Community-based child sexual abuse treatment services are being expanded under a $486,000 Government program.
New counselling services will be provided for homeless young people who have been sexually abused by a family member, and Aboriginal families which have experienced child sexual abuse.
Acting Community Development and Family Minister Pam Beggs said today about $84,000 was allocated over the next two years for the development of the new programs.
Mrs Beggs said existing agencies, including contract counselling and self-help groups, would also receive increased funding. Country services would each receive a $5,000 increase to acknowledge the extra costs of delivering services in regional areas.
Funds were also provided for a new Child Sexual Abuse Action Group in Karratha.
The expansion, to take place over the next two years, was flagged in the State Government's $179 million Social Advantage package, which was a major re-direction of resources into early intervention and prevention of social problems.
"The Social Advantage also underlined a new direction of closer co-operation with local communities and increasing their resources to deal with specific local issues," the Minister said.
"This expansion of child sex abuse treatment services is in line with the Government's determination to ensure that appropriate support is available to children and families in crisis."
Mrs Beggs said the expansion would be co-ordinated by the Department for Community Development.
"Proper treatment and counselling of children and families, severely damaged by incidents of sexual abuse, is vital to minimise the long-term trauma which can otherwise lead to significant social problems in the future," she said.
"The expansion will include a boost to education programs designed to highlight the complex issues involved."