Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3732..
MR WOOD (continuing):
accommodation, which can accommodate young people for up to three months, and 60 of which are medium or longer term accommodation for up to 12 months.
We recognise that there are gaps in service provision, and we have moved to fill those gaps. We have established diverse service responses throughout the 2003-04 financial year in line with the strategy. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are overrepresented amongst this population. This is also the case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. In July last year the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, in partnership with Aboriginal Hostels, provided funding to Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service to provide a supported accommodation service for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 12 to 17.
This service, with the name Dyirmal Migay, which means "proud young women", is an example of how innovation is achieved when the people and services with experience and understanding work together. After extensive consultation with the Aboriginal and Islander community, the service has been established using a house parent model. This is a culturally appropriate response that connects young women with family and community while supporting them to establish longer term and sustainable accommodation options.
After a tender process, Anglicare Youth and Family Services received funding to provide outreach case management for young people. The youth housing outreach service will target young people aged 16 to 21 who have moved on from SAAP programs to Housing ACT. This service will support them in maintaining their tenancy. In addition to these recurrent initiatives, two youth outreach services were funded in 2003-04, each receiving $20,000. The Barnardos Parenting Outreach Program received funds to provide additional outreach support to young parents under 25, and the Barnardos Transition Program received funding to expand the capacity of outreach support to young people exiting the program.
In addition to the range of service responses established, the Homelessness Advisory Group engaged Mr David MacKenzie, from the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University, to review the youth SAAP sector. He was asked to provide evidence-based recommendations. The review sought to identify the mix of service models, size and location required to respond to the supported accommodation needs of young people. The terms of reference required that specific consideration be given to the need for a youth night shelter. This included addressing demand for such a service and how such a service might be configured.
Mr MacKenzie held 36 meetings with stakeholders, including youth SAAP services; government agencies, including Family Services and Youth Justice Services; community organisations; and peak bodies associated with the provision of services for young people who may be at risk. At least eight hearings were specifically devoted to young people, and a think tank with a core group of community and government stakeholders was held to work through potential strategies.
A draft report was provided in April this year. It contains 15 recommendations over four key themes. These themes reflect the need to enhance coordination within the service system to enable it to respond to young people at all stages of homelessness. They call