The ACT community continues to be affected by and adapt to the impact of COVID-19, whilst also working towards significant legislative and service system change. As the Tenth Assembly for the ACT moves towards its final year, a range of opportunities exist to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.
In our 2023-24 Budget Submission, we highlight several key areas of unmet need:
- Urgent funding required: ACT youth self-harm and suicide prevention program (WOKE): $300,000 per annum to prevent the closure of a free, evidence-based, evaluated, cost-efficient and cost-effective program for young people at high risk of suicide and self-harm.
- Service system enhancements to support raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility: Funding to deliver and evaluate a service system to support young people under the age of 14 and their families.
- Youth and community supports in the Gungahlin region: Allocate funding to (1) progress the establishment of a permanent Gungahlin Youth and Community Centre, and (2) support the infrastructure fit-out and contribute to the ongoing rental costs of an interim location for the ‘Gunners Place’ youth program.
- Explore accommodation models for homeless young people not engaged in education, employment or training (NEET): Explore youth-centred, housing-led models, such as Housing First for Youth (HF4Y), that support a diverse range of young people with complex needs, including those who are not engaged in education, employment or training.
- Establishment funding for an ACT Child and Youth Mental Health Sector Network: Initial two-year funding to establish, develop and evaluate a proof of concept for this Network, which seeks to identify opportunities to better respond to the mental health needs of children and young people, as a partnership across government and community.
Read more in the full submission.