Increased Funding For Work With Youth at Risk

  • Deborah Morris
Youth Affairs

"The Budget focus on crime prevention indicates a better future for youth at risk," commented Hon Deborah Morris following the announcement of the 1997 Budget.

"Thanks to the policies of the Coalition Government, and the work of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, we will be investing $ 7 million of new money into a comprehensive crime prevention package specifically targeting young people at risk of offending," said Ms Morris.

Initiatives toward this goal include:

$3.13 million for community-based Police Youth Aid programmes, including ongoing funding for existing programmes in Mt Roskill, Ponsonby and Dunedin, and new funding for similar programmes in 12 other areas.

$3 million over three years for the development of an intensive "Wraparound" programme for high risk teenagers in Auckland.
In addition the Budget provides for:

$1.06 million over three years for the development of new programmes targeting at risk young Maori.

$3 million over the next three years for drug education in schools to inform students about the dangers of drug misuse and assist schools identifying and supporting existing users.

200 extra police positions resulting in a quicker response time to the community, better road safety and the targeting of organised crime and gangs.

$30 million to help Children, Young Persons and their families service deal with youth offending and child abuse.

$1.5 million to expand the Limited Service Volunteers programme with the New Zealand Defence Force and other providers. This expanded programme will provide personal development and job skills for at least 1,250 young disadvantaged job seekers over the year.

1,000 additional training opportunities for Maori will be provided. These opportunities will target low-skilled Maori job seekers, particularly those who are completing a Training Opportunities Programme (TOP) course.

$300, 000 extra funding for the independent Commissioner for Children

$10 million to boost school truancy programmes, to give seriously at risk young people another chance at education.
"These initiatives will work towards ensuring that young New Zealanders are growing up in safe, healthy and enterprising communities. The emphasis has been placed on those most at risk, helping them to provide a better chance for themselves while ensuring safer communities for everybody," concluded Ms Morris.