State Government funding for young people has been welcomed by the South West Centre Against Sexual Assault

YOUNG people in the south-west who show sexually abusive or concerning behaviour will receive greater support with the help of state government funding.

The Warrnambool-based South West Centre Against Sexual Assault (SWCASA) will pick up $110,000 and centre manager Mary Clapham said the funding would allow staff to do more preventative work.

The funding will support services treating young people – to work with the individual, their family, carers, school and community –  including an assessment and an appropriate response to address the needs of the child or young person and their family.

Ms Clapham said the service was viewed as a preventative activity.

“It’s really important that this is work that’s done for children,” she said.

“They’re the ones that are presenting the problematic behaviours. It’s work with children and their families to sustain more healthy relationship behaviours.

“There’s not one single factor that contributes to the behaviours but there is a range of factors.”

More than 1500 people state-wide accessed the Sexually Abusive Behaviour Treatment Services (SABTS) in 2016-17. The new funding will deliver 535 additional placements over three years, and will support the continuation of the SABTS program.

The services will treat young people aged 17 years and under – up from 15 years of age – which was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

These services can run up to two years and are accessed voluntarily or as a result of a court order.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the services were about addressing destructive behaviour from an early age to ensure young people are rehabilitated and on the right path.

Ms Clapham urged anyone needing support to contact SWCASA on 1800 806 292 or 5564 4144.

Mary Clapham

Mary Clapham