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Vulnerable kids screened for risk of homelessness

Last published on 08 Oct 2018 in Media releases

Vulnerable kids at school who are potentially at risk of homelessness will be screened to determine what support they need to stay safe and off the streets under a new NSW Government program.

Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing Pru Goward said the $4.7 million Universal Risk Screening program will roll out across eight secondary schools in Albury, Penrith and Mt Druitt in Term 1, 2019.

"We know that experiencing homelessness as a young person can often lead to long-term, chronic homelessness," Ms Goward said.

"Early intervention is vital. Through this program we will work to identify young people at risk and get them the support they need to avoid becoming homeless in the first place.

"As a result of this program, we expect to see more at-risk young students with a roof over their heads, surrounded by support and staying in education."

Youth support providers and government agencies will work together when assessing students in years 7 – 12 over four years to identify risks of homelessness and link students with the appropriate supports.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the pilot will provide teachers with additional support and resources to help at-risk students.

"This new program recognises the pivotal role that teachers and the broader school community can play in helping our kids stay on the right track to a brighter future," Mr Stokes said.

The Universal Risk Screening pilot is an initiative under the NSW Homelessness Strategy.

The Strategy sets the direction for the next five years, focusing on prevention responses that address the root causes of homelessness, and early intervention responses that will reduce the longer-term impact of homelessness.

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