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    Nov 04, 2015

    $2m scheme to help at-risk youth

    ABOUT 900 at-risk youth are expected to benefit from a $2 million scheme starting April next year.

    The Youth-at-Risk Engagement Framework will fund programmes to steer youth away from crime, improve their family relationships and help them stay in school.

    It will also roll out standardised risk assessment tools that government agencies, schools and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) can use to find out the needs of these youth.

    Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced this yesterday at a conference for at-risk youth attended by 1,000 participants from government agencies, VWOs and schools.

    There are now no common assessment and evaluation tools across the various agencies and organisations working with youth. But they need to know the problems these young people are facing, said Mr Tan.

    "We need to know the level of risk and needs of a youth before we can prescribe the appropriate intervention, make a referral to another agency or work together on a shared plan to help the youth."

    Last year, there were 66 young people below 16 deemed beyond parental control, and 1,369 were arrested.

    Mr Tan also announced a second initiative - the National Youth Work Competency Framework - which will chart training and career progression of youth workers.

    This will be ready by the second half of 2017 and is expected to benefit 200 youth workers.