Through school to work
Despite a decade of prosperity, too many young people in Australia remain unable to move smoothly through school to work and independence and so are vulnerable to social exclusion. The number at risk is likely to increase with the economic downturn. Our research objective is to build a strong case for improved models of support for disadvantaged young people and to advocate policy reform for an inclusive education and training system. Current projects about this life transition include:
Youth Connections evaluation
Contact: Sharon Bond email@example.com
Youth Connections is a national program that aims to provide flexible, individual support to young people at risk of disengaging from education and training and therefore not attaining Year 12 or equivalent. The Brotherhood, together with Taskforce, delivers the program in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region.
Using the Peninsula Youth Connections program as a case study, this project examined how Youth Connections responds to young people’s education, training, employment and social needs to ensure their inclusion in society.
Sharon Bond 2011, Overcoming barriers to education: Peninsula Youth Connections evaluation stage 1 report (PDF file, 522 KB) Summary (PDF file, 136 KB)
Anna Barrett 2012, Building relationships for better outcomes: Peninsula Youth Connections evaluation stage 2 report (PDF file, 1 MB) Summary (PDF file, 99 KB)
Anna Barrett 2012, Looking ahead: lessons from the evaluation of Peninsula Youth Connections – stage 3 report (PDF file, 371 KB)
Integrated youth services
This project examined youth hubs and local youth services that respond to the needs of the whole person by ‘joining up’ services and programs, and considers supportive policy frameworks. Learning from models in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, the findings will inform Brotherhood of St Laurence service delivery in Frankston and elsewhere.
Sharon Bond 2010, Integrated service delivery for young people: a literature review (PDF file, 378 KB)
Life Chances Study
Contact: Janet Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Life Chances Study is a unique longitudinal study that explores the impacts of family income and associated social and economic factors on the lives of children over time. The study began with 167 children born in inner Melbourne in 1990 and has followed them and their families since. The families are very diverse, including high and low-income families and a range of ethnic groups.
The Life Chances Study has reached a wide audience including policy makers, service planners, academics, social workers and educators.
Funding has been received from government and charitable sources over the years. The recent stages have received generous support from the Bokhara Foundation, the Myer Foundation, the estate of S R Jope, the Hector Waldron Pride Charitable Trust managed by ANZ Trustees, the JM Harrison Charitable Trust and the Edith Kemp Memorial Trust Fund administered by Equity Trustees.
Report from Stage 10
Janet Taylor, Joseph Borlagdan and Malita Allan 2012, Turning 21: life chances and uncertain transitions (PDF file, 560 KB) Summary (PDF file, 97 KB)
The Life Chances: turning 13, turning 18 DVD features participants in the Life Chances study. They reflect on their lives, hopes and plans for the future as they turn 13 and again at 18. This is a valuable audio-visual resource for educators, policy makers, students, researchers, service providers and others interested in
the experiences of young people from diverse backgrounds growing up in Australia.
Copies of the DVD may be obtained from the distributors using
the order form (PDF file, 203 KB). For further information, contact Film Projects by phone (02) 8521 7350 or by email email@example.com.
Malita Allan and Janet Taylor 2012, Am I an adult at 21? (PDF file, 67 KB) presentation to Australian Institute of family Studies Conference, Melbourne, 25–27 July.
Janet Taylor 2011, Can life stories inform policy in a complex world? (PDF file, 75 KB)
presentation to Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney, 6–8July.
Report from Stage 9
Janet Taylor and Nina Gee 2010, Turning 18: pathways and plans (PDF file, 444 KB)
Turning 18 summary (PDF file, 137 KB)
The Life Chances Study participants turned 18 in 2008. This report examines their Year 12 completion and ENTER scores, and their experiences of the key transition from school to university, TAFE, apprenticeships, work and, for some, unemployment.
Earlier stages of the Life Chances Study
Community education and support (VCAL) evaluation
Contact: Goerge Myconos firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brotherhood has developed a community education and support project for young people based at the High Street Centre in Frankston. Students are able to gain the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) in a community setting. A series of evaluations is providing a sound evidence base to explore possibilities and constraints of applied learning opportunities for young people as an alternative to mainstream schools.
A 'taster' course was offered in 2009 to young people who were alienated from secondary school and were considering the Community VCAL course for 2010. A report of the first year of the CVCAL course was completed in 2011 and another of the second year in 2012.
George Myconos 2010, A taste for learning: evaluating a pre-Community VCAL program (PDF file, 251 KB)
George Myconos 2011, A path to re-engagement: evaluating the first year of a Community VCAL education program for young people (PDF file, 558 KB) Summary (PDF file, 136 KB)
George Myconos 2012, Re-engagement, training and beyond: evaluating the second year of a Community VCAL education program for young people (PDF file, 446 KB) Summary (PDF file, 84 KB)
Jennifer Hanson-Peterson 2013, Do teacher training programs equip teachers with skills to teach disengaged students? (PDF file, 393 KB)
George Myconos 2013, Successes and challenges in re-engagement: evaluating the third year of a Community VCAL education program (PDF file, 168 KB)
The Brotherhood and DEECD have together conducted professional development workshops:
Disengagement from secondary education in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Region in November 2010
Improving student engagement on the Frankston Mornington Peninsula: sharing ideas, experiennce and knowledge May 2011
Youth transitions on the Frankston Mornington Peninsula: what does success look like and how is it achieved? April 2012
Contact: Joseph Borlagdan email@example.com
This project draws together evidence from the Brotherhood's innovative services and policy analysis to influence a national reform agenda, a new 'Youth Offer'. Typically, programs and policies directed at young people are fragmented and focused on the short term. However such an approach does not work for young people experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage.
A symposium was co-hosted in June 2012 with the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Australian and international researchers, federal and state government representatives and community sector leaders reviewed recent youth policies and programs and considered what an improved policy landscape for all young people might look like.
View selected Youth Symposium presentations
Towards Independence evaluation
Contact: Joseph Borlagdan firstname.lastname@example.org
The Youth Foyer program is a Victorian Government initiative, in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Hanover Welfare Services, to help young people who are in housing need or are homeless to stabilise their lives. Foyers offer these young people access to affordable housing, support and education, training and job opportunities.
Towards Independence is a training course to help residents of youth foyers to develop their personal vision and gain confidence to re-engage with learning, employment and community life. The related research project includes evaluation of the living skills module of the Towards Independence training.