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​UnitingCare Burnside awarded Youth on Track contract

Issued: Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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UnitingCare Burnside, an organisation with more than 100 years of experience in helping disadvantaged young people, will play a major role in operating the NSW Government’s new early intervention scheme, Youth on Track.

Attorney General Greg Smith SC today announced UnitingCare Burnside had been awarded the contract to provide case management services for the scheme which is designed to prevent juveniles as young as 10 becoming entrenched in crime.

Under Youth on Track, police and schools will refer young people considered to be at risk of committing crimes, to be assessed and provided with services that address their needs.

“UnitingCare Burnside will provide services to help young people deal with issues such as substance misuse, educational problems, anger, mental illness, and family dysfunction.”

Initially young people will be referred directly to Youth on Track after three police contacts, with the program expanding to include referrals from schools after six months.

UnitingCare Burnside, which has a long history of providing services for young people and supporting families, secured the contract after a tender process.

“It is often our most vulnerable children and young people who come into contact with the juvenile justice system,” said Claerwen Little, Director of UnitingCare - Children, Young People and Families.

“Youth on Track will provide an important pathway, diverting young people away from detention and ensuring they get the help they need. This will enable better outcomes, improved life opportunities and fewer young people in detention,” Ms Little said

Youth on Track will firstly be implemented in the three regions of the state that have the largest number of young people who meet the criteria for participating in the scheme: the Mid North Coast Local Area Command, the Hunter (Newcastle LAC) and Western Sydney (Blacktown LAC).

It is estimated about 300 young people will be referred to Youth on Track in the first 12 months with the program to begin in July.

For more information: www.youthontrack.lawlink.nsw.gov.au.