The ACT Budget 2023-2024

This briefing provides an overview of the key initiatives announced in the ACT Budget 2023-2024 that affect young Canberrans aged 12-25 and their families.

The Youth Coalition welcomes the ACT Government’s investment in early support for children, young people and families, through its investment in child and youth mental health initiatives, service system reforms to support raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility, and youth supports in the Gungahlin region. We welcome the service system improvements for children, young people and families engaged in the child protection and youth justice systems.

Key highlights include:

  1. Interim funding for child and youth mental health programs and initiatives: $2.1 million over one year to support the MindMap Youth Navigation portal, Youth Aware Mental Health (YAM), Stepping Stones, the WOKE program, and the new Child and Youth Mental Health Sector Alliance.

  2. Service system reforms to support raising the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility: $10 million over four years to re-establish the Functional Family Therapy – Youth Justice program, establish a Therapeutic Support Panel and intensive case management and support services, including accommodation. 

  3. Out-of-home care, child protection and youth justice system improvements: To establish an External Merits Review process for child protection decisions, a First Nations Family Support team within CYPS, deliver a therapeutic residential care service and establish a Chief Practitioner. A throughcare program for youth justice will also be developed.

  4. Investment in frontline domestic, family and sexual violence services: $9.4 million over four years to frontline services and to review domestic and family violence initiatives to inform service gaps.

  5. Youth and community support in the Gungahlin region: $26.8 million over three years to progress a permanent Youth and Community Centre in Gungahlin, with funding to support rental costs for an interim youth centre in Gungahlin.

  6. Constructing a Youth Foyer at CIT Woden: $10 million in capital works over two years to progress establishing a Youth Foyer as part of the CIT Woden Campus Project.