Support for struggling families
The Youth At Risk Alliance (YARA) is a program that offers integrated and coordinated services for young people with complex needs aged 10 - 17 and their families.
Over the past two years, the Youth At Risk Alliance team has continuously advocated for a family of seven on the Gold Coast. This family have had a long struggle with high rent fees, often having to sacrifice food or electricity to get by, as well as complex personal problems. Thanks to the support of the YARA team, they have now been granted access to public housing.
This family of two adults and five children has faced a number of complex challenges. Some of the most problematic difficulties include mental health issues resulting in hospitalisation, loss of employment for the family breadwinner, drug use, a history of childhood trauma and neglect, total disengagement from school and lack of motivation to socialise.
The Complex Needs Assessment Panel (CNAP) has supported three of the siblings to work through extremely complex issues that were compounded by their accommodation situation.
The panel has offered support and referrals to services to manage the mental health and drug related issues. Two of the family members have successfully completed alternative learning programs and are now seeking employment. They now have a much more positive outlook on the world.
Through the Department of Housing, the YARA team have been successful in supporting the family into public housing. They will now be paying a third of the rent they were previously paying, easing their financial strain tremendously.
This slight change in their life has had a huge impact on the family, meaning they can now afford to have regular meals and electricity and start to live their life instead of just surviving.
"The message of the day is to never give up," says YARA worker Tanya Twyford.