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Welcome boost for youth diversion in this years’ State Budget amid concerning cuts

YSAS welcomes todays renewed commitment from the Andrews Labor Government to extend its Pivot Youth Crime Prevention Program in Melbourne’s South East for another year but remains concerned about the impact of cuts to overall alcohol and other drug rehabilitation and treatment services and community sector funding.

Andrew Bruun, YSAS CEO said that keeping young Victorian’s safe and connected while diverting them from the criminal justice system requires significant investment from the State and is pleased to see more funds committed to youth diversion and early intervention in today’s State Budget, but urged the Government to recommit funds cut from overall alcohol and other drug services.

“While it’s positive to see today’s announcements to renew our Pivot youth crime prevention partnership and see further investment for early intervention, we’re concerned to see many cuts across the alcohol and other drug treatment, housing support and community service delivery after a tough two years for young people and their families.

“Our youth workers and alcohol and drug treatment specialists have been focused on rebuilding young peoples’ lives and overall cuts to core service delivery funding are not only unexpected but are a big step backwards in the State Government’s health-led pandemic recovery plan” he said.  

YSAS supports calls from Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and Victorian Council of Social Services to increase investment for more youth workers and community services that will continue to support young Victorians and their families.  

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association has broken down the total $39 million in revised service funding for alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention which results in a 11.2% funding cut from last year’s State Budget here.

— Ends — 

About YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service)

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 400 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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