Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Reconnect helping young people get back on track

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony today welcomed the findings of the first report on the evaluation of the Coalition Government’s Reconnect program.

“This report shows that Reconnect is a very successful early intervention and prevention program, which focuses on young people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

“The findings of the evaluation are impressive, with 70% of people involved in Reconnect reporting an improvement in their situation at the end of the support period. The young people also reported increased levels of school attendance, employment and self worth.

The evaluation also found substantial evidence that Reconnect is working effectively in:

  • Achieving reconciliation between young people and their families;
  • Improving the stability of young peoples living situations;
  • Engaging young people in employment, education and training with their community; and
  • Improving community capacity for early intervention of youth homelessness.

“There can be no substitute for a loving, caring family and supportive social environment to help our children develop into confident, well-adjusted adults.

“A key component of the success of Reconnect is its focus on engaging young people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to gain the confidence to participate with their family, work, education, training and in the community.

“Reconnect is also success because providers have flexibility in how they choose to offer services. They are provided with a ‘toolbox’ of approaches allowing them to tailor the service to the individual and their community. It is about local solutions to local problems.

The Government provides ongoing funding of $20 million per year to fund Reconnect services across Australia. Since 1999 when the program commenced, 96 Reconnect services have been approved, helping over 13 000 young people and their families nationally.

“The Coalition Government is committed to lowering rates of youth homelessness. This evaluation will help us to improve Reconnect services and again, focus on those young people who are most at risk. This approach will include the help of their families, as well as the wider community,” Mr Anthony said.