Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) has been awarded a $250,000 grant to enhance its services for young people using violence.
The grant is part of a $13.6 million funding package that the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), in partnership with the Australian Communities Foundation (ACF), has distributed to 58 organisations in Australia working with key groups impacted by domestic and family violence (DFV).
BYS will use the grant to expand its trial of the innovative K.I.N.D. program (Kinship, Improving relationships, No violence, and Developing skills), working with young people, partners and family members to deal with the effects of violence in their lives.
K.I.N.D. is an intervention that works with young people who have used violence, many of whom have been victims themselves, to better understand their behaviours, manage relationships, and develop skills to respond in safe, non-violent, and healthy ways.
BYS CEO Pam Barker explains that while young people experience high rates of violence, many do not want to access adult specialist services for support.
“Many young people have a lack of trust in adults due to past experiences of abuse, violation, and disrespect. Youth specific organisations like BYS are more likely to be viewed as accessible and friendly, allowing young people to develop trusting relationships with youth workers and then share details of their intimate partner relationships.” said Pam.
Almost one in five young people supported by BYS acknowledge that they have used violent or threatening behaviours (likely to be under-reported).
“This presents a real opportunity to break the cycle of violence if we intervene early and hold young people accountable in ways that are safe and age appropriate.”
“We are already seeing promising results from the K.I.N.D. program and this additional funding will allow us to reach more young people and support them in their relationships, helping reduce the prevalence of domestic and family violence in our community,” said Pam.
K.I.N.D aims to help young people develop emotional intelligence and emotional regulation, as well as developing insight into the impact of their behaviour on those around them, enhancing accountability.
“K.I.N.D. taught me a lot about myself – more than I already knew,” said a young person who took part in the program.
“It helped me to get a better understanding of how to deal with my anger. It gave me a lot more skills to deal with the things that are going on in my life and the tools to succeed in life instead of failing all the time.”
As well as receiving funding for the K.I.N.D. program, BYS will also be connected with other grant recipients through a new network of organisations with expertise in the prevention and mitigation of violence. The Paul Ramsay Foundation will consult with this network of partners to share insights and learnings, build relationships, and inform its future work to help tackle DFV in Australia.
“Collaboration and sharing learnings are a key part of our approach at BYS,” said Di Mahoney, BYS Service Delivery Director.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity this grant offers to connect with other organisations working in the domestic and family violence space.
“We look forward to sharing our own service insights with the other grant recipients, and to seeing what we can learn from other organisation’s approaches to tackling domestic and family violence.”
There is a lot of research on young people’s attitudes and experiences of violence, but there is a lack of research around young people using violence or what service interventions are required to address what are particularly high levels of intimate partner violence among young people.
BYS is addressing this gap by partnering with researchers and trialling new interventions, thanks to federal and philanthropic funding, under our Safe Relationships Program, including the K.I.N.D. program and the Safe Relationships Advocate position.
K.I.N.D was developed by South Australia’s Youth Justice Department. BYS is leading the Queensland trial of the K.I.N.D program in partnership with colleagues at Youth Justice and the Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), and program results will be evaluated by Griffith University.
Young people experience the highest rates of violence in Australia. Homelessness, mental illness, isolation and family breakdown are all factors that increase the risk of violence for young people (AIHW, 2019).
For young people who access BYS services:
- 73% have experienced family violence
- 46% have experienced past relationship violence
- 34% have experienced physical assault/abuse
- 45% identified that they were currently in a violent relationship
- 26% told us that violence was a crisis or serious concern in their lives
- 19% acknowledged that they themselves used violent or threatening behaviours