Thursday, October 30, 2008

school focused youth service needs analysis report released

I have just read the School Focused Youth Service Needs Analysis Report which highlights some the key themes and emerging issues for young people in the Shire.

The SFYS works with local schools and agencies to support student wellbeing across the state. The needs analysis provides local schools and agencies with priority areas to address the needs of young people and it provides some sobering reading.

From information gathering the following are the top four priorities in Yarra Ranges:
Depressed mood and depressive disorders
Early School Leaving

Emerging issues include:
At Primary Schools: Anxiety, autism, aggression and anger management, grief and loss, poverty & welfare needs and relationships with peers, family & school.
At Secondary Schools: Risky behaviours, cyber bullying, transport, need for support for boys including role modelling
From Agencies: Need for support for boys including role modelling, poverty & welfare needs, family support and transport.

The young leaders recently presented to council the results of a survey they had conducted with 281 young people across the Shire. One of the survey questions was about how young people feel they are perceived in our community. The results were interesting and very telling. Out of the 281 responses, 15 answered positively, the rest believed that they are perceived negatively.

The positives…
Most young people are seen as respectful and honest people
In our community we are perceived well
We are environmentalists of the future
Good role models
Recognised for sport and achievements
Smart and know what we are doing
We are the future…we will fill their spots

The negatives…
Focus on negative not positive
Drink, drugs, parties
Cause trouble
No respect for anyone…all the same
Station rats/annoying
Don’t look after environment
Hoons and hooligans
Bad because we are young
Not taken seriously
Grow up too quick
Judged on appearance
Bad drivers

Our young people have a lot to contend with, the pressures of today are far different from those of yesterday. I have great faith in our young people, they have a lot to offer. We need to provide a supportive community that nurtures our young people. I have met so many motivated and talented young people as councillor for Lyster, their energy and commitment is inspirational.

Note: The Young leaders is a program run by Yarra Ranges to assist young people develop important skills that will assist them to discover what is great about their community, including the opportunities and challenges that exist for young people.

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