In 1986, Honorable Chief Justice Terence Higgins AO, then a practicing Canberra barrister, recognized a gap in the social support services available to the Canberra region’s most vulnerable “at risk” youth.
Chief Justice Higgins and a small group of like-minded supporters established a Canberra chapter of Open Family; a Melbourne based charity founded by Fr Bob Maquire. The charity was named Open Family (ACT) and its goal was clear; to offer the “at risk” youth of the Canberra region a future. The committee soon expanded and identified a need to remain solely focused on that goal, so in 2010, Supporting Canberra Street Kids Limited was established which began trading as YouthCARE Canberra.
Since establishment, YouthCARE Canberra has developed a unique and pro-active Outreach Program to improve the well-being and self-worth of the Canberra region’s alienated and excluded street youth. The support services offered are immediate, non-judgmental and focused on providing an opportunity for “at risk” youth to positively change their lives through volunteered specialist services such as legal advice, communications and entertainment.
A high demand for after hours services presented an opportunity for YouthCARE Canberra to expand the services provided and better cater to the needs of “at risk” youth. In August 2013, YouthCARE Canberra engaged the services of St John’s Care Reid as part of the outreach program making YouthCARE Canberra one of the only after hours service providers for youth in the Canberra region.
YouthCARE Canberra’s continued focus is to improve the lives of vulnerable youth in the region but this would not be possible without the help of our board members, Friends of YouthCARE Canberra committee, our youth care workers and of course our valuable sponsors, The Snow Foundation, Queanbeyan Leagues Club, St George Bank Foundation and our first corporate sponsor, Synergy.