BAILLIEU CUTS LOCAL YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION SERVICE

Posted on 06. Feb, 2013 in Clayton Update

The State Member for Clayton, Hong Lim has called on the Baillieu Government to reverse its decision to axe the School Focused Youth Service operating in the Monash, Kingston and Greater Dandenong areas.

The state-wide School Focused Youth Service (SFYS) is provided in the Monash, Kingston and Greater Dandenong areas by the City of Monash, Southern Family Life and Southern Health and works to support vulnerable children and “at-risk” young people by establishing partnerships and coordinating services in the local community.

This vital service was established by the Victorian Government back in 1997 in response to the Suicide Prevention Taskforce and is funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to work across government, catholic and independent schools. In 2010/11, nearly 50,000 children participated in projects brokered by the SFYS.

The Baillieu Government has confirmed the service will cease at the end of June this year, even though a consultant’s report it commissioned says such a move would be premature.

Hong Lim said the School Focused Youth Service played an extremely important part in keeping kids engaged with school and local services and helped to reduce the incidence of youth homelessness, substance abuse and suicide.

“The School Focused Youth Service is critical to the wellbeing of many local young people and the Baillieu Government’s decision to axe the program before it has properly consulted our local community or has put forward an alternate model shows that this is just another short-sighted cut by the Baillieu Government,” Mr Lim said.

“This is yet another example of the Baillieu Government’s cuts to education hurting our local community, in this case, vulnerable children.”

“Ted Baillieu should be working to improve services for children and young people in in our schools instead of pulling away vital services like the School Focused Youth Service,” Mr Lim said.

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