Posts tagged young people
From locked up to linked up: Developing the recovery capital assets of justice-involved children and young people

Too many of our kids are incarcerated and living away from their families and their ‘country’ in youth detention facilities. It is urgent and critical to commit to transforming the way Australian youth justice service is undertaken. Sharynne Hamilton, Ngunnawal woman and PhD scholar at the University of Western Australia, explains the potential of ‘Justice Capital’ to lead the way.

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Self-harm and social media: a knee-jerk ban on content could actually harm young people

Instagram is to ban graphic self-harm images following the suicide of UK teen Molly Russell. In this piece re-published from the Conversation, and picked up by UK news company The Sun, Dr Anna Lavis and Dr Rachel Winter discuss the complex relationship between self-harm and social media, and how a knee-jerk ban on content could actually harm young people.

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Whatever happened to a Law and Order State election?

Sensationalising youth crimes for political gain has been a mantra for politicians. Case in point, the recently conducted elections in Victoria where politicians of all stripes ensured gang violence was an election issue. But given that it is an election year for New South Wales, the lack of political and media voice surrounding law and order is deafening. Today’s blog contributor Dr. Elaine Fishwick (@elbowlass) tackles this issue (or lack thereof) locating it in larger worldwide trends and unravelling the present ‘policy moment’ we find ourselves in. Elaine is an academic scholar researching issues relating to human rights, social justice, access to justice, criminology, youth justice and public policy. 

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Young at ‘Art’: How community arts programs can promote thriving in young people

The recent release of the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2019 indicates that within the “community services” budget, federal spending on youth justice will be $842.4 million while the child protection services budget will reach $5.8 billion this year. What appears to be missing is significant funding on positive, community-based developmental programs for youth. In today’s post, social worker and professional dancer Anjelika Thwaites reports on the findings of her Honours thesis for Victoria University (and co-supervised by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand) into the many benefits of investing in arts-based programs for young people.

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Investing in a resilient generation

The University of Birmingham (UK) has launched a Policy Commission report calling for increased investment in the prevention of poor mental health. The report comes at a time when half of life-long mental health problems show their first signs by the age of 15, and three quarters by the age of 25, and evidence that the rates of mental health problems amongst young people are increasing. The Commission Report, therefore, identifies childhood and adolescence as a critical opportunity to prevent and promote better mental health. In this post, Karen Newbigging discusses the report and implications from this work.

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How could primary care services become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people?

Mental health problems in young people are increasing. Suicide remains a leading cause of death in those aged 15-24 worldwide. The majority of mental health problems develop before the age of 25 but have their roots usually in childhood and teenage years. If left untreated, mental health problems can persist into adulthood with poorer prognosis and greater disability over the life course. In this blog post, Maria Michail, Jo Robinson, Tina Yutong Li, Sadhbh Byrne explore how primary care services can become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people. This post has been co-produced with young people with lived experience of mental-ill health and highlights the importance of making primary care health services more accessible, acceptable and equitable for vulnerable young people.

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Why we don't need to prepare young people for the 'future of work'

While there is little consensus about the “future of work”, one thing is certain – young people are at the coalface. Young workers experience insufficient opportunities for work experience, a mismatch between work and education, a lack of career management skills and scant entry-level jobs, according to a report from the Foundation for Young Australians. In this post, Shirley Jackson from the University of Melbourne, says we need to stop fixating on increasing the supply of talented young people, and start addressing the lack of demand.

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Betwixt and between: Girls (and boys) in their ‘middle years’ need tailored support

Children and young people in their middle years (defined here as between the ages of 8 – 12) are being overlooked in policy and program design. Not yet adolescents, but no longer children, these young people are increasingly experiencing complex challenges.  Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is launching their new report, Bridging the divide: Supporting children and young people in their middle years this week. Authors Magdalena McGuire ( @MagdalenaMcGuire ) and Susan Maury ( @SusanMaury) undertook this research to highlight some of these challenges and to identify how to better support this age group. This research included a scoping exercise, a review of recent research literature and the current policy context relating to the middle years cohort, and consulting with a key informant advisory forum – a process that sought insight from a curated group of 43 expert participants representing over 20 cross-sector organisations with experience working with the middle years. This post provides a shortened version of the executive summary. The report will be launched on Thursday afternoon; you can register here for this free event.

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Preventing online sexual abuse: understanding the problem as a first step to informing prevention

While it is widely acknowledged that the Internet has many positive aspects, it may be used by some individuals to engage in illegal behaviour. Durkin (1997) suggested four different ways in which the Internet may be misused by individuals who have a sexual interest in children: (a) exchanging child sexual abuse material; (b) identifying potential victims for sexual abuse in the physical world; (c) engaging in inappropriate sexual communication; and (d) corresponding with like-minded individuals. The ‘engagement in appropriate sexual communication’ involves offenders accessing Internet communication platforms (ICPs) to approach children and initiate conversations with them, which may develop into interactions in which offenders incite them to engage in sexually explicit talk and/or activities. As part of such interactions, offenders may request sexual images and exposure via webcam. This is commonly referred to as ‘online sexual grooming’. The following blog post explores the cutting edge research of Dr Juliane Kloess at the University of Birmingham, and looks at what we know about offenders, and what can be done to support young people around awareness of the risks of online abuse.

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Always on edge: The dangers to female couch surfers and their children

Tuesday April 5th is Youth Homelessness Matters Day. As detailed in an accompanying blog, youth homelessness is on the rise due to a range of policy changes. Couch surfing is the predominant manifestation of youth homelessness, although largely hidden. Shorna Moore from WEstJustice has written before about young people’s experiences of couch surfing; today she provides a look into how couch surfing specifically places young women and their children in precarious situations.

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Youth homelessness is reaching crisis levels

With the recent vote by Melbourne City Council to ban rough sleeping, homelessness has been in the public eye. In honour of this week’s Youth Homelessness Matters day, today’s blog provides a practitioner view of youth homelessness in Victoria.  Megan Kennedy and Ebony Canavan, with the Youth Homelessness Service at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, explain how recent policy changes are impacting on their clients.

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Couch-surfing Limbo: “Your life stops when they say you have to find somewhere else to go”

Homelessness is a rising problem in Melbourne, and escaping family violence is the single biggest reason that women and children experience homelessness.  For many homeless children and young people, though, the problem is masked by high rates of couch surfing. In today’s blog post, Shorna Moore of WEstjustice and Kathy Landvogt of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand share preliminary findings from a couch surfing report due to be released by WEstjustice in 2017. This blog is based on an article that recently ran in Parity.

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Should we be locking people up in prisons at all?

In the lead-up to Putting Women at the Centre: A Policy Forum on 16 August 2016, the Women’s Policy Action Tank has asked some of the day’s participants to publish articles reflecting how current policy differently impacts on women.  In today’s post, Rob Hulls and Elena Campbell discuss the shortcomings of Australia’s criminal justice system.  When a significant proportion of all offenders come into custody profoundly disadvantaged - and traumatised - in some way, does imprisonment offer the best chance at behavioural correction and rehabilitation?  This article originally appeared in The Conversation.

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No 'one size fits all' solutions to long-term youth unemployment

Election campaigns tend to reduce complex issues to soundbites.  In today’s post, Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards argues that it takes more than jobs and growth to help some young people prepare for and find sustainable employment. Without the right investment and support, young people with complex needs can be excluded from education and employment and are more likely to cycle in and out of homelessness services, mental health services and the justice system throughout their lives.

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Lifting the quality of 'evidence' for the youth foyer model

Evidence-based policy only works if the evidence base itself is robust enough to inform decisions. Joseph Borlagdan (@borlagdanj), Iris Levin  and Shelley Mallett of the Brotherhood of St Laurence started their review for ANZSOG's Evidence Base journal aiming to evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of the youth foyer model. But after their literature search revealed an overall lack of rigour in evaluation studies, they realised they needed to take a different tack.

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