State’s bid to stamp out youth sexual violence
DESPERATELY needed funds will be distributed across Caboolture over the next three years to tackle youth sexual violence and lengthy wait times to access support services, as part of a statewide initiative.
Moreton Bay was identified by the State Government as one of five regions across Queensland most in need of extra support, based on the 2017 Jones Report into youth sexual violence and abuse.
The State Government will give $630,000 over the next three years to Laurel Place Morayfield to provide a new early intervention service. As well, Kidz Youth Community at Caboolture will receive $150,000 to establish a youth connector role.
Laurel Place executive director and clinical psychologist Karren Aspinall said Moreton Bay was bigger than the Sunshine Coast-Gympie region, where it provides support services for 400 children per year.
"We're not going to meet that number, but the demand is there … the amount of referrals that come in are on par with the Sunshine Coast or higher," she said.
Laurel Place established a branch in Morayfield in 2016 primarily to work with adults, 15 years and over, but it quickly became apparent that the region had a high demand for children's services.
"We were lucky enough to receive funding to start up a children's program up to the age of 15. It's only a small service but it very quickly became full.
"At any one time we have 12 young people engaged in that program.
"We only have enough resources to employ one person three days a week."
Ms Aspinall praised the work the State Government had done over the past two years as being greater than the combined previous 25 years.
"The current State Government has taken enormous steps forward in addressing sexual violence," she said.
The State Government will invest $7.7 million in total across Queensland.
Phone Laurel Place Morayfield on 5499 2096 if you or someone you know needs support or phone 1800 RESPECT if you or someone you know is affected by sexual violence.