Shire of Mundaring youth services could be on hold for up to nine months

Shire of Mundaring youth services could be on hold for up to nine months

YOUTH services could be on hold for up to nine months as Mundaring Shire adopts a youth-driven partnership funding approach to be delivered by the community.

The contract with Parkerville Children and Youth Care to provide Seen and Heard activities will end on June 30.

Shire President John Daw said he expected the new guidelines and supports in place within six to nine months.

“This new model depends on young people and community groups accepting responsibility to be part of the program,” he said.

“The youth advisory group will challenge all young people to speak out, step up and collaborate to create their own services and projects.

“It is an opportunity for all of us to make our community stronger over the long term because the program will be community-driven.”

The annual budget for the new approach is $140,484 to $145,542 and includes a youth grants fund of $35,000 for initiatives to address the issues and challenges of young people.

Central to the new way of working is a focus on community partnerships, youth connection, skills development and peer support.

In February, councillors knocked back a Shire recommendation to award a $216,200 three-year contract to MercyCare for the provision of youth services.

Councillors affirmed a decision to adopt the youth partnerships model on Monday at a special council meeting.

A motion by Cr Stephen Fox to revoke the decision carried 6-5 at the May 8 council meeting was lost because it required an absolute majority and the council vote was 6-6.

A Youth Development Officer will be employed to co-ordinate partnerships, manage the youth grants program and engage with young people via a youth advisory group.

Cr Daw said the Shire’s 5000 young people would benefit from the new approach.

“The Shire and its community organisations will support our young people to become more connected to their peers and the wider community and to take charge of their future,” he said.

“Council has chosen a truly sustainable approach for provision of youth services. Every partnership will add value to each dollar spent.”

The Shire will develop a strategy to conclude the current youth service while providing information points for people who access the services.

Seen and Heard activities such as the youth drop-in service at Swan View Youth Centre will wind up in June, but programs run at the centre by other organisations will continue.

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