2016-2017 IMPACT REPORT
YFS is uniquely positioned to make
a real difference in the lives of individuals, families and the Logan community. With our wide range of services and programs, we can take a holistic approach to helping people build independence and participation.
At YFS we strive to position vulnerable people to thrive, not just survive. To achieve this, we “connect the dots” between services, organisations, people and communities. In 2016-17 we increased our focus on connections and collaboration to improve outcomes for our clients and the communities we serve.
We made significant progress on our evidence and outcomes priority area in 2016-17. Each of our teams developed a clear program logic that articulates the outcomes we’re seeking with clients and the activities we need to undertake to achieve these outcomes, based on the best available evidence about what works.
This report outlines some of the results we’ve achieved in our work with clients; the impact we’ve had on people’s lives. It also outlines the changes we’ve been part of in the communities in which we work in Logan, Beaudesert, Redlands and beyond.
In 2016-17 we made good progress on all four of the inter-connected priorities set out in our strategic plan, improving our services, sustainability, capacity and positioning.
Our client feedback and stakeholder survey last year told a consistent story of excellent work with clients, positive contribution to community and productive collaboration. For example, 69% of our stakeholders rated our collaboration with others as “excellent” and a further 17% “good” – a total positive rating of 86%. Results for our community participation and client service were similarly positive.
Some highlights include the launch of our Project Hera co-location with the Logan District Domestic and Family Violence Unit; expansion of our youth housing service; integration of financial case work into our YFS Connect team; and the introduction of employment transition workers at Substation33 and in our mental health team.
In 2017-18 we will continue to develop and deliver proven services and demonstrate leadership in Logan and surrounds. We will strengthen our workforce and continue to invest in innovation and improvement. We look forward to continuing to connect the dots for better lives for people in Logan and surrounds, thanks to the good work of our Board, staff, volunteers, partners and community.
Cath Bartolo and Albert Hili
The YFS Board members October 2017
The YFS Connect team
A STABLE HOME
Housing and homelessness continued to dominate our service delivery at YFS in 2016-17. Half of the 11,689 contacts to YFS Connect last year related to homelessness,
risk of homelessness or tenancy issues.
This trend follows through to our case management programs. The proportion of clients who were homeless or at risk when they engaged with us ranged from 24% in our Youthlink youth engagement program, 45% for Step by Step family support, 60% for Money Smart financial capability service and almost 100% for our Housing First service. All our teams have developed expertise in helping people find housing rapidly, given the importance of stable housing as a foundation for independence and participation.
Our capacity to respond to youth homelessness in Logan increased when we were awarded a contract for additional mobile outreach services for young people. In conjunction with this expansion, we introduced employment advisory services for housing clients, and a project to follow up housing clients to track their housing sustainability over time.
Looking forward: In 2017-18, YFS will relinquish the management of 24 community housing properties to larger providers, retaining 14 crisis housing units that are associated with our housing case management service.
Connecting the dots
YFS established YFS Connect (formerly known as IRAS) to act as our front door. YFS Connect joins the dots for clients, providing information, advice, referrals and assessments.
In 2016-2017, YFS Connect responded to 11,689 requests for advice or assistance (2,204 in person and 9,485 over the phone). Demand increased by 14%, up from 10,213 requests in the 2015 to 2016 financial year.
In 2016-17 we further improved the YFS Connect team’s ability to respond to homelessness and serious tenancy issues. As well as referring people to YFS teams and other homelessness services where there are vacancies, YFS Connect staff provided short-term responses to help people save their tenancies or find accommodation. In 2016-17 YFS Connect helped an estimated 90 clients maintain at-risk tenancies through advice, advocacy and emergency relief for rental payment plans. The team also helped more than 120 people get established in emergency, short-term or permanent housing.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
In 2016-17 we embarked on a project to track outcomes across our whole organisation. Focus areas for this were housing, financial stress and social supports. As expected, housing was a significant issue for many clients on entry into our services, and was also an area where we were able to help people improve their situations significantly.
YFS Organisational Outcomes
Housing Stability Data
78% of YFS clients exited the service in stable housing, compared to 50% on entry. Only 6% of clients remained homeless when we finished working with them – often this was simply because we lost touch with them. We are working throughout YFS to improve this outcome across the board.
A DECENT INCOME
Many of our clients are on low incomes, and most experience financial stress. In 2016-17,
our efforts focused on three areas:
In 2016-17 we invested in an employment transition worker in our Substation33 team to help Substation volunteers move into paid work once they gained experience and skills with us. We also employed an employment engagement worker to work with clients in our case management teams, particularly our PHAMs mental health recovery service. These workers joined our ParentsNext team to improve work readiness of people facing significant barriers to employment. We estimate that 75 vulnerable people moved into work in 2016-17 through YFS’ efforts, while ParentsNext supported a further 500 parents to set work-related goals and take action to achieve them.
Our financial counsellors and Money Smart workers continued to help people deal with financial crises. Many of our clients have debilitating debts to rental companies. With a grant from the Department of Social Services, we launched a marketing campaign to promote alternatives to consumer leases for appliances and furniture. Our Done With Debt campaign generated awareness of alternatives including no interest loans (NILS) and prompted calls to YFS Connect and visits to the campaign website from people considering rentals.
Looking forward: In 2017-18, YFS will continue to build our focus on employment. We look forward to working with vulnerable people on innovative work-related projects.
Solar Sign Solutions
Connecting the dots
It takes strong partnerships to create real employment opportunities for people who have never worked or who haven’t worked for a long time. YFS’ social enterprise, Substation33, provides opportunities for jobseekers to gain experience and skills in a supportive environment. In 2016-17, Substation33 partnered with Logan City Council to establish Solar Signs Solutions, manufacturing flood warning signs for low-lying road crossings.
The signs proved themselves during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in early 2017, when no motorists attempted to drive through floodwaters at the nine crossings where solar signs were installed. This new business arm has generated increased paid work and work experience opportunities for Substation33. We worked with Work for the Dole providers to create real-world learning experiences in manufacturing for participants, a number of whom have gone on to paid work.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
Our Federally-funded services use the SCORE tool to assess improvements in clients’ ability to manage money, their material well-being and their employment and education. On average YFS clients made performance improvements in all financial domains, in particular managing money and material wellbeing.
In October 2016, YFS partnered with Beaucare to launch a much-needed domestic violence counselling and court support service for the Beaudesert area. Some additional funding for our Responsible Men’s behaviour change group program for perpetrators allowed us to increase to five groups weekly, working with 75 men in groups (and 130 men overall) at any given time, as well as supporting their partners with advocacy and referrals. An evaluation by Griffith University showed positive results, and helped us improve the program’s effectiveness.
YFS is an active contributor to the Logan Integrated Service Response to Domestic Violence and to the High Risk Team which commenced In January 2017. The improved information sharing between organisations has greatly increased our collective ability to support victims of high-risk perpetrators to achieve safety, and to hold perpetrators accountable.
Our Legal service was re-funded in 2016-17 after a period of uncertainty. YFS Legal represented approximately 500 children and young people in the Beenleigh Children’s Court last year, supporting them to get fair treatment in the justice system and link with the other services they need.
Looking forward: In 2017-18, YFS will work with young people, employment support services and community groups to develop an action plan to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on the work prospects of vulnerable job seekers.
While clients generally improved on financial issues, many remain in financial stress. Across all programs we asked clients about their financial situation through our organisational outcomes questions. On entry to our services 52% of clients reported having trouble paying a bill in the past month, compared with 41% of clients on exit. Clearly our clients need further support to increase their financial capacity, which is why we are focusing on employment.
SCORE Income and Financial Data
Connecting the dots
In September 2016, Queensland Police Service Logan and YFS Ltd entered into a new and unique partnership agreement – Project HERA. A YFS worker is co-located with the Logan District Domestic and Family Violence Unit to provide prompt assessment, referral and support to those affected by domestic violence.
The Project HERA domestic violence worker often attends the home of victims as soon as the police assess the safety of the situation. The project addresses a gap in the domestic violence system in relation to responding to victims.
The overall goal is to identify systems, processes and procedures for development, to enhance inter-agency responses and provide increased services and safety to Logan survivors and their family members where domestic violence has occurred. The model also aims to hold perpetrators accountable.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
Our Intensive Family Support team works with families that Child Safety is concerned about, with the aim of reducing the risk of abuse or neglect for children in those families. 54% of clients were considered low risk on closing, compared to 13% on entry.
In our domestic violence services for victims, 81% of clients reported improvements in safety. Our SHIFT youth drug and alcohol clients reported a reduction in risks associated with use of alcohol and other drugs. Across our Federally-funded programs on average YFS clients rated themselves 2.61/5 on personal and family safety on entry to our programs and 3.24/5 on exit, with the greatest improvement in our Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) mental health recovery program.
Intensive Family Support risk level
CONNECTIONS WITH OTHERS
Connections with family, friends and community supports are really important for ongoing wellbeing. All YFS case management programs try to help clients build linkages with other supports so they can sustain change in their lives.
Our disability services are particularly focused on connections and participation. Our Community Connections and Social Links programs continued to grow in 2016-17, attracting more clients keen to participate in a wide range of group activities in the community or to pursue their individual interests with support.
In 2016-17, YFS expanded The Club group program to seven Logan schools thanks to a grant from the Amanda Flynn Foundation and ongoing funding from Communities for Children. The Club worked with 397 vulnerable students to help them improve their social skills and ability to thrive in the school environment. Unfortunately funding for The Club ended at the end of the financial year.
Looking forward: In 2017-18 YFS will prepare for the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Logan. Sadly, YFS will not register as an NDIS provider for viability reasons, so we will support our clients to make the most of the NDIS and to transition to their chosen services.
Connecting the dots
When Logan Together consults with Logan parents about what they need, “like-minded connection” is one of the three responses, along with financial security and aspirations. Logan Together aims to reduce disadvantage for Logan’s children. YFS has participated enthusiastically in the Logan Together collective impact approach since it began.
Logan Together is a great model of the power of connection. For example, Logan’s seven ParentsNext providers work collaboratively as a Logan Together working group, identifying and implementing ways to leverage the program to generate broader benefits for parents and children.
YFS CEO Cath Bartolo is very involved in the Logan Together leadership group , promoting better ways to provide services that position our children to thrive. Too many Logan children are lagging behind state and national averages on developmental indicators. Logan Together is a community-wide response to change this picture.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
Most clients have some source of support when they come to YFS, whether it be from family, friends or community services. Overall, 95% of clients exiting our services are socially connected according to our Organisational Outcomes survey.
Many of our programs measure connectedness in different ways. For example our Intensive Family Support Service assesses social connections and family interactions, with clients making significant improvements in both. Youthlink clients improved their family relations and social connections – both of which are a focus for our work.
In our programs that use the SCORE outcomes measurement system, YFS clients improved on all connectedness outcomes. PHAMS clients saw the greatest improvements in community participation and family functioning; while Money Smart clients saw the greatest improvements in engagement with relevant support services.
Youthlink Common Assessment Tool connectedness domains
Rail Trail trainees
SKILLS, education & training
Skills and education are critical for independence and participation. Education is a key to escaping disadvantage, and skills such as communication, coping, money management, tenancy, control of emotions help people maintain stability.
Our Step by Step family support team undertook a process of development and improvement in 2016-17, working with a families expert to ensure our work with parents helps them build the skills they need to improve family functioning in sustainable ways. An evaluation of the program found that parents improved their knowledge, skills, behaviours, confidence to make decisions, engagement with support agencies, and impact of immediate crises.
Our Get Ready team continued to educate people in Logan, Redlands and the Gold Coast about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Over the course of the year, Get Ready helped more than 1,300 people with disability and their carers and supporters to prepare for the rollout of the NDIS in July 2018.
Looking forward: In 2017-18, YFS is developing the capacity of case managers across our organisation in crucial areas like parenting and child development, rapid rehousing and domestic violence safety planning.
Connecting the dots
In 2016-17, YFS provided 16 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jobseekers with traineeships through Skilling Queenslanders for Work. All the trainees gained a Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management qualification while clearing land on the disused Bethania to Beaudesert Rail Trail.
The Rail Trail project is managed by staff from Substation33. Our strong local linkages have contributed to the success of this program. The Rail Trail traineeship program incorporates cultural awareness activities supported by DATSIP, Mununjali Housing and Development Company Ltd and yourtown, led by an elder from the Scenic Rim’s Indigenous Men’s Group.
11 of these young people are now in paid work, including two in traineeships.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
YFS teams measure improvement in clients’ skills in different ways depending on the team. Those programs that use the SCORE outcome measurement tool noted significant improvement in knowledge, skills and behaviours among clients, particularly in our MoneySmart and Financial Counselling areas where clients improved their financial literacy.
YouthLink clients had strong improvements in their engagement with schooling, while SHIFT clients reported a decrease in the impact of alcohol and drug use on performance at school or work.
ParentsNext used the WorkStar assessment tool with a sample of clients as part of an external evaluation of the program. Clients noted the greatest improvement in job-specific skills and job-search skills through their interaction with the program, but also improved their basic skills and social skills for work.
ParentsNext Workstar skills measures
The Mabel Mob at our ParentsNext building opening
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
YFS works with people to build hope and aspirations in many ways.
Our R4Respect initiative is based on hope that young people can change the way we see relationships. In 2016-17 our 15 R4Respect youth ambassadors talked with more than 5,000 young people about respect in relationships. They also used social media to engage with thousands more. In September 2016, R4Respect Ambassadors attended the international Prevalent & Preventable Domestic Violence international conference in Adelaide to share stories about young people leading change with delegates from around Australia, New Zealand, the Asia Pacific and Europe.
During the year, R4Respect partnered with Griffith University film students to produce some animated videos to prevent disrespectful or controlling behaviours like cat calling, stalking and locker room stalk. The seven “Bad Apple” videos feature fruit and vegetable puns to raise young people’s awareness of the serious implications of behaviours that are often seen as harmless.
YFS’ Reconciliation Action Plan is founded in hope. In 2016-17 we embedded the plan’s themes of relationships, respect and opportunity in every YFS team. We are pleased to see that 13% of our staff, 21% of our case management clients and 8% of our case work clients identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the year under review. When we opened our new premises at 372 Kingston Road Slacks Creek in October 2016 we were pleased to include co-location space for the Logan District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Elders.
Looking forward: In 2017-18, YFS will launch Sure Steps, a family coaching approach to help public housing tenants with young children identify and achieve aspirations for their families. We developed the approach in consultation with Logan Together and the Department of Housing and Public Works, and look forward to trialling it with 30 Logan families.
Connecting the dots
The Not Now, Not Ever in Logan community campaign to prevent and reduce domestic and family violence in the City of Logan continues to gain support.
YFS joined with Federal, state and local government, businesses, organisations and services to take up the challenge to put an end to domestic and family violence. The community response asks Logan people to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about domestic violence in our community.
As part of the campaign, the Rotary Clubs of Logan, Loganholme and Beenleigh have funded the production of a pocket Quick Help Guide outlining sources of support and information for Logan people experiencing violence.
OUTCOMES and IMPACTS
Hope for the future is measured in various ways by many YFS programs. For example we noted improvements in hope among clients of ParentsNext, which asks participants about their aspirations and motivation, and Step by Step family support, which uses the Parental Empowerment and Efficacy Measure (PEEM) to assess change in feeling good about the future, self and children and believing children will do well. Our YouthLink clients improved in their belief in their capacity to make changes, and their motivation to make changes.
Our services funded by the Department of Social Services used the SCORE tool to assess clients’ confidence in their ability to make decisions, with strong improvements in most programs.
SCORE “Confidence to make own decisions”
Our services in 2016-17
YFS continued to offer a diverse range of services as shown in the diagram below, working with more than 5,000 people in our case management and case work services.
The Club - 215
Youthlink - 223
Housing 1st - 232
SHIFT - 49
Get Ready - 100
Community Connections - 90
Social Links - 115
Step by Step - 96
Step by Step Counselling - 118
Intensive Family Support - 65
PHaMs - 93
YFS Legal - 550
Financial counselling - 494
AGL - 324
Money Smart - 582
DV advocate - 382
Responsible Men - 538
Beaudesert DV service - 147
ParentsNext - 336
Substation33 - 420
Over 200 events
YFS CONNECT PRESENTING ISSUES
YFS Connect responded to more than 11,600 requests for information, advice or referral, nearly 1,500 more than in the previous year. Concerns about housing or homelessness issues and financial problems continued to dominate demand, with a significant number of people presenting with a combination of issues, as shown in the diagram below.
2016-17 STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS
We survey stakeholders every two years about how YFS is performing. The 70 respondents to our most recent survey rated all aspects of our performance very positively.
In 2017 we changed the way we monitor client perceptions of our work, asking them to rate our services in terms of how we treated them and the difference we helped them achieve. The 300 clients who responded in April-June 2017 were overwhelmingly positive.
YFS continued to provide employment pathways through Substation33, our car wash business and our garden maintenance group.
Hours of work experience and volunteering
Hours of paid
Kilograms of electronic waste recycled
Hours of grounds maintenance
141 paid workers and 442 volunteers formed the YFS team in 2016-17 across all YFS services and Substation33.
YFS clients and staff continued to reflect the diversity of the Logan community.
YFS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Australia's First
Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet and work.
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