Engaging, connecting and inspiring young people.
The Youth Development (YD) and Youth Transition Support Programs (YTSP) at SydWest Multicultural Services help young people new to Australia, make new connections and friendships, as well as adjust to Australian systems and settle in at school.
To support the youth settlement journey in Australia, we focus on helping young people connect with the community, and depending on their goals, provide support with employment and educational pathways.
These programs are designed for multicultural youth from a refugee or migrant background between 12-25 years of age, who have been in Australia for less than 5 years and live in the Blacktown and Penrith LGAs.
Our youth programs
Advocacy and casework
Our direct casework and group sessions address offer one-on-one case management support to provide you assistance with education and employment opportunities, Centrelink & eligibility for local government services.
We also run group sessions that help young people build new friendships, avoid social isolation and build self-confidence by encouraging them to get out of their comfort zone.
SydWests Youth Team can provide assistance and referrals for:
- Navigating the Australian health systems e.g. Medicare, finding specialists, referring GPs
- Citizenship applications
- Centrelink Applications
- Referrals for legal matters and family issues
- Financial Crises - emergency relief assistance such as assistance with unexpected medical and electricity bills, EAPA, etc.
Preparing for employment opportunities
Get help with writing your resume and cover letter that meets industry standards. When employers like what they see on your resume, the next step of the recruitment process is interviews. Be mentored and guided to help you develop interview skills, and make a good impression to promote your professional skill set and capabilities.
Our Youth team can help you look for a job that complements your skills and identify a career pathway.
If you’re not ready to start looking for work immediately but have career aspirations in a particular role or industry, our Youth team can help you to identify education or training requirements to help you reach your full potential. We also help you set goals, and provide mentoring support to help you stay on track and achieve your goals so you can start your future career.
We also provide Certificate Training, where we offer free and subsidized certificate training programs to our eligible clients through our networks and partnerships. Clients will be engaged in multiple services for 6-12 weeks and receive a TAFE NSW certificate upon completion.
We are currently running indoor soccer and kickboxing programs. We can also refer to external organisations that offer free sporting lessons.
School holiday activities
We run a variety of activities, including ice skating, workshops and summer holiday camp. We also run a variety of excursions through the year, including to beaches, museums, Blue Mountains, and Luna Park.
Information sessionsWe run workshops throughout the year to assist young people with health literacy, mental health, relationships, and employment.
We have a study center that provides weekly homework support in the Mt. Druitt office.
Mentoring and Leadership
The Blacktown Emerging Leaders & Advocates Program is a 3-month fortnightly program where youth participants are matched up with a mentor from the community to build their leadership and advocacy skills.
Eligible participants must be aged 14-24 years old, from a migrant or refugee background, and interested in social issues affecting migrant and refugee young people at a local, state/territory, and national level.
Youth advisory committee
Graduates of the BELA program will become SydWest youth ambassadors, where they will be provided with coaching to improve their advocacy, community engagement, leadership & public speaking skills.
Successful participants will also have the opportunity to sit on the SydWest youth advisory committee.
Eligibility for our youth program
- Anyone from a Permanent Visa Subclass or Humanitarian Stream can access these programs.
- If you are a young person or want to refer a young person that fits the criteria for these programs, please give us a call at (02) 9261 6633.
Level 2, 125 Main Street
Blacktown NSW 2148
Level 1, 13 Cleeve Close
Mt Druitt NSW 2770
Steps to being part of our youth programs
Potential youth clients are referred to us either through another organisation, self, or a family member/friend.
The youth team checks eligibility during the intake process to figure out the needs. Once eligibility and needs are confirmed, the young person becomes a client.
3.Commencing support services
The youth client will be added to online spaces and/or a contact list where they will receive updates on events that SydWest’s Youth teams are running.
SydWest Multicultural Services offers programs for young people who are or are at risk of getting in trouble with the law.
What kind of support does early intervention provide?
Once we receive a referral, we assess the factors that put the young person at risk e.g. education, social groups, and family dynamics.
Afterward, we establish a case plan that can meet the young person’s goals and needs e.g. through referrals for drugs and alcohol support, education, employment, leisure, and recreation.
Offence-focused behavioural and family intervention
We provide a program based on cognitive behavioural therapy that is designed to address the criminogenic needs of the young person.
This includes discussing with clients and, when appropriate, their families, to communicate goals, assess family dynamic issues, and then create steps to address their behaviours through cognitive behavioural therapy.
Our early intervention programs
New Way Forward
New Way Forward is a pilot program that aims to support young people involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system. It is designed for young people from multicultural backgrounds, especially African and Pacifika backgrounds, who live in Blacktown LGA.
The program is funded through the Early Intervention Grant for Safer Communities Fund under the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources.
- From a multicultural background
- Aged 12-24 years
- Living in Blacktown LGA
- Is already involved in or at risk of being involved in the criminal justice system
What does it mean to be at risk?
People who are at risk may not have been charged/arrested before, but are exhibiting behaviours and/or involved in circumstances that could lead to engaging in activities that put them in the criminal justice system.
Examples of this include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of school attendance
- Violent behaviour e.g. getting into fights at school
- Exposure to Domestic Violence and/or Family Breakdown
- Substance abuse
- Mental health issues
- Informal interaction with police
- Has received anything from a caution to a charge,
- Current or previous experience with court proceedings, and/or
- Current or previous time in custody
What does it mean to be involved in the criminal justice system?
A person involved in the criminal justice system has either:
What we offer
- One-on-one intensive case management support
- Individual and collaborative family intervention
Once a client is referred, we undergo an extensive assessment process to determine their needs and situation, and look into the following:
- Family & peer relationships,
- Substance abuse
- Emotional stability/Mental health
- Criminal orientation & thinking,
- Residential stability
Afterward, we assess the level of support they need and allocate them to a case worker. The caseworker supports the young person to identify goals and guides them towards achieving these goals through collaboration with service providers, government departments (such as Education and Youth Justice), family, and key supports to make sure we provide service on a holistic level.
What sort of group work do we do?
Fit for Change - in partnership with NSW Police Force Youth Command Blacktown, this project aims to improve relationships between Police and young people involved in the criminal justice system.
Cobham Youth Justice Centre Program
Pacific Waves - in partnership with Creating Chances, this program was delivered to young women from Pasifika backgrounds to build cultural connections
Who is a key support?
A key support is someone who the young person can trust and feel supported by.
Examples of key supports include, but are not limited to:
- Community members
- Sports coaches
- Mental health practitioners
What sort of advocacy do we do?
- Advocacy at court for bail and sentencing
- Advocacy for education opportunities
- Advocacy for community opportunities e.g. referrals to join sports teams, mental health workers
How do I get in touch?
For more information, or to refer a young person, call 02 9621 6633 and ask to speak to a member of the New Way Forward team, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rent choice youth program
If you are a young person aged 16-24, are homeless or at risk of homelessness, you may be eligible to receive a Rent Choice Youth Subsidy from the Department of Family and Community Services’ (FACS).
Rent Choice Youth helps young people to take out a lease in the private rental market and to achieve stability and independence over time.
FACS pays some of your rent to make it more affordable and to help you sustain a tenancy.
Local support providers work with you to achieve your goals for work, education and financial independence.
Download the factsheet here for more information
- Aged 16 to 24 years (i.e. have not reached your twenty-fifth birthday at the time of approval for the program)
- Homeless or at risk of being homeless
- Eligible for Social Housing
- An Australian Citizen or hold permanent residency in Australia
- Capable of maintaining a tenancy (with the required support)
- Able and willing to engage in education, training or employment during the period of the subsidy
- Able and willing to engage with your support provider
For more information or to refer someone, please contact us through:
Phone: 02 9621 6633
Useful resources for download
The Navigating Resettlement project research report, launched 25 July 2018, is a research report prepared by WSU, commissioned by SydWest Multicultural Services, to document and evaluate the project’s approach in working with young people as they navigate the settlement process in Australia and explore their career and life aspirations.
Checkout www.youthinactionws.org for more information on the Navigating Resetttlement project.