School Retention and Re-engagement

yourtown’s qualified specialists and trained mentors work with young people struggling in school, and many who’ve already left, to address their challenges in learning.

Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program

FLO helps young people aged 14-17 years who are at risk of early school leaving to remain in formal education or plan for transition to work.

We work in close partnership with schools, local community organisations and employers to provide flexible learning options and supports matched to each young person’s needs, interests and aspirations. Young people are engaged in activities that build self-esteem, enhance life and interpersonal skills and encourage interest in pursuing further learning. Support includes:

  • Diagnostic testing to identify barriers to learning
  • A plan matched to individual needs, interests and aspirations
  • Referrals to specialists to address personal, health and social concerns
  • Help resolving obstacles to finishing school
  • Career counselling
  • Life skills workshops aimed at improving self-confidence and interpersonal skills
  • Support completing an education program in line with the Australian Core Skills Framework
  • Assistance transitioning to the next phase of learning, either through formal education, further training or employment.

FLO is offered in Adelaide and Port Pirie, South Australia, and is funded by the South Australian Government.

This year, 116 young people were supported by the program.

Youth Engagement Program

yourtown’s Youth Engagement Program (YEP) is a youth support service designed to assist young people aged 14-16 who are disengaged, or at risk of disengaging, from mainstream schooling to re-connect with the community, learning and work.

The program has a dual focus; supporting young people struggling to stay at school, and supporting existing early school leavers to make a successful transition to other training or education.

yourtown delivers YEP in the Redlands, Logan and Ipswich areas in South East Queensland.

Early school leaving is associated with a range of negative outcomes across a lifetime. Young people who leave school early are more likely to become unemployed, have low earnings, receive welfare support, have poorer physical and mental health, higher crime rates, and lower levels of connectedness to community than those who complete their education. These young people go on to have families of their own and are less able to support their children’s education, contributing to intergenerational disadvantage. YEP supports young people to disrupt this cycle.

The program is run by a team which includes qualified Youth Workers, a re-engagement teacher, volunteer coordinators and community mentors.

Key achievements in 2015/16:

  • 493 young people supported
  • 280 outcomes comprising 211 return to education, 17 got jobs and 52 went on to further training.

The program is funded by yourtown.

This year, 116 young people were supported by the program.

Who we help

The Art Workshop Program provides young people and the community an opportunity to express themselves using art as their voice.

Many of the young people we work with have backgrounds that include violence, neglect, abuse, depression, isolation and fear of what they feel. Through the Art Workshop Program young people are given the opportunity to create personal art works to express thoughts and emotions they are struggling to articulate.

We offer one day to five week workshops that can include canvas inspirational word art, torso plaster sculptures, puzzle pieces and murals. Participants learn vital skills such as teamwork, compassion for others, inner strength development and confidence. Through art, they find their voice.

We work with women’s and men’s groups, schools, youth or community groups.

The program is funded by yourtown.

This year, we had a number of amazing projects completed by yourtown young people and community organisations that included work for the Brisbane Festival, beautifying the Woodridge railway station bus shelter and our totem poles proudly displayed on stage at the Creative Generation event at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Aboriginal Elders and Totem Pole Artists worked with young people and yourtown's Evangeline Goodfellow on this community project displayed at a Creative Generation event

Who we help

Youth Skills provides a solid foundation for participants to complete a nationally recognised qualification as a way of reconnecting with education, whilst improving their life and social skills.

Starting in January 2016, the program supports young people aged 15 to 19 who have had dealings with the Queensland justice system by engaging them in training that will lead to a nationally recognised Certificate I in Core Skills in Education and Certificate II in Skills for Vocational Pathways.

Participants often face major barriers to education or employment, including learning difficulties, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues and family relationships. Led by a qualified trainer and supported by a Youth Worker and volunteer tutors, the program is offered for a minimum of two days a week during school terms.

Adventure based learning and practical activities, including sport, are often used to promote engagement. We also work in partnership with Youth Justice and other agencies to ensure participants are provided with the support needed to succeed.

Youth Skills is funded and supported by the Queensland Government through its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

03 What we do