Wednesday 19 December 2018

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TAIHS Lighthouse supporting young people to achieve great things

In April 2017, TAIHS was funded by the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet to set up a diversionary centre for youth. The idea behind this program was to prove a safe place and diversionary activity, particularly in substitute to engaging in criminal activities for youth. The program was aptly named The Lighthouse by young people participating in the program, with the philosophy of “steering young people away from danger at night time”.

The Lighthouse is designed to support youth aged 10 to 16-years old, no matter their circumstances or background.

The program is specific for young people who may:

  • not have adequate adult supervision;
  • not feel safe at home and need a place to go;
  • be in trouble;
  • need someone to talk to

Young people who attend are able to access meals, shower facilities and a bed for rest.  Interactive supervised engagement activities such as sport, fitness and creative programs are included.

The centre provides support for disengaged youth and offers a safe place to form connections, including cultural connections.

Over the last 18 months, Lighthouse has provided 320 individual young people with services, who have collectively engaged in the service 5591 times. These young people have attended on their own accord or are sometimes offered the place by The Lighthouse staff who do checks around Townsville, in parks; shopping centres or home and offer young people a safe place to stay or transport home if they locate anyone.

Collaboratively TAIHS has worked with Department of Youth Justice and the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group to build relationships with young people to assist them with their daily life struggles and have seen some very positive results from continuous contact.

In February 2018, Mr Robert Atkinson was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, to examine and report on a range of youth justice matters.  One of the key finding and recommendation is that the Queensland Government adopt/consider more after-hours youth facilities modelled on ‘The Lighthouse’ in Townsville for other high-risk youth offending locations in Queensland where there are limited safe, suitable activities and locations for teenagers at night time.

 

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