Toggle navigation

Impacts of the loss of ACYS on youth services and young people

We’ve provided answers to some key questions about the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies

  1. What does ACYS do?

  2. What’s unique about ACYS?

  3. Who uses ACYS?

  4. What have been our impacts in the youth sector?

  5. What has happened to ACYS’s funding?

  6. What will be the impacts of losing ACYS in the youth sector?

  7. More information

 

1. What does ACYS do?

Our aim

To ensure Australia’s policies, programs and research for young people are high quality and reflect international best practice to nurture engaged and resilient young Australians.

Our outcomes

  • evidence-informed and proactive policymaking, practice and programs for young Australians;
  • informed and relevant applied research and choice of research topics that enhance policy, practice and programs for young Australians;
  • a connected Australian youth sector, with breadth and depth of thinking; and
  • improved organisational efficiency and quality practice and programs with Australia’s youth sector.

How we achieve this

a.    Provide practical, analytical resources on good practice:

  • briefings and snapshots on emerging issues for young people and key messages in developing good policy and practice, through Face the Facts and other reports;
  • case studies of good practice in working with and for young people;
  • webinars and podcasts exploring issues from a number of perspectives, including those of young people and those who work with and for young people; and
  • expert reviews from academics, practitioners and policymakers.

b.    Present youth sector news and events round-ups:

  • daily website news, our monthly e-bulletin Youth Field Xpress (YFX), regular e-bulletins;
  • social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and
  • event calendars.

c.    Deliver information and helpdesk services:

  • enquiry services;
  • online library of information, contacts and resources;
  • data analysis; and
  • Youth Studies Australia (YSA) journal archive.

d.    Offer organisational services

  • editing and proofreading;
  • graphic design; and
  • book and report publishing.

 

2. What's unique about ACYS?

Unlike other information and research services covering young people in Australia:

  • we are specifically focused on young people and have over 30 years of experience in that field;
  • we are objective and we don't campaign; and
  • we are a free service, offering personal one-to-one research and information searches through our helpdesk, in addition to news, analysis and resources for the sector.

 

3. Who uses ACYS?

Everyone involved in the Australian youth sector:

  • federal, state and local governments for policy and service development;
  • academic researchers, social policy researchers and youth peak bodies; and
  • service delivery organisations working with young people, such as community and welfare services, youth justice, education services, employment services.
  • Nearly 3000 subscribers access our monthly e-bulletin, Youth Field Xpress.
  • Around 700 to 900 users visit our website each day for information, news and resources.
  • Around 15 one-to-one briefs are provided for the sector each month through our helpdesk.

 

4. What have been our impacts in the youth sector?

Stakeholders who completed our recent survey helped us understand and measure whether our products and services are delivering what they need to and whether they are helping make the impacts within your work we would like them to. 

header_training_1.jpg

Impacts our stakeholders said we have within youth-related POLICY DEVELOPMENT

48% of stakeholders who responded to our 2014 stakeholder survey said they have used ACYS products and services to help inform their youth-related policy (mainly through Youth Field Xpress, Youth Studies Australia, ACYS books and Face the Facts). Of those, 95% said that the resources were useful or very useful.

Examples of the impacts you told us we’ve helped to make:

  • Research and theoretical frameworks published in Youth Studies Australia have regularly informed the development of policy in a range of contexts. These have included organisational policy, collaborative projects and local government youth strategies.
  • Because of its historical base, ACYS products cover a long period of policy development, and often these products were the ONLY sources of information on youth-related policy. Your archives have youth policy documents in hard copy which the federal government themselves had not seen, for instance, at a time when government was developing a new youth policy, ACYS was able to give him information their own library did not have.


Impacts our stakeholders said we’ve had on youth-related RESEARCH

56% of stakeholders who responded to our 2014 stakeholder survey said they had used ACYS products and services to help inform youth-related research (mainly through Youth Field Xpress, Youth Studies Australia, ACYS books and Face the Facts). Of these, 95% said that the products were useful or very useful for this purpose.

Example of the impacts you told us we’ve helped to make:

  • My research involves tracing the impact of federal youth policy upon individuals' lives with respect to the provision/lack of services. ACYS products help me to conduct this research because ACYS covers both research and service-related matters irrespective of the "silos" the information comes from.


Impacts our stakeholders said we’ve had on youth-related PRACTICE AND PROGRAMS

38% of stakeholders who responded to our 2014 stakeholder survey said they had used ACYS products and services to inform their youth-related practice or programs (mainly through Youth Field Xpress, Youth Studies Australia, sector resources, ACYS books and the ACYS website news feed). Of those, all said the resource were useful or very useful.

Examples of the impacts you told us we’ve helped to make:

  • We opened a Drop In Space and used information from ACYS to ensure best practice and that policies were developed that would meet the needs of the organisation and also young people.
  • These products helped provide insight on developing good practice in a number of areas as a youth work student and beginning practitioner, and informed development of programs such as a mentoring program for young people of refugee background which I assisted with developing.

You can find other examples of how our services have been used here.

 

5. What has happened to ACYS’s funding?

ACYS has been funded by the Federal Government for over 30 years. Currently, the Department of Education and Training’s Youth Innovation Team manages an open tender for contracting services for three years at a time. UTAS has consecutively won this tender process. The current contract, which ends on 30 June 2015, has been for $480,000 per year through the Department’s Youth Engagement budget.

In the Federal Budget 2015, the 'youth engagement' budget line is due to be reduced from $3,077,000 for 2014 –15 to $534,000 for 2015–16 and 2016–17. Please see the Department of Education and Training’s Portfolio Statement (p.35).All programs under this budget line that were not subject to an ongoing commitment between the Federal Government and the states have been cut.

 

6. What will be the impacts of losing ACYS in the youth sector?

We have been overwhelmed with responses from the youth sector about the potential impacts of losing ACYS’s services. We will collate these examples and make them available via ACYS' website.

In the meantime, as a starting point:

1.    Loss of time for front line delivery for youth services

Services will have to spend more precious delivery time on locating information they need on good practice as both our news services and our free helpdesk service will no longer be available. Recent requests for reports to help services have included:

•    Issues relating to young people themselves:

  • violence in relationships (NSW)
  • respectful relationships
  • young people and cosmetic surgery (SA)
  • justice reinvestment programs (Qld)
  • cyber bullying

•    Issues relating to professional practice with young people:

  • clinical supervision (NSW)
  • youth mentoring
  • youth engagement strategies (all states)
  • ethics in youth work (Tas)

2. Loss of access to quality, free resources for organisations, researchers and policymakers, no matter where they are in Australia

Policymakers, researchers and practitioners will lose an objective and free source of analysis and resources, including case studies of good practice, research, analysis and data on what works internationally and nationally in key service delivery areas, such as employment, education, health, housing and homelessness, and youth engagement to inform their work with young people.

3. Less opportunity for the sector to connect and learn from each other

  • By sharing good practice across the sector, we brought together organisations, researchers and policymakers that may not otherwise have known about each other, so they could learn from each others’ experiences.
  • We also helped facilitate discussions across Federal Government departments on key policy areas, such as growing youth employment through entrepreneurship.
  • We connected researchers to young people and practitioners, to ensure research about young people and youth work is robust and useful.

 

7. More information

Lindsey Moffatt
Manager

Lindsey.moffatt@utas.edu.au
T: 03 6226 7533
M: 0417 768 651

Marta Guerra
Partnerships, Marketing and Communications

marta.guerra@utas.edu.au
T: 03 6226 1748


Find out more through our website, Facebook and Twitter