The McGowan Government will establish new counselling services in Rockingham and Northam to support young people who have been exposed to family and domestic violence (FDV).
The two new services deliver on an election commitment to support FDV counselling services for more than 270 young Western Australians a year and $2.5 million was allocated for the services in last year’s State Budget.
The sites were chosen to meet the demand for support services for young people experiencing FDV in Rockingham and in the wider Wheatbelt region. It is expected both services will be in operation by the end of the year.
The Australian Childhood Foundation, in partnership with the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia and Karla Kuliny Aboriginal Corporation, have been engaged to develop the service model.
The service model will also be guided by the lived experience of members of the Youth Steering Group and a Sector Reference Group. The Sector Reference Group is comprised of key agencies, including Aboriginal Organisations and Elders.
The $2.5 million investment is in addition to $34.4 million allocated in the 2022-23 State Budget to tackle family and domestic violence in WA.
This includes $14.7 million to establish and run the Armadale Family and Domestic Violence Hub, $7.7 million to enhance Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams for targeted intervention and $4.5 million to help address FDV in the Kimberley.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“It’s crucial that family and domestic violence survivors have access to the right kind of help, and that is why we need services that are tailored to young people and teenagers.
“We know it can be difficult to access support in some areas, and I’m proud the State Government is delivering on this important election commitment to bring specialised counselling services to the Wheatbelt and outer metropolitan suburbs.
“Early intervention is so important and this $2.5 million investment will give young people greater access to counselling services and potentially, help save lives.
“Of critical importance will be the development of a culturally secure service model, designed with young people, to meet their specific needs.”
As stated by Rockingham MLA Mark McGowan:
“My Government is serious about addressing the scourge of family and domestic violence, and that means making support services more accessible for everyone.
“The new Rockingham service will boost FDV support in Perth’s southern corridor, helping meet the demand for young people seeking help.
“Since coming into Government, we have made addressing FDV a priority, investing more than $150 million on initiatives that help victim-survivors and hold perpetrators to account.
“We’re committed to addressing the intergenerational cycles of trauma, inequality and disrespect that can lead to FDV in future generations.”
As stated by Agricultural Region Darren West MLC:
“There has long been a need for appropriate counselling and support services in the Wheatbelt, and I welcome this announcement.
“Regional areas are more difficult and expensive to service, so I thank Minister McGurk for this investment into our communities.”