Up to $117M is available from Reconnect Program to improve the lives of vulnerable young Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Reconnect Program

Reconnect Program

The Reconnect Program is a community based early intervention and prevention program for young people aged 12 to 18 years (or 12 to 21 years in the case of newly arrived youth) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their families.

Reconnect services provide counselling, group work, mediation and practical support to the whole family, to help break the cycle of homelessness. Reconnect providers also purchase other services to meet the individual needs of clients, such as specialised mental health services.

 

Background

The Reconnect Program is a component of Outcome 2: Families and Communities, Program 2.1 Families and Communities. The Families and Communities Program aims to strengthen relationships, improve well-being of children and young people, reduce the cost of family breakdown, strengthen family and community functioning and facilitate the settlement of migrants and humanitarian entrants in the community.

The Reconnect Program contributes to Outcome 2: Families and Communities through intervening early to prevent youth homelessness and help young people stabilise their living arrangements, improve family functioning, maintain their connection to education and improve employment prospects.

The Australian Government currently funds 70 organisations to deliver 102 Reconnect services. The Reconnect grant opportunity will be undertaken according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 (CGRGs).

 

Objectives

Reconnect objectives include:

  • young people re-engage or strengthen their engagement with education or training, the community and employment, including:
    • increased school attendance
    • finish school or training
    • smooth transition from primary to secondary school or further education
    • increased social connectedness, such as with sporting groups
    • improved employment opportunities
  • family reconciliation, wherever practicable and safe, between homeless young people, or those at risk of homelessness and their family. Family reconciliation includes:
    • the young person returns home
    • ongoing positive family relationships are created which provide the young person with emotional and physical support
    • conflict is reduced or dealt with more positively
    • reconciling the young person with other family members, for example with grandparents or siblings
    • both parent(s) and the young person accepting that independence is appropriate for the young person
    • establishing a viable support system for the independent young person that includes a member of their family
  • fewer entries into homelessness including:
    • preventing homelessness
    • effective early intervention for people who have recently been homeless
    • more young people in safe, secure and stable housing
  • improved wellbeing and mental health including:
    • improved sense of self and positive self-worth
    • young people are more resilient, feel supported and are self sufficient

 

Funding

The Australian Government has announced up to $117 million for new three year funding agreements (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021), with the option to extend funding for a further two years (subject to providers meeting performance objectives) for Reconnect service providers.

 

Eligible Projects

The grant may be used for:

  • staff salaries and on-costs which can be directly attributed to the provision of the Reconnect Program in the identified service area or areas as per the grant agreement
  • employee training for paid and unpaid staff including Committee and Board members, that is relevant, appropriate and in line with the Reconnect Program
  • operating and administration expenses directly related to the delivery of Reconnect services, such as:
    • telephones
    • rent and outgoings
    • computer/IT/website/software
    • insurance
    • utilities
    • postage
    • stationery and printing
    • accounting and auditing
    • travel/accommodation costs
    • assets as defined in the Terms and Conditions that can be reasonably attributed to meeting agreement deliverables

You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in your grant agreement.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible to apply, you must be an organisation currently delivering Reconnect services, listed at Appendix A and have received an invitation to apply through GrantConnect.

Eligible candidates are being invited to apply for a Reconnect grant opportunity based on their experience of representing, and achieving strong results for young people across Australia who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and their families, including to Indigenous or newly arrived youth.

Eligible candidates have specialist expertise in, and knowledge of, youth homelessness and the unique issues facing communities where there are high numbers of youth at risk of homelessness across Australia.

Eligible candidates are known to have exceptional networks and influence within the specialised service sector. This reflects that the success of the Reconnect Program relies on the ability of the eligible candidates to engage and influence the existing Commonwealth, state and territory service footprint.

No further organisations will be invited to apply.

If you are approached to apply for a Reconnect grant under this grant opportunity, and accept a grant, you will need to make sure that the staff working on the grant maintain the following skills and registrations:

  • Working with Vulnerable People Check registration

All Reconnect workers should have the following attributes, personal skills, experience and knowledge:

  • genuine commitment to helping young people and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and a capacity to relate to them with dignity and respect
  • ability to think and act calmly and deal sensitively with distress and unpredictable behaviour
  • ability to promote the rights and responsibilities of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and their families
  • effective listening and communication
  • compassion, patience and ability to empathise and be non-judgmental
  • knowledge of when to seek help in supervision and how to work in a team environment
  • creative approach to problem solving
  • promotion of ethical behaviour and anti-discriminatory practice that treats consumers, family and staff with dignity and respect, and balances the right to privacy and confidentiality with duty of care
  • cultural competence
  • ability to work safely
  • knowledge of local community resources

 

Timing

Applications close 28 March 2018.

 

More Information