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At-risk young people in Melbourne’s West to receive $6 million State Government boost

At risk young people in Melbourne’s west will benefit from the expansion of a highly successful early intervention program over the next four years.

The Victorian Government has today announced it will fund YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service) to expand its Youth Support Service to reach more young people in Melbourne, with a particular focus on providing positive opportunities for young people from Melbourne’s culturally diverse western suburbs.

The Youth Support Service provides young people who are at risk of becoming involved with the youth justice system with the backing they need to stay on a positive and constructive developmental pathway.

CEO of YSAS, Andrew Bruun, said the significant funding boost will allow the service to make a real difference in lives of over 1400 young people and families in the next four years.

“The Youth Support Service enables our workers to prevent young people from being involved with the justice system by connecting them with the opportunities and resources that many in the community take for granted,” Mr Bruun said.

“We are so pleased the Andrews Government understands the value of early intervention and has backed this recognition with a significant life-changing investment for so many Victorian young people, particularly in Melbourne’s west.

“I am grateful that our Minister for Youth Justice, The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, is as passionate about creating meaningful opportunities and a better life for Victoria’s young people as we are.

“The evidence shows that providing young people with positive experiences and support at critical periods in their development leads to better life outcomes and teaches them that it’s possible to work through problems and challenges in a constructive way.”

Youth Support Service Team Leader for Western Melbourne Shane Williams hailed the announcement as excellent news for young people and families in the western suburbs.

“It’s so heartening for all of us at the front line who know these young people and families,” Mr Williams said.  

“We see first-hand the positive impact of connecting young people to a network of supportive relationships and increasing opportunities for participation in community life through sport, recreation and education. We are extremely grateful to Minister Hutchins.”

The additional funding starts immediately and will continue through to 2024.  

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 (AOD) service, YSAS now employs over 350 skilled staff across 19 sites in metropolitan and regional Victoria. While YSAS continues to provide effective Youth AOD services, the organisation also has extensive experience in providing young people and families with services that support improved mental health and meaningful community participation.

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