Applications for Round 2 closed at 4 pm on 17 August 2022.


​​​​​​On this page

  • Grants overview
  • What can be funded
  • What can’t be funded
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Auspice arrangements
  • Application and assessment process
  • Conditions of funding
  • Why the Victorian Government provides these grants
  • Supporting work in Aboriginal communities
  • Resources
  • Further information

Grants overview 

The Youth Engagement Grants are part of the Victorian Government’s Building Safer Communities Program. This program is a key initiative under the Crime Prevention Strategy. The Strategy helps promote community safety and prevent crime in Victorian communities.

The Strategy recognises that Victorian communities are strong and resilient and hold the knowledge, skills and experience to design and deliver effective solutions to local issues. These grants aim to build on the creativity and strengths of the community to help children and young people reach their potential. 

Grants are open to small multicultural and Aboriginal clubs and organisations to support children and young people aged 8 – 24:

  • make positive life choices
  • establish strong community connections
  • prevent contact with police and the justice system.

The grants will support projects that use cultural connection, sport, arts, music and other creative activities to engage children and young people. 

The grants also support smaller community organisations to:

  • build their capacity to engage with their community and implement local solutions
  • provide early support to children and young people
  • connect them with other supports and services as needed.

What can be funded

Grants of up to $50,000 are available. Approximately $900,000 was available for round 2.

Grants funding can be used for new or existing activities, such as sports, arts, and music, that support and strengthen children and young people’s connection to: 

  • community, family and friends
  • culture
  • education, training, and pathways to employment, and
  • developing life skills and experience.

Funding may also cover: 

  • equipment costs such as uniforms, balls, paint, canvasses, as part of a broader project  
  • reasonable venue and transport costs 
  • insurance costs related to delivery of the project.

Funded projects can run for up to 2 years but must be completed by no later than May 2025.

Activities must be developmentally age-appropriate and focused on the needs of the children and young people participating. Parent or guardian supervision is strongly encouraged for activities involving children under 12 years of age. Activities can be delivered during school holidays.

Up to 25 per cent of the grant can be used to cover the cost of coordinating project activity (this can include paying a part time Project Coordinator and reimbursing volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses). For organisations partnering with an auspicing organisation (see below), coordination costs up to 25 per cent of the total grant may be shared between the two organisations. 

What can’t be funded

  • Overnight camps or one-on-one activities involving children and young people
  • Overseas or interstate travel
  • Salaries for existing roles/staff that do not coordinate grant funded activities
  • Reimbursement of costs for past activities
  • Development of software applications (e.g. apps).

Eligibility criteria

Organisations are eligible to apply for a grant if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are led by multicultural or Aboriginal community members in Victoria
  • Have an annual income of less than $500,000 between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022
  • Are a not-for-profit community organisation
  • Are an incorporated separate legal entity or can be auspiced by an incorporated organisation (see below Auspice arrangements)
  • Provide evidence of progress towards alignment to Victoria’s 11 Child Safe Standards. This may include, for example, a publicly accessible child safe policy; a Code of Conduct; Child safe risk management procedures; Working with Children Checks; screening processes for employees and volunteers; incident reporting policies; or staff training and awareness of child safety matters. Further information on the Child Safe Standards will be provided at child safety webinars (External link) Organisations interested in applying for a Youth Engagement Grant are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions. 
  • Can provide evidence of one of the following (where there is an auspice arrangement, relevant information should be provided by the auspicing organisation): existing child abuse insurance cover, OR current quote/s that have been obtained for child abuse insurance cover, OR information regarding the steps that have been taken to obtain a quote for child abuse insurance cover.

Further details regarding child abuse insurance requirements and other eligibility criteria will be provided at Youth Engagement Grant information sessions. Details of forthcoming information sessions are available on our main Youth Engagement Grants page.  

Ineligible applicants

  • Organisations that don’t meet all of the eligibility criteria listed above  
  • Individuals or sole traders 
  • Local government authorities 
  • Other government agencies 
  • Organisations based outside of Victoria 
  • Organisations proposing activities outside of Victoria.

Auspice arrangements

  • Where clubs or organisations are not incorporated, applications can be submitted by another organisation that is incorporated, this is called “auspicing organisation”. 
  • The auspicing organisation will enter into the funding agreement with the Department of Justice and Community Safety (the department) on behalf of the unincorporated organisation, and will be legally responsible for managing the funds and ensuring delivery of the funded activities. 
  • There is an expectation that auspicing organisations will work with unincorporated organisations to build their experience in managing government grants and help them understand the benefits and obligations of being an incorporated entity. 

    Application and assessment process

    Submitting applications

    • Applications closed on 17 August 2022  
    • Information sessions and Child safety webinars: July and August 2022 
    • Applications must be submitted via an online form located in SmartyGrants
    • To be fair to all applicants, late applications will not be accepted.

    Assessment of applications

    Eligible applications will be assessed against the Assessment Criteria (below) by a panel of department representatives.

    In considering applications, the department will also consider:

    • feedback from the Victorian Multicultural Commission for grant applications received from multicultural organisations  
    • feedback from the local Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJAC) and the Aboriginal Justice Caucus for grant applications received from Aboriginal organisations (see Supporting work in Aboriginal communities below) 
    • the distribution of grants across inner metropolitan Melbourne, outer suburban Melbourne and regional/rural Victoria.

    Priority will also be given to supporting:

    • organisations in communities where there is an over-representation of young people in the justice system, or
    • smaller organisations with an annual income of $50,000 or less. 

    After assessment, the department will recommend projects to the Minister for Crime Prevention for approval.

    The decision of the Minister for Crime Prevention is final.

    Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email and the department will provide feedback on request. 

    Assessment Criteria

    Proposal addresses an identified need within the community

    (60 per cent weighting)

    • Describes the group of children and young people who are the focus of the project.
    • Describes the issues and needs of these children and young people.
    • Describes the activities to be funded.
    • Describes how the activities will be delivered (e.g. by volunteers, on a fortnightly basis etc.).
    • Provides an initial budget for how funding will be spent.

    Connection to the community

    (40 per cent weighting)

    • Demonstrates that the organisation is connected to the relevant community, including having community members actively involved in the day-to-day. management and operations of the club or organisation, and the organisation is supported by the broader community.
    • Demonstrates how children and young people will be engaged in the design and implementation of activities.
    • Demonstrates a commitment to involving family members, peers, and the broader community to support its children and young people.

    Conditions of funding

    The conditions that will apply to projects receiving a grant include:  

    • The grant recipient or auspicing organisation must enter into a Funding Agreement with the department which will set out the terms and conditions of funding and the reporting requirements. The department will work with organisations to negotiate these terms and conditions.  
    • Funded activities commence from January 2023, including refinement of project proposals and development of project plans. Projects must be completed by May 2025. 
    • Funds must be spent on the project as described in the Funding Agreement and any unspent funds must be returned to the department. 
    • Any variation to the approved project must be submitted to the department for approval prior to implementation. 
    • The grant recipient or auspicing organisation must maintain appropriate insurance coverage for operational and business risks. 
    • People engaging in ‘child-related work’ must apply for and pass the Working with Children (WWC) Check. The WWC Check helps to keep children safe by preventing those who pose a risk to the safety of children from working with them, in either paid or volunteer work. For more information visit the Working with Children Check website (External link)

    The department will support funded organisations to refine their project proposals and develop project plans.

    The department will meet regularly with funded organisations to provide advice and help trouble-shoot any issues that might arise and ensure there is an ongoing understanding of reporting and other requirements under the funding agreement. 

    Why the Victorian Government provides these grants

    Many smaller, multicultural and Aboriginal clubs and organisations are working to make a difference for children and young people in their communities but may struggle to secure funding because of strong competition for grants and because they have limited capacity and experience in applying for, and managing, grant funding. The Youth Engagement Grants offer a supported alternative when compared to other grants.

    Organisations that are successful in obtaining funding will be supported to:

    • further refine their project proposals and develop a project plan
    • understand government expectations and successfully manage their grants
    • evaluate activity to measure success.

    Supporting work in Aboriginal communities

    The government is committed to working with Aboriginal community organisations to improve Aboriginal justice outcomes, family and community safety, and reduce over-representation in the Victorian criminal justice system. Aboriginal people understand the issues of concern and priority in their local areas and are best placed to lead and deliver culturally appropriate solutions.

    Aboriginal community organisations must seek support for their proposal from the local Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC), prior to submitting their application.  

    Please complete the RAJAC Consideration Request form and submit it to the relevant RAJAC Executive Officer as soon as possible in the application process. You will be asked to confirm as part of your application that a RAJAC Consideration Request has been submitted. Where possible, evidence of RAJAC support should be obtained and attached along with your application.

    Consulting with the local RAJAC early can help to refine project ideas in the planning stage to ensure the project aligns with Regional Justice Action Plans. Find information about the RAJAC network including contact details (External link)


    The following resources may assist in completing your application:

    Information about child safety and the Child Safe Standards

    Minimum requirements for insurance

    Further information

    If you have read these guidelines and still have questions about round 2 of the Youth Engagement Grants, please contact the Community Crime Prevention Unit by email: (External link)

    If you experience technical difficulties when completing or submitting your application online, please contact SmartyGrants Support by phone (03) 9320 6888 (External link) or email: (External link)