Government, agencies pioneer investment model youth program

Pioneering program aims to help young people transition to adulthood and prevent homelessness

Victorian State Treasurer Tim Pallas, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos, Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald and CEO of VincentCare Victoria John Blewonski.

February 22 2018Anglicare Victoria, VincentCare and the State Government have joined forces in a pioneering new program to help young people leaving out-of-home care make a successful transition to adulthood and prevent youth homelessness.

Last month Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos unveiled plans for Compass, one of Victoria’s first Social Impact Bonds.

The program is now seeking investor support.

Anglicare Victoria Chief Executive Officer Paul McDonald said Compass was an exciting opportunity for investors to make a real difference to the lives of young people and the community.

Compass will deliver a new model of support for 200 care leavers in Melbourne’s west, inner north and Bendigo over the next five years. It will provide safe, secure housing along with ongoing support from case workers to help link them with education, training and job opportunities and boost their health and wellbeing.

Its success will be measured against targets of reduced homelessness, improved health and reduced involvement with the criminal justice system, which, if achieved, will deliver tangible benefits for participants as well as economic returns for government and other program funders.

“This is a great opportunity for the investment community to set young people up for success as they leave care and tackle the tough social issue of youth homelessness,’’ Mr McDonald said.

“Young people leaving care – who are often on their own without support from 18 – deserve every chance to fulfil their potential as adults but face so many more obstacles than most young people in the community, who live at home with family support well into their 20s.

“Research shows they are more likely to be homeless, unemployed, suffer mental health problems or be involved in the criminal justice system than other young people. But the evidence shows that with the right support care leavers can achieve better life outcomes.’’