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State Budget provides four years’ funding for vital youth crime prevention program

Today’s State Budget confirms the ongoing commitment from the Andrews Labor government to crime prevention and providing young people with opportunities to overcome disadvantage and make a valuable contribution to community life.

The hugely successful Embedded Youth Outreach Program (EYOP), piloted by Victoria Police in partnership with YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service), will now operate in Werribee and Dandenong for the next four years.

The EYOP program is delivered in partnership with a youth support specialist Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) and pairs a police officer with a youth worker to provide an afterhours secondary response to young people who come into contact with police.

The program also helps to protect victims of crime and reduces the likelihood of future victimisation.

CEO of YSAS, Andrew Bruun, said an evaluation of EYOP showed young people involved in the pilot program who came into contact with police were successfully guided away from criminal activity and linked with helpful services and support.

“This program turns contact with the police into a pathway to support and helps to address the underlying drivers of criminal behaviour, such as poverty, family violence, drug use and mental illness,” Mr Bruun said.

“It’s an empathetic and effective approach to crime prevention that we are very proud of. We are thrilled to see EYOP funded in today’s Budget.”

“The wonderful thing about this program is that we can reach young people who wouldn’t normally self-refer or attend at our services. EYOP provides young people with a pathway away from crime and it also eases the burden on our police resources.  It’s a win-win situation.” 

About YSAS

The Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is Australia’s largest, youth-specific community service organisation. Operating since 1998 as Victoria’s flagship Youth Alcohol and Other Drug service, YSAS now employs over 350 skilled staff across 19 sites in metropolitan and regional Victoria. While the prime focus of YSAS remains on effective Youth AOD Treatment and sector leadership, the organisation also has extensive experience in providing young people and families with services that support improved mental health and improve meaningful community participation.

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