EYHC 2011: Tell Someone Who Cares!


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This session explains the processes involved with getting a peer program of the ground at St. Johns Youth Service in South Australia. A major component to getting the program running was a research project that explored which participation models work best for peer programs. The finding of this research is presented here.

If viewers would like to see the research paper from the project please visit www.stjohnsyouthservices.org.au.

This presentation was given by Bria Partridge, St. Johns Youth Service and Krystal Hancock, a young person.

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EYHC 2011: Tell Someone Who Cares!

  1. 1. Tell Someone Who Cares! Researching Youth Participation Models and their Application to Youth Homelessness ServicesA Presentation by Bria Partridge, Tristan Webster & Krystal Hancock
  2. 2. St Johns Youth Services St Johns Youth Services was started in 1981 Only emergency youth accommodation in metro Adelaide Next Step Outreach Program Ladder SVS (Medium term Foyer model)
  3. 3. Our Mission Empowering young people by providing accommodation and support, building community, andassisting them toward independent housing.
  4. 4. Humble BeginningsBarriers young people faceYoung people to be a voice for positivechange in addressing youth homelessness.research and participate in opportunities to educate the widercommunity about youth homelessnessHow could young people participate in and inform all aspects of StJohns Youth Services’ development, delivery and implementation
  5. 5. Preparations
  6. 6. And Their Off……Objectives were agreed uponYouth Consultant Job Description compiledOpportunities sought.We identified that a project co-ordinator wasneeded
  7. 7. Objectives Identified Early Advocating for the needs of homeless young people to the wider community Educating the community about youth homelessness, and reduce stigma Recognising the strength and expertise of young people who have experienced homelessness and disadvantage Participating in the research, development and evaluations of services and programs to ensure that they meet the needs of homeless young people Improving awareness, information and access to homeless/youth services
  8. 8. Why Did We Research?We needed to pick a model that would assist and empoweryoung regardless of their situationYoung people need to be assured that they are being listenedto, taken seriously and used for change… which model wouldthey feel did this best?
  9. 9. Why Did We Research?Sustainability of the project was a high priorityA need to identify the differing features of each modelwas established.Risks and challenges needed to be identified to aid inthe decision making
  10. 10. The 3 Models1. Peer Education2. Peer Mentoring3. Youth Participation/Youth Consultants
  11. 11. Research Methodology• External Service Providers – Learning from those who have gone before us• Workers – Listening to the people who work with young people every day• Young People – Asking young people what is important and what they would like to participate in (instead of assuming we know)• Literature – Finding out what has already been researched and the outcomes achieved
  12. 12. The 4 Pillars of Our ResearchAll consultations were structured differentlybut to ensure the integrity of the research westructured our questions under these 4headings:Target GroupBenefits and OutcomesRisks and challengesStrategies/CHALLENGESSTRATEGIES
  13. 13. ConsultationsStaff Training Day and Consultation(conducted by young people)Manager ConsultationsInterviews with external service providersYouth consultations
  14. 14. Young Persons Quote:“Sometimes you need a worker to be strict on you, butwe ALWAYS need someone who understands andlistens… (to Krystal) I totally respect what you’re doing!”
  15. 15. What Else Did Young People Have to Say?
  16. 16. ConclusionsThat the 3 models are fundamentally different butelements of each to be included in the final projectsdevelopmentThat Peer mentoring not a viable optionThat informal mentoring relationships will beencouraged and supported
  17. 17. ConclusionsThat Peer Education opportunities will be deliverablethrough a Youth Consultant model.That the Youth Consultant model was considered to bethe most relevant to young people and suitable for thediverse range of young people we supportThat Youth Consultant Training will equip young peoplewith the specialised knowledge and skills to participate inSJYS and advocate for young people
  18. 18. ConclusionsThat resources be secured to ensure the project issustainable (becomes a program)That policies and procedures should be developed (oramended) to support the recruitment and of YouthConsultantsThat SJYS should commit to ensuring meaningful andrelevant participation opportunities
  19. 19. Project Development- Where to From Here?
  20. 20. Project Development……What has happened since’and where to from here?2011Youth Consultation Bring young people together to explain the outcomes of the research Gather registrations of interest Check that objectives are still relevant Provide Youth Consultant Training (Dec) Develop resources to distribute in the community For example information packs (Peer Project and Youth Consultant)
  21. 21. Being a Youth Consultant… Gives us a voice Allows us to tell our stories and feel heard. Provides us with skills and training Empowers us, recognising us as the experts in our experiences Allows us to set up the foundations for a program to benefit other young people.
  22. 22. Opportunities as a Youth ConsultantIn the past we have… Advocated for young homeless people in the form of presentations to a range of audiences, including Homelessness SA. Began speaking to the media and sharing our experiences with the wider community. Consultations within a range of services with homeless young people about their views and needs. Opportunities within organisations to affect policy delivery and service, including leading staff training in the importance of youth participation.
  23. 23. Being Youth Consultantsempowers us to empowerother young people.
  24. 24. Thank YouWe need to thank a number of people and organisationsfor their contribution to the research project (and theopportunity to present here today): The Government of South Australia Staff and management at St Johns Youth Services The young people who have participated