A community-based program to reduce youth problem behaviours has been rolled out in Colac after the Andrews Labor Government provided $220,000 in funding.
Colac is one of three new sites to receive funding to deliver the innovative Communities That Care (CTC) project – an internationally recognised program that works with communities to prevent anti-social and risky behaviour amongst young people.
The Colac CTC is working on a detailed community action plan, and has made strong connections with the Geelong Football Club to promote Just Think, a program that works to reduce drinking among young people.
The CTC program is a long-term, evidence-based prevention strategy to develop locally-based initiatives that build healthy behaviour and social commitment among children and youth.
It targets the local risk factors that can increase the likelihood of young people engaging in anti-social behaviour and crime or becoming victims of crime.
In line with international trials, the Colac program hopes to reduce alcohol use, substance abuse, anti-social and violent behaviour and improve academic performance for children and young people.
The government allocated $961,000 in the 2016–17 Victorian Budget to support five existing CTC sites and expand the program to three communities, including Colac, Baw Baw and Hobsons Bay.
The five existing sites – Geelong, Warrnambool, East Gippsland, Bendigo and Cardinia – are sharing in more than $300,000 in additional funding.
The CTC program was originally developed by the University of Washington and has now been delivered extensively across USA, Canada, UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
It involves five phases and uses an early intervention and prevention framework to guide communities towards understanding their local needs, developing priorities and implementing strategies to address those needs.
Since July 2015, the government has provided more than $370,000 for projects in Colac Otway Shire to prevent crime and make the community safer as part of its Community Crime Prevention Program.
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to support programs like Communities That Care, because they can be truly life-changing for young people.”
“We know early intervention is a key to reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour and CTC is a proven model that helps to reduce alcohol and substance use and improve education outcomes.”
“We are investing in the future of Colac – supporting our young people to make the best choices possible and become engaged with their local communities.”