Funding offers certainty to youth support
It will be easier for youth to access social support services, an improvement on the current situation where the level of services vary from place to place. The funding will allow Youth One-Stop Shops to increase their capacity in providing those services. They will be better equipped to meet health and social support needs to about 40,000 young people.
Youth One-Stop Shops have received an $8.6 million fillip over four years to help them provide previously unfunded social support services.
"Currently Youth One-Stop Shops are funded to provide healthcare to young people but the money hasn't been there to provide social support," Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye said.
The news was welcomed by Palmerston North YOSS director Trissell Mayor.
"I guess when they talk about social support services we understand that to mean counselling, youth work or social work services."
She said YOSS in Palmerston North already had those services to some extent.
Social support in Palmerston North was provided by a counsellor, a social worker and a youth worker, all part-time.
"The funding for us does mean that we can increase some of that capacity and also have some more sustainability around those funded positions."
She said the recent economic recession and issues around synthetic cannabis "put pressure on safe places for young people to live, and young people's ability to earn an income or get a job".
"Those generic areas become really important instead of just dealing with the physical health issues that come in the door."