Student Needs Survey

The Student Needs Survey (SNS) is a 3 year longitudinal study which focuses on identifying young people in school who may be experiencing a range of difficulties that puts them in a vulnerable state and at risk of becoming homeless. The Geelong Project is being supported by local government, Geelong schools and youth agencies with federal funding provided through Swinburne University to carry out this survey, along with the Department of Education and early Childhood Development approval.

The research component of The Geelong Project, involving the SNS and the follow up through the use of the e-Wellbeing tools, will, for the first time, construct a dynamic whole of community picture of young people at-risk and young people interacting with the service system.

If your school is not currently involved with the survey and would like to be, please contact us at thegeelongproject@timeforyouth.org for more information.

This article on the Nillumbik Community at-risk population, written by Chris Chamberlain and David MacKenzie in 1996, discusses in detail the results of the at-risk research conducted in that region and across Australia utilising the Students Needs Survey (SNS) in 1996. It is a great read as it also references many relevant research papers and policy decisions that have occurred across Australia over the past decades, all of which support the argument TGP continues to make surrounding the need to continue this type of screening and to subsequently support the hundreds of young people consistently identified at-risk of homelessness through this process. This is what TGP was doing when funded by DHS under the Innovation Action Projects in Victoria and through which a success rate of 100% education retention and 100% continuation or gain of safe, sustainable accommodation. As mentioned above, the SNS was recently conducted in the Geelong region, Victoria, Australia in local government schools and the data has shown an even larger at-risk of homelessness population than previous research projections had concluded. After only examining data from 2 of the 3 education catchments in the Geelong Region (and with some of the more disadvantaged school populations not completing the data yet), it is found that 520 young people need support now in order to prevent homelessness and other contributing factors to worsen.  This is the work TGP would have continued to complete with stage 2 funding from DHS and the great outcomes of avoiding homelessness and continuing education could have been achieved for these hundreds of young people at-risk.

In the Geelong pilot at the end of 2011 (before The Geelong Project was funded), the SNS had a response rate of 52% and the profile was higher than Nillumbik-Banyule. The latest data is from the enhanced SNS (version II) which was completed by The Geelong Project. The risk profile is somewhat higher again, although some schools in the most disadvantaged area of the North Geelong catchments have yet to complete the survey. The 2013 data collection is more robust than the earlier pilot and reflects a greater level of disadvantaged youth in the catchment. The latest SNS research found that 7% of students are at-risk of homelessness across the region and this figure has been used to calculate the extent of need across the two education catchments involved in TGP to date.

Please read both articles attached one of the previous findings and one of the most recent findings in TGP, in examining the need for more robust and effective early-intervention practices in schools to prevent homelessness. You can also read the complete research report recently released by Assoc. Professor David MacKenzie which details of the research conducted thus far in The Geelong Project.