Youth Partnership Project

01 August 2018

House of Representatives, 27 February 2018
Watch Matt's Speech

Mr KEOGH(Burt) (13:51): Research by Save the Children in Western Australia has found that one in four young people in detention are from Perth's south-eastern suburbs, predominantly the areas I represent in Burt. In recognition of this shocking statistic, the Youth Partnership Project was founded with the belief that children are not born bad but, rather, into complex environments that can lead to significant behavioural problems. The Youth Partnership Project model provides an early targeted support for young people aged 10 to 12 with complex needs by working with the WA police force and state government to identify young people who are at risk of going down a juvenile justice path. I'm a huge supporter of the Armadale Youth Intervention Partnership. It recognises that merely being tough on crime does little to remedy the causes of crime or reduce crime. Now a recent report of the Telethon Kids Institute has also shown that nine in 10 juvenile detainees have a severe neurodisability, and 36 per cent were found to have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. In WA we spend $56 million on juvenile detention each year. Imagine if some of that money were invested into early intervention programs like AYIP or directed towards better education and prevention programs to teach families about the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant about FASD. We would probably be spending a lot less on corrective services, gaining a lot more from the people who we had helped and having less crime. Early intervention saves lives; it changes the story; it makes dollars and sense.