What does independence and participation mean?

YFS helps people in Logan and surrounds build independence and participation.

To achieve independence, we believe everyone needs:

  • a home
  • safety
  • skills
  • a decent income
  • connections with others
  • hope for the future.

YFS works mainly with people who are missing one or more of these foundation elements – people who are experiencing poverty or overcoming challenges.

As an organisation and as a community we need to do what it takes to help people gain the resources, skills and supports they need to thrive. For people who have lived in poverty for generations, this can be a slow process.

Closing the Gap

YFS’ vision for reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is to develop and provide services based on respect and understanding. YFS acknowledges the past and works to build independence, participation and closing the unacceptable gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australian’s health and wellbeing.

a home

Everyone needs a home

YFS believessecure 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.

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.

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.

More information: Our recent submission to the Queensland Government outlines our position in detail.

safety

Everyone needs to be safe

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.

Children need: children cannot thrive in homes where they or their parent 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 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.

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

skills

Everyone needs skills

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.

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 like.

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

YFS wants: 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.

More information: our Youthlink team helps young people reengage with education.

a decent income

Everyone needs enough money to live a decent life

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

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: 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.

More information: Our ParentsNext project helps parents of young children to prepare for work. Our MoneySmart team help people manage their finances. Our social enterprises help people gain work experience in a supportive environment .

connections with others

Everyone needs connections with others

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.

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.

More information: Find out more about YFS’ disability programs and mental health recovery program.

hope for the future

Everyone needs hope for the future

YFS believes: Having high expectations gives people the chance to fulfil 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.

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

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.

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

More information: YFS’ values include optimism and steadfastness.