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Youth Partnerships: Great Results of the Trial Project

WynBay LLEN in partnership with WCIG was successful in acquiring the ‘In School Support Project’ - one of the three projects under the Victorian Government's Western Metropolitan Region Youth Partnerships.

In this project, WCIG's role was to provide a case management approach in four participating primary and secondary schools across the Hobsons Bay and Wyndham local government areas, with service provision to 80 young people in Year 5 and Year 8, as a basis for future development of the project after the initial trial. The overall aim of the project was to explore enhancing support and meeting the needs of children and young people in school who are at risk of disengaging from education, family and/or community.
 
The case management consisted of a thorough holistic assessment of the young person; the development of an individualised pathways plan; intensive weekly support targeting barriers to engagement, including administering surveys and questionnaires, and running group sessions and focus groups; regular liaison with teaching staff and advocacy when required; service partnerships with other support agencies and parental engagement.
 
A snapshot of some of the presenting issues and identified themes included dissatisfaction with home life, serious illnesses at home, engagement at school and school performance, bullying and truancy. The pilot program generated some great results for the young people involved that addressed many of these issues.
 
The students expressed positive feedback about the program and its format and impact. They also demonstrated improved communication skills, improved emotional and self-awareness, increased confidence and positive school outcomes.
 
The students expressed that they feel more confident in their abilities, and more optimistic about being able to finish school. Some students also said that they felt as though things were 'back on track' and that they now knew what they had to do to get where they wanted to be. All of these positive results lead into a view to implement the Youth Partnerships program far more broadly.