Funding Boost Supports Local Teens at Caretakers Cottage

Media Release | | Friday, 2 September, 2016

Local young teens who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will receive 24/7 help and crisis care under new $248,000 funding for Caretakers Cottage in Bondi.

Vaucluse MP Gabrielle Upton and Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith welcomed the roll out of the state-wide Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP), a $32 million NSW Government homelessness initiative.

“For those of us with secure families it is nearly beyond comprehension that there are young teens who find themselves homeless and needing help, but each year about 75 are coming to homelessness services in our local area for help,” Ms Upton said.

“While local services will deal with the immediate crisis they also have resources in place to help young teens return safely to their family, and if that can’t be done, to assist them into more appropriate long term care and accommodation.

“These young people are going to get the help they need, whether it’s education, training or health services, so that they have a future of hope,” Mr Notley-Smith said.

Caretakers Cottage CEO, Laurie Matthews said this Homeless Youth Assistance Program funding will enable Caretakers Cottage to provide the appropriate level of care to young people under 16.

“Our overall bed numbers have increased from 10 to 14 with 4 dedicated specifically to under 16’s as well as care from a new caseworker with family support skills who has been engaged to provide support to families who are struggling and are keen to keep their families intact,” Mr Matthews said.

“Our residential response is projected as respite for parents and young people with a view to using the time spent in the refuge to develop a plan to have the best opportunity to facilitate family restoration.

Mr Matthews said this funding now completes the Going Home Staying Home homelessness response so that the Eastern Suburbs have a comprehensive model of early intervention, crisis accommodation, medium term accommodation for those young people who cannot return to family care.

Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said the program was funded for four years and it assist up to 1300 young teens aged 12-15 who each year turn to homelessness services in NSW.