Trials - Information
Gore: Improved Outcomes for Young People
Gore is one of 6 communities in New Zealand selected by the government as a location for the trial of a new approach to social service delivery for young people. The Trials are a two year pilot that aim to improve outcomes for young people aged 12 – 18 years. In March 2011 Community Networking Trust won the contract to lead the Trials in Gore. Other areas in New Zealand selected to participate in Trials are: Kawerau, Tokoroa, Taumarunui, Levin and Te Kuiti.
Who is Involved?
The Trials are backed by the Ministries of Social Development, Justice, Education, Health; the New Zealand Police. At the local level there is an Advisory Group consisting of representatives from each of these sectors as well as the Mayor of Gore District and a Project Manager employed by Community Networking Trust. There are also action groups who have been called together to implement initiatives that have been identified by the Project Manager and the Advisory group that will achieve the outcomes.
What are The Trials trying to achieve?
The social sector trials focus on improving outcomes for Young People aged 12 – 18
years. Specifically the outcomes sought are:
- Reducing truancy rates
- Reducing offending by young people
- Reducing levels of alcohol and other substance abuse in young people
- Increasing the number of young people in education, training and employment
Additionally The Trials aim to support decision-making at the local level, build on existing networks and strengthen coordination at every level of government and within the community.
What progress has been made in the first year?
- The Plan
Following community consultation, a plan was developed that provides the background and setting for The Trials. It describes the existing service delivery and identifies gaps in this delivery. The plan includes an Action Plan for achieving each outcome.
The Plan called for some big actions early on that would be key to achieving the outcomes:
- Employment of a Youth Specialist Social Worker
Gore and Districts Community Youth Worker Trust won a tender process to employ this Social Worker and employed Nikki Beer in January 2012. Nikki works one-on one with young people and families who are referred to her by the three schools in Gore which have children in the age range; the Strengthening Families Coordinator; CYFs; and other relevant agencies or individuals. Nikki also develops programmes that she can deliver to small groups of young people to build resilience and increase community connection.
- Employment of a Youth Coordinator
Community Networking Trust already employed a Youth Coordinator whose role was to support, advice, and strengthen the youth work sector in Gore. Community Networking Trust has increased the Youth Coordinator’s hours and broadened her brief to include development of resources and programmes that will directly impact on the achievement of the Trials outcomes.
- Implementation of the Gore Youth Mentoring Programme
This programme had been developed prior to Trials by the Gore and Districts Community Youth Worker Trust and was considered to be a valuable tool for meeting the Trials outcomes. The programme has been developed further and has recruited a pool of mentors who are screened and receive training and ongoing support. These mentors are available to work with young people who are willing and ready to be supported either after working with the Youth Specialist or another referral agency. The Youth Coordinator is supporting this initiative along with the Gore and Districts Community Youth Worker Trust.
The Rock-On Programme was implemented during the 3rd Term in 2011. The aims of the programme are to:
• Reduce truancy and youth offending
• Increase engagement in education
The Rock-On programme focuses on the long term rather than looking at a short term solutions such as picking truants up and returning them to school. A key component of the Rock-On project is monthly interagency meetings. These meetings are attended by Police, School representatives, Child Youth & Family, Ministry of Education and the Truancy Officer. Schools involved refer young people that have become truant and who have not responded to other interventions. During the monthly meetings a multi-agency response is planned to address the cause of the truancy. Services are put in place to address any issues and support the young person to increase their attendance and engage in school.
- Longford Intermediate Breakfast Club
A Breakfast Club was started at Longford Intermediate during the 4th Term of 2011. Every Tuesday and Thursday breakfast is available in the school hall for students. Some young people come each week to have breakfast, others come for a milo and a chat. On average 35-45 young people attend each session and that number grows each week. The following information was identified during a recent survey of the Breakfast Club. 100% of those surveyed said they would recommend BC to their friends and noted the following as reasons:
- because it’s a great place to come and chill out
- so we can talk and have a nice milo in the mornings
- because they will have a good time too
- because the food is awesome
- because it’s cool to hangout
- because it has good food and it is fun
The young people who attend had also noted some important benefits of Breakfast Club:
- 77% had more energy in the day
- 33% had eaten more fruit
- 39% had made new friends
- 44% were better able to concentrate in class
- 72% enjoy eating with their friends
New Initiatives for Year 2
The 2nd year of the project started on the 1st March 2012. We will continue to work on the initiatives already in place and there are some exciting new initiatives due to be launched as the year progresses. Some of these initiatives include:
- A local Youth Website with information about supports and services available for young people and their parents/caregivers and Whanau.
- A monthly feature page in a local paper that will provide information to the community about issues that concern young people such as bullying, family violence, relationships, alcohol and employment.
- Increased support for young people to get access to training and employment.
- More mentoring for young people.
The Improved Outcomes for Youth, Social Sector Trials is an exciting project that this community is privileged to be a part of. As the year progresses we will add more information about the progress being made and other initiatives as they are rolled out.
Who to contact for more information
Project Manager: Lisa McKenzie email@example.com ph 03 2088480 ext 6
Youth Specialist: Nikki Beer firstname.lastname@example.org ph 03 2088480 ext 3