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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Helping young people reconnect with their families

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for, Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
  • The Hon Jennifer Rankine, South Australian Minister for Families and Communities, Minister for Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability
  • The Hon Jennifer Rankine, South Australian Minister for Families and Communities, Minister for Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability
  • The Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for the Status of Women, Member for Adelaide

Young people at risk of homelessness in Adelaide will benefit from today’s opening of Ruby’s Therapeutic Youth Service in Enfield, a new social housing development built with the help of $438,000 in Australian Government funding.

Federal Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis and the South Australian Minister for Housing Jennifer Rankine said Ruby’s Reunification Program would be extended in the metropolitan area from its current site at Thebarton with the opening of two new facilities at Enfield and Edwardstown.

“UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide provides an excellent service working closely with other caregivers, Government, non government organisations, schools and other services to make sure all aspects of the needs of the young person and their family are considered,” Ms Ellis said.

“Young people between 12 and 18 years old receive counselling and support to continue their studies while they reconnect with their family.

“Where it is not safe for a young person to return home, they will be supported into their own independent accommodation.

“The service in Enfield, run by UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide, provides 24 hour onsite support seven days a week for young people in a residential setting.”

Ms Rankine said Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide is delivering range of projects with over $8 million in government funding that support community development and assist vulnerable groups in our community.

“The Therapeutic Youth Service has proved to be very successful in the past and it is all about helping young people work through issues with their family so they can develop good, strong relationships,” Ms Rankine said.

“This type of service has already shown it works, and the National Data Collection Agency found in 2008-09 that this youth service model was successful in reconnecting young people with their families in 78 per cent of cases.

“There is compelling evidence that early intervention programs for young people are effective in reducing homelessness.

“The expansion of the Rubys program to the new sites at Edwardstown and Enfield mean we will be able to help more young South Australians and their families through this program.”

Senator Arbib said the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness demonstrated the importance of governments working together with individuals and the community to address homelessness and improve outcomes for homeless and vulnerable Australians.

“This Government has put homelessness on the agenda. We are seeking to halve the rate of homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all who seek it by 2020,” Senator Arbib said.

“In the 2006 Census, there were a total of 7,962 people identified as homeless in South Australia. Of these, 3,309 were under the age of 18.

“Under the Agreement, we are delivering more than 180 new and expanded initiatives across the country and together we are rolling out 26 initiatives, including seven targeting young people.”