The Geelong Project TGP partners are seeking media coverage over the next week or so, highlighting the need for a bi partisan political commitment for early intervention with vulnerable students across Geelong Schools.
The media releases focus firstly on the importance of having the science and processes (recently developed with schools as part of TGP pilot) to locate young people who need help.
The Student Needs Survey, coupled with information from teachers now enables schools to target, with some confidence, those young people most at risk of disengaging from school and /or becoming homeless, or at risk in relation to mental health, drug & alcohol or justice concerns.
The second release, highlights the huge progress youth services and schools have made in getting an early intervention platform designed and developed with $4.1M in kind and cash already committed from Geelong agencies and trusts.
The media release highlights the need for supplementary assistance of $1.3M from State Government to ensure that TGP can reach the most vulnerable students across all Geelong schools.
Please contact Mike Kelly on 0409003229 or Pete Jacobson on 0419612309, if you would like to discuss this further.
A great article from today’s Geelong Advertiser highlighting the need for bipartisan political support for The Geelong Project and a resounding Advertiser Editorial endorsing the commitment of partners, agencies, schools, foundations and local government in marshalling a major part of the resources needed for this new early intervention platform.
A commitment of $1.3m from Government and Opposition will enable the comprehensive trial and evaluation of the reform with those young people who are most at risk, across all Geelong schools and localities.
You can GREATLY ASSIST at this point by:
Texting you views to Geelong Advertiser 0429839887
Emailing Geelong Advertiser yoursay@Geelongadvertiser.com.au;
Email your support or write to the Premier Denis Napthine firstname.lastname@example.org
E mail your support or write to Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews email@example.com;
TGP partners and stakeholders have been greatly encouraged by the support we have from G21, City of Greater Geelong, Give Where You Live, Geelong Community Foundation and letters of support for TGP sent to the Premier by Mayor Darryn Lyons and former Mayor Keith Fagg.
We now need your support in letting the Premier and Opposition Leader know that community service agencies, schools and Geelong citizens care greatly about vulnerable young people and are committed to seeing the Geelong project proceed.
Yesterday we enjoyed welcoming Greg Barber @GregMLC, Vic Greens Leader, and MLC Candidate, Lloyd Davies to the Time for Youth Agency office. We appreciated the time they gave for an Agency tour and for the opportunity to talk with them about The Geelong Project @GeelongProject and the projects funding needs. We are very grateful for the support and we hope they drop by again sometime.
Our partners and stakeholders were delighted to hear that Minister Wooldridge has cited our work in building an early intervention platform as an example of how the community services sector has embraced the Services Connect Model and initiated their own similar reform alongside it. See the statement made below.
“Services Connect has been trialled in five sites—in Dandenong, in the south-west coast, in Geelong, in Preston and in Shepparton—and we have just announced four more sites, going out to Bendigo, Box Hill, Glenroy and Wodonga. But importantly in this budget we not only drive it from Human Services out to the way we work with families, this will now also be funding community service organisations to lead that key worker process, because ultimately where we want to get is that anyone across the service system can be a key worker, depending on how they enter the system and engage with the system, and we want the community sector to be very empowered in terms of leading that process.
We want to achieve for families who have been churning through the system, staying in the system, repeatedly presenting to the system, the capacity for them to own, understand and manage the issues that they are presenting with so that they can live happy, productive, independent lives for themselves and their children. We are seeing very positive progress in relation to this. It achieves the outcomes for families, it has a holistic approach—and it is important to have that partnership between government and non-government agencies— and it is also evidence based.
We have had a lot of support from the community sector in relation to Services Connect and how it is delivered. A recent example, just this month, from Mike Kelly, the CEO of Time for Youth in Geelong, who said:
“Time for Youth and their partners have adopted the principles and practices of the Services Connect model, integrated service delivery and tiered case management within their youth services to enhance the early intervention platform in Geelong.”
Interestingly, community sector organisations are stepping up to the model even before we have started to roll it out, because they see the benefits of it. In many ways I like to characterise this as this is the way that community sector organisations and some DHS workers as well, sought to work but were limited from working that way. They worked out workarounds to be able to deliver services in this way. Now it is government and the community sector working together to deliver this approach rather than community sector organisations doing it despite government and our funding and our structures and all of those sort of things. Services Connect is, I think, a very fundamental and important platform to the reforms we are driving to be able to work with families into the future”
Our stakeholders will be aware that the TGP; early intervention platform has been developed upon a framework of screening, identification, single point of entry, holistic assessment, integrated care planning, one care plan, key worker, three tier practice framework, cross sector and multidisciplinary work, all within the context of workforce development and most importantly strong partnering between schools and youth services. Most of these elements mirror the Case for Change policy and the Services Connect model. It will be gratifying for the many stakeholders who have been on this journey, to hear the Minister allude to the barriers community sector organizations have had to overcome in building integrated rather than siloed service delivery.
We look forward to new opportunities for partnering with government in building the type of governance and coordination structures that will be required as the Services Connect model develops across the wider human service system.
For further information on this statement or the work we are doing in building the early intervention platform, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our amazing young people, who was supported by TGP wins the City of Greater Geelong Impetus Youth Award-for most inspiring!
This nominee beat a large field of other, also very worthy, nominees to win her award category. This was an extraordinary moment for this young person, whose experiences have been extremely challenging.
For those who attended the award, it was a very moving to hear this young woman, who has experienced – and continues to experience – challenges and hardships that would defeat most of us talking of her achievements. It was very pleasing to hear her talk about her experience with our agency Time For Youth, and how through the relationship with her caseworkers from The Geelong Project she is succeeding at challenges once thought impossible. See below for the Judge’s comments.
Congratulations to this strong-willed young person who is setting their future up to be positive and successful in all of their endeavors. Thanks also to the dedicated case workers in our agency and all of the other agencies, schools, alternative settings and health-care providers, that achieve fantastic outcomes for vulnerable young people everywhere, every day.
See below for the speech made at the announcement of the award.
Judges announcement at the Youth Impetus Awards for the Inspiration Award:
‘’The inspirational stories of all the young people nominated in this category have been overwhelming. The judging panel were amazed to read that many of you have had the strength to not only overcome your own personal challenges, but also use these challenges is to help and encourage others to do the same. The courage and strength shown by the young person recognised for the Inspiration award can only be described as inspiring.
Born with Klippel-feil syndrome, she has been the victim of bullying her entire life. But she knows that her value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see her worth. She engaged with The Geelong Project for over a year with the workers continually amazed by her bright and bubbly personality and the fact that despite how other people around her treated her she remained positive and knew that she would have a bright future. She has been described as an inspiration by everyone that’s knows her because she will not let anything or anyone keep her down and believes rightly that she is a worthwhile and valuable person. At the start of 2014, she enrolled in a Beauty Therapy course and has been catching the bus to and from school everyday. Prior to this time, she had refused to catch buses because past experiences of bullying were extremely traumatic for her.
Having been exposed to adverse conditions and situations that even the strongest willed person would struggle to escape from, she is one young lady that inspires all to work harder because of her never lay down personality and attitude to life. She has learnt to take the best from every person that she meets and makes that a positive in her life.’’
Here is an update on our progress so far in developing an Early Intervention Platform to systemically and strategically work with all of our community partners, particularly secondary schools, youth support agencies, health providers and government to intervene earlier and together prevent homelessness. A full prospectus and other material will be available shortly. Please contact the people listed in the document with any queries.
The TGP team
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This is the latest article written on The Geelong Project detailing all of the fantastic work that has been achieved. It is a great piece by Courtney Crane at the Geelong Advertiser and was published on Saturday 16th November. The details captured around the real, tangible outcomes of our early intervention work with our early identified vulnerable youth for both the young people and their families, really paint the important picture here. Early identification and intervention works. Holistic wrap around support for the young person and their family works. Partnerships between youth agencies and schools can achieve great outcomes and increase school retention dramatically. What cost can you place on saving lives and preventing homelessness for our adolescents? And with operating costs as low as $3900 per family intervention, as achieved in this early intervention platform that was developed in our pilot, it is clear that this type of work a) needs to be continued urgently b) is outcomes focused c) is cost effective and d) is undeniably innovative and supported by leading academics and experts in their varying fields across the globe for a reason. This model works and is the result of 30+ years of research, inquiries, pilots, reform agendas, working groups and senior policy recommendations in determining the best way forward to better support our vulnerable youth in preventing homelessness and other inter-related life-long barriers.
As the article suggests, some interim funding is needed now to continue the work the project is continuing to conduct with no operating budget, such as the screening and interventions of the 500+ newly identified at-risk of homelessness youth in the Geelong region. And for further developmental work which will bring these many years of work into a sustainable and effective early intervention platform to identify early and better support young people everywhere. If you can help or know an organisation that can, please contact Mike Kelly, CEO Time for Youth via: email@example.com
Together we can prevent youth homelessness and save our kids lives.
The Geelong Project