Mum’s plea to save youth bootcamps after son's life change
A ROCKHAMPTON mother is pleading with the community to show their support for youth justice boot camps following a Queensland Government announcement to give them the boot.
The passionate mother posted the plea on social media on Wednesday night, explaining how the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast PCYC's Horizon Early Intervention Program for at-risk teenagers had changed the life of her son for the better.
Due to his age, The Morning Bulletin will not identify the woman's son by naming the mother.
"Some of you may know my son (edited) recently participated in a program called Horizon," the local mother said.
"The program's main aim is to redirect kids who appear they may be taking the wrong path and keep them out of the juvenile justice system. It also helps them develop social and leadership skills.
"This program and the men that run it have changed our lives. I had a very real fear that my son may one day find himself in trouble.
"I am so grateful to Paul and Saul who ran the program, I can not thank them enough for the acceptance, support and love they have shown to my son and us as a family.
"It is because of their hard work that I can say my son has changed so much, we are so proud of him and all that he has achieved."
The mother said before embarking on the program, every day was a struggle for her family and her son.
"We argued about everything, he would run from the house and sometimes he even became violent," she said.
"He now fits in perfectly and we rarely argue other than the regular 15-year-old stuff.
"As part of the program he is now attending tutoring to help raise his grades, without the support of the program we as a family could not afford the $55 a session.
"He has made some great friends and the boys are a support network to themselves. My husband and I too have gained a friendship and the support of another couple."
The mother claimed the program was so successful in Rockhampton that not one of the participants had ended up in the juvenile justice system.
"The government is no longer funding it; they say it has failed," she said.
"It would appear it is more cost effective to give these kids a bed and a feed in a juvenile detention centre rather than turn them around with some positive support before they get there.
"This program was run in other locations in more of a bootcamp style. They have not been as successful as Paul and Saul who mentor and support the boys and girls in a much different way.
"We need to help them keep this going. Give our kids a chance to be better, they deserve it."