Research to identify ways to better support CQ youth
A RESEARCH exercise is being carried out to identify the unmet needs of young people across Central Queensland.
The Isaac Youth Unmet Needs project is collecting data anonymously from youth service providers on barriers faced in delivering services to young people, and especially on service needs that are not currently being met.
Emergency and Long-Term Accommodation Moranbah service co-ordinator Tracy Chapman said giving young people an opportunity to voice their opinions about what would be most beneficial to meeting their needs was a powerful catalyst for change.
“All young people need to have the opportunity to have their say, by doing so we understand their sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity,” she said.
“When youth needs are met in positive ways, they are likely to grow into contributing members of their families and the community.”
Greater Whitsunday Communities has been engaged by Isaac Regional Council to conduct research to identify the unmet needs of young people aged 10-18 years within the Isaac region.
Greater Whitsunday Communities senior coordinator Dorne Wallace said it was crucial to engage with young people themselves to know exactly what was being missed.
“We know there are very few youth-specific services based in the Isaac region, so it is often a complex task for young people and their families to have their needs met, frequently leading to frustration as assistance may not ‘hit the spot’,” Ms Wallace said.
“From this research, it is hoped to identify any unmet needs, and to facilitate collaboration among those services that are available locally to develop greater capacity for flexible, effective and timely support for our young people.”
Early engagement with young people has revealed concerns about self-esteem, bullying, mental health, schooling and a lack of training, higher education and employment opportunities.
Isaac region Mayor Anne Baker said with limited specialist support services available across the region, many young people were not receiving the help that they needed.
“Council is investing $50,000 in this study and it’s the first step in a two-step process,” she said.
“The first step is to analyse what are the unmet needs of youth in the Isaac region. The second step will be to examine how to best meet those needs.
“This is, in a nutshell, a gap analysis of youth programs and events which support young people through the region and develop an advocacy and facilitation plan to address priority gaps.”
Youth service providers, 10-18-year-olds and their parents can access the anonymous Isaac Youth Unmet Needs survey here or by calling research co-ordinator Kelly McGrath on 0427 544 119.
The online survey closes at midnight on Thursday, December 31, while youth interviews and focus group discussions will continue through February 2021.
The Isaac Youth Unmet Needs final report will be published by June 2021.