The Safe and Connected Youth (S&CY) Program is part of the flagship advocacy of the Youth Coalition of the ACT that aims to address the glaring service gap for children and young people under 16 and their families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The Program is a collaboration between Northside Community Service (Northside), Woden Community Service (WCS), Conflict Resolution Service (CRS) and the Youth Coalition of the ACT. The S&CYP project aims to address the gap in services and support children and young people under the age of 16 who are at risk of homelessness. The S&CY program provides therapeutic outreach support to children, young people and their families where there is a risk of youth homelessness. Young people who enter the S&CY program will benefit from outreach support and case management for upward of 12 months. The ongoing advocacy and work related to the S&CY Program has successfully secured funding for the program until the end of the 20-12 financial year. Furthermore, the provision of this service as contributed to the ongoing advocacy for the development of a purpose built residential accommodation facility in the ACT for children and young people under the age of 16 who are at risk of homelessness.
The Safe & Connected Youth project emphasises restoration, reunification and reconciliation between children/young people and their families. Families participate in individual and family case management including counselling and mediation and, if needed, the project can provide safe and temporary accommodation for the young person.
Participation in the S&CY project is voluntary. Families can participate in the S&CY project for up to 12 months, but the length of support needed is regularly reviewed.
The S&CY project provides support and services to young people and their families including:
• Strategies to de-escalate family conflict
• Improve communication
• Family mediation
• Parent coaching
• Respite accommodation
S&CY caseworkers can advocate for you and help connect you to other services including:
• Education and out of school support
• Mental health assessments and support
• Youth Justice
• Other social supports
The ACT government will commit to long-term funding for an accommodation and support program targeted at young people in Canberra who are at risk of homelessness.
A respite centre will be established in Canberra's south, with an aim to change the way support is offered to young people at risk of homelessness.
"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."