An early intervention program is helping to change the lives of young people at risk or who may be involved in criminal behaviour.
More than 100 young men and women across Queensland, including in Mackay, have embarked on their journey to a better future, after Project Booyah commenced last week.
The Queensland Police-led early intervention initiative has proven to be successful at reconnecting at-risk young people with their families, communities and education opportunities to set them up for the future.
Acting Superintendent Rob Fleischer says the 16-week program connects with 14 to 17-year-olds who are at risk of, or already involved in, criminal behaviour.
“The support doesn’t stop after the program finishes, these young men and women are supported through an additional program until they turn 18,” he says.
State Manager of Youth Programs, Acting Inspector James Steginga says he looks forward to seeing what this year’s cohort achieves.
“At the start of the course, we often experience challenging behaviours but it’s rewarding to see how much their demeanour changes and self-confidence increases when they graduate,” he says.
“We appreciate the challenges these kids face at home, in their communities or peer groups. Our desire is to see them succeed through re-engagement into further education or employment and we work with them until that’s their reality.”
Project Booyah operates in partnership with PCYC at 10 locations around Queensland – Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Moreton, Logan, South Brisbane and Gold Coast.