Creating effective and positive change

By: yourtown 07 Jan Blog, BoysTown

We’re tackling the issues impacting young people in Australia.

ADVOCACY & RESEARCH

With our extensive range of services and links to community, we’re uniquely placed to offer significant input into strategies that support the welfare of young people across Australia.

Our research team is guided by the needs of young people using our services, the priorities of those services and the current gaps in contemporary research about Australian young people.

We’re advocating for the need to find solutions...

Mental Health Support Networks In collaboration with Sydney University, we’re piloting an innovative new approach to helping vulnerable young people access peer support and counsellors in an engaging online environment.

‘Buddy Help’ invites young people contacting Kids Helpline with mental health concerns to join a private and monitored, peer social network group.

Youth Suicide and Unemployment In 2014, we shared our research into youth unemployment and suggested solutions at the 2014 International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation in Seville, Spain. Our recommendations focussed on increasing the employability of disadvantaged young people to help them get jobs by looking at the challenges faced by long-term unemployed youth, highly-disadvantaged job seekers and young people living in social housing.

In 2015, we released research to spearhead discussion on child and youth suicide. Despite suicide accounting for 19.3% of all deaths of Australian children aged 5-17, there is not currently sufficient recognition of the unique mental health challenges affecting young people. Our discussion paper challenges assumptions that the pathways to suicide for young people are similar to adults. In order for us to develop effective responses, services & programs – we must understand the perspectives of young people.

Submissions to Government We regularly lodge social policy submissions and advocate on behalf of young people to Governments. Our submissions range from input to Social Security Legislation Amendments and Domestic and Family Violence Taskforces to involvement in Child Protection Systems Royal Commission and Tax Discussions.

Evaluating our Services Our research team also evaluate many of our own services and programs. This not only helps inform change but provides a unique insight into how children, young people and families we work with learn from activities and other initiatives.

Original data provided by Kids Helpline was critical to my examination of self-harm and suicide among children and young people. Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

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