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Survey to capture experiences of young Victorians leaving care now open!


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Young people aged 16 to 19 with a care experience and living in Victoria are invited to take part in a new survey, which will run over three years with the aim of better informing the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services about the way it supports young people leaving care.

Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care will run until 2017 and is currently looking for input from young people who are willing to complete a survey once a year for three years. Survey participants will receive gift cards for participating and will be making an important contribution to the future of Victoria's care experiences for young people.

This research is being conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and is the first Beyond 18 survey. It is open to young people aged 15–19 in 2023 and who have spent time in foster care, residential care, lead tenant, permanent care or kinship care placements.

An information sheet outlining all the details and background to the survey is available here.

The survey can be accessed here.

Source:CFCA News, 3 June 2023.

Report calls for homelessness support within schools


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A recent report has called for homelessness support for young people to be better integrated into the services accessed by this cohort, such as schools, in order to prevent youth homelessness before it becomes a way of life for some young people.

Swinburne University and the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact have produced a report as a result of a study into a homelessness prevention project in the Yarra Ranges, Victoria. The report looks in detail at the experiences of young people within the education system whose lives have been impacted by homelessness, which in many instances means couch surfing or staying for short periods with friends.

Two organisations, Anchor Youth Services and the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (OELLEN), have worked in partnership with the two universities to explore the nature of youth homelessness and work at ways to ‘develop sustainable partnerships between schools and industry to support the retention, attainment and career pathways of at-risk young people’.

Recommendations from the report, Couch surfing students: The Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project, include:

  • Local homeless youth services need to have a presence within schools.

  • Staff and students need to be educated about homelessness and local youth homeless services.

  • Schools need to be equipped to offer immediate support to students in crisis.

  • Accommodation and other support needs to be provided to young students.

  • There needs to be reconsideration of the term ‘homelessness’ as used in the youth context.

Click here to access the report.

Source:ARACY eBulletin, 5 June 2023.

Policy brief: changing attitudes towards violence against women


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Our Watch, an independent not-for-profit that works to prevent violence against women and their children, has just published a short policy paper outlining the importance of supporting young people who live with violence and of helping them to reject violent behaviours.

Working with children and young people is a 12-page policy brief that will be of interest to anyone working with youth who are in situations where they witness violence or are the victims of violent behaviour. The key points from the brief include:

  • The importance of challenging ‘violence-supportive and gender-stereotyping norms and practices’, and of encouraging young people to build respectful relationships of their own.
  • The importance of good practice schools-based programs about attitudes to violence, and involvement of not just the school but the community as well.
  • The importance of state and territory education departments in building up ‘whole-school’ approaches to changing attitudes towards violent behaviour.

Download the brief here.

In last month's YFX we ran a profile of The Line, which included mention of Our Watch and its work to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women. Read more.

Source:CFCA news, 3 June 2023.

How to talk to teenagers about the risks associated with gambling


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With research indicating that gambling-related problems are more common among young people than older age groups and that adult problem-gambling often begins in adolescence, a new guide for parents and carers about how to talk to teenagers about gambling issues is most welcome.

Available for download from the NSW Government’s Gambling Help website, the guide includes statistics and facts which highlight the scope of the issue in Australia, signs to look for which may indicate that your teenager is gambling and suggestions on how to open an ongoing conversation with them about the issues.

You can find the Talking to Teens about Gambling guide and other useful resources on the NSW Government’s Gambling Help website.

You can download the ACYS Face the Facts feature on Youth Gambling in Australia from the ACYS website.

Source:CommunityNet e-news, 3 June 2023.