Starting a future that means something to you

01 July 2019

By Marion Coddou, Joseph Borlagdan and Shelley Mallett 2019

This report presents the outcomes from a longitudinal study of Education First Youth Foyers.


Developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Hanover Welfare Services (now Launch Housing) with funding from the Victorian Government, Education First Youth (EFY) Foyers expand upon the original concept of youth foyers by prioritising education as key to a sustainable livelihood. They are better understood as a form of supported student accommodation rather than a crisis housing response.

The EFY Foyer model is founded on a capabilities approach, which measures human development by people’s substantive freedoms, or real opportunities, to pursue lives of value to them. EFY Foyers seek to expand young people’s capabilities in two ways: by creating mainstream opportunities aligned with their goals and by developing the resources and skills needed to make the most of them. An Advantaged Thinking practice approach orients practitioners to working with young people in a way that recognises and invests in their aspirations and talents.

Three EFY Foyers – co-located with TAFEs in Glen Waverley and Broadmeadows in Melbourne and Shepparton in northern Victoria – each house 40 young people in studio-style accommodation with shared communal areas, supported by trained staff. Participants and staff commit to a reciprocal ‘Deal’: young people agree to participate in education and five other EFY Foyer service offers, and in return, foyer staff agree to provide them with accommodation, opportunities and inclusion in a learning community for up to two years.

The outcomes study undertaken as part of the EFY Foyer evaluation finds that the model substantively improves participants’ education, employment, housing, and health and wellbeing outcomes, and these improvements are largely sustained a year after exit.

Download the report Starting a future that means something to you: outcomes from a longitudinal study of Education First Youth Foyers (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Download summary (PDF, 65 KB)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

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