Youth At Risk: YAMBI, YARN and YARIM

YOUTH ACCESS MORETON BAY INITIATIVE

The Youth Access Moreton Bay Initiative (YAMBI) is a creation of the state government of Queensland and supports literally thousands of young people around Queensland through a number of different YAMBI projects.  It’s one of the most important state government initiatives out there (at least to a Youth Worker), because it aims to keep young people who are at risk of involvement with juvenile or adult justice systems out of youth remand centres and adult prisons.

The Youth Space holds the YAMBI funding for the Redcliffe catchment area, and we’re proud to work in with other YAMBI service providers in our region – Kidz Youth Community (KYC) and the Deception Bay Community Youth Programs (DBCYP).  Because Redcliffe, Deception Bay and Caboolture are close neighbours, KYC, DBCYP and the Youth Space work closely together to deliver strong outcomes for young people referred to our two organisations for help.

YAMBI is about early intervention and prevention.

The Youth Space’s YAMBI program works with young people between the ages of 12 and 18 through a number of different interventions across the Moreton Bay Region.  The interventions we use are:

– The Youth At Risk Network;
– The provision of counselling and Youth Work support;
– Young People’s Mentoring;
Outreach;
Intensive Case Management;
Court Support for children and young people;

So how does a young person get into the YAMBI Program?  Anyone in the greater Redcliffe area can refer into the YAMBI Program.  It’s pretty simple and all it requires is a phone call.  The eligibility criteria is also pretty simple:
– Live anywhere on the Redcliffe Peninsula;
– Be between the ages of 12 and 18.

Most of our referrals come from the Police and from local schools, but quite often young people will “self refer” into the program because they’ve heard about it and know it can help them.

If you’d like to know more, give us a call on 07 3283 8769 and ask to speak to Amylee.

THE YOUTH AT RISK NETWORK

The Youth At Risk Network (YARN) is an initiative of Queensland Youth Justice.  Back in 2008 Youth Justice approached us to run an independent version of their YARN concept because Redcliffe has a huge population (approx. 56,000 people) and is a major centre in the region.  We said yes, and it’s now been in operation out of the Youth Space for five years.  Other independent YARNs have sprung up elsewhere since ours, with our friends at Intercept Youth and Family Services now running one for the Pine Rivers area.

The Redcliffe YARN is a network of professionals that seek to wrap holistic care and support around a young person and their family.  It accepts referrals every month, and once a month brings a bunch of people together to support a number of children who have been identified as being at risk of engaging with the juvenile justice system.

The Redcliffe YARN consists of:

– Us.  Obviously!
– Youth Justice
– Child and Youth Mental Health Service;
– Tom Strong Counselling;
– Redcliffe State High School;
– Clontarf Beach State High School;
– The Senior Guidance Officer from Education Queensland;
– The Child Protection and Investigation Unit of Queensland Police;
– Worklinks Incorporated;
– Chameleon Housing;
– The Hothouse Youth Alcohol and Drug Service;
– Queensland Health;
– other relevant service providers as needed.

Access to the YARN as a support agency is by the invitation of the Youth Space.  We carefully target the experts we need to ensure the best outcomes for the young people referred into the YARN process.

To refer into YARN, or to find out more about the project, call the Youth Space and ask to speak to our Crime Prevention Officer, Amylee.

YOUTH AT RISK INITIATIVE MESSAGING SERVICE

The Youth At Risk Initiative Messaging Service (YARIM) is a brand new initiative of the Youth Space that was developed for us by Software Development student (and soon to be professional Software Developer) Purush Wilson for our crime prevention program.

The YARIM is another way for young people and professionals to contact us.  Via the link below, young people and professionals can get in touch through our official website for support.  Professionals can seek help and advice from us, and young people can use the service to ask for assistance – or to just unload stuff that is clogging up their lives and making them anxious or unhappy.

YARIM is important for a few reasons:

1. It can be pretty challenging working up the courage to walk through our front door and ask for help.  Some people need to build up to that, but as they’re working on doing that they’re usually still in a state of crisis and need help.  Because our work is about removing barriers for people, another way for us to remove a barrier is to make it easier to contact us and YARIM does that.  If you’re nervous about walking in, or having a conversation on the phone, or just want to be anonymous, use YARIM.

2. Everything the Youth Space does is about being relevant to young people.  We could keep doing stuff the way we’ve always done stuff, but young people change because life is about change, and their needs and ways of communicating and interacting change, and it’s our job to keep up with that.  Young people are online and live a lot of their lives via their online connections – so, that’s where we also need to be.  YARIM is an extension of our commitment to be where young people are at, and to communicate with them in ways that work for them.

3. YARIM is not just about support, it’s also about reducing crime.  We work closely with the police and have developed a great relationship with their Child Protection and Investigation Unit over the years.  Adults often forget that young people want to be just as safe as everyone else in the community.  We know it doesn’t always seem that way, because they can get pretty revved up and excited when there is a fight or some other issue that breaks from the norm, but they value being safe.  The proof of this – for us – is that our young people are constantly tipping us off to fights, crime, child abuse, drug deals and the like.  They don’t want to be victimised.  They don’t like seeing their friends victimised.  YARIM is another way for young people to anonymously tip us off to trouble so that we can bring the relevant authorities in and stop crime from happening.

We know that CrimeStoppers exists for that purpose, and so does PoliceLink.  We also know young people aren’t always comfortable using those services.  This is another way of us working to keep our community safe.  If you have witnessed a crime and want to pass information on, please remember to put as much detail into your contact with us as you can.

If you need to use YARIM, check the link below.  It’s very simple.  As of early June 2013 the site has gone live – which means we’re still working out the odd bug.  If you encounter one of those bugs, be patient, we’re on it and the brilliant Purush is working to iron them out for us.

Speaking of Purush – we would like to extend our deepest thanks to him for the exceptional support he has given to us.  We’re so impressed with his work.

Now here’s that link we keep telling you about: yarim.redcliffeyouthspace.org