The operations of the Young Single Women's Refuge in Perth have been suspended due to concerns about the management of the service.
Community Services Minister Eric Ripper said today allegations of misappropriation of funds were being investigated by police and there was evidence of unacceptable management practices.
The inner-Perth refuge, which was jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments under the Supported Accommodation Assistance (SAAP) Program, provided crisis accommodation for single women younger than 25 years, including some children. The precise location of the refuge was confidential, to protect the clients.
Mr Ripper said funding to the existing management collective, made up of staff members, would be suspended and the refuge temporarily closed, pending further investigation of the allegations.
"I want to ensure that these very vulnerable young women in funded services receive the very best care and support," the Minister said.
"During the suspension period, the well being of those currently in the service, and of other young women who may need crisis accommodation support, will be a high priority.
"Their needs will be met in the interim by the provision of additional support to other welfare services."
Mr Ripper said the suspension would enable investigations to be finalised and consultations undertaken to determine the best management options for the re-opening of a service to young single women.
"Relevant interest groups will be consulted to ensure the effective provision of a competently managed service which is fully accountable for the expenditure of taxpayers' funds."