5 December 2022
Saltbush Social Enterprise will partner with the Northern Territory Government to increase safe spaces for children through the Safe Place Accommodation and Support program in Alice Springs.
The program will provide expanded temporary accommodation for young people who are out at night unsupervised, considered to be at risk, and who have nowhere safe to go.
Youth Outreach and Re-Engagement Officer foot patrols, Aboriginal community organisation Tangentyere’s night patrol, and NT Police patrols provide a strong network to identify at-risk children.
The new program complements existing safe-place accommodation in Alice Springs and provides an additional layer of protection for children and the community.
Through the new program, if a child is returned home or stays the night in the temporary accommodation, an immediate assessment takes place the next day to address the factors making the home or the child unsafe.
This assessment involves re-engaging the young person or the family with diversion or support, through to a care and protection response.
A Child Protection Practitioner, an Aboriginal Community Worker and a male and female Saltbush staff member will operate from the accommodation.
Quotes from Minister for Territory Families, Kate Worden:
“If a young child doesn’t have anywhere safe to go and is out on the streets at all hours of the night and morning, clearly something isn’t right.
“In the first instance, we will always try to get these children home but if we can’t because it isn’t safe, that is when this program kicks in.
“Having Saltbush Enterprises expand their work into this program, we have more accommodation to increase safe place options, along with services to ensure the child and their family are getting the support they need.”
Northern Territory Government