Youth Services - Planning for the Future
In this article:
What does Casey's youth population look like?
The City of Casey’s 2011 youth population is 59,953. The number of young people is predicted to grow to 65,835 by 2016 and is forecast to reach 71,096 by 2020.
This forecast population growth brings about significant challenges to ensure that there are enough services provided. Particularly in relation to social and physical opportunities, including access to public transport, service access, employment opportunities and education.
What services does Casey provide for youth?
The City of Casey currently provides generalist youth services to young people between the ages of 10 and 25 years. The aim of these services is to support the healthy physical, social and emotional development of young people, enhancing protective factors and working with them to develop their strengths and minimise the impact of risk factors in their lives.
Recently we consulted with the City of Casey’s youth so that we could plan for the future, which resulted in a new strategy ‘Youth Strategy 2011-2016’.
What did you tell us?
During the various consultations, participants were asked what was working well and the opportunities for improvement in delivering our youth services. The feedback important to young people, local agencies and Council staff included:
- Not enough things to do in Casey
- Lack of public transport for young people without a vehicle
- Perceptions of safety
- More information to help young people access opportunities to volunteer their time
- Discrimination based on race and sexuality
- The importance of mentoring and how it can improve young people's confidence
- Concerns in relation to young people, alcohol and drugs
- Access to a wider variety of recreational activities
- Greater Council support for young people with a disability
- Provision of information
- Support for young people with mental health issues
- The impact of population growth.
What did we do with this information?
This feedback helped in the development of the eight key themes which provided the framework for the ‘Youth Strategy 2011- 2016’.
Eight key themes for City of Casey's Youth Services:
- Reaching Your Potential
- Things to Do
- Getting Involved
- Feeling Good
- Personal Safety
- Respecting Diverse Needs
- Places and Spaces
- Getting to Places
1. Reaching Your Potential
The City of Casey is committed to working with businesses and educational institutions to encourage, promote and develop educational work and training options so that young people can reach their full potential by:
- Advocating for greater opportunities for young people to gain work experience, traineeships or employment
- Continuing to provide up-to-date information regarding education, training, employment and pathway options
- Advocating and encouraging young people to remain engaged in learning
- Partnership with secondary schools and local agencies, encourage the establishment of forums for parents and guardians to alert them to educational and employment options for their children
- Advocating to Tertiary and Learning and Development Networks to increase tertiary and vocational educational opportunities.
2. Things to Do
The City of Casey is committed to providing appropriate activities that alleviate feelings of frustration and boredom by:
- Continuing to provide a range of Council youth services and initiatives that maximise opportunities for participation
- Responding to the current and future needs of young people by reviewing activities undertaken by Council and introduce new activities
- Developing activities that focus on engaging young people who are socially isolated from other people, families and community
- Encouraging young people to join youth committees to participate in positive activities.
3. Getting Involved
The City of Casey is committed to providing opportunities for young people to be connected with and help their community, family and friends by:
- Facilitating consultation with young people to ensure that they are given the opportunity to provide input into the development of Council policies
- Supporting sustainable environmental initiatives that involve young people taking a leadership role in their local neighbourhood
- Creating awareness around Council’s volunteer website to enable and encourage young people to contribute to their local community
- Optimising use of Council facilities and open space by undertaking programs and activities that promote participation and social connection
- Maximising engagement through the use of digital technologies:
- Keeping the Youth Services webpage current in consultation with young people
- Explore the utilisation of social networking sites
- Introduce new digital technologies into Casey 360 (mobile youth information centre).
4. Feeling Good
The City of Casey is committed to providing generalist youth services and programs to assist young people to live happy, healthy lives by:
- Continuing to provide generalist youth services that support health and wellbeing
- Utilising appropriate referral pathways for issues outside the scope of generalist youth services
- Advocating to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems
- Delivering issue-based support programs e.g. cyber/bullying, self-esteem
- Working in partnership with community groups and sporting clubs to raise awareness of, and encourage participation in, healthy leisure activities
- Working with local schools to support initiatives that encourage and educate young people about eating healthy food
- Increasing the provision of staff to implement the Youth Support Program to reflect an increased demand due to population change
- Continuing to work closely with schools through the City of Casey School Liaison Officer.
5. Personal Safety
The City of Casey is committed to creating a community where young people feel safe and are respected. Council will work in partnership with other stakeholders to provide activities that promote feelings of safety by:
- Working with schools, Victoria Police and other agencies to engage young people on how to stay safe
- Continuing to involve young people in community safety initiatives by the Council
- Providing programs to address current issues that have been identified through consultation with young people and service providers
- Providing additional training for Youth Services ensuring continued help for young people who are experiencing bullying at school and/or cyber bullying using the latest strategies and techniques available
- Continuing to implement a program that is focused on guiding young people to make decisions that do not put them at risk of harm or harming others
- Promoting good work that young people are doing in Casey that encourages a positive image and respect from the community.
6. Respecting Diverse Needs
The City of Casey is committed to supporting a diverse community by:
- Continuing to support young people from diverse backgrounds and abilities through the provision of recreational and arts opportunities that are relevant to them.
- Continuing to provide support to the City of Casey Recreation Access Program (RAP) for young people with a disability.
- Developing partnerships with Indigenous groups to enhance the participation in and awareness of Council’s Youth Services.
- Reviewing the current Youth Services publications and resources and provide them in Languages Other Than English (LOTE).
- Continuing to support the City of Casey's Multicultural Resource Officer to assist the growing number of young people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the municipality.
- Providing professional development to the Youth Services Team to support the City of Casey’s Multicultural Officer to provide greater skill base and knowledge
- Maintaining partnerships with local CALD agencies that provide support to young people.
- Providing information, education and support for young people experiencing issues and bullying based on sexuality.
7. Places and Spaces
The City of Casey is committed to developing places and spaces where young people can access information, have something to do and feel connected to their community with their friends by:
- Exploring opportunities for the establishment of a live youth entertainment venue that will further facilitate alcohol and drug free events for young people
- Planning for the creation and delivery of Youth Information Centres in Narre Warren and/or in growth areas as needs are identified
- Exploring the expansion of the Cranbourne Youth Information Centre to meet current and future population growth
- Encouraging and working with community sector youth agencies
- Planning for facilities that enable the co-location of community sector youth services in areas that are easily accessible
- Strengthening the capacity of Council’s Youth Services by exploring creative outreach options.
8. Getting to Places
The City of Casey is committed to advocating on behalf of young people to enable them to get to places by a range of sustainable, safe transport modes by:
- Promoting Council’s Community Transport service for use by youth groups.
- Advocating to the Victorian State Government to improve provision of bus and train services during weekends and public holidays to enable young people to travel in a sustainable and independent manner.
- Providing and promoting a linkage from the Casey Youth website, to the Metlink website www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au, which provides detailed information on public transport in Melbourne and Victoria.