The Guardian News was aware that Nambucca Shire Council previously played a much more active role in youth services for the shire, which stopped in 2018.
We asked the general manager Michael Coulter why:
"In 2017 Family and Community Services (FACS) advised the council that it would need to transition from the 'generic' programs it provided to youth to what was termed 'targeted earlier intervention'.
Targeted earlier intervention would require staff to identify and directly engage with potentially vulnerable people - with particular focus on three priority groups:
· Babies to three-years old
· Younger parents – at least one parent under 20 years of age
· Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities. This includes supporting Aboriginal-led organisations, with Aboriginal identified positions, counselling, case management, after hour’s services, providing clients with practical support.
FACS staff also expressed a preference that Aboriginal people and Aboriginal organisations have more involvement in delivering the programs as Aboriginal people comprised a significant proportion of 'potentially vulnerable people'.
The council was conscious that it's community service offering was limited and expressed concern about moving into targeted earlier intervention without sufficient staff and back-up.
After receiving confirmation from FACS that the funding the council previously received to employ Vicki (Fernance) and Naj (Hatsic) would remain in the Nambucca Valley supporting NGOs providing targeted earlier intervention, the Council let its funding agreement lapse in 2018.
The funding the Council received is now going to the Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service."