Hope for the future
Optimism is one of four YFS values, and it’s something we work on with clients as well as our staff. Across all programs, our staff help clients raise their expectations for the future and their confidence in their ability to succeed.
In February 2018, YFS was honoured to host the Logan event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. While the event was an opportunity to reflect on the tragedies of the past and the challenges of the present day, it was also a chance to express hope for a better future.
Logan Elders, community members, school children, elected representatives and organisations came together to reaffirm the Apology and to commit to reconciliation.
Our Step by Step team worked with families on practical supports as well as skills and confidence. As a result, parents in that program rated their greatest improvements as feeling good about themselves, feeling part of the community and managing life even when it is stressful.
Our R4Respect youth violence prevention initiative gained national recognition in 2017-18. Our youth ambassadors spoke in Sydney at a national conference on violence against women and their children, and youth ambassadors were appointed as advisors to the Child Safety Commission and White Ribbon Australia.
R4Respect engaged with more than 5,800 young people face-to-face during the year and reached more than 250,000 people through engaging social media posts including the Bad Apple animation series, a women in sport campaign, and promotions targeting young men. A grant from the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women enabled the employment of a core team of young people to coordinate R4Respect activities.
YFS is one of the leaders of the community domestic violence prevention campaign, Not Now Not Ever in Logan. In May 2018 for Domestic and Family Violence Week, YFS coordinated the production of a short video featuring Logan leaders pledging to prevent violence. The ad was played in local cinemas and reached 20,000 people through social media.
Looking forward in 2018-19
Innovation and inspiration
In July 2017, YFS launched Sure Steps, a pilot program of family coaching for families living in public housing, with funding from the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works and support from Logan Together.
Sure Steps supports families to articulate aspirations for themselves and their children, and then supports them to achieve these goals. A Parenting Research Centre evaluation of the pilot found that participants agreed that our flexible family-driven approach produced positive changes for families and great satisfaction with the program.
The department has agreed to a further two years of funding to further investigate strategies to engage highly vulnerable families and the best ways to respond to issues such as safety concerns while retaining participants’ sense of control.
YFS programs measure hope for the future in various ways. For example services funded by the Department of Social Services measure clients’ confidence to make their own decisions. In 2017-18, we achieved a 51% improvement in clients’ assessment of this after working with us.
Building confidence and skills is a crucial part of our work with clients so they can continue to build independence and participation after they finish working with us. Our YouthLink clients improved in their belief in their capacity to make changes, as shown in the graph.
YouthLink clients' belief in their own capacity to make changes
“I cannot let my daughter grow up thinking other people get to choose her worth. That’s my driving force. This man doesn’t get to tell us what we’re worth. The magistrates don’t get to tell us what we’re worth. No one does.”