At YFS we pride ourselves on our continuous improvement. In recent years we have raised the bar, focusing on ideas and innovations that increase our impact. This report outlines some of our achievements from 2017-18.
Our innovations and inspirations in 2017-18 include trials of several new approaches to backing vulnerable people and families. These include our successful Sure Steps family coaching pilot, our Spark employment linking service for public housing tenants, and our role as the first Queensland provider of Functional Family Therapy - Child Welfare, a new way of working with families at risk of child safety intervention.
YFS has a proud history of leadership in Logan, documented in a new timeline on our website. One of our most significant innovations was the development of our information, referral and advice service in 2010. Originally created to improve access to YFS services, YFS Connect has evolved into a crucial hub, providing access to support and information in Logan. Last year, YFS Connect responded to more than 11,000 requests for assistance.
A highlight of the 2017-18 year was the Logan Apology event, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s National Apology to the Stolen Generations. YFS was proud to partner with the Healing Foundation to host this event. Logan Elders and community members, elected representatives and school students joined to share stories, songs and messages of reconciliation and hope.
We know we need to measure what matters so we keep our eye on the impacts we are pursuing. In 2017-18 we made great progress to ensure each of our services has a strong design that is based on evidence and links our staff’s activity with desired outcomes. Now, we measure our outcomes in all our programs, including a set of over-arching measures to understand our contribution to clients’ independence and participation.
In 2017-18 we began working with clients of our disability services to help them transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We have helped clients apply for access to the scheme, prepare for the planning process and find solutions for their service needs. We look forward to learning more about government support for people with disability or mental health issues who are not eligible for the scheme.
In the coming year, we will continue to innovate and improve. We are committed to improving our ability to recruit and develop great staff, and growing our skills to improve the way we work with people who have experienced trauma, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. And we will continue to work towards effective integrated services that respond to each client’s individual strengths, needs, hopes and circumstances.
Cath Bartolo, CEO and Jennifer Le Savéant, YFS Board Chair
A stable home
A stable home is fundamental to achieve independence and participation. In 2017-18 we helped people find and sustain safe, suitable, affordable homes so they can build successful lives.
A decent income
A decent income enables people to live full lives. We worked with people in 2017-18 to increase their income through work, and to manage their money better through financial counselling and capability building.
Some families need help to create safe environments where every member can thrive. In 2017-18 we added two new teams to help families reduce risk for children in their care, and expanded our domestic and family violence prevention work.
Connections with others, and with supports and services, are necessary for participation in community life. In 2017-18 YFS programs continued to generate good outcomes by linking people with local supports and encouraging them to connect with others.
Skills and education
All YFS teams promote skills development – from financial literacy to work-related training. In 2017-18 we saw good results for parents increasing their parenting and coping skills, and for trainees and volunteers accumulating work experience.
Hope for the future
Hope is essential. In 2017-18, we saw our clients increase their confidence, motivation and sense that life will improve. We saw people achieve amazing things with a little bit of support from YFS.