Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cairns youth mentoring under threat

The Federal Government may not renew funding the highly successful Cairns Youth Mentoring Scheme.
At the end of June, the service will cease, that has been placing children in need of a trained adult mentor from 12 - 21 year-olds. Mentees are placed in the programme for a with adult mentors for a 6 month period. The primary funding comes from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
However the Centre's co-ordinator, Anita Andacic says that the Scheme is desperately trying to determine if the funding will be renewed. "At this stage we have no indication," she said.
The programme has the support of Centacare Cairns, FNQ Volunteers, and Queensland Education, but relies on around $100,000 government funding to run the programme. All Mentors go through training and require Blue Card clearance.
"They are reviewing funding for all youth transition programmes," Anita said today. "We are hopeful to find out this month sometime, otherwise the programme will not continue after June. This would be an enormous loss to the community, mentors and the key stakeholders: the mentees - the young people we help in life," Anita says.
Other funding sources are being investigated to assist the continuation of the scheme.
If you can offer help, you can contact the Cairns Youth Mentoring Scheme on 4041 5844, or visit the website.

1 comment:

Noj Nedlaw said...

A lot is said nowadays about crime and hoonish behaviour committed by our youth. Enevitably pollies of every ilk promise to get tough on crime. But locking someone up is the end of a chain of circumstances.

Programmes such as the mentoring scheme now under threat, are in reality a small investment in a uyoung person's life. It seem strange that government can't/won't find a measly $100K to assist in prevention, but there is never any problems finding the millions needed for penal facilities.

But then locking perps up wins votes; giving a kid a better start in life just doesn't make it to the front page of the Cairns Post does it!