Reconnect is a community-based early intervention program for young people aged 12 to 18 years who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The program aims to help young people achieve family reconciliation and improve their level of engagement with work, education, training and the community.
Waltja operates this service in four remote communities – Ltyente Apurte (Santa Teresa), Titjikala, Amundurrngu (Mount Liebig) and Papunya. The program has been running since 2001.
As part of the program, Reconnect staff provide personal support, counselling, mediation, group work and practical support in a culturally and contextually appropriate way.
Specific examples of Reconnect services include:
- Personal support: help with Centrelink, school enrolment, court support, family issues and drug and alcohol issues.
- Casework: working with young people to identify what they need help with, then assisting them to obtain this help by referring to specialist services. Casework also addresses issues that are creating ‘at risk’ behaviours or situations of homelessness.
- Practical support: providing emergency money for food or second-hand clothing, crisis accommodation, transport to and from town.
- Mediation: working with clients and their families to resolve issues, mediating with schools or work to create an alternative solution for young people.
- Group work: organising cultural activities, camps and programs to help young people learn living and leadership skills, and discuss specific youth issues.
- Community events: supporting community events such as Blue Light Discos, barbecues, discos and inter-generational activities to reduce ‘at-risk’ behaviours.
We currently employ one team leader and two field workers (full time) who are based in Alice Springs and travel out to communities. There are also casual community workers from each community employed by Reconnect who work with the project.
Waltja Management Committee wants a Reconnect service to be established in all remote communities.
Some recent highlights of our Reconnect service include:
- Young Women’s Personal Development Camp – during Youth Week a group of young women from Titjikala came to Alice Springs to explore further education options, tour University campuses and research TAFE courses available to them on community.
- Women’s Health Camp for Western Desert – women of all ages came to Town Bore to participate in workshop sessions on various health issues.
- Cultural Bush Trips – men, both young and old, hunted, visited country and shared stories.
If you would like more information on the Reconnect service or to talk to one of our workers call (08) 8953 4488.