Youth-led practice is central to the work of BYS. We have implemented a range of youth and community-engagement strategies to ensure that young people’s voices and experience guide our research practice and the development and implementation of our programs and services. Many of our evaluation projects are guided by Community Advisory Groups made up of young people and people with lived experience as well as community members and sector stakeholders.
We partnered with the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland to co-design an innovative new youth program and embed participation into evaluation.
Our internal Youth Participation Strategy guides how young people are involved in decision making at BYS and how their voices contribute to the work of the organisation, including the co-design of programs with young people.
Creating Characters as an Approach to Facilitating Learning from Lived Experience with Young People
The value of lived experience is widely acknowledged within community services, and co-design is increasingly recognised as a tool for building stronger and more effective services. Whilst there is much research into these approaches in health contexts, there is a significant gap in the literature around lived experience within homelessness services, particularly in the context of young people.
Digital Technology and Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing
Putting therapeutic tools for wellbeing directly into the hands of vulnerable young people, on their phones and devices, seems to make good sense. There are a great number of apps and websites which provide guidance and strategies for enhancing wellbeing, including mental health issues and other life challenges common to young people who are dealing with homelessness and other life crises. This paper shares key learning emerging from youth consultation research into how young people accessing crisis services understand wellbeing and view the potential use of online tools for both therapeutic benefit and to enhance connection to support.