Sunshine Coast Youth Outreach increases youth safety, connects youth to community resources, and promotes awareness of youth issues.
Sunshine Coast Youth Outreach is a unique, responsive program that promotes increased youth safety in our communities, connects youth with supporting services, aims to decrease high risk youth behaviour, and raises awareness about the issues that affect our youth. Currently, the program consists of three youth outreach workers including a team leader, which operate under the direction of a steering committee. Sunshine Coast Youth Outreach has a coast-wide mandate and takes a regional, co-ordinated, and strengths-based approach to support youth. This approach and the broad, regional representation of the organisations on the steering committee give the program considerable ‘value added’ benefits. Sunshine Coast Youth Outreach also supports the locally-funded youth drop- in initiatives that take place in various forms across the coast. This regional approach offers the opportunity for the co-ordinated training of all youth workers on the Sunshine Coast. Other unique characteristics of the program include:
- Local funding sources: municipal, regional government, local charities and private citizen donations, giving our community the power to improve the health and well-being of youth.
- Integrated, multidisciplinary support from the steering committee.
- Community-based planning that is responsive to local needs.
- A community development approach.
- A capacity-building approach that builds on the assets already present in the community, directing them towards desired outcomes.
- Ability to be responsive and flexible (not forced to follow one particular agency mandate).
- A focus on evenings and weekends for frontlines outreach work with youth.
- A population-based approach with all youth, and the flexibility to respond to the characteristics of serving rural populations.
- An integral part of community-based response to alcohol and drug misuse.