The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) has just published a summary paper covering their Youth Collaboration Trial (YCT), a service integration model to help young people aged 15 to 24 transition into work.
The YCT covered the 18 months from June 2013 to December 2014 and sought to link employment, education and training services like Youth Connections and Job Services Australia using existing government funding. The YCT trial was based in Frankston, Craigieburn and Melbourne’s western suburbs. It found that the five main benefits of collaboration between service providers were:
helping youth services make sense of a complex system;
improving communication and understanding between service providers;
avoiding duplication of services and thereby making best use of scarce resources;
the ability to offer a number of services that meet young people’s ‘broader needs’; and
preventing young people from falling through the gaps in the system.
Another chief finding from the trial is that ‘it takes time to build the strong relationships that are needed to harness existing community resources’. Many of the collaborations begun during the trial are continuing into 2015.