The McGowan Government has announced the expansion of its Target 120 early intervention program to Kalgoorlie, Kununurra and Mirrabooka.
Target 120 is a $20.4 million initiative targeting young people who are at risk of becoming repeat offenders.
It aims to improve community safety and achieve better outcomes for young people by forging better connections between those young people, their families and the services that meet their needs.
Local multi-agency groups and community youth officers have engaged more than 30 young people and their families since Target 120 was introduced in Armadale and Bunbury last year.
Those teams are now providing tailored supports to address factors that are known to increase a young person’s likelihood of offending, such as substance abuse, lack of housing, domestic violence, mental health issues and poor attendance at school.
Some examples of supports that have been provided to participants to-date include mentoring, housing, on-country tours and extra-curricular activities like football or basketball being offered as rewards for going to school.
To support candidate selection for Target 120 and evaluation of program, Treasury has created the Social Investment Data Resource – a large linked administrative database with information from key government agencies.
In Kalgoorlie, the program will build on the work of the successful Earlier Intervention and Family Support Services Strategy that has been in place for the past two years.
Its expansion into Kununurra will support the McGowan Government’s Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy, which was announced in the 2019-20 State Budget.
Target 120 – a McGowan Government election commitment – will be implemented in multiple locations across Western Australia over this term of government.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Target 120 is an opportunity to work in an innovative way to provide young people and their families with co-ordinated and timely access to the services they need.
“When we can effectively support at-risk young people and their families, it benefits all Western Australians – they experience less crime, and early intervention costs taxpayers less than a young person coming into contact with law enforcement and the prison system down the line.
“This program is in line with Our Priorities of a safer community and Aboriginal wellbeing.
“It is an investment in the future of these young Western Australians and the communities they live in.”
As stated by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“A key feature of Target 120 is that it brings together resources from across government and seeks to build upon existing strengths and services in each location.
“The program looks at potential young offenders as individuals – not as a group – to steer them away from a life of crime and protect the community in the long term.
“It also provides guidance in life skills, health and family wellbeing.
“Young people are still developing and learning, so this expansion aims to help more children to become valued members of their communities.”
As stated by Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn:
“This project will make a really positive difference to the lives of local young people and their families, so I am really glad this project is being implemented in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
“Target 120 will tap into the valuable work already being done by government, the non-government sector, and the community through the Earlier Intervention and Support Services Strategy and link it into a wider program.
“This multi-faceted approach will improve community safety in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.”