Youth funding boost for west

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy at WEstjustice. Photo: Supplied

By Alesha Capone

A Werribee-based community legal centre has received $480,000 to deliver a program which helps support youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to stay out of the justice system.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy visited WEstjustice to announce the funding from the Victorian Legal Service Board’s Grants Program last week.

WEstjustice will use the money across three years to deliver the Youth Law – Breaking Cycles of Disadvantage for Young People initiative.

WEstjustice chief executive Denis Nelthorpe said the funding would be used to assist existing Youth Law programs; build data to show the benefits of client-centred, multidisciplinary approaches to legal empowerment; develop a Youth Law Steering Committee involving people with the skills and experience to lead youth law reform; and create partnerships to ensure best-practice delivery models and programs are shared between organisations.

WEstjustice is also involved with helping young people through initiatives including the School Lawyer Program, the Transport Assistance Program and its outreach to young people through Youth Law Clinics at the Sunshine Visy Cares Hub and other locations.

Ms Hennessy said: “This grant will provide legal services to these young people who need it most.”