What's in it For Young People and Their Families?
“The pandemic has been particularly tough for younger people starting out in their careers and those who have lost employment … Young people in particular are suffering in the face of this global uncertainty, and separation from friends and loved ones.”
Chief Minister’s Budget Speech, 2021-22 ACT Budget
The 2021-22 ACT Budget delivers significant spending to support the Canberra community to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This includes a range of initiatives that aim to support young people and families, including those who are most vulnerable. The ACT Budget delivers funding to support children and young people at risk of homelessness or involvement with the justice system, those experiencing mental health issues, and expands support within schools and to support families affected by family and domestic violence.
A full summary of new Budget announcements that affect young people and their families is provided at the end of this briefing. Key highlights include:
Preventing children and young people from becoming homeless: $7 million to deliver the Safe and Connected Youth Program over four years, to support children and young people aged 8-15 affected by family conflict and at risk of homelessness, and their families. This program will also include a new therapeutic respite accommodation service.
Responding to the mental health needs of young people: The online youth mental health Orygen MOST platform will be delivered in the ACT. Additional funding has also been provided to Youth & Wellbeing, a community-based youth mental health outreach service.
Enhancing and expanding support within ACT public schools: This includes continuing to ensure that all secondary students have access to a personal device, including free internet access for those who require it. Additional youth and social workers will be placed within schools, and a new central team established to support these positions. Grants will be available to disadvantaged families to assist them to meet their educational expenses, and a trial will commence at five schools to provide breakfast and lunch to students. There is a focus on improving gender equality and inclusion within schools, and continuation of a program providing legal services and education to college students.
Read full ACT Budget Response 2021-2022