yourtown's advocacy work is focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged young people and their families.

Our work with young people brings with it the responsibility of leveraging our knowledge of their experiences to bring about systemic change.

Reports relating to employment, learning, mental health, family and domestic violence are regularly submitted to government to help shape social reform.

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yourtown's Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Fundraising

Published: 08/2018
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

At yourtown, we believe that donors want to give to causes which they are emotionally engaged/aligned with. In doing so, donors want to be assured that their donation ultimately makes a difference.

However, for charities that operate across the nine separate jurisdiction in Australia, there is a mountain of legislative red tape to administer - which comes at a cost.

This submission to the Senate Select Committee looks at these legislations and regulations. It makes a recommendation that Commonwealth, State and Territory governments need to partner and co-design with charities a new legislative framework for the 21st Century.

Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment

Published: 06/2018
Categories: Advocacy, Discussion Papers, Policy Statements

There are over 52,000 young people in Australia experiencing long-term unemployment. Long-term unemployed young people deal with a range of highly complex, multifaceted and often very different issues but all are at risk of social exclusion and permanent unemployment. This set of documents is part of yourtown’s advocacy platform in response to this issue.

The Position Statement outlines what we know about long-term unemployed young people and proposes a new model of support that highlights the need for tailored, individualised and intensive assistance to help them transition into work.

The Advocacy Paper details yourtown’s research with young people in long-term unemployment by highlighting their experiences and describing strategies for finding and remaining in employment.

The Discussion Paper provides a review of Australian and international literature on the issues associated with long-term youth unemployment.

The your job your way information sheet provides a brief overview of the trial program yourtown has designed as a solution to youth long-term employment. The program complements the Federal Government’s jobactive service and offer strength based individualised client support, targeted employer engagement strategies and intensive ‘in work’ mentoring.

Accessibility And Quality Of Mental Health Services In Rural And Remote Australia

Published: 06/2018
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

In this submission to the Senate's inquiry into mental health services in rural and remote Australia, yourtown shares learnings from our current research projects which seek to ensure that all young Australians - regardless of where the live - can access timely and high quality support.

Review Of The Family Law Court System

Published: 06/2018
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

A long overdue and wholesale review of the family law court system is being undertaken. In this comprehensive submission, yourtown sets out the challenges, hurdles and emotional distress that the current system presents to our clients when confronted with issues such as family separation and family violence.

The Prevention and Reduction of Cyberbullying of Young People

Published: 06/2018
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

 yourtown has undertaken significant pieces of research intothe experiences of young people and their parents in relation to cyberbullying.

In this submission to the Queensland Anti-cyberbullying Taskforce - of which yourtown is a member - we present our research findings and recommendations for a long-term public health approach to addressing this public health issue.   

Preventing suicide by children and young people

Published: 04/2018
Categories: Research & Evaluations, Advocacy, Discussion Papers, Policy Statements

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 12-25. In 2016, 153 young people in Australia aged between 5 and 19 died by suicide and many more thought about or attempted suicide. This set of documents is part of yourtown’s advocacy platform in response to this issue.

The Position Statement outlines ten key measures to prevent youth suicide that we have identified through research, consultation with children and young people, and the experience of our staff who work with vulnerable young people every day.

Preventing suicide by children and young people shares the views and experiences of 472 children and young people who told us how they got help when they were feeling suicidal, which experiences were helpful and which weren’t, and what advice they would like to give to others, including their families, friends and service providers.

Kids Helpline Key Insights 2017 provides a summary of the characteristics of the suicide-related contacts to Kids Helpline.

The Parents Matter information sheet provides information and guidance for parents who are concerned that their child is going through a tough time and may be vulnerable to thoughts of suicide.

Kids Helpline's When your friend is thinking about suicide comics aim to encourage young people to seek help and support each other.

Queensland Family and Child Commission Research in the Round

Published: 02/2018
Categories: Advocacy, Discussion Papers

In February 2018, the Queensland Family and Child Commission hosted their bi-annual Research in the Round on the topic of Reducing Youth Suicide. yourtown Senior Researcher Samantha Batchelor was one of three researchers invited to present to an audience of policy makers, practitioners and researchers. Other presenters were Associate Professor James Scott of University of Queensland and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Ms Leda Barnett, a psychologist with many years of experience in Indigenous research. The presentations of all three researchers, and summaries of their research, are available on the QFCC website.

Inquiry Into Support For New Parents And Babies

Published: 12/2017
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

For young parents, and in particular for teenage parents, parenthood often presents a range of different and complex challenges compared to those experienced by older parents. These include challenges relating specifically to their age and inexperience, and to higher correlations between young parenthood and a range of complex and often interrelated issues. Young parents therefore need and benefit from support services designed to meet their specific needs so they too can positively experience parenthood.  

This submission is yourtown’s response to the NSW inquiry into support for new parents and babies.

Supporting The Retention Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Students

Published: 10/2017
Categories: Advocacy, Discussion Papers

Educational outcomes have long-lasting consequences for young people, with increased school participation and completion rates linked to improved employment, income and other social and economic outcomes over the life course. With statistics continuing to show marked differences in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, it is right that governments across Australia continue to focus on and heavily invest in policy and interventions designed to address this gap.

Adequacy Of Criminal Laws To Capture Cyberbullying

Published: 10/2017
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

Cyberbullying is a complex social issue that is affecting increasing numbers of children and young people, and there is still a lot to learn about its prevalence and its impact on victims, perpetrators and bystanders. In this submission, yourtown responds to a Senate Committee inquiry into the adequacy of current legislation to address cyberbullying.

Strengthening Child Sexual Abuse Laws In NSW

Published: 10/2017
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

yourtown’s confidential counselling service, Kids Helpline, provides us with significant insight into the impact of sexting on children and young people. In this submission we use data, analysis and case studies from contacts from Kids Helpline in 2016 to respond to the recommendations of the 2013 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and issues raised by the 2017 Child Sexual Offences Review conducted by the NSW Department of Justice, focusing solely on Chapter 12 'Decriminalising consensual sexting'.

Preventing Suicide by Children and Young People: Submission

Published: 08/2017
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

Suicide is the leading cause of death of young people in Australia. Through delivery of Kids Helpline and through our research, yourtown hears from young people thinking about, planning and attempting suicide first hand. In this response to the NSW Parliament Committee on Children and Young People’s Inquiry into the Prevention of Youth Suicide, we draw upon our experience in service delivery and our consultation with young people to highlight key elements of effective services and other issues we believe should be prioritised by policymakers and service providers.

Suicidal thoughts start young: The critical need for family support and early intervention

Published: 07/2017
Categories: Advocacy, Discussion Papers

Presentation at the National Suicide Prevention Conference, Brisbane, July 2017

Between 2011 and 2015, 89 children aged 14 years or younger died by suicide and Kids Helpline data show that many more think about suicide. Concerningly, ABS data suggest that suicide rates in this age group are increasing, but very little research about the help-seeking experiences of this group exists.

In this presentation we reported analysis of two sources of data about help-seeking by this age group: Kids Helpline contact data from the past five years, and yourtown’s survey of children and young people with lived experience of suicide, which included 139 (29.4%) respondents aged 14 years or younger.

Our survey data showed that younger people were significantly less likely to have sought and received help than older age groups, and that they often seek help from parents, many of whom do not know how to respond effectively. The presentation highlighted the need for more data about suicidality in children, more education and support for families, a critical need to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking, as well as greater access to early intervention and outreach services for children.

The Impact of Pregnancy and Parenting on Teens and Young People

Published: 05/2017
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

Each year Kids Helpline (KHL) receives, on average, approximately 500 contacts related to pregnancy, and about 520 related to sexual activity, contraception or parenting from kids and young people (aged from 13 to 17 years). As well, yourtown runs several programs in various locations throughout Australia that assist pregnant teens or young parents with parenting, employment, and educational opportunities. In 2017 yourtown made a submission to the National Children’s Commissioner’s inquiry into teen pregnancy and young parenthood. That submission drew on a literature review, KHL data on contacts from young people (13-17) related to pregnancy, sexual behavior, contraception and young parenthood, and on an interview study with yourtown staff who work with young people in services that support pregnant teens and young parents.

Harm to children through exposure to pornography on the internet: Response to senate inquiry

Published: 03/2016
Categories: Advocacy, yourtown Submissions

Pornography consumption makes up approximately 30% of all internet traffic, and whether intentional or accidental, children's exposure to pornography has dramatically increased as a result of the internet. Furthermore, the nature of pornography has been changing; popular mainstream pornography contains aggression and violence (mostly directed towards women) and teaches poor messages about consent. This response to the 2016 Environment and Communications References Committee senate inquiry presents data from Kids Helpline and Parentline summarising our clients' experiences of harm relating to exposure to pornography on the internet and presents our recommendations to government for how to reduce the harm caused by exposure to pornography.

Preventing Suicide by Young People: Discussion Paper

Published: 10/2015
Categories: Advocacy, Discussion Papers

Discourse about suicide often fails to recognise the lived experience of young people. This paper aims to: commence a conversation with policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and those with lived experience, and guide consultations to enhance our understanding of the issue, and inform the development of more effective responses to reduce suicidal behaviours.

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To view other yourtown reports visit Research and Evaluations.

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