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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 183 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Ms Dundas has particularly asked about the areas of Belconnen and Gungahlin, although I note she acknowledges this is an issue across the city. In relation to Belconnen and Gungahlin, there are a number of programs already funded. These include the Canberra Youth Refuge, which receives $328,000 per annum. It is located in Downer and accommodates up to eight young people over the age of 16 who are in need of accommodation crisis services. There is also Castlereagh House, which receives funding of just over $132,000 per annum. This is located in Macquarie and accommodates up to four young people who have medium to long-term accommodation needs.

The Department of Education and Community Services and the Department of Urban Services, in its housing capacity, jointly fund four youth housing outreach workers at a cost of $200,000 per year across the city to address issues such as accommodation support for young people in the north Canberra area.

The Department of Education and Community Services also funds Canberra Community Housing for Young People, at a cost of $208,000 per year, and the Barnardo's transition program, with funding of $333,000 per year to provide medium to long-term accommodation for young people. These provide housing services in northern Canberra including Gungahlin and Belconnen.

The majority of Canberra Community Housing for Young People and Barnardo's residences are in the northern Canberra area, and these services also provide case management support for young people with accommodation issues. That said, this is clearly an area of priority where there is a significant level of need. My colleague Mr Wood would acknowledge that issue. Family Services, within the department of education, also have a number of programs to meet the needs of young people at risk. These include substitute care services-the Pat Marlow Cottage located in Kaleen. For members who are not aware, Marlow provides crisis accommodation for high-needs youth.

There are a range of issues that need to be addressed that relate to emergency or crisis accommodation for young people and, clearly, more work needs to be done. This was recently identified through a study of the supported assistance accommodation program, which identified a number of the needs for youth accommodation in Canberra. The geographic distribution and composition of young people's accommodation services in Canberra did identify Belconnen and Gungahlin as regions which need particular attention, and I have asked my department to look closely at this.

The recommendations of this program review have identified three main issues of concern and need for attention. The first is in relation to coordinated case management as well as the development of protocols between the youth supported assistance accommodation program and Family Services accommodation programs, as well as greater coordination with outreach services.

As a result of this review my department has contracted ACTCOSS to undertake a needs analysis of total supported assistance accommodation program needs in the Canberra region. This will obviously focus very strongly on the issues facing young people of crisis or emergency accommodation. The supported assistance accommodation program needs analysis report is due in February next year, and this will provide a timely

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