The Reconnect program uses community-based early intervention services to assist young people aged 12 to 18 years who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and their families. Reconnect assists young people stabilise their living situation and improve their level of engagement with family, work, education, training and their local community. Reconnect breaks the cycle of homelessness by providing counselling, group work, mediation and practical support to the whole family. Reconnect providers also 'buy in' services to target individual needs of clients, such as specialised mental health services.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of Reconnect is to prevent homelessness by intervening early with families and young people. This is achieved through interventions in culturally and contextually appropriate services.
Reconnect objectives are achieved by working towards:
- family reconciliation, wherever practicable, between homeless young people, or those at risk of homelessness and their family. Family reconciliation outcomes include:
- the young person returns home;
- ongoing positive family relationships are created which provide the young person with emotional and physical support;
- reconciling the young person with other family members e.g. grandparents or siblings;
- both parent(s) and the young person accepting that independence is appropriate for the young person; or
- establishing a viable support system for the independent young person that includes a member of his/her family.
- engagement with employment, education or training, and the community;
- innovative service delivery approaches through the application of Good Practice Principles and Participatory Action Research;
- improved coordination of services delivered by government and the community sector;
- building on the community’s existing capacity to develop appropriate responses to their own needs; and
- participation of culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Participants may be self-referred or referred from a range of sources, including but not limited to:
- schools, education and training organisations;
- family, friends and caregivers;
- non-government community agencies;
- juvenile justice agencies;
- police or legal units;
- child protection agencies;
- youth refuge, youth housing or accommodation services;
- medical services;
- mental health services.