What does independence

and participation mean?

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At YFS we work with people in Logan and surrounds to build independence and participation. In 2015-16 we spent some time thinking about what independence and participation really means, and how we can make sure our efforts make a significant difference towards it. This annual report looks at how YFS contributed to the key things everyone needs if they are to be truly included in the social and economic life of our community: a home, enough money, safety, connections with others, skills and hope. Unfortunately there are still too many people in our area who don’t have these basic elements in place. YFS is uniquely placed to help the most vulnerable people in our community achieve active, capable, fulfilling lives through our many different services. In 2015-16 we built on our ability to help people put the foundations in place, particularly by introducing an employment preparation service, ParentsNext, and remodelling our financial capability and counselling services. We focused on safety through our work on community planning for domestic violence and through the successful #R4Respect program. In July, we opened our Browns Plains office and extended our work in the western region of Logan-Beaudesert, making YFS services more accessible for people in Logan and surrounds. We launched a new Reconciliation Action Plan which increases the focus on engaging YFS staff and restates our commitment to closing the gap in Logan. YFS continues to lead change in Logan. It is great to see the collective efforts of organisations like ours generating benefits through Logan Together and the Logan Leadership Team. Many people and organisations contributed to our success last year, particularly our Board, our staff, volunteers, supporters, sponsors and funding bodies. Looking forward: In 2016-17 we will collect organisational outcome information so we can see our impact across all our services in helping people improve their housing stability, their financial situation and their connections. Cath Bartolo, CEO and Albert Hili, Chair









YFS does: YFS puts housing first in our case management work. We help our clients find a place to live or keep their current home, develop their ability to maintain a tenancy and link with supports they might need to stabilise their housing.

In 2015-16 our information, referral and assessment team, YFS Connect responded to

5,840 queries

about homelessness, housing

or tenancy matters,


YFS wants: YFS advocates for a system that makes housing affordable for all, prevents homelessness, houses homeless people fast, and supports people

to maintain stable housing.


Housing Minister Mick de Brenni was keen to hear from young people

who had experienced homelessness when he visited YFS in April 2016.





Bill, 44, was referred to YFS by Probation and Parole six months ago. He had been sleeping rough, on and off, for 10 years after a family dispute. He’s not homeless anymore. Bill recently moved into a three bedroom house with his children. He takes one day at a time. He’s gained control of his finances and he’s learned to manage his feelings.


"There’s no such word as can’t. If you believe in something, do it.

I did and it got me off the streets."


"My son’s going to school now. He’s got everything now.

He’s got his own bed, his own clothes and an iPhone 4, even an Xbox. He gets 20 dollars a fortnight."


"The single thing I didn’t do was give up. I didn’t give up on you because YFS didn’t give up on me."




compared with 2014-15.


an increase of



YFS believes: secure housing is a basic right.
A stable home provides a foundation so people can focus on working, parenting, connecting with others

and building successful lives. To achieve this, people may need to learn to pay rent, maintain their property and be a good neighbour.


Children need: children cannot thrive when their families don’t have a secure home. Children need

stable accommodation so they can connect with

school, friends, community and services they need.


Helping people gain and maintain stable housing continues to be a very significant part of YFS’ work.


While our specialist housing programs helped 200 people and families find housing last year, across all our services we estimate we helped an additional 400 people into stable accommodation. Demand for help with homelessness continues to grow.


We were very pleased to welcome Tenants Queensland’s QSTARS tenancy advice workers to

share our premises. It is great to have this service up and running again to help people protect their rights

as tenants.


Looking forward: YFS contributed to consultation for the Queensland Government’s proposed housing strategy in 2015-16. We look forward to seeing the result, which will hopefully improve integration of housing and support for vulnerable people and increase housing affordability.


YFS helps people manage their money, overcome financial problems and improve their ability to earn a decent income.


In 2015-16, we reshaped our financial services area to create YFS Connect, a hub bringing together services that help people deal with financial crisis and learn how to manage money for the future.

YFS Connect incorporates our intake and referral service (formerly IRAS), our financial counsellors, Money Smart financial capability workers and emergency relief services.


In April 2016, YFS launched ParentsNext.

ParentsNext is a new Federally-funded program for parents of young children to prepare to enter the workforce. In our first three months, we worked with 88 parents, helping them define career goals and make and implement plans to achieve them.


Looking forward: From 2016-17 on, YFS will offer no interest loans through Good Shepherd Microfinance’s No Interest Loans Service (NILS). This will help people working with YFS to access funds for essential

appliances or services. We are also looking forward to ParentsNext reaching full capacity, which will see more than 800 parents each year improve their chances of entering the workforce.

YFS does: YFS helps clients get control of their financial situation. We encourage people to learn to manage money well and make good financial decisions. We work with people to build their ability to earn a decent living.

YFS wants: better support for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to build the skills, confidence and resources to move into the workforce

so they can be economically independent. For those who are not able to work, YFS advocates for increases

to government benefits to enable people to live above the poverty line.





Amy, 24, has faced many challenges in life. Finding a job was one of them. Centrelink referred Amy to YFS’ ParentsNext project.

Within two weeks she started a Certificate I in Construction with

Break Thru, three days a week, with paid work experience at

Stoddart Manufacturing and Substation33.


"YFS is a great place to go. They have multiple services.

They can help you with housing, domestic violence, work, everything.

It has a great work environment; they have everything in the one spot that is easy to go to and be able to find what you need. You don’t have to go many places to get help, it’s one direct spot."


“It has been an absolute joy. I now have pretty much a straight routine and I’m happy with it,” she says.





YFS’ WorkCrew maintenance enterprise provided paid work for 14 people during the year, while our Task carwash employed 13 people.

Through the Queensland Government’s Skilling  Queenslanders for Work initiative in 2015-16, YFS placed nine young people into paid traineeships, learning land management skills clearing land along the Bethania to Beaudesert Rail Trail.




YFS believes: people need to live above the poverty line to achieve a reasonable quality of life and to avoid financial stress. Employment is the best pathway out

of poverty for those who are capable of working.

Children need: resources to succeed.

They need good food, education, opportunities to participate in other activities, and adequate clothing and shelter.








YFS believes: people have the right to be safe in their relationships and their communities. People

who threaten other people’s safety need to be held accountable and change their behaviour, particularly perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

To achieve this, people need to learn how to have respectful relationships.


YFS wants: YFS advocates for grass roots prevention work to help young people develop safe relationships

in every aspect of their life. We want a legal system

and properly-funded services that help victims of violence to leave without losing everything. We want

perpetrators of violence to take responsibility for changing their behaviour.


More information: Find out more about YFS’ youth-led respectful relationships program #R4Respect


Children need: children cannot thrive in homes where they or their parents are not safe from abuse

or violence. Children need parents and the wider community to put their safety and wellbeing first.

YFS does: YFS works with perpetrators of domestic and family violence to build accountability and relationship skills. We support victims of domestic violence to find safe ways to live and rebuild their lives. We promote respectful relationships through work with young people and the wider community to understand respect and live it every day.





Keeping women and children safe while holding domestic violence perpetrators accountable is a balancing act that YFS Client Services Manager, Sarah oversees every day across YFS.


She leads YFS’ domestic violence team, including the men’s perpetrator program and a women’s advocate service.


The service provides an opportunity for women to receive support that is separate to the men’s time in the group.


 “It enables the initial and ongoing assessment of women and children’s safety through assessing risk factors and what’s going on in their lives,” she says.


“We offer services that will support them as a family and across YFS we do many things in response to domestic violence.”









YFS’ social enterprise 16C Creations donated their sale proceeds to the Working Against Violence Support Service, WAVSS, to help women and children living in domestic violence.

                               In 2015-16, YFS Legal

                               experienced a 11%

increase in the number of clients assisted for generalist legal advice and criminal law case work compared with the previous year.


YFS Legal also experienced significantly higher demand for civil advice, particularly in the areas of employment, debts, tenancy, wills and estates.


YFS deals with people who are at significant risk – children whose families need support to improve their ability to keep kids safe, women who are experiencing domestic violence and young people whose drug and alcohol

use is problematic.


In 2015-16, our work in the domestic and family violence area has set the stage for real change in Logan and surrounds.

Our CEO, Cath Bartolo, has been a leader in the development of a community action plan for domestic and family violence (with the state government, Council, local businesses, community groups, churches and individuals).


We have been heavily involved in the development of an integrated response to domestic violence for Logan, which will realign services and supports to improve safety for victims and increase perpetrator accountability.


An ongoing evaluation of Responsible Men, our group behaviour change program for perpetrators of domestic violence, has led to improvements in the way this program operates, including streamlining initial engagement processes and improving referral pathways with Probation and Parole.


Our Intensive Family Support service began in July 2015, and quickly reached capacity, working with families with child protection concerns to help them keep their children safe.


Looking forward: We are realigning our supports for domestic violence victims to better fit an integrated model. From September 2016, one of our domestic violence specialist workers will be co-located with the Queensland Police Service Logan District Domestic Violence Unit in Beenleigh, to link people involved in DV with the services they need quickly and easily.


Children need: building links with community

helps families function better and gives children additional supports and role models.

YFS does: YFS’ programs for people with a disability and people recovering from mental health issues focus on building links to the wider community and creating peer support networks.

YFS wants: YFS advocates for a wide range of affordable, accessible participation options for everyone.


YFS believes: people have fuller lives when they

can participate in community life. Recreational, social and volunteering activities help people build relationships and be included.

Community Connections participants help design a program of group or individual activities every six months. For many, their time with YFS has become an important way to connect with friends and link with community activities.





Cassidy was referred to YFS by Education Queensland. She had high anxiety levels that caused her to disconnect from school and peers.

She joined YFS’ YouthLink program over a year ago and with her worker’s help, Cassidy has managed to regain her confidence and

learn how to deal with her anxiousness.


"I felt so isolated and lonely. Now I’m getting good grades and I’m so happy. I am so proud of myself. I recently got my licence, I go to the beach, I go anywhere I want to go."


"I’ve always wanted to open a little shelter for young kids to come

if they’re homeless or need someone to talk to.”

“I can definitely see a future and it makes me really happy.”





in people participating

in our activities.

additional people

joined our programs for people with a disability in 2015-16


an increase of


YFS helps people connect – or re-connect – with family, friends and community.

Our programs for people with a disability are a good example. In 2015-16 we reshaped some of our community access activities to better align with the needs and interests of the people who use our services, and to help us prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


During 2015-16, YFS supported people using our disability programs to begin planning for the NDIS, employing a worker to help with pre-planning, although we were disappointed to learn that the NDIS won’t come to Logan until July 2018.


In 2015-16, our YouthLink team worked in an expanded catchment area taking in Redland City including the Bay Islands. The team has noted a change in referral patterns, with more young people referred from services like hospitals and mental health agencies rather than schools and families. As a result YouthLink case managers are working with young people who need intensive support to gain the skills for independence and to avoid disadvantage

becoming entrenched.


YFS participants were treated to Christmas dinner by a group of south east Queensland hospitality industry leaders. The Hospitality with Heart Christmas function was a highlight for more than 100 people who boarded buses from Logan to attend the beautifully-designed, lovingly-catered event in Brisbane.


Looking forward: In 2016-17, YFS will rebrand our programs for people with a disability to reflect their role in helping participants increase their independence and their participation in community life.



YFS wants: a child care and pre-school system that is affordable for people on low incomes so their children get the benefit of early learning programs to prepare them for school. We need alternatives for people who can’t engage in traditional schooling or haven’t completed school. We want a system that enables all children and young

people to succeed in learning.


Children need: school attendance is critical for children, and high quality early learning before school age is important for their development. Sometimes school or child care can provide stability that might be missing in other parts of their life.


YFS does: we focus on good school habits with our clients, helping children and young people enrol,

attend and complete school. We provide opportunities to learn skills through our social enterprises and all our case management programs encourage people to gain skills to avoid future crises.

As part of her plan to improve life skills for independent living, Maria learned budgeting, planning, shopping and cooking skills with YFS Community Connections worker Wendy.


improved their

parenting effectiveness by

through working with YFS.



Our Step by Step program builds parenting skills –

in 2015-16 Step by Step participants


YFS believes: everyone needs skills for life, and education and training are important for economic participation. Completing school or gaining a qualification is a foundation for success.

We acknowledge that some people have had negative experiences in education settings, and need support to re-engage or find alternatives that meet their needs.


Most YFS services help people develop skills to live independently and link with education and training.


At our electronic waste recycling enterprise, Substation33, a wide range of people learn workplace skills in a supportive environment as part of the pathway to mainstream employment. Substation33 built up its innovation hub in 2015-16, making 3D printer kits for sale to local schools. In 2015-16, more than 300 people did almost 35,000 hours of work experience at Substation33, learning how to function in a workplace as well as how to disassemble electronic goods and use 3D printers.


Our Money Smart workers and financial counsellors helped 988 people improve their financial literacy in 2015-16 through face to face work, and 1,469 through 44 community education activities.





A week after stepping into Substation33’s Innovation Hub,

Malorie-Kae became the 3D Printers Manager. She is a fast learner

with a good sense of achievement and has been at YFS’ social enterprise for only three months as part of her Work for the Dole placement. She finds it fascinating and she wants to stay there.


Malorie believes she now has an engaging personality. Becoming the 3D Printers Manager at Substation33’s Innovation Hub has given her a lot more confidence and she’s really enjoying it.


“I wasn’t a very outgoing person. I would normally be in the library at lunch time in school, just doing my own thing until I graduated.  But I’m feeling better and happier now. I just love it.”


“I tell people this is a very nice place. I tell them how we recycle technology; how it all gets sorted and how it’s very much a group thing. The people that I work with are very friendly.”





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YFS does: in our work with clients, we encourage high expectations, realistic goals and stepped approaches to reaching them. We support people to succeed when they need our help, and we celebrate wins along the way.

Children need: goals, dreams and positive feedback, as well as appropriate boundaries, to learn and grow.

YFS wants: YFS advocates for a system that aims high for everyone; that encourages everyone to achieve their potential.


YFS believes: having high expectations gives people the chance to fulfill their potential. People who live in generational disadvantage can believe that change is impossible – we know that people can improve their circumstances with the right support and opportunities.





Anxiety became a constant in Mitchell’s life after being assaulted by

five people on his way home from school. This quickly escalated and Mitchell started avoiding school and social situations. Since March 2015, Mitchell has come a long way with YFS’ help.  He now gets out of the house and socialises with friends. He’s recently found a new job

and feels confident to be independent.


"My worker has helped me get out of the house, do different things

and feel comfortable about them."


"My anxiety levels have reduced. I feel more relaxed now.

I don’t really get intimidated by people anymore."





Looking forward: #R4Respect will continue to build in 2016-17, with funding from the Federal Government complementing an Advance Queensland grant for evaluation from the Queensland Government and almost $40,000 in support from generous sponsors.

Our #R4Respect ambassadors come from varied backgrounds, but they share a passion to spread the word about respectful relationships to other young people.


total expected NDIS participant base

in our region

One of our values is optimism.

2015-16 was a very hopeful year.

We saw our #R4Respect youth-led violence prevention initiative flourish, and saw many people we work with set themselves up for better futures.


In 2015-16 YFS Connect responded to 10,213 calls, emails, Facebook messages and visits about a wide range of issues. Our team gave each of those people information, linkages to supports, and a sense that change was possible.


Our #R4Respect domestic violence prevention program reached out to young people through social media and events. #R4Respect generated more than 300 social media posts, attracted almost 1,200 Facebook likes, and reached around 3,000 young people face to face through more than 15 events in schools and communities from its inception in September 2015 until the end of June 2016.


The coming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) brings new opportunities for people with disability or mental illness in our community. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) estimates that 5,600 people in our region who don’t currently receive funded disability supports will be eligible for services through the NDIS, taking the total NDIS participant base in our region to 9,900 people. Our NDIS Get Ready team continued to spread the word in 2015-16, talking with 1,285 people about how best to make the most of the opportunities the NDIS will bring.


The people we worked with in 2015-16






Case work and case management areas



Total number of case work and

case management clients



Presenting issues                 %          Number of requests
















presenting issues

Number of clients



for advice

or assistance



Community education






Number of sessions


Number of attendees


Case work and

case management

clients identifying

as Indigenous


YFS Connect clients

identifying as



Case work and

case management

clients identifying as

culturally and

linguistically diverse


YFS Connect clients

identifying as

culturally and

linguistically diverse

YFS Client Feedback

July 2015 - June 2016 Annual Summary





of the responses indicated clients

are satisfied with

YFS services


of clients surveyed would recommend the services of YFS

to people if they needed help


of clients surveyed also agreed that YFS respect them and their rights








YFS enterprises


YFS people






Hours of work experience and volunteering


Hours of paid work


Kilograms of electronic waste diverted from landfill



Hours of paid work





Hours of grounds maintenance


Number of

cars washed



Handmade goods sold








Number of employees


Number of full time equivalent staff


Number of volunteers


91% of staff

report that YFS

consistently meets

clients expectations


YFS is funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

YFS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Australia's First

Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet and work.


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Staff who identify

as Indigenous




Staff who identify

as culturally and

linguistically diverse


Staff who live

in Logan



Staff who report that YFS  is a "truly great place to work"



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