Now the ACT government will partner with advocacy group Youth Coalition ACT and other services, committing $480,000 over the next year to finding a solution.
While the bulk of that money will go towards scoping out a new service model as well as more targeted case work for homeless youth, $40,000 will be set aside to pay for respite accommodation for young people on case-by-case basis through existing services such as Marymead.
Youth Coalition head Justin Barker said that, while using respite services mostly designed for children with disabilities, wasn’t an ideal fix, that money would give kids options while the team weighed up a longer-term specialist facility for those who could not return home safely.
“We need to do this work first so we get it right,” he said.
“What we’ll see in the first year will probably just be the tip of the iceberg.
“But it’s happening, they’re finally doing something and I’m just so relieved. I’ve already spoken to a bunch of youth workers, they’re all stoked.”