AT RISK Chinchilla and Tara teenagers and their families will have access to counselling services. Pic: Supplied
AT RISK Chinchilla and Tara teenagers and their families will have access to counselling services. Pic: Supplied

ANNOUNCED: On the ground support services for at-risk teens

AS STRUGGLING youths across the district cried out for help, a lack of support services highlighted a need for more on the ground programs to help teenagers get their lives back on track.

At-risk youth in Chinchilla and Tara stand to benefit from a new partnership between youth intervention charity Youth Insearch, Chinchilla State High School and Tara Shire State College.

The partnership includes a new social worker, Mutsa Murenje, whose focus will be on supporting and working with the local young people to develop positive life skills.

“My experience as a mental health practitioner has given me experience in supportive counselling and empowering people, groups and communities,” Mr Murenje said.

Youth Insearch CEO Stephen Lewin said the placement of a new social worker within the community would help young people who were struggling and ensure they received tailored care.

“We want to help the young people of Chinchilla and Tara by showing them what support services are available and how the Youth Insearch program can assist them overcome their challenges,” Mr Lewin said.

Youth Insearch has found that when social workers assist young people in a single community, it is able to provide tailored support to each young person on a one-on-one basis and connect them with appropriate support services.

Youth Insearch regional co-ordinator Donna Ryan said she was thrilled to welcome Mutsa Murenje to the Youth Insearch team.

“It is great to have Mutsa on board at Chinchilla State High School and Tara Shire State College in response to the strong need for a social worker in these communities,” she said.

“Due to the recent increase in requests for support from young people, Mutsa’s assistance will help us work more closely with case co-ordination.”

Chinchilla State High School principal Ian Insley, said the addition of a social worker into the school’s Students Support Services team will enable it to offer professional support to students.

“The ability for a Youth Insearch social worker to connect with our students at school and at home, including support for parents, is vital for the ongoing care of students,” Mr Insley said.

Tara Shire State College principal Craig Homer said the initiative would be a community effort.

“Having Youth Insearch join with our high school as others to help students and their families cope with a broad range of issues shows how our community can solve problems together,” Mr Homer said.

The Youth Insearch community-based partnership is launching on Thursday, December 3, at 11:30am.

Adhering to Queensland COVID-19 social-gathering restrictions, the launch will be held at Chinchilla State High School, located at 7 Tara Road, Chinchilla QLD.