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Youth Services making a difference

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development
Associate Minister of Housing

6 August 2013

Youth Services making a difference

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says young people are responding well to the new way of working with Youth Services.

“We introduced welfare changes for young people to help them into work quickly so they can lead positive, productive and independent lives.”

“Community providers work directly with young people to help them navigate what can be a daunting world, by getting them help with paying their bills, budgeting and parenting as well as supporting them into education.”

Those on the Youth Payment (YP) and the Young Parent Payment (YPP) also have their bills paid direct, with a payment card for essentials.

Mentoring is a big part of the approach and one provider said it all - “you support them, nurture them and no one has done that for them, an 18 year old asked me to go grocery shopping with her as she didn’t know how”.

Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) can also access the services, even if they’re not on benefit.

There are around 1,300 receiving a Youth Payment (YP), 1,300 receiving the Young Parent Payment (YPP) and around 6,000 in the NEET service.

Of those receiving YP and YPP more than 1,500 are in full time education, almost 900 receiving budgeting help, 470 on parenting courses.

For teen parents on benefit, around 400 are making use of the Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment and other subsidies, so they can access education and attend parenting courses while their children are cared for.

“Providers are still working hard to get young people enrolled in all the services available, but the feedback is clear – they are making a difference and young people are responding well,” says Mrs Bennett.

ENDS

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