Change Funding of Youth Services
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Currently, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) offers funding for not-for-profit organisations to run services and programs to support young people. This goal in itself is commendable.
However, the funding that is currently allocated is too small of an amount for effective programs. Furthermore, a majority of the funding is available for a 12-24 month time period and only new programs can apply for these grants. This means that effective programs are unable to gain funding to continue in the long term.
It is important to realise that programs often take longer than the funding period to establish and produce viable results. Furthermore, this situation also creates uncertainty for Youth Workers who may be unable to continue in their jobs if funding cannot be found. This uncertainty limits the capacity of youth service programs to effectively engage with youth, who are too often left wondering if their youth worker will be seeing them again.
To create and maintain programs that support youth and their families to the best of our abilities, there must be longer term funding options or at least a capacity to renew at the end of each funding term.
We, the undersigned, petition that funding opportunities provided by FACS be available for both new programs and those that are currently running, based on a review of program achievements. This will ensure that high quality programs do not fail due to a lack of funds. We also urge the State Government to establish new systems of consultation, particularly with the youth that services are targeted at, to find programs that are engaging and effective for them.