Grants Overview

The Youth Engagement Grants are open to small multicultural and Aboriginal clubs and organisations to support young people connect to their community, family, friends and culture. Young people with these supports are more likely to participate socially and economically in the broader community and achieve positive life outcomes.

This grants stream is part of the Building Safer Communities Program, which is an initiative under the Crime Prevention Strategy. The Crime Prevention Strategy aims to address risk factors for offending and prevent crime before it occurs, including by supporting young people to stay on the right path and away from the justice system.

The grants will support projects that use cultural connection, sport, arts, music or other creative activities to engage young people. Young people are broadly defined as being between the ages of 8-24, with a particular focus on those from 8-16 years of age, as this presents a good opportunity to provide early support and help keep young people on the right track. Projects may choose to focus on a particular group or age-range to ensure a targeted focus on the needs of the children and young people participating.

Young people have different needs and interests, and the grants aim to provide different ways for them to get involved. Once young people are engaged through these activities, there is an opportunity to connect them with other supports and services as needed, to achieve the best outcomes.

Grants of up to $50,000 over two years are available. Up to $800,000 is available each round.

The program will involve an initial expression of interest process, followed by support for selected organisations to:  

  • plan activity and develop a quality grant proposal which will be assessed for funding suitability 

  • understand government expectations and successfully manage their grant 

  • evaluate activity to measure success. 

Grant applications are split into two rounds

Round 1 opened 18 October 2021 and closed 13 December 2021

Round 2 will open in late 2022 – specific dates will be confirmed closer to the time

Information session

An information session for Round 2 will be announced in late 2022

Why is the Victorian Government providing these grants?

The government’s Crime Prevention 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 young people make positive life choices and reach their potential.

Young people make an important contribution to the community but face a unique set of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to these challenges by impacting education, employment opportunities, health and well-being, and connection to friends and the broader community. Young people who are establishing a cultural identity and who are experiencing disadvantage or discrimination may need extra support to establish strong community connections and get the right help at the right time.

Many small multicultural and Aboriginal organisations are working to make a difference for their communities but can struggle to secure the funding they need because of strong competition for government grants and administrative processes. The Youth Engagement Grants offer these organisations a supported alternative to the other grants available through the Building Safer Communities Program.

By combining funding and support, the grants offer organisations and their partners the opportunity to work with government to better understand all aspects of the grant process and gain valuable experience in delivering a grant funded project. This can help them to apply for and secure further government and philanthropic funding.

Program objectives

The objectives of this program are to:

  • provide support and engagement activities for young people aged 8-24 from Aboriginal and multicultural communities to help them make positive life choices and prevent contact with police and the justice system
  • build on the strengths of community-led efforts to connect young people to culture, family, friends, community and other opportunities and support
  • build the knowledge and understanding of smaller community organisations about successful delivery of government-funded projects.

Eligibility criteria

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

  • are managed by a multicultural or Aboriginal community in Victoria  

  • have an annual income of less than $500,000 between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021 

  • are either: 

- incorporated


- partnered with an incorporated organisation who will enter into a funding agreement with the department on their behalf. A letter of support from the incorporated partner must be submitted with the EOI

What can the funding be used for?

The funds could be used for new activities or to continue existing activities such as:

  • activities that support young people to strengthen their connection to community, family, friends and culture, such as sports, arts, and music
  • activities that support young people’s connection to education, training and pathways to employment, such as developing life skills and experience
  • activities that offer young people opportunities to participate in supportive activities during school holidays
  • equipment costs such as uniforms, balls, paint, canvasses, as part of a broader project
  • reasonable venue and transport costs
  • up to 25 per cent of the grant can be used to cover the cost of coordinating project activity (this can include paying volunteers or a part-time Project Coordinator). If you are partnering with an incorporated organisation, coordination costs up to 25 per cent of the total grant may be shared between your organisation and the partner
  • insurance costs related to the delivery of your project.

You will not be able to use grant funds for the following costs:

Important information on incorporation

An organisation must be incorporated to enter into a funding agreement with government.

If your club or organisation is not incorporated, you can submit an EOI in partnership with another organisation who is incorporated to deliver the project.

The incorporated organisation will enter into the funding agreement with the Department of Justice and Community Safety (the department), on behalf of the unincorporated organisation. The incorporated organisation will be legally responsible for managing the funds and ensuring delivery of funded activity.

The incorporated organisation will need to work with the unincorporated community partner to understand the benefits and obligations of being incorporated and help them build experience in managing government grants.

Who should apply?

These grants are aimed at supporting small, grassroots community-led organisations.

You are strongly encouraged to read the section on what we expect from you if your proposal is supported. You will need to commit to participating in the workshops and working closely with the department to ensure the successful delivery of your project and grant.

If you are a larger club or organisation with past success in securing government funding, you may consider supporting and partnering with a small grassroots organisation under the Youth Engagement Grants to help build their capability.

Alternatively, you may consider applying through the other Building Safer Communities grants streams and you can also check the government’s grants portal at (External link) for information on other government grants available.

The Youth Engagement Grants involve 5 key stages


Stage 1 - Expression of interest (EOI)

  • Round 1 - now closed
  • Round 2 - to be announced late 2022

Stage 2 - Assessment of EOIs and selection of organisations to participate

  • Assessment of Round 1 EOIs – December 2021 to January 2022
  • Announcement of Round 1 outcomes – mid February 2021

How we will assess your EOI to select organisations to participate

The department will score your EOI based on the selection criteria below. The more of these criteria you respond to in your proposal, the higher you will score and the greater chance of being selected.

Selection Criteria

  1. Activity clearly addresses an identified need in the community
  • clearly describes the main issues impacting young people in the specified community
  • describes a range of possible activities to address those issues that could be funded by the grant
  • has a clear vision of what success looks like.
  1. Strong connection to the community


  • the organisation demonstrates a strong connection to the community, including active participation of community members in the running of the club/organisation
  • demonstrates the organisation has the support of its members and the broader community to get things done
  • has a clear vision for how the organisation would like to grow and develop in the future.
  1. Clearly understands and responds to the needs of young people
  • commitment to involving young people in the planning and implementation of the project
  • demonstrates experience or a commitment to involving family members, peers, and the broader community to support young people
  • shows an understanding of the needs of the young people who are the focus of the project.

The department will also consider the following when selecting organisations:

  • a spread of investment between regional areas and metropolitan Melbourne
  • priority will be given to proposals from organisations from communities where there is an over-representation of young people in the justice system
  • priority will be given to smaller organisations with an annual income of $50,000 or less
  • at least 25 per cent of funding will be allocated to projects managed by Aboriginal community organisations
  • proposals that show active community participation are strongly encouraged. 

We will seek advice from other agencies such as Aboriginal Justice and the Victorian Multicultural Commission when selecting organisations to participate.

We will select 20 organisations to participate in the proposal development stage.

What we expect from you if your EOI is selected

The Youth Engagement Grants are an opportunity to gain valuable experience in designing and delivering a government funded project to engage young people.

If your EOI is selected, we expect you to enable and encourage your volunteers, management committee and staff to participate in a range of workshops that the department will deliver including:

  • planning your project
  • writing your proposal
  • understanding your funding agreement and what is required (if your proposal is approved for funding)
  • implementing your project effectively
  • identifying grant opportunities and attracting further investment.

These workshops represent a time commitment of approximately 15 hours over a 12-month period.  We may schedule workshops after business hours or on the weekend to make it easier for you to attend.

Attendance at these workshops is an important part of your participation in the program.


Stage 3 - The proposal development phase

Organisations that are selected to participate based on their EOI will be offered two workshops throughout February and March 2022:

  • Workshop 1 - Planning your project
  • Workshop 2 - Writing your proposal

After these two workshops, you will need to finalise and submit your proposal to the department by 4pm on 29 April 2022.

The department will review your proposal before funding is approved. Your proposal will need to:

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria of the Youth Engagement Grants and does not contain costs that will not be covered by the grant
  2. Explain how the grant funds will be used to deliver the Youth Engagement Grant objectives
  3. Include all of the following:
  • a project plan and show you are ready to start implementing your project
  • a budget to show how funds will be used.

If any significant issues are identified at this stage, the department reserves the right to negotiate any required changes to your project before offering you a funding agreement.

If the project proposal is not agreed upon between your organisation and the department, as a result you may not be offered a grant in Round 1 (2021).

However, you can continue to participate in future workshops and be considered through Round 2 (2022) of the grants.

Ensuring young people’s safety and wellbeing

If your project works with young people under the age of 18 years, you will need to comply with the Child Safe Standards and the requirements of the Working with Children Check, where relevant.

Information on these requirements can be found on our website at

You will also need to have insurance in place against child abuse. Information on this requirement, including the minimum requirements for insurance are available from: (External link)

These insurance costs can be built into your project budget.


Stage 4 - Negotiating your funding agreement

If you are approved for funding, you will be invited to attend the next workshop:

  • Workshop 3 - Understanding your funding agreement and what is required

The department will work with you to ensure that your funding agreement is signed by 1 June 2022 and the first payment is made so your project can start from 1 July 2022


Stage 5 - Implementing your project

Two further workshops will be offered over the period of the grant.

  • Workshop 4 - Implementing your project effectively and establishing an evaluation plan to measure impact
  • Workshop 5 - Identifying grant opportunities and attracting further investment

Your organisation will be responsible for participating in these workshops, successfully implementing your project and meeting all the requirements of your funding agreement.

The department will continue to work with you while you implement your project to help trouble-shoot any issues you might experience and to ensure you understand all reporting and other requirements of your funding agreement.

Further information

If after reading the guidelines you still have questions about the Youth Engagement Grants, please contact the Community Crime Prevention Unit by email: (External link)

Community Crime Prevention Unit
Department of Justice and Community Safety
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