Intervening early to prevent youth homelessness: Lessons from the Geelong Project

Intervening early to prevent youth homelessness: Lessons from the Geelong Project

David MacKenzie and Sandy Meessen
30 October 2019

This webinar will discuss youth homelessness and what needs to be done to address the problem, with a particular focus on early intervention.

Register for this free event

30 October 2019 13:00 to 14:00 AEDT
Online
Register to attend
Young Hipster Woman Portrait at City

Youth homelessness is a concerning social issue associated with a range of poor outcomes for young people, including early school leaving. In Australia, the number of young people who seek help from homelessness services is higher now than a decade ago, despite early intervention programs operating in some places. Overall, the homelessness service system for young people remains largely crisis-oriented, rather than preventative.

This webinar will explore what the research tells us about youth homelessness in Australia and what can be done to help prevent it. It will focus specifically on the Geelong Project, an innovative place-based approach to early intervention that involves:

  • population screening for young people at risk of homelessness or early school leaving
  • a youth-focused and family-centred approach to support at-risk young people
  • a practice framework that brings together youth and family workers with school wellbeing staff to respond to young people’s needs.

The webinar will discuss how this approach has been applied in Geelong, Victoria, and consider the emerging evidence on its outcomes for young people. It will be of interest to youth and social workers, wellbeing and student support staff in schools, service/program managers, and policy makers who have responsibility for youth and education programs.

We encourage you to test your system before the webinar, and read our Frequently Asked Questions.

About the presenters

David MacKenzie

David is an Associate Professor at the University of South Australia with a strong record of research and development on youth issues and youth policy, and is widely recognised for his work on youth homelessness and disadvantage. In 2007/08, he was one of the four commissioners responsible for the influential National Youth Commission Inquiry into Youth Homelessness. David is the founder and current Chair of Youth Development Australia, a charitable non-government organisation that operates as a platform for change responsible for the current National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transition and the National Youth Homelessness Conference in March 2019. David is also the founding Director of Upstream Australia, a consortium that provides systemic backbone support for the development of the community of schools and services (COSS) model of early intervention across Australia. 

Sandy Meessen

Sandy is the Team Leader of the Geelong Project at Barwon Child Youth and Family. Sandy’s role oversees the early intervention team and the day-to-day work of delivering early intervention through the COSS model lens. The COSS model is based on deep collaboration with key stakeholders and the use of data to inform practice, thereby ensuring evidence-based outcomes. Sandy has a Bachelor of Criminology from Deakin University. She has worked in the community sector for 11 years in several on-the-ground and leadership roles in child protection, out-of-home care and youth services. Sandy has a passion for working with young people and believes that the key to preventing homelessness and disengagement of education is working not only with the young person, but also their family. 

 

Register for this free event

30 October 2019 13:00 to 14:00 AEDT
Online
Register to attend