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Early diversion approach to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get back on track

Date posted: 15 August 2016

The Victorian (Vic) Government is establishing new programs to help divert young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the justice system by working with young people and their families early to address offending behaviour.

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, has announced $1.2 million for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). This funding will allow the organisations to coordinate Aboriginal Youth Support Service programs in the North East Melbourne area and the Mallee in Vic.

'This is a new way of looking at how we intervene early to improve the lives of young Aboriginal people and address the over representation in the youth justice system,' said the Minister. 'We are working side by side with Aboriginal communities to address the underlying issues leading to disengagement and offending. We know that diversion, early intervention and rehabilitation are key to creating safer communities and improving the lives of young people and their families.'

ACCHOs will deliver the programs with the existing mainstream Youth Support Service, ensuring those young people at risk of entering the youth justice system are offered culturally sensitive early interventions.

The budget also included $875,000 for the development of an Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program, providing support for vulnerable young Aboriginal people. Additional funding for the Koori Youth Justice Program was also announced, which will expand its Koori-based early intervention work, coordinated with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Source: Victorian Government

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Last updated: 15 August 2016
 
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