The NSW Government will provide the Ladder Step Up Western Sydney program with $1.3 million in funding over the next two years to support young people leaving the out-of-home care system.
Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said the program would provide education and employment help and mentorship.
“With 60 per cent of young people in care experiencing homelessness at some point in their lifetime we need to intervene early and get them on good paths to education, employment and stable housing,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We can’t do this alone and this new partnership is innovative and will affect real change in young people’s lives.”
A group of AFL players established Ladder in 2007 to empower young people to break the cycle of homelessness. Ladder is the official charity of AFL Players and a national partner of the AFL.
Ladder CEO Elisabeth Tuckey said the program was aimed at 17 to 20-year-old care leavers who need assistance finding ongoing employment. Specific groups will be run for young mums and bubs and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
“Youth homelessness is an issue that must be addressed by the community as a whole,” Ms Tuckey said.
“We are delighted to be working with the AFL Players, AFL and the GWS Giants to enhance the program and champion the role of sport as a social inclusion tool,” Ms Tuckey said.