[Sub ID 4792] Connection Lab (Erin Johnson)

Submission ID: 4792
Contact name: Ms Erin Johnson
State: VIC

About the submitter:
Partnership and Community Facilitator

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
The Bass Coast Region in Victoria has pockets of disadvantage and many area’s have statistically higher than the Victorian average of young parents. A majority of the young parents have had their education and workplace experiences disrupted due to their parenting obligations. Their are numerous barriers impacting on the ability of young parents to return to work, education or training including, but not limited to: social isolation, a lack of self confidence, limited opportunities, inadequate childcare options, little support or encouragement. Living in a regional area adds complexity as there are limited employment and training options and often great distances to travel. Young parents may also experience a diminished sense of well-being due to the challenges they face.

What is your idea?
The Connection Lab will deliver an 8 week holistic program that aims to improve young parents well-being and their capacity to engage in education and employment options. A Partnership approach would form the foundation of the program by enlisting relevant stakeholders in the community. Participation of young parents at all stages of the program would be crucial to it’s success therefore young parents would be recruited to be involved in the Partnership level, the planning process, delivery and evaluation.

The Connection Lab would have three main objectives: to create new connections for the young parents in their community and to strengthen existing ones, to improve the participants well-being and confidence, to raise awareness of pathways into education and employment.

The objectives would be reached by working with young parents to design a program of activities and workshops delivered by local services, businesses and individuals. These may include: local sporting options such as surfing mums groups and the YMCA, Legal support services for young people including employment law, vocational training providers, Secondary College VET options, Music Art and Narrative therapy workshops, Q&A sessions with local employers, resume writing and interview skill development. Other possibilities may include visits to workplaces, establishing work experience opportunities, arranging volunteer work and creating Mentor Mentee relationships.

Participants would be encouraged to play a part in rolling out future programs and would therefore be trained to act as peer teachers and facilitators.