by Jan Logie
Are welfare reforms really going to mean a reduction in the services available to our young people? Was that the government’s intention? Less services for our youth transitioning from secondary school?
Mayors from South Canterbury to Southland have been lobbying the Ministry to try and save a youth service reputed to be a potential blueprint for youth services nationwide.
The scheme covers the bottom half of the South Island, and contacts every school leaver in Otago and Southland.
The Work’n It Out programme may have to shed most of its clients or even close as part of a Government overhaul of youth services.
Work’n It Out deals with young people aged between 15 and 19 who are not in work or higher education – a wider age group than the proposed replacement. As part of the first stage of welfare reforms government is now focussing funding to services providing services to only 16 and 17 year olds.
Here we have a programme the community is saying is making a real difference to the lives of their youth and yet welfare reforms are going to mean it may not survive.
How do the youth of Southland and Otago feel about this?