Tuesday 13 July

Young people in Port Lincoln and Murray Bridge will benefit from State Government-funded regional youth services for the first time.

From 1 August, nine not-for-profit organisations across the state will receive a total of $5.7 million dollars over three years to deliver local and outreach services, with funding allocated to areas most in need, under the revamped Youth Support and Development Program.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the program was remodelled after an evaluation of statewide data on youth unemployment, school drop-out rates and risk of entering the youth justice or child protection systems highlighted the hotspots where young people will most benefit from this extra support.

“By better targeting funding to where it is needed most, this program will reach more vulnerable young people across our State,” said Minister Lensink.

“When young people drop out of school, training or the workforce, they risk falling behind so far they can’t catch up.

“Funded services will provide practical support that helps young people to get on track and stay on track for a bright future in education, vocational training or employment.

“This could include volunteering, tutoring, mentoring, cultural events or any other program that helps young people engage with their community and get started on a positive pathway.

“Importantly, all services funded under this program are required to make their programs available in a range of ways – including online – to ensure COVID-19 restrictions and other barriers don’t stop young people from accessing help.”

In addition to youth services for nine specific regions across the state, the Youth Support and Development Program will also fund three specialist services that focus on the needs of Aboriginal youth, multicultural youth and youth safe transport (for young people requiring safe transport home from the Adelaide CBD at night).

The 12 services to receive Youth Support and Development Program funding over the next three years are:

  • Southern Adelaide region - Uniting SA
  • Western Adelaide region - Uniting SA
  • Northern Adelaide region - Northern Area Community and Youth Services Barossa, Light and Lower North region - Northern Area Community and Youth Services
  • Whyalla region - Plaza Youth Centre
  • Port Lincoln region - West Coast Youth and Community Service
  • Port Augusta region - The Salvation Army
  • Port Pirie and Kadina region - Uniting Country SA
  • Murray Bridge region - Anglican Community Care
  • Aboriginal youth service - Kura Yerlo
  • Multicultural youth service - Multicultural Youth SA
  • Youth safe transport service - Multicultural Youth SA

Service providers were selected through a competitive tender process based on location, demand for services and capabilities to provide pathways for young people.

The new funding model, which aligns with South Australia’s Youth Action Plan, has a strong focus on providing long-term solutions and all services will be carefully evaluated for their success in creating positive outcomes for young people.

For more information on South Australia’s Youth Action Plan, visit youthactionplan.sa.gov.au.

View the media release from the Premier of South Australia's website.