A new program to support vulnerable young people in the City of Casey has received funding, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $2.5 million boost to the successful Empower Youth program.

Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos today announced South East Community Links would receive support to deliver their Empower YOU project.

South East Community Links will engage youth workers to help design and implement various other youth projects and provide coordinated services for up to 50 young people from the City of Casey each year.

Their Empower YOU project will focus on building the capacity of a culturally diverse youth consultancy group to improve health, community participation, education and employment pathways.

South East Community Links was one of five selected organisations, with the others including:

  • Whittlesea Community Connections, which will develop a youth inclusion project overseen by an established Youth Advisory Group. The program will also deliver training in relevant areas, such as youth mental health, and provide links to volunteer opportunities;
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council, whose project will reconnect young people to education, employment and training opportunities and support them to make progress towards their identified goals through coaching, planning groups and access to services and resources;
  • Moorabool Shire Council, which will deliver a youth engagement project to provide targeted support to young people who are at risk of disengaging from school and their workplace; and
  • Centacare, which will engage youth workers in Geelong to help design and implement the Empower Youth program in partnership other local services providers, including headspace.

This funding boost will see at least five more youth workers employed across the Empower Youth program, in addition to the 15 youth workers employed in the first round of Empower Youth.

The new funding will support at least 250 young people per annum for the next four years.

The Labor Government is committed to supporting young people have their say and participate in program development and decision making, as part of its Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria. 

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