“Young people are the future but you’re the one’s shaping us and the future.” Insights from the Vic Youth Forum

Young people who grew up in out-of-home care in Victoria shared their recommendations for better supporting care-leavers at our Youth-led Forum last week.

The Forum drew attendance from dedicated workers across a range of services including housing, AOD, youth justice, leaving-care workers (Better Futures), and people who work within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Victoria.

Professionals gained important insights and tangible advice they can take back to their jobs working with young people with a care experience.

The presentations focused on the critical period of ‘transition to independence’ and the issues that can arise during this time, from mental health to housing.

Each young person gave a powerful call-to-action to the professionals in the room to continue to listen to what young people have to say while they navigate this unprecedented time (transition to independence) in their lives.

What young people shared at the Youth Forum
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“People thought I gave up so they gave up on me. Keep an eye out for the ones that are around you.”

– Young person on the topic of ‘Mental Health’.
“Without somewhere to stay that’s comfortable, safe and sustainable, every other aspect of life will be adversely affected.”
– Young person on the topic of ‘Housing’.
“The constant moves fractured my sense of identity and made it hard to engage in my studies. I was just a risk that needed to be managed. I taught myself.”

– Young person on the topic of ‘Education’.

CREATE would like to thank all of the YEAG members involved in planning and delivering the Youth-led Forum. It was a huge success with professionals gaining new insights and perspectives to support care-leavers in Victoria.

The Youth-led Forum was supported by CREATE in VIC and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Victoria. We extend our thanks to the Brotherhood of St. Laurence.

We look forward to future events.

More insights from the Youth-led Forum
“I had no self-worth and was looking for love and acceptance from all the wrong people. I began using drugs to address the issues I faced at the time. I hadn’t healed from my trauma or learnt how to live a healthy adult life.”

– Young person on the topic of ‘AOD and contact with Youth Justice’.
“YEAG gives meaning to our experiences.”

– Young person on what it means to be a member of the Youth Expert Advisory Group (YEAG).