[Sub ID 4767] Colony 47 Employment Program (Colony 47 Inc)

Submission ID: 4767
Organisation name: Colony 47 Inc
Contact name: Mr Glen O’Keefe
State: TAS
Contact email: gleno@colony47.com.au
Contact number: 0362141530

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?

Tasmania has some of the highest rates of young people on income support in Australia, and the south-east region of Tasmania has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country (19.6%). Therefore, young Tasmanians have an urgent need for support to enable positive and productive participation and avoid long-term welfare dependency.

Many young carers, young parents and people at risk of long term unemployment face multiple, complex issues. They need:
(i) support to build their aspirations and set goals
(ii) a more coordinated approach to accessing government and community services
(iii) improved parental/natural supports and peer networks

Colony 47 has recognised these needs through working with youth in southern Tasmania for over 40 years. Through our experience in the delivery of a range of youth related programs including Transitions to Work (TTW) (employment program), Reconnect (youth homelessness program), Partners in Recover (PiR) (coordinated Mental Health support, 18+), a youth shelter and youth housing service, we have developed a pathway to assist young people to a better future. Colony 47 has an integrated approach to service delivery. This starts with building a young person’s belief in their own capacity for change, then providing them with practical steps and connections to get them on the pathway to employment and a new future.

What is your idea?
The objective is to assist young people into employment through supporting them to:

  1.  build aspirations and set goals
  2. access coordinated support
  3. build networks

This will be achieved by the following:

Week 1-3
Youth Coordinator (YC) is assigned to a young person (YP) and through a needs assessment they work together to identify any potential barriers to employment e.g.: mental health issues, housing, support for dependents, literacy and numeracy issues, alcohol and other drug use.

Co-ordinated access to services: a self-directed care approach will allow the YP to take the lead on accessing the support they require. In more complex situations, case-conferencing will be used to bring all service providers together with the YP to ensure coordinated and appropriate support for the YP. Natural/parental supports will be involved if available. This approach includes direct and coordinated access to Colony 47’s youth programs (TTW, Reconnect, PiR, youth housing services) as required.

Week 4-8
YP will participate in groupwork to identify their own strengths and goals as well as build relationships. This is a solutions-focused program, based on Family Attachment Theory and Narrative Therapy. Natural supports will be included in this program as appropriate.

This program has been used with parents and young people in our Reconnect program for the past 7 years to build aspirations and develop goals. It has also been very successful in strengthening relationships. This program has also been utilised successfully with young parents, and young people disengaging from school.

Week 9-11
YP will attend groupwork focusing on career identification, resume preparation, interview techniques and workplace expectations, as used in our TTW program.

Week 12-15
YC will facilitate a weekly peer-networking group, then encourage the group to meet at least monthly.

YP will be connected with Mentors for 12 months following the program, and supported by YC.

Some YP will be provided with paid roles as peer-workers for the next group of participants.