Yfoundations is an authority and advocate on youth homelessness.
We work collaboratively with our members, NGOs, government departments and community members to support homelessness services for children and young people. This work includes providing policy and structural advocacy, health projects, research, and sector development.
Yfoundations was instrumental in advocating for the review and relaunch of the Unaccompanied Children and Young People 12–15 Years Presenting to Specialist Homelessness Services Policy. The Department of Communities and Justice worked together with Yfoundations and other youth specialist homelessness organisations to review and change the policy, which will hopefully result in better outcomes for vulnerable children and young people experiencing homelessness.
Our advocacy activities include representations to governments and ministers. For example, we wrote to federal and state ministers asking them to permanently increase the baseline funding for youth specialist homelessness services to reflect wage increases under the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO). We also campaigned on our social media, newsletters and website. Our advocacy was successful and the Commonwealth Government reversed its decision to cut the ERO.
We are currently calling on the Australian and state governments to implement a dedicated National Child and Youth Homelessness and Housing Strategy that responds to the diversity and complexity of children and young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. This strategy will provide a roadmap for a collaborative and integrated whole-of-government and whole-of-community response towards preventing youth homelessness, intervening early before young people become entrenched in homelessness and disadvantage, and providing evidenced-based best practice responses to young people experiencing homelessness.
Yfoundations also works to raise awareness in the community and increase support and understanding of youth homelessness, including working to reduce stigma and educating the community about false assumptions and misleading narratives. Youth Homelessness Matters Day is a key annual campaign coordinated by Yfoundations, in collaboration with youth homelessness services and other relevant organisations.
We present at conferences, forums, schools and events to raise awareness of our work, child and youth homelessness, and what we can do to end it.
Yfoundations is regularly called on by media outlets to speak about youth homelessness, including The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News, ABC Radio Sydney, 9Honey, Yahoo7, and many more.