Mental health, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse and unemployment have emerged as the key areas of concern for Western Australia’s young people.
Youth Minister Peter Tinley used the opening of the Youth Affairs Council of WA (YACWA) ‘State of the Youth Sector’ forum today to outline some of the findings of consultations between the Department of Communities and young people in 2017 and 2018.
The State Government is currently developing a Youth Strategy for WA that will provide a framework for Government on how best to work with young people and the youth sector to guide decision-making processes. YACWA is a key contributor to the Strategy.
Homelessness has emerged as an area of concern for WA’s young people, with 2016 Census figures suggesting that 21 per cent of homeless people were aged between 12 and 24 years.
As stated by Youth Minister Peter Tinley:
“WA has more than 500,000 young people – a figure is set to increase 44 per cent by 2030.
“To address this, the McGowan Government is developing WA’s first comprehensive Youth Strategy which is designed to provide better outcomes for our young people and a coherent approach to the work of the youth sector.
“This Strategy will reflect the value we place on our young people and how we can best service their needs, including such issues as mental health, substance abuse and unemployment.
“We are using a co-design process to develop the Strategy in collaboration with young people.
“Homelessness among young people is also a critical concern and the McGowan Government is working closely with the community services sector, local governments and the wider community to respond to this issue.
“The WA Alliance to End Homelessness and the Youth Affairs Council WA recently joined forces to establish the Homeless Youth Advisory Council – an excellent example of how young people with lived experience can influence policy and action on these issues.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5300