New Initiative Launched to Tackle Marginalisation of WA Kids

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17th February 2012, 03:14pm - Views: 1388

A unique initiative to tackle disengagement, truancy, drug and alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour among Western Australias (WA) marginalised youth has been launched 15 February in Belmont.

livALIVE, a mobile outreach service is the first of its kind to offer 24-hour support, seven days a week for at-risk children and young adults. It is a division of Police & Community Youth Centres (PCYC) and will initially operate in Perth with the goal of expanding services across the State. vanIt involves the deployment of a three-tonne truck into the community to create youth spaces on-demand, acting as a mobile workshop with a difference. livALIVE uses music, sport, dance and theatre to engage young people and teach them literacy and numeracy skills, as well as social and behavioural management.

Youth Minister Robyn McSweeney said: livAlive was formed with the sole purpose to help children and their families by providing a mobile service in their local community that both educates and entertains.

By working with government and community agencies, livAlive is ensuring a holistic approach to addressing some youth social issues in the community. We have also deployed a similar outreach program in country areas.

Since it was first piloted in November 2011, livALIVE has delivered a range of programs including leadership camps, film-making, urban art and theatre production, which have been developed based on feedback from the young people involved so far.

As well as providing a mobile service, livALIVE will work with harder to reach youths suffering from extreme disadvantage and / or who are criminal reoffenders providing food, organising shelter when needed, and offering ongoing guidance.

Simon Ellis, livALIVETM Team Leader (Youth & Family Worker), said: There are young people who are falling through the cracks and not getting the support they need in their local community, whether that is health advice or after-school activities. As a result, weve got growing problems with anti-social behaviour particularly amongst at-risk young people.

We work directly with disengaged young people and their families to help them return to education or employment by providing the services they need, where they need them. This will help reduce crime, drug and alcohol abuse and violence, and importantly give the kids a more meaningful and productive life.

PCYC has a long history (70 years) of partnering with local government, schools and community organisations to provide support to children and parents from socioeconomic and culturally diverse backgrounds. To date, livALIVETM has worked with the WA Police, Department for Child Protection, Department of Education, Department of Transport, Main Roads WA, and The Swan Alliance (Mission Australia, Ngala and Anglicare).
livALIVE is currently supported financially by Variety the Childrens Charity of WA, the Channel 7 Telethon Trust and the McCusker Charitable Foundation. Funding received has allowed for the production and fit-out of two mobile trucks, which will initially service the Cities of Swan and Belmont.

Further funding is required to ensure greater access to all livALIVE programs, especially within regional WA. livALIVETM hopes to have 28 mobile units operating within 18 months, subject to funding. PCYC currently has a funding submission with the Road Trauma Trust Fund and are awaiting a decision from Cabinet. If successful, this funding will ensure immediate and widespread access to livALIVE services throughout Western Australia.

For more information about the livALIVE mobile outreach service, please email: [email protected]

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