One of the most effective intervention programs benefitting youth in Australia, Youth Insearch is a unique grassroots charity that provides weekend camps for youth age 14-20 who are struggling with problems such as homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, lack of positive role models, school absences, and other issues. The program is unique in that it intervenes early and uses the youth’s own peers to provide mentoring and encouragement, creating a solid network of support.
Established in 1985, Youth Insearch has helped more than 29,000 youths improve their lives. The program was founded with the input of at-risk youth to get results and have a positive impact on the community. These young people addressed their need to talk and be acknowledged in a safe and supportive environment, as well as the ability to be a part of the solution to their own problems. Out of these ideas, and the insights of mental health professionals, Youth Insearch was created.
The goals of Youth Insearch include empowering youth by reducing crime, suicide, abuse, grief, and other issues. Leaders and peers work to create a lasting positive effect on behaviors and values. Program leaders are culturally diverse and receive cultural sensitivity training in order to match the diversity of the youth population they serve.
The program focuses on strengths and looks at all the variables that are contributing to the problem, including relationships with parents or teachers and poverty.
The program takes place during weekend workshops providing individual sessions, peer support groups, and positive leadership. While at these camps, youth are encouraged to confront their problems head-on, and are provided with support and suggestions from others dealing with similar issues. Youth Insearch receives referrals from numerous community resources. These include the Department of Education, Social Workers and Therapists, Anglicare, Headspace, and more. Youth Insearch continues to make a difference in the lives of youth in Australia.