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The Project

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Methodology

WynBay LLEN assisted DEECD Western Metropolitan Region (DEECD WMR) in establishing the Youth Partnerships Local Governance Committee and the Youth Partnerships Working Group during 2011- 2012 and also sat on both these committees. WynBay LLEN also brought its key partners together for the project: Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG), and primary and secondary schools.

The project involved the identification of over 150 “at risk” youth from the four schools in partnership with DEECD WMR’s Network Improvement Consultant (NIC).

Students were identified through audits at each school using specific criteria: social/emotional issues; education/learning issues; behaviour issues; home environment; attendance; speech/language issues; and Koorie heritage. Of the identified at-risk students, 80 were referred to individual case management services provided by WCIG.

Initiative

The objective of the Youth Partnerships ISS Project is to develop and trial service delivery approaches across the four selected schools to address identified gaps and needs in the areas of early identification of risk, initial needs assessment within the school setting, and provision of services in the school setting.

A cross-sector approach was needed to develop and implement the project and WynBay LLEN’s existing partnerships were vital to achieving this An independent and ongoing evaluation of the project was required to identify processes for the change management to embed new ways of working that will last beyond the actual project.

The project identified and case-managed 80 “at risk” students from Years 5 and 8 at four primary and secondary schools in Melbourne’s West:

  • Wyndham Central College;
  • Altona P-9 College;
  • Wyndham Park Primary School; and
  • Altona North Primary School.

Partners & Roles

  • Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG); Youth Connections: case management of identified students;
  • Wyndham Central College: participating school;
  • Altona P-9 College: participating school;
  • Wyndham Park Primary School: participating school;
  • Altona North Primary School: participating school;
  • Tracey Delaney: specialist research consultant;
  • WynBay LLEN: project manager & contractor.

Issues & Challenges

Many of the challenges in Wyndham and Hobsons Bay span multiple sectors and require the involvement of organisations spanning government, industry and the community. A key challenge was to bring these parties together for the Youth Partnerships ISS Project. Due to WynBay LLEN’s existing partnerships in the school system and in service delivery, it was able to bring its key partners together for this project. Thus a cross-sector approach to developing and implementing this project was achieved.

A diverse range of government and non-government organisations participated in the WMR Youth Partnerships Local Governance Committee and the Working Group. These organisation included: Department of Human Services; Department of Health; Victoria Police; Wyndham City Council; Hobsons Bay City Council; DEECD WMR; WCIG; The Smith Family; HealthWest Primary Care Partnership; Latitude Hobsons Bay; Wyndham Youth Support Services; and Student Support Service Officers.

A key challenge was achieving effective communication and coordination between this diverse group of organisations. WynBay LLEN worked closely with the Youth Partnerships Project Officer and employed a Project Manager to oversee the project.