out-of-home care and Indigenous kinship care arrangements,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘The organisation will provide assistance at this critical stage to help prevent problems from escalating, as TILA is flexible and responds well to young people’s individual circumstances, addressing their needs as they arise.

‘The allowance can be spent on needs such as whitegoods, furniture, text books, uniforms or some of the costs incurred when setting up a home.

‘The transition to independence can be extremely traumatic for these young people, without family and community support structures to support them.

‘Since 2003, the TILA has been delivered by a network of 19 organisations that have taken referrals from a wide range of youth and other organisations working with young people.

‘To streamline delivery of services, TILA will now be administered by one national organisation, Southern Youth & Family Services.

‘The Australian Government is keen to see every young person get the support they need and the TILA program is one way we contribute to the wellbeing of young Australians,’ Senator Scullion said.