Frankston Mornington Peninsula Youth Partnership discussion

On 24 April, I travelled down the coast to Mornington, to facilitate a discussion about the resources for people who had attended the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Youth Partnership Youth Sector consultation forum.

Picture of a rainbow over Mornington harbour, a small boat and the pier in the foreground

Mornington harbour. Image: Frankzed, used under a Creative Commons licence.

I was joined by 19 professionals from youth, health and community service settings across the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula region. We discussed the ingredients of good youth engagement work and the barriers to achieving it. The group were also kind enough to share with me their ideas for the resources. Highlights from our session are below:

Ingredients of good youth engagement work:

  • Common vision of idea – set by young people
  • Consultation of young people
  • Release of power from adults to young people
  • Goal setting by young people
  • Positive role model in regards to the program or idea
  • Youth-friendly
  • Driven by young people
  • Meaningful inputs into strategic areas, to make informed decisions
  • Giving young people opportunities to evolve their passions
  • Resources are protected
  • Passionate and professional workers
  • Evidence-based
  • Relevance – think, “What’s in it for young people?”
  • Understanding their [young people’s] needs
  • Listening and hearing
  • Language is young person-friendly
  • Common vision – consultation and planning with young people
  • Giving young people control
  • Non-judgemental

Barriers to good youth engagement work:

  • Red tape
  • Have to meet young people’s basic needs first [need to embed ideas of self-advocacy in discussion of engagement and participation]
  • Young people not getting the education or skills they need
  • Bad role models
  • Sometimes hard for practitioners to let go of projects, relinquish control to young people

Ideas for the resources:

  • Smaller and more streamlined – less is more
  • Create a pack of resources, with different layers, not a book
  • More summaries
  • Make them compelling
  • Less corporate
  • Keep it simple, stupid!
  • More youth-friendly
  • Make them interactive
  • Create an app
  • Get an ambassador or celebrity to promote them
  • Use check-lists
  • Communicate the message that the process [of youth participation/engagement] is more important than the outcome
  • Use videos on DVD / YouTube
  • Make resources work at a local level – perhaps get input from LLENs to do this
  • Replicate models of success, use case studies
A chart on butcher's paper, showing target areas for the youth engagement resources

Some of the target areas for inclusion in the youth engagement resources. We want to move everyone into the ‘very confident’ area!

Many thanks to those who joined us on the day. Special thanks to Tricia Folvig from the Primary Care Partnership, and Jo Prosser and Carol Smith at Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Learning and Employment Network for their support in organising my session and arranging lunch.

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