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Grants available to support vulnerable children and young people

Sunday, August 23, 2015

More than $90,000 is available in the next round of the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants to support eligible vulnerable children and young people to enhance their quality of life, with funding paying for a range of items including household furniture and appliances, work tools or professional development courses.

DECD Deputy Chief Executive, Child Safety, Etienne Scheepers, said the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants, which are open to children and young people who are or have been under guardianship, has had a hugely positive impact on many children and young peoples’ lives.

“Children and young people who have been in care for a number of years can face many hardships obtaining basic necessities that many of us take for granted,” Mr Scheepers said.

“It’s not always easy for these young people to access equipment, health treatment or resources that would make their lives easier.

“These grants will enable young people to kick start getting a job, a driver’s licence, a computer or even simple items like a fridge or bed.

“Sometimes it’s really the simple things in life that can make the biggest difference, like having a working washing machine to wash your clothes or a bed for your children to sleep on at night – it might not sound like much but it really is to some people.”

Since the trust fund was set-up in 2003, more than $2.5 million in grants has been provided to children and young people. Only last financial year, $120,000 was distributed through 126 grants.

“Children and young people deserve the best start in life and unfortunately this isn’t always a reality for some,” Mr Scheepers said.

“Providing funding and support through this grant initiative is a small way that we can show some of our most disadvantaged children and young people that they are not alone.”

The grant rounds are released biannually, with one closing in February and one in September. Interested applicants can contact the Executive Officer on 1300 650 971 or email drmtrust [at] sa.gov.au to request an application form.

To be eligible for a grant applicants must be under 30 years of age and be, or have been:

  • Under the Guardianship of the Minister under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (or a previous equivalent in South Australia), for at least one year, OR
  • A child/young person from a remote Aboriginal community who is/was placed in the long-term care of relatives under family care agreements, financially supported on a regular basis by DECD (or a previous equivalent) for a combined total of at least one year.