Media Releases

Shepparton youth to benefit from Victorian government funding

August 26, 2015

State Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed the funding from the State Government for young people who are at risk of entering the state’s youth justice system.

Annual funding of $106,600 has been made available to local support agency Primary Care Connect to run the Government’s innovative Youth Support Service.

The money will help local young people aged 10 to 18 years, who have had contact with Victoria Police and need support to stay out of the criminal and youth justice systems.

“I’m delighted that this funding of 106,600 has been allocated to our local Primary Care Connect, to run this vital service.” Ms. Sheed said.

“Victoria has Australia’s only ‘dual-track’ youth justice system, which can give magistrates the option of sentencing younger offenders to youth detention, if they think there is a good prospect of rehabilitation.”    

“Any program that aims to divert young people out of the youth justice system makes sense.”

I am looking forward to reviewing the good work being done by agencies like Primary Care Connect and Rumbalara in the Shepparton District.

Both organisations will work closely with Victoria Police.

The Youth Support Service can provide a rapid intervention to assess a young person’s needs and prevent escalation of unsafe behaviours, with the intention of keeping them out of the criminal or youth justice system.

These interventions also help young people strengthen their relationships with their families and engage more effectively with school, training or employment and with their community.

The Youth Support Service is estimated to assist over 1,000 young people annually across Victoria, with around 70 in the Shepparton area.

Primary Care Connect will deliver this important service in partnership with the existing Youth Support Service provided by Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative. This partnership ensures both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people can access a high quality and timely service response.

Kim Scott, Manager Regional Health and Community Services at Primary Care Connect said “We are thrilled to be provided with the opportunity to deliver this essential service to young people in Shepparton. We look forward to working with Victoria Police, Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative and the Department of Health and Human Services to achieve great outcomes for this target group and the community.”

The new Youth Support Service is expected to start operations in the Shepparton District in October this year.

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