This Wednesday 20 April 2022 is Youth Homelessness Matters Day – the annual national day to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for greater support for young people experiencing homelessness.
Domestic and family violence are well recognised as common causes of homelessness. In 2020-21, 72% of young people who presented to Brisbane Youth Service experienced family violence, 45% experienced relationship violence, and 23% acknowledged that they themselves used violent or threatening behaviours*.
On this Youth Homelessness Matters Day, Brisbane Youth Service CEO Annemaree Callander is announcing an innovative program for young people who are using violence in their relationships.
“K.I.N.D. which stands for Kinship, Improving relationships, No violence and Developing skills, works with young people, partners and family members to deal with the effects of violence in their lives,” said Ms Callander.
“K.I.N.D. helps young people find new ways to address their problems and manage anger to maintain healthy, safe, and respectful relationships and break the ongoing cycle of violence.”
Brisbane Youth Service is working in partnership with The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, and Children’s Health Queensland’s Forensic Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) to deliver this new early intervention program.
Brisbane Youth Service’s Young Women and Young Families Program Manager Lou Baker stresses the importance of early intervention.
“In order to break the cycle of inter-generational domestic and family violence, it is crucial that young people using violence are provided with appropriate, specialised supports,” she said.
“I am continually surprised by young people’s willingness and readiness to attend each week. For example, we had a young man last week who was in trouble for not attending detention, but he remembered to come to K.I.N.D. straight after school.
“We also recently had one young person who just came out of custody and called up as soon as he came out saying, ‘Right, let’s get back into K.I.N.D. again’,” said Ms. Baker.
The K.I.N.D. trial, developed by South Australia’s Youth Justice Department, includes nine modules for the young person, six modules for the young person’s partner or family, and three modules attended jointly.
Youth Justice service centres will refer clients to the skills-based program and Forensic CYMHS clinicians and Brisbane Youth Service will deliver the program which takes between three and six months to complete.
* Brisbane Youth Service – % of all young people who exited support in 2020-21