The Outer Eastern Melbourne Children and Youth Area Partnership Brighter Futures Showcase
With genuine passion for making a difference, young people with lived experience of leaving care were brought together with service providers and community by the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area Partnership to develop projects addressing the major challenges faced by young people transitioning from out-of-home care.
Teams used a co-design process to create and test new ideas to address issues around housing, employment and community connection. Teams presented their final projects at the Brighter Futures Showcase in Croydon on Wednesday May 24.
Recent care leavers played a central role in the design process both on the teams and as an advisory group, and were fundamental in shaping the approach to the work and the prototypes.
The audience at the showcase included people whose work touches on the lives of children and young people in care, many of whom made a commitment to help bring the projects into fruition. Implementation of the work is already underway to start turning things around for young people.
An out of home care leaver who participated said that he was pleased with how the co-design process went, and had high hopes for the work making a difference in the community for young people leaving care.
“Compared to other opportunities and programs, this actually brought members of the wider community – not just workers for the sector. We even had teachers and police come together and they were open to hearing our stories and were committed to making change. They really welcomed our ideas.”
Outer Eastern Melbourne Area Partnership Co Chair Anthony Raitman said what impressed him the most about the Showcase was the genuine commitment to make a difference.
“It was great to look around and see such a diverse mix of people – young people, carers, community members and service providers – working together to create Brighter Futures for young people."
The Area Partnership also developed a video launched at the showcase, in which several young people who had left care shared their story and views on how to better support young people transitioning from out-of-home care [INSERT LINK].
A panel that included youth advocates who had transitioned from care, Kiera and Dylan, the former Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People Bernie Geary, CEO of Anglicare Victoria Paul McDonald and CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Deb Tsorbaris provided rare insight into the issues surrounding the transition from care, and what steps could be taken to improve the experience and outcomes for young people.
PLEASE NOTE: this video is currently in the process of being transcribed for accessibility purposes.