SFYS: Outcomes from Stakeholder Consultations

Report
Outcomes from submissions to Reforming Support to
Vulnerable Young People – A Discussion Paper
Introductory Remarks
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During November and December 2012 three workshops were held with
community service agencies delivering the SFYS program, Principal
Associations, representatives from Catholic Education, Independent Schools
and DEECD regional staff.
A meeting was held with the MAV and local government authorities. Local
government providers of SFYS were invited to provide their views on
improving responses to vulnerable young people in writing.
The outcomes of the workshops informed the development of Reforming
Support to Vulnerable Young People – A Discussion Paper.
During January and February 2013, community and education providers,
including School Focused Youth Service (SFYS) stakeholders, were invited to
provide a response to the paper.
The paper sought to build on the learnings of programs like SFYS and gain
feedback on the perceived problem, desired outcomes, functions and
governance that would improve responses to vulnerable young people.
90 responses were received from approximately 100 service providers.
Breakdown of Submissions Received
Number of submissions by
organisation type
Education/Train
ing
Other
4%
Networks
4%
State Govt
5%
Number of submissions by
service boundary type
Advocacy General public
1%
3%
Metro / Rural
Community
Services
26%
Peak /Statutory
7%
Statewide
Rural
Mental Health
8%
Local
Government
19%
Local Learning
and
Employment
Networks
23%
Metropolitan
0
10
20
30
40
50
Summary of Responses
• Stakeholder contributions have agreed that a systemic
response focussing on engaging and re-engaging vulnerable
young people in learning needs to be:
– Outcome focussed, accountable and flexible
– Able to identify a platform that supports clear service coordination, planning and harnessing of community resources.
– Responsive to the needs of local communities through an area
based governance structure that brings together agencies and
government departments at a local level.
Scope - determining the problem
• Stakeholders highlighted the following problems associated with
engaging vulnerable young people in learning:
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Fragmentation of response
Family capacity to support and engage
Service and school capacity to respond
Early identification in universal settings
Funding inconsistencies
Individual/social characteristics – e.g. refugee background,
poverty, trauma.
Scope – what we are trying to achieve
Opportunities to strengthen DEECD’s approach to
supporting vulnerable young people
• Stakeholders identified the following elements required to
strengthen the support provided to vulnerable young people:
– Embed a local point of contact through services or a facilitator
role to coordinate and navigate local responses
– Support for implementing a ‘No Wrong Door’ approach
– Establish a clear pathway for young people not in education to
re-engage with education
– Resources funded to reflect need.
Function – summary of strategic responses
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Stakeholders agree that the function of a new approach to
supporting vulnerable young people should:
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Be evidence based and tailored
Ensure a balance between flexibility and accountability
Encourage structured and accountable partnerships
Place young people at centre
Prevention
Early Intervention
Intervention
Universal learning settings to
provide inclusive environment
that supports all young people
achieve
Universal learning settings to
identify young people at risk and
provide an early response
Agencies and learning settings to
provide consistent managed
support
Universal learning platforms
responsible for addressing
common issues, e.g. bullying,
positive relationships
Community Service Agencies to
acknowledge learning as critical
and support re-engagement
Learning settings need to be able
to re-engage the most vulnerable
young people
Governance – summary of responses
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Senior regional representation is fundamental
Avoid another layer of bureaucracy
Areas need to consider:
– Demography
– Population size
– Distance between regional centres
– Unmet demand
• Diverse opinions on whether Governance should focus on all young
people or vulnerable young people only
• Evidence based principles and criteria are required to inform function
of Governance.

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