$600K in funding to stop Bundaberg kids going to jail
HELPING Bundy kids in crisis is one step closer with a support program fully operation by next month.
The State Government has promised $600,000, out of the $17 million of state funding, will go towards helping Bundaberg youth to help keep them out of jail and from re-offending.
In August the NewsMail first reported the Palaszczuk Government was embarking on a new approach to combating youth crime in the region.
The move aimed at providing the courts with another option to putting Bundaberg's juvenile offenders into detention centres.
Yesterday Child Safety Minister Di Farmer confirmed there was currently three Bundaberg youth held in detention, down one since September.
"The community expects Bundaberg's young people to be accountable for their actions, and so do I.
"The community also does not want to see young people re-offending.
"We cannot keep doing the same things we've been doing year after year in Youth Justice and expect the results to be any different. We need to do the things that work.”
Bridges Health and Community care will receive the $600,000 to provide bail support services for the next two and half years.
Ms Farmer said the service had begun taking referrals this month.
"It expects to be fully operational in March,” she said.
Ms Farmer said a tender process began last year.
"Bridges began establishing the service which included recruitment and training of staff,” Ms Farmer said.
Bail support services provide the support that is needed for young people to meet the requirements of their bail.
It may be linking them with mental health or drug and alcohol support, housing assistance and the certainty of three meals a day, transport assistance, or simply encouragement to stay on track.
"There is good evidence to show that these kinds of services work,” she said.