Youth connect

Youth CONNECT is a new program developed in partnership with the Queensland Government to help young people leaving state-based care get on their feet and develop the skills and confidence to live independently.

The program provides participants with four levels of support: housing; employment; education and work readiness; and personal development.

While Churches of Christ in Queensland has a strong track record in providing support across these areas via our different transition services (CYCLE, Lead Tenant Program, Supported Independent Living), Youth CONNECT offers young people leaving state-based care with a truly holistic, individualised, and intensive program of support that brings together our extensive experience under a single program.  
 

 

Eligibility

Eligibility

An eligible person is a person who:

  • as at their proposed referral date, is exiting, or has exited, statutory care or custody, and is homeless or is at risk of homelessness; and
  • directly from the child protection system, is aged 15 to 18 years old (both ages inclusive), has had four (4) or more placements in Out-of-Home Care; or
  • directly from the youth justice system, adult corrections facilities or housing service centre or homelessness service or (with the agreement of the parties) from any other system or service, is aged 15 to 25 years old (both ages inclusive), has had one or more substantiated contacts with the child protection system, including any placement in Out-of-Home Care
  • lives, or intends to live in one of the catchment areas

 

Referral process

Although young people can self-refer, they are likely to be referred by a government, non-government or community organisation case worker.  The process is outlined below:

  1. Young person self-refers or is referred by case worker (potential participants will need to be aware of the Youth CONNECT program and consent to the referral being made)
  2. Department of Housing and Public Works sends referral to Youth CONNECT
  3. Youth CONNECT program team reviews application (Youth CONNECT team member may contact applicant or referrer to seek further information if rquired)
  4. Department of Housing and Public Works is notified of outcome within two (2) business days

 

 

Program details

Youth CONNECT’s goal is to ensure young people leaving care have better living conditions, enhanced participation in education and the workforce, better mental health outcomes, stronger personal relationships, and improved social integration.

To achieve this, the program steps through four stages allowing participants enough time to build, practice, and demonstrate the skills required to live independently and successfully.

Each young person engaged in the Youth CONNECT program will be supported by a case manager and support worker(s). Case managers will work with participants to develop a case plan focused on:

  • Obtaining and maintaining stable housing arrangements that best suits the young person’s needs and situation
  • Engaging or re-engaging in employment or education
  • Identifying the young person’s individual personal development needs such as engaging in counselling, health management, parenting courses and building social skills and healthy relationships.

 

Governance

The program has been created by Churches of Christ in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Government.

Churches of Christ in Queensland has been caring for and improving the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people for more than 130 years. We have more than 45 years’ experience working with young people in statutory care and over 60 years’ experience in managing social and affordable housing, and providing supported accommodation.

Our organisation has a long and effective history of working with young people, and a proven and respected model of care.

We have robust policies and procedures to ensure appropriate and high-quality care is provided to all participants including:

  • Guidelines to ensure participants are matched appropriately to share accommodation
  • Policies and procedures aligned to HSQF standards and relevant housing legislation
  • Operates within national quality frameworks and standards across all areas of service
  • Fully trained, appropriately qualified and experienced staff
  • Application of the Sanctuary Model to provide an evidence based, trauma-informed and holistic framework for working with vulnerable young people

 

 

Funding - Social Benefit Bond

Delivered under a Queensland Government-issued Social Benefit Bond (SBB), Youth CONNECT is the first ‘resilience’ bond in the world to focus on improving the life chances of young people transitioning from state care into adulthood and independence in the general community.

The Social Benefit Bond was established in July 2015 by Queensland Treasury, in recognition of the need to try a different approach to tackling challenging social issues.

A Social Benefit Bond is an outcomes-based arrangement involving the government, private investors and a service provider.  It is a form of Social Impact Investment, which seeks to create both financial returns and positive social impacts that are measured in terms of financial and social impacts. As an outcomes-based arrangement, payment by the government is dependent on demonstrating the delivery of agreed outcomes.

Download:

Investor information pack