Our Youth-Our Future. Western Australia s Youth Strategic Framework. Department for Communities. Government of Western Australia

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1 Department for Communities Our Youth-Our Future Western Australia s Youth Strategic Framework Government of Western Australia Department for Communities Youth

2 Our Youth Our Future Minister s Foreword The Western Australian Government supports and respects our young people. We value their diversity, energy, creativity, views, participation in and contribution to the community. Importantly, our young people are our future. Young people aged 12 to 25 comprise 20 per cent of our state s population and by 2030 there will be over Western Australian youth. Western Australia has one of the fastest growing populations of young people in the country. It is important that we provide opportunities for all young Western Australians to thrive. The Western Australian Government is committed to improving the lives of all young Western Australians through a range of programs and services which support our young people to participate and become involved in their community, to reach their potential and to be safe and well. Our Youth Our Future builds upon the strength of the efforts across state government agencies and presents a shared vision and priority directions, informed by young people with support from the youth sector, to achieve a bright and hopeful future for all young Western Australians. Hon Robyn McSweeney MLC MINISTER FOR CHILD PROTECTION; COMMUNITY SERVICES; SENIORS AND VOLUNTEERING; WOMEN S INTERESTS; YOUTH

3 Introduction Our Youth Our Future is the Western Australian Government s commitment to young people. For the first time, a whole of government structured framework has been developed to guide youth programs and service planning in an integrated way into the future. Our Youth Our Future also recognises existing strategic approaches for providing services and programs to young people and the importance of government working in partnership with the non-government sector to support young people. Our Youth Our Future is a commitment to build opportunities for young people and provide support to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. It is also a commitment to acknowledge and respect all young people. This framework appreciates that young people are not all the same and that they have different needs and aspirations. It recognises that while most young people are doing well all or most of the time, there are some who experience complex challenges or who are vulnerable and at risk. Through Our Youth Our Future, state government agencies will work together with community groups and young people and their families and carers to: encourage young people to participate in and contribute to all aspects of community life, including through sport, recreation, culture and the arts, volunteering and involvement with decision making provide opportunities for young people to learn, find jobs into the future and develop life skills to help them get to where they want to be promote and/or create environments and accessible options for young people to connect with programs and services that best meet their needs, keep them well and promote lifelong healthy lifestyles. Our investment today in skills development, improving health outcomes, encouraging and supporting participation in the community and building the confidence and resilience of young people will have a long and lasting effect on the future shape and strength of the Western Australian community. Our Youth Our Future was developed in collaboration with 14 state government agencies, led by the Department for Communities. Communities initiated this work to highlight the diversity of young people and to enhance partnerships between agencies to support all young people and respond to their diverse needs.

4 Our Youth Our Future Office of Multicultural Interests Strategic Plan Young People and the Arts Action Plan (Culture and the Arts) Creating Value: An arts and culture sector policy framework (Culture and the Arts) Strategic Progressing Classroom First (Education) Skilling WA a workforce development plan for Western Australia (Training and Workforce Development) Our Youth Our Future Youth Strategic Framework Training WA (Training and Workforce Development) National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions (Training and Workforce Development) SD5: Strategic Directions for the Western Australian Sport and Recreation Industry (Sport and Recreation) Active Living for All A Framework for Physical Activity in Western Australia (Sport and Recreation) 4 Our Youth Our Future

5 Approaches Crime Prevention Strategy (WA Police) At Risk Youth Strategy : supporting vulnerable youth to reach their potential (Child Protection) Draft WA Health Promotion Strategic Framework (Health) A bright future where all young Western Australians can participate, contribute, feel connected, be well and be supported to achieve their potential. WA Youth Justice Framework (Corrective Services) Drug and Alcohol Interagency Strategic Framework for Western Australia (Drug and Alcohol Office lead agency) National Partnership Preventative Health Healthy Children (Health) National Partnership Agreement Remote Service Delivery (Indigenous Affairs) Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and the Dampier Peninsula Count Me In Disability Future Directions : a better future for everyone Count Me In Youth Strategy 2010 (Disability Services Commission) Mental Health 2020: making it personal and everybody s business (Mental Health Commission) 5

6 Our Youth Our Future Who are our Western Australian youth? In June 2011, there were young people aged between 12 and 25 years living in Western Australia, about 20% of the state s total population. 1 Western Australia s youth population grew by 10.5% from 2006 to 2010, the highest growth in the youth population in Australia during this period. 2 By 2030, it is projected that there will be young Western Australians, an increase of 20%. 3 In 2011, 71% of young people in Western Australia aged 15 to 24 were born in Australia. Of the (23%) youth born overseas, most were from England, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and China. 6% did not state their birth place. In 2011, 48% of young people born overseas spoke a language other than English. 4 In , people migrated under the humanitarian program. Of these, approximately 400 (30%) were young people aged 12 to 24 years. 5 6 Our Youth Our Future In 2011, 4.4% of young people aged 15 to 24 years in Western Australia were from Indigenous backgrounds. 6 In 2011, 35% of the Indigenous population in Western Australia was under 15 years, compared with 19% of the non-indigenous population. 7 In 2007, the majority (77%) of young Western Australians aged 15 to 24 years lived in metropolitan Perth. 8 In 2011, 82% of Western Australian 15 to 24 year olds were fully engaged in education, training and/or employment. 9 In 2011, three-quarters of young Western Australian school leavers were in full-time education or full-time work. 7.7% were working part-time, 7.4% were seeking work and 9.9% were not in the labour force. 10

7 In 2006, 61% of 15 to 24 year olds were employed and 51% of these youth were employed full-time. Nearly 5% were unemployed and looking for work. 11 In 2010, 92% of young people aged 18 to 24 years in Western Australia reported they were in good or excellent health. 12 Between 2003 and 2009, the disability rate for 15 to 24 year olds fell from 10.4% to 7.6%. In 2009, 5.4% of young Western Australians aged 15 to 24 years had a core activity restriction or schooling and employment limitation. 13 In 2009, 6.4% of Western Australians aged 18 to 24 years cared for a person with a disability or an older person. 14 In 2010, 142 Western Australians aged 15 to 24 years died. The leading causes of death were intentional self-harm and road transport crashes. 15 Young Australians are more likely to have a mental disorder than older people. In 2007, 26% of 16 to 24 year olds had a mental illness in the preceding 12 months. Young women had higher rates of mental illness than young men (30% compared to 23%). 16 In , 29% of Western Australian 18 to 24-year-olds were overweight, while 13% were obese. 17 In , 49% of young people aged 15 to 24 participated in sport and recreation at least twice a week. 18 In 2008, 38% of secondary school aged boys and 10% of girls achieved Australia s physical activity recommendation that 12 to 18-year-olds participate in 60 minutes of physical activity daily. 19 7

8 Our Youth Our Future Who are our Western Australian youth? In , young Indigenous people accounted for 63% of those under supervision in the juvenile justice system. 24 In Australia 89% of 15 to 17-year-olds, along with 80% of 18 to 24-year-olds, had access to the internet at home. Most young people used the internet for personal purposes and education or study, with about 70% using the internet every day. 25 All 15 to 17 year olds and 89% of 18 to 24 year olds in Western Australia attended at least one cultural venue and event in The most popular venues were cinema, popular music concerts and zoos or aquariums. 26 In 2010, 26% of 18 to 24-year-olds in Western Australia had undertaken voluntary work in the past 12 months. 27 In 2008, 84% of high school students had experimented with alcohol at some time in their lives. 23.6% had consumed alcohol in the past week, with one quarter of these drinking at risky levels. 20 In 2007, 22% of 14 to 24-year-olds had used cannabis in the past 12 months, while 5.5% had recently used other illicit drugs. 21 In 2006, (1.4%) of young people aged 12 to 24 years in Western Australia were homeless. Young Western Australians aged 12 to 24 comprised 40% of the homeless population. 22 In June 2011, children and young people aged 10 to 17 years in Western Australia were in out-of-home care. 23 The above are Western Australian statistics unless otherwise stated. 8 Our Youth Our Future

9 What do young people say? Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia consultation The Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia undertook a small-scale consultation about Our Youth Our Future. Overwhelmingly, the young people consulted felt that a Western Australian Government statement of commitment to youth was essential. I think it s important for young people to feel represented by their government and feel included in decisions. The group acknowledged that many youth services and programs are working well but that improvements in some areas are needed. You need to support existing services that are already successful and working. There was consensus that mental health and wellbeing is the main health issue facing them and their peers. This included concerns around body image. Sexual health was also identified as an area that needed attention. The young people advised that all young people should be supported to achieve their goals and that they need to be provided with a range of options to succeed in learning, work and future independence. They highlighted the importance of good information about these options. To get the most out of life and make a difference, the group thought that encouraging leadership and independence in young people was important. They suggested that these qualities affect all other areas of young people s lives. The young people discussed the importance of having supportive environments, including families and peer groups. Programs and services for young people should be provided in a relaxed and casual atmosphere and have qualified staff. They emphasised that places and spaces need to be appealing to young people and also that the internet and social media are important ways for young people to connect with each other and the rest of the community. All community facilities need to be welcoming to young people. 9

10 Our Youth Our Future What do young people say? Commonwealth Youth Forum 2011 Communiqué (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Perth, 2011) Young people stated that In order for the Commonwealth to be relevant and accountable to the needs of its 1.2 billion youth, it is critical that youth directly participate in all levels of decision-making and budget allocation, not only in policy and program design but also in implementation and evaluation. Delegates at the Youth Forum recommended action and investment in the following areas: peace-building and conflict-management health youth enterprise, information communication technology, sustainable livelihoods and economy environmental sustainability youth impact and participation in decision making. Speaking out about wellbeing the views of Western Australian children and young people In 2009, the Commissioner for Children and Young People investigated children and young people s views on what was important to their wellbeing. Nearly children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years from across Western Australia participated in the research. Children and young people say a loving, supportive family, good friends, fun and activity, a safe environment, a good education, acknowledgement and trust are essential to living a full life and important to their wellbeing. Aboriginal young people also said that acknowledgement and respect for their culture was important. Their concerns included the impact of alcohol and drugs, bullying and safety in public spaces. For more information on the Commissioner s wellbeing research go to ccyp.wa.gov.au Mission Australia s National Survey of Young Australians 2011: key and emerging issues The survey found that family relationships and friendships were most highly valued by young Western Australians. One-third of Western Australian youth said that they valued physical or mental health. The top three issues of concern for Western Australian young people were school or study problems, coping with stress and family conflict. Parents and friends were the main sources of advice on young people s issues. For more information on Mission Australia s survey go to missionaustralia.com.au 10 Our Youth Our Future

11 Our Youth Our Future Youth Strategic Framework This work is guided by across-government frameworks and strategies, and by the strategic plans of individual agencies. The diagram on page 4 shows some of the existing strategies most relevant to young people. Underpinning Our Youth Our Future is a strong commitment to help young people who are struggling, or where life can provide extra challenges, with programs and services that work well for these young people s particular needs. The Western Australian Government s commitment to young people is to work in partnership with the community to make a difference in areas that matter most to young people themselves: their health, happiness and safety their learning, work and future financial independence their opportunity to live life to the full their desire to make a difference. Our Youth Our Future lays out the government s vision for young people and a framework for the way state government agencies work together on these areas that matter to young people. The state government does this through a range of initiatives that support family life, through services and programs (in partnership with community organisations) for young people and through developing places and spaces (real and virtual) which are youth friendly and safe. 11

12 Our Youth Our Future Vision A bright future where all young Western Australians can participate, contribute, feel connected, be well and be supported to achieve their potential. Supportive Environments Young People and Families Respect for young people and recognition of their rights Recognition of the role of families, carers and peers in young people s lives Information, resources and advice for young people, families and carers Additional support for vulnerable young people, families and carers The Western Australian Government s commitment to young people To support (in partnership) Services and Programs A broad spectrum of universal youth services that are contemporary and responsive A range of targeted youth services to support at-risk young people Youth friendly services and programs informed by young people To promote and enhance Recognition of the diverse nature and needs of young people Innovation in the use of information and communication technology to effectively reach young people Places and Spaces Well planned and accessible communities Welcoming and inclusive areas for young people Youth friendly venues and facilities Use of the internet and social media for young people to connect with each other and their communities 12 Our Youth Our Future

13 Priority Areas Outcomes Supportive relationships Emotional, mental and physical wellbeing Personal safety Financial security Accommodation Healthy, happy and safe young people Access to education and training Employment preparation and advice Life skills development Mentoring To achieve Learning, work and future financial independence Work/study/leisure/family balance Sport, recreation, arts and culture opportunities Personal development Access to information, advice and support Living life to the full Participation in decision making and leadership Peer-led programs development Volunteering Making a difference 13

14 Our Youth Our Future What matters 1. Being healthy, happy and safe Promoting healthy lifestyles is essential for the wellbeing of young people. Being well helps young people to participate in education, employment and other areas of life. Early intervention and prevention strategies are especially important for life-long health. These can be enhanced by connecting young people to the resources, services and programs they need to be healthy, happy and safe. Strategic approaches Providing information for young people, families, carers, teachers and the wider community about issues which impact on young people such as mental health, body image, bullying, and alcohol and other drug use. Building and maintaining strong family, education and community partnerships to help young people become confident and resilient. Ensuring that mainstream services respond to the needs of all young people there should be no wrong door for young people seeking help. Providing a range of targeted services for young people who experience complex challenges or who are vulnerable and at risk. Providing flexible youth services, programs and resources, with a focus on a coordinated approach, so that young people can access them when they are needed, wherever they live. Involving young people and their communities in the development of youth friendly services, programs, resources and communities. Examples of how the Western Australian Government is supporting healthy, happy and safe young people.. Youthlink and Youthreach South Mental Health Commission and Department of Health Youthlink and Youthreach South provide specialist mental health services including consultation, training and community development. Services focus on enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 13 to 24 years who are marginalised and disadvantaged, particularly those who are unable to access other mental health services due to significant barriers. School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) Drug and Alcohol Office. SDERA aims to keep young people safe from drug-related harm and road injuries. The program works with school-based staff and the wider community to provide a range of programs to teach young people about resilience, drugs and road safety. SDERA offers: drug and road safety programs to implement in schools professional learning workshops teaching resources. School Health Services Department of Health and Department of Education School Health Services aim to promote improved health outcomes for young people through universal and targeted prevention, health promotion, early identification and intervention. Services are provided on site and in collaboration with schools. Key elements of the program are universal health assessments at school entry, access to health care for adolescents and health promotion for all students. 14 Our Youth Our Future

15 2. Learning, work and future financial independence Education and training are important for young people, enhancing their future independence and employment opportunities. Access to advice to find the right learning pathways is essential, as is additional support for young people who need it while transitioning from school to further study and work. Learning and work also need to be balanced with other aspects of their lives, like family, friends and community participation. Strategic approaches Ensuring young people have the opportunity to access high quality education and training. Assisting young people to complete year 12 or its equivalent. Catering to the different learning styles of young people from diverse backgrounds. Encouraging participation of young people in apprenticeships, traineeships, vocational education and tertiary education. Responding to the diversity of individual needs by offering multiple, flexible pathways through education, training and employment. Providing career planning advice and assistance to navigate pathways for young people and their families and carers. Addressing barriers to learning and providing additional assistance if needed. Providing mentoring support to help young people transition into training, higher education and employment. Assisting young people to gain knowledge and skills to achieve future financial independence and to make informed career decisions throughout their lives. Examples of how the Western Australian Government is supporting learning, work and future financial independence.. The Foyer Oxford Department for Child Protection The Foyer Oxford is a partnership between Anglicare WA, Foundation Housing Ltd and the Central Institute of Technology with operational funding provided by the Department for Child Protection. Currently under construction, when completed it will provide accommodation, support and education opportunities for 98 young people aged 15 to 25, including young parents, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. During construction, a smaller scale Interim Foyer is providing young people and young parents with supported accommodation and outreach support in the community to potential Foyer Oxford clients. Youth Mentoring Reforms Department for Communities Government and the community sector are working together to showcase best practice in youth mentoring and promote the benefits of programs that meet national youth mentoring benchmarks. In 2012, using funding under the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions, nearly $ has been provided to four demonstration projects aimed at improving the quality of mentoring available to young people. The projects will develop resources for use across the sector for training mentors, evaluating mentoring programs and working with newly arrived young people and those in regional areas. 15

16 Our Youth Our Future What matters Training together working together Aboriginal Workforce Development Strategy Department of Training and Workforce Development Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres have been set up to join the dots between employers, jobseekers and service providers, between state agencies and between all levels of government. In 2011, Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres were established in Perth, Bunbury, Broome, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie. The centres provide culturally sensitive support to assist Aboriginal people to get a job and remove barriers to Aboriginal workforce to participation by working with employers, government and the Aboriginal community. In 2011 over 230 jobseekers across WA were assisted into either employment or training linked to employment. Senior School Engagement Programs (SSEPs) Department of Education. In , the Department of Education provided $5.7 million for flexible learning programs that provide individual case management to support students to meet their learning goals. The program is for students who, prior to the Raised Leaving Age, would not have returned to school to complete Years 11 and 12. SSEPs are generally run as discrete, off grid classes that deliver a variety of Curriculum Council, VET and Endorsed Programs. Core learning includes literacy and numeracy, career development, life skills and workplace learning. 16 Our Youth Our Future 3. Living life to the full Being part of the community is important to young people and strongly influences their health and wellbeing. Participation in sports, recreation, arts, culture and other activities helps young people to develop positive relationships, social networks, a sense of belonging and to have fun. Being involved in positive ways helps young people to grow and develop their identities and learn life skills, like trust and reciprocity, and has benefits for education and workforce participation. Finding a balance between leisure, study, work and family life is essential. Strategic approaches Working together with young people to develop innovative strategies to promote inclusive, accessible and culturally secure participation by young people. Facilitating involvement by all young people, including those in rural, regional and remote areas and those from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds, by addressing barriers to participation. Supporting all young people to develop life skills, including conflict resolution and resilience to handle life challenges and risks. Encouraging young people to be active, creative and involved by offering diverse sport, recreation, arts and culture options that adapt to changing lifestyles. Promoting the use of open spaces, natural environments, creative hubs and community facilities by young people. Providing mentoring support for young people in sports, arts and culture. Providing opportunities for young people to make connections with each other in supportive on-line environments and social networks.

17 Examples of how the Western Australian Government is supporting young people to live life to the fullest. Sport and Recreation Programs Department of Sport and Recreation The Department of Sport and Recreation has developed a significant youth focussed initiative Sport for All featuring community based activity programs. KidSport provides financial assistance for club fees, giving every young Western Australian the opportunity to participate in sport and recreation regardless of their economic circumstance. Community Volunteer Program boosts the capacity of clubs to handle increases in club membership through support for volunteers. ClubTalk provides sport and recreation organisations with information communication technology and support to enhance participation. Nature Play WA encourages unstructured play outdoors and helps connect Western Australia children to nature. Cadets WA Department for Communities More than young people participate in almost 200 cadet units across Western Australia. From Kununurra to Esperance to Kalgoorlie, young Western Australians are learning practical life skills, developing leadership potential, initiative and teamwork. Cadets WA builds a sense of community responsibility as well as allowing young people to make new friends. Cadets units include Bushrangers, Police Rangers, Emergency Service cadets, Red Cross, St John Ambulance, Surf Life Saving and defence forces cadets. Young People and the Arts Funding Program Department of Culture and the Arts The Department of Culture and the Arts provides more than $2.5 million a year directly to young people, groups and organisations. The funding supports young people to develop skills, establish careers and achieve financial independence as artists and cultural practitioners. The Young People and the Arts Action Plan prioritises actions to support young artists, children and their support networks, and the youth arts sector. 17

18 Our Youth Our Future What matters 4. Making a difference Many young people have a strong commitment to making the world a better place, contributing to community life at a local, state, national and even international level. They are active volunteers and seek out opportunities to have their voices heard and influence decisions. Community respect for young people is important along with recognition that some common negative stereotypes about young people do not apply to the majority. Some young people need additional skills and support to help them contribute. Their efforts to make a difference should be recognised and valued. Strategic approaches Supporting young people to develop skills and confidence to be future leaders and to participate in decision making. Building the capacity of the community to include young people as active participants in all aspects of community life. Encouraging a stronger youth voice and providing opportunities for young people to have a voice in community life and develop solutions to community issues. Profiling the positive contributions young people make to the community to counter negative stereotypes and encourage further involvement. Working with young people, including those from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds, to develop innovative strategies to promote their contributions. Promoting the benefits of volunteering and developing innovative and inclusive strategies for the ongoing participation of youth volunteers. Strengthening and supporting youth volunteering in rural, regional and remote areas. Examples of how the Western Australian Government is helping young people to make a difference.. Viewpoint Department for Child Protection Viewpoint is a web-based software program which promotes individual and collective participation by children in care. Using an interactive, selfinterviewing tool, delivered on dedicated laptops at a place of choice, it offers children a non-threatening environment where they can express unmediated views and wishes about their personal care plans and the services provided for them. Viewpoint delivers individual reports, and also collates responses to provide collective anonymous feedback from children about their experiences in care, the value they assign to existing services, and what they would like to see in the future. Child and Adolescent Health Service Governing Council (CAHS-GC) Department of Health The CAHS-GC has two youth ex-officio members. This governing council brings highlevel community and clinician input and control into the planning and monitoring of public health services in Western Australia. The council members represent a broad cross-section of skills, experience and interests to ensure that health services are responsive to the needs of their communities. The two young members, along with the other council members, have a responsibility for ensuring effective engagement with community and clinical stakeholders, and ensuring their interests are reflected in health service planning and reporting. 18 Our Youth Our Future

19 WA Youth Awards Department for Communities This annual awards program brings to community prominence the diverse and outstanding contributions of many young people. The program identifies and promotes these young people as role models and highlights and rewards media that portray accurate and balanced depictions of young people to counteract prevailing negative media stereotypes. Count Me In Youth Strategy Disability Services Commission Count Me In is a long-term strategy to guide all of Western Australia when responding to people with disability, their families and carers. Within this, a youth strategy has been developed with four key areas: Young people with disability have access to information that is relevant to them. Young people with disability have opportunities to express their ideas and opinions about things that matter to them. Young people with disability receive encouragement and support to participate in community activities which interest them and to assume greater decision making and leadership roles. Key government agencies and community groups have strategies for engaging young people with disability about policies, planning and initiatives. 19

20 Our Youth Our Future The way forward The state government s vision is for a bright future where all young Western Australians can participate, contribute, feel connected, be well and be supported to achieve their potential. This vision will be realised by: working together with young people, their families and carers, government and community groups listening to young people s views and involving them in decision making about what matters to them respecting, valuing and acknowledging young people s knowledge, experiences and choices engaging young people in creative approaches, programs and services to ensure they reach their potential recognising and building on the strengths and capabilities of young people being flexible and responsive in meeting the diverse needs and aspirations of young people, whoever they are and wherever they live delivering programs and services that are informed by research and feedback on what works. 20 Our Youth Our Future

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