Kids Back on Track campaign
THE government has promised to support Youth Insearch through various application processes, but the program remains in funding limbo without a rock-solid commitment from the government.
On Thursday, a high-level meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Social Services Minister Christian Porter, Parkes MP Mark Coulton and Youth Insearch advocates identified two funding streams the program would have to apply for to make up the required $400,000 per annum.
Youth Insearch CEO Heath Ducker said the meeting was “very encouraging” and confirmed the support of Mr Joyce, Mr Coulton and Mr Porter.
“Youth Insearch still faces funding limbo, pending the outcome of multiple grant applications, which will not be resolved for some months,” Mr Ducker said.
“Specifically, the funding stream under which Youth Insearch is funded is now capped at up to $150,000, and if successful in obtaining that funding, we would still need to apply for another grant or grants to make up the difference.”
Mr Joyce said the meeting was productive and Mr Porter’s office would help Youth Insearch with the application process.
“I promised I would arrange a meeting with Minister Porter and Youth Insearch, and we have delivered on this today,” Mr Joyce said.
“We had everyone at the table, from local Tamworth magistrate Mal MacPherson, via phone, to Minister Christian Porter, and Youth Insearch alumni Jared Goodwin. Thank you all for your time and your advice.”
Mr Coulton said what Youth Insearch had achieved was not in question.
“Minister Porter’s office has agreed to guide Youth Insearch through with personalised help from his office,” Mr Coulton said.
“The funding stream they previously applied for has been restructured, however I’m confident we can help find them a way forward.”
Mr Porter said his office would assist to explore a range of funding options.
Mr Ducker was “certainly grateful for the support provided”, in particular that from Mr Joyce in securing $50,000 interim funding to help see the program through the year.
“We would appreciate a resolution of the wider funding question as soon as possible – we have many young people in desperate situations looking for greater certainty that this program will be around to help them.”