On December 1st, 2016, Caretakers Cottage semi-independent accommodation program, Options Youth Housing, was awarded the New South Wales Youth Service of the Year Award.
The award was presented by Youth Action, the peak body organisation for youth in New South Wales, as a part of their annual Youth Work Award ceremony.
Kate Witherdin, manager at Options spoke at the event, as did Trei, one of the young people in the Options program.
Trei spoke about how before living at Options, he and his siblings had been separated years ago, but Options managed to reunite him with a sister, in a shared flat.
The team at Options Youth Housing consists of Kate Witherdin (Manager), and caseworkers Michael Brickwedde, Alexis Rabin and Dafna Dar.
The manager and caseworkers at Options Youth Housing provide case management and support for young people living in semi-independent accommodation across the Eastern Suburbs. The program is funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), and is supported by community housing provider, Bridge Housing.
A final note of credit is due to Laurie Matthews, CEO of Caretakers Cottage, for taking on the project of Options a decade ago and leading its expansion and development over the years. Options recently expanded from accommodating 16 residents to now nearly 60 young people, including some young families.
This award comes as pleasant sequel to the results from last year's 2015 Youth Work Awards, where Laurie Matthews was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 40+ years of service, assisting the disadvantaged youth in our community.