Indigenous youth services overhaul

He said these services would be made more effective, given greater certainty and held to higher account under a new approach to funding.

The change comes after a review into programs working with at-risk Aboriginal young people found $115 million was invested annually, but fewer than 15 per cent of programs could demonstrate their effectiveness.

The State Government will now require all government departments to comply with a new set of funding criteria, such as providing larger grants to a more focused number of programs and for longer periods of time.

This includes funding of at least $300,000 per contract per year, for a minimum term of three years for service providers.

Mr Collier said youth workers and young people would enjoy greater security, knowing programs were well targeted and would not disappear when short-term funding ended.

The WA Council of Social Service has welcomed the changes.

WACOSS chief executive Irina Cattalini said the council had been concerned that youth services within WA had been typified by short-term funding and one-off pilot projects.

�What has been sorely needed is a strategic approach to ensuring we provide effective services that provide effective support and build the aspirations and engagement of youth most at risk of achieving poor life outcomes,� she said.

�We welcome the commitment to longer-term and more substantive funding of programs for at-risk Aboriginal youth linked to meaningful and measurable outcomes, but we think these reforms should be extended to all youth services in WA.

�Better co-ordination and integration of youth services has the potential to enable us to intervene earlier and provide the kind of assistance that is needed in a more timely and effective manner.�

The new policy will be introduced over the next two years.