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$1.4m funding to aid at-risk youth

The Queensland Government has launched a $1.4 million initiative tailored to help troubled, disadvantaged and high-risk youths in south-east Queensland and Cairns/Townsville.

Children and Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard said today that one-off grants of between $20,000 and $250,000 were being offered through the Community Partnership Innovation Grant scheme.

She said the scheme was designed to develop projects focused on young people who are, or could become, high-risk offenders.

“We know local communities are often best placed to find solutions, based on their direct experiences and knowledge,” Ms Linard said.

“This is why we’re inviting applicants to design and deliver short-term or one-off projects that are evidence-based, with priority given to the Brisbane, Logan, Cairns, Townsville, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Gold Coast areas.

“We want to hear how the grants could potentially support projects that are already working or new ideas that will reduce youth offending.”

She said applications for grants were open to not-for-profit groups, the social services and health sectors, Aboriginal and Torres Islander Elders and community-controlled organisations, as well as businesses and social enterprises and academics.

Youth Affairs Minister Meaghan Scanlon, whose seat of Gaven covers the Gold Coast region, encouraged organisations to submit proposals that would create lasting, meaningful change and help address the disadvantage typically experienced by young people in the youth justice system.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the important role local communities have in positively shaping the lives of young people, as they’re the first to see when a young person starts disconnecting from family, stops attending school, or is showing anti-social behaviour,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We’d like to see projects that help address specific, youth-related issues and build strong connections with young people, so they want to become positive contributors to their communities.

“It’s the type of work that adds to our significant investment in the Gold Coast youth foyer, education and training opportunities and initiatives that support young people across the coast.

“This is an investment in making everyone safer, not just now, but into the future.”

Projects chosen through the initiative will complement a range of measures already under way that help reduces offending, including early intervention programs.

Applications can be submitted until midnight 26 April 2022 through Smarty Grants.

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