2018-19 has been a year of learning for YFS. We developed a new Strategic Plan which commits us to research and development to help us back vulnerable people to overcome adversity and thrive. This Impact Report outlines our progress to date.
Our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan outlines priorities to improve our services, capacity, sustainability and positioning over the next three years through learning, innovation and partnerships. We have begun strongly in 2018-19, particularly in the area of research. Evaluations of our long-running youth engagement program Youthlink, our Step by Step family support team and our Project Hera partnership with the Queensland Police Logan Domestic Violence Unit have provided insights not just for those teams but for all of YFS. Similarly a research partnership between our R4Respect youth ambassadors and the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) will inform our ongoing work with young people.
We also invested in reviewing how YFS works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, so we can improve our contribution to Closing the Gap. As a result of this analysis we are improving staff training, support for our First Nations staff, and our partnerships with community controlled organisations.
YFS has continued to enthusiastically participate in the Logan Together movement. We worked with Logan Together to further develop our family coaching model and to investigate ways to improve access to support for vulnerable families.
Our electronic waste recycling social enterprise Substation33 was involved in learning projects with several universities in 2018-19, with researchers exploring its unique combination of inclusion, environmental impact and innovation.
Thanks to a grant from the Queensland Community Foundation, we worked with our colleagues at Beaucare to learn more about collaboration, laying the foundation for more partnering into the future. The opening of our new Jimboomba hub in August 2018 increased our ability to work effectively in south west Logan and the Scenic Rim, with three YFS teams based there and others offering outreach services including staff from other organisations such as The Centre for Women & Co. and Centrelink.
We invested in learning for our staff and managers in 2018-19 as well, particularly through a project to review and improve our recruitment practices. Through training for managers and new resources, we improved our ability to attract the right people for our future directions. We also developed our organisational understanding of trauma and its impacts, with our new Trauma Responsive Practice Framework in place to guide our work.
Following the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Logan, YFS ceased to offer disability and mental health services. Over the past 12 months, we supported more than 200 of our participants to access the NDIS and transition to other
We are pleased to share premises, projects and ideas with the Logan District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Elders.
supports from our Community Connections, Social Links and Personal Helpers and Mentors programs. While it was sad to farewell people who had attended YFS programs for many years, we are optimistic that the NDIS will provide great opportunities for them to pursue their interests.
Looking to the future, we are keenly anticipating the implementation of our new Thriving Families Project. The YFS Board agreed to fund this demonstration project, bringing together family coaches and a housing specialist in an integrated team to help homeless families move from crisis to thriving. We will watch closely to learn how YFS can provide more integrated responses and how government funding and policy can support better outcomes.
Many people contributed to our learning in 2018-19, including our Board, managers, staff and volunteers, our government partners and the many organisations that share our vision of independence and participation for vulnerable people in Logan and surrounds. We look forward to continuing to learn, grow and thrive together in 2019-20.
Cath Bartolo, CEO and Jennifer Le Savéant, Board Chair