27 Aug 2009

Funding for community groups to help young

3:18 pm on 27 August 2009

The Government is providing $4.6 million in funding to encourage community groups to find ways of helping their own at-risk children.

On Wednesday the Government announced plans to spend $84 million in the next four years to curb youth offending with camps and community based programmes for offenders, and holidays for the under-privileged.

The $4.6 million fund is available for community groups to run pilot schemes that have the potential to steer children away from a life of crime.

Child, Youth and Family deputy chief executive Ray Smith, says the fund is an opportunity for groups to find solutions for at-risk children that are specific to their communities.

However, a South Auckland youth worker says money spent on military-style camps to reduce youth offending would be better spent on preventive measures.

Mangere East Family Service Centre director Peter Sykes says the money will contribute to a positive cause, rather than funding punishment.

But another South Auckland youth worker, Alan Va'a, says the money could have at least been stretched to fund preventative measures.