While it seems like so much of the world has now been put on hold, the harsh realities our young people face daily have certainly not, and in many cases their disadvantages have been heightened by Covid -19.
Our Outreach teams ,who usually spend their time connecting to young people in the community through events and programs, have been faced with the challenge of connecting to young people through other means. They are utilising all the technology available to them to ensure they can reach out to young people as much as possible and let them know they are still there for them through this.
Ben Stevens, Sydney Outreach Services Manager, says young people are feeling more alone than ever and our youth workers are now focusing heavily on individual casework to ensure every young person feels safe and supported.
“The social interactions that our young people would normally get at our Outreach programs and events were often their main or only social events of the week, and now that they’re in isolation it has led to some very poor mental health outcomes that demand extra attention from us.”
“The main thing that we are doing now is being there for young people, even if it’s just for a simple chat because they feel isolated or they need help navigating support services.”
A lot of young people are also disheartened as they no longer have shifts with their first jobs in hospitality and other fields that they worked hard to get. For many this was their only source of income and this loss has taken an immense toll on them financially and emotionally.
Youth workers are encouraging these young people and working with them to build their job skills during this time. Building their resumes and cover letters so that when jobs do become available they are ready to apply and gain experience.
Our youth workers are continuing to focus during this time on providing individual support to young people in need, giving them one on one time with our staff to navigate a range of issues. This one on one casework allows our staff to affect real change in young people’s lives such as building safety plans and getting young people into crisis accommodation where needed.
Our youth workers are leading by example and serving as a reminder to everyone that the best thing we can do during this time is to be there for one another in whatever means possible.
We encourage anyone who needs help to get in touch with our youth workers. You can find more information about our Outreach teams here.