Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


New actions work to empower youth in the South

Media release
25 July 2014
New actions work to empower youth in the South

A project aiming to put South Taranaki youth on a better path to adulthood is welcoming a raft of local initiatives and a new name.

The project, the South Taranaki Social Sector Trial, needed a name that better reflected the scope of its work and its connection with young people, said manager Mel Loft.

SWEET has been chosen, with the acronym standing for ‘South Working to Enable and Energise Teens’.

The project has four key aims: To reduce offending, truancy, and alcohol and drug harm as well as to increase the number of young people in education, training and employment.

Ensuring that five Government agencies -­ Police, Justice, Health, Education and Social Development -­ work more collaboratively is driving the social sector overhaul, says Ms Loft.

Also supporting the project is the South Taranaki District Council, iwi, community groups and other interested parties.

Youth Case Co-­ordinator Saskia Mills is working intensively with young people aged between 12-­18 years, who have been referred by police youth aid officers.

She develops alternative action plans for them and works alongside the youth and whānau.

Her role is flexible and she’s able to work across all the agencies in an attempt to ensure the young person, who’s already come to the attention of police, doesn’t commit further offences.

Other initiatives are the formation of a Blue Light committee, a Youth Offending Team (YOT), a truancy working group, a psychologist in schools and an education forum.

Ms Loft said the project has overarching themes such as co-­ordinating current programmes and services and introducing new thinking.

Essentially, however, it’s about giving young people in the region a better start in life.

“Young people are one of the biggest strengths in our community.

They want to see positive change and improvement, and they want to succeed."

SWEET project is one of 16 Social Sector Trials operating around the country.

A 19-­member advisory group headed up by South Taranaki mayor Ross Dunlop is guiding this Trial.

Mr Dunlop says progress in the South Taranaki project is encouraging.

The focus on government agencies working together and delivering their service in the most effective way is starting to pay dividends.

Initiatives that have come out of the trial are good news for the youth of the South, he says.

Sergeant Kayanna Holley, of the Central and South Policing areas, says police are taking a proactive approach and there’s a good fit between the nationwide Youth Crime Action plan 2013-­2023 and the SWEET project.

“This is a good avenue for us to focus our prevention work on."

It means for example that national police programmes such as Keeping Ourselves Safe have been offered to all South Taranaki schools, with a number registering their interest in being involved.

In addition youth aid officers are working more closely with young people, following up on career aspirations, monitoring progress and helping them access training.

The formation of the Blue Light committee is significant because while some initiatives were already in place before SWEET was introduced, the committee has provided a better structure and more momentum to work in the South, she says.

Below is a further breakdown of these South Taranaki initiatives, linked to the four key aims:

1. Offending -­ Blue Light police committee established in South Taranaki.

Committee helps source funding for youth-­oriented events and activities such as a recent visit to the national police college graduation in Wellington and life skills holiday camps.

Youth Case Co-­ordinator role established.

Saskia Mills who is based at Hawera Police Station started in the role earlier this year.

A Family Violence Prevention Youth co-­ordinator will also be employed.

Youth Offending team established with the group made up of representative from Police, Justice, Child Youth and Family, Ministry of Education, Taranaki District Health Board, iwi and SWEET.

2. Truancy -­ Truancy Working Group set up.

The 15-­member group will work at a case management level, create community initiatives and improve tracking and monitoring systems.

3. Drug and alcohol -­ A psychologist employed to work at South Taranaki high schools, Hawera Intermediate and Youth Services in Hawera.

Group therapy sessions to be available for brief A & D intervention.

4. Education, training and employment -­ Education forum set up.

Enables schools to have a voice, particularly smaller schools struggling to access resources.

Forum has identified strengths and gaps in local areas.

Business community to be involved in helping to access employment and training opportunities.

For further information contact Melanie Loft Trial manager 0278398676 melanie.loft@tuiora.co.nz or view www.msd.govt.nz/social-­sector-­trials

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news