Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Young People Nominee
Partnership - The Glue Factory Blue Mountains between Platform Youth Services and the Mountains Youth Services Team
Please give your reasons for nominating this partnership.
The Glue Factory- Blue Mountains is a youth crisis service operating in the Blue Mountains which uses a revolutionary model of service delivery utilizing the resources and skills of both Targeted Early Intervention and Specialist Homelessness Services.
Developed and implemented by Platform Youth Services (PYS) and Mountains Youth Services Team (MYST) in 2011, following significant research to ascertain the most effective models of youth service delivery where there is limited access to accommodation and housing options. The Glue is a refined, amalgamated and extension of various modes of operation.
The Glue aims to be a hub, for meeting the needs of vulnerable young people where historically they would have to access many services to get their needs met. The Glue delivers immediate needs such as brokerage, shower and laundry facilities, food packages, meals and computers. The Glue also offers intensive strengths based, client centred, case management and mentoring for young people as well as assisted referrals to specialised services and advocacy on behalf of young people with larger bodies such as government departments. This provides young people with a continuity of care.
PYS and MYST work in partnership via a Joint Working Agreement, that encompasses sharing of locations, resources, access to programs, as well as staff. The impact of this partnership has cemented PYS and MYST as the collaborated Youth Services of the LGA. Both services support one another and work as one within our local communities
Both services have worked in collaboration with the Local Council and Local youth specific committees to provide Youth Safety Teams at the Winter Magic Festival and other activities, seeing a significant decrease in youth incidences and risk-taking behaviours at the annual events, and both services have committed to continue this collaborative approach to assist in providing a safe and youth friendly community.
What outcomes were delivered as a result of this partnership?
The real testament to any service is of course the outcomes for the clients of which there have been many. We have seen clients with long term mental health and drug and alcohol issues finally engaged and getting the help, they need, long term homeless clients being housed, vulnerable young people kept out of the criminal justice systems with wrap around supports in place.
Staff advocating to the private health system to support clients with specialist needs and having costs waived, just to name some examples. Many of the clients had previously slipped through the cracks prior to their engagement with the Glue and because of their complex barriers had no other avenues to address their varied and persistent personal issues.
The Glue has been able to benefit a whole cross section of extremely vulnerable young people that no other model of service delivery has been able to even reach in the Blue Mountains.
The Glue Factory Blue Mountains, partnership between Platform Youth Services and Mountains Youth Services Team has continued to be a valuable and integral part of the Blue Mountains Community for over 6 years.
The strength of the partnership not only lies within the management of the partnership (provided by Managers within both services), but also the strong professional relationships and ongoing collaboration and communication between all staff, both within the partnership and the respective organisations.
Both the CEO of PYS and Manager of MYST are dedicated to ensuring the young people of the Blue Mountains continue to benefit from the partnership. This has seen the addition of staffing resources from both organisations, including general case managers, specific Aboriginal (District Wide) Case Manager and a Team Leader.
The specialised homelessness resources have been a significant resource to the workers within MYST, including access to brokerage to assist vulnerable young people remain engaged or reengage with education and training, which is a key priority for both organisations.
Also, the access to the youth services within MYST has been integral in supporting homeless youth connect within their local community, build positive relationships with other like minded young people as well as developing skills and gaining opportunities to participate in activities that they may not have previously engaged with.
Both PYS and MYST are the lead youth support agencies within the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas, whilst both are funded for different aspects of support and have throughout the terms of the partnership, seen changes in funding reporting requirements, allocation of funding and general community sector changes, the two organisations working in partnership enhance one another and adapt to the changing and at times challenging community needs to provide the most efficient and effective services to vulnerable young people.