In Australia, Compelled By Love partners with YaFT-Xplore (Youth and Family Therapy), who have been working with at risk youth and their families for over 25 years.
Compelled By Love fund YaFT-Xplore programs as well as connecting volunteers, who get involved as mentors for young people. We work together to review and develop No Limits, expand volunteering and to raise awareness and support so that more young people have the opportunity to reach their potential.
The work of YaFT-Xplore is based on four key areas:
Recognising the unique value and gift of every person
The fundamental importance of relationships between individuals, families and communities
Supporting and counselling each person and family through life issues and discovering strategies to help them develop healthy and meaningful relationships with self, families, friends and communities
Growing and enhancing the work through the contribution of volunteers, mentors and partnerships
YaFT-Xplore is an independent organisation, founded and directed by Robert Coller. Robert has a wealth of experience, having worked with youth in local community work, the drug and alcohol field, the intellectual disability sector, and homeless housing support. Beyond the experience and expertise, Robert has a great love, care and passion for young people, which has seen him devote his life to working with them, helping them overcome obstacles and challenges so that they can be all that they can be.
Compelled By Love and YaFT-Xplore partner together because of our shared values and desire to see young people reach their full potential. YaFT-Xplore has the background, experience, training, longevity and credibility behind them to really make a significant impact in the lives of young people, their families, schools and communities. Compelled By Love has the resources, support, knowledge and expertise in strategic planning and development to help build YaFT-Xplore's capacity and together reach more people.
No Limits was first used in Queensland and has now been implemented in hundreds of schools across Australia. YaFT-Xplore runs No Limits in a number of secondary college in Melbourne.
The goal of the program is early intervention, to strengthen individuals and families, to prevent homelessness for youth at risk, and to develop young leaders in schools.
The No Limits process is run in two phases over two school terms. Students are selected to be involved in the program in conjunction with the school and are allocated class time each week to participate. Each phase of the program runs for approximately eight weeks, with students who are really benefitting from phase one and challenging themselves, encouraged to go on to phase two.
The course is centred around values, with students learning and developing their ability to be part of a team and integrating values like trust, respect, commitment, responsibility, resilience, high self-esteem and consideration of others. Exploring, working through and demonstrating these values produces positive change in areas of issue such as bullying, low self-esteem, substance abuse, insecurity, lack of responsibility and self-harm.
Sailing On is about creating a long-term, safe therapeutic space for young people who are ready to challenge themselves. The program is a form of Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) that runs over six months, with a nine-day sailing expedition at its core.
BAT aims to assist young people to rediscover their potential, build self-efficacy, resilience and confidence, develop team work, and learn helpful behaviours and life coping skills. It is a practical way for young people to discover who they are and what they are able to achieve when they are provided with a safe space, and they choose to set their mind and heart to something.
BAT is a specialised approach that focuses on experiential learning in a challenging environment. Designed to support at-risk youth, BAT involves communication skills, problem-solving, conflict management, self-reflection, taking personal responsibility, teamwork and organisational skills.
Sailing On commences with a number of preparation days, that involve group formation and personal and group goal-setting. As well as the main sailing expedition, it also includes one-day adventure activities. The sailing experience is followed up by a debrief day and a camp to celebrate the journey and achievements with family and friends. Counselling is also provided to individuals and families.
YaFT-Xplore provide counselling support to many young people each year, offering a relational and therapeutic approach for at-risk youth, with a focus on early intervention. The work extends beyond the individual and encompasses the family, parents and couples.
As part of engaging with youth in this way, YaFT-Xplore also create opportunities for young people and their families to make positive connections with local communities through a network of community partners.
Having gained so much experience and expertise in working with youth, YaFT-Xplore is also involved in consultation and in training youth workers. This includes providing supervision for student field placements, providing consultation and case reviews and running training on Family Inclusive Youth Work practice within the Homelessness Network.
YaFT-Xplore sees sharing of knowledge and experience as vital to supporting other workers to be involved for the long term for young people. YaFT-Xplore provide both group and individual supervision for workers.
Australia is known as the 'lucky country,' with Melbourne listed as one of the most liveable cities in the world - and many Australians would agree with and experience this. But that doesn't mean that Australia is immune to problems, and youth in particular grow up facing a huge set of challenges.
Most young people will experience some levels of stress that normally come with the process of growing up - whether that be dealing with school and pressures to choose a career path, self-image issues or relationship problems. For some youth, these everyday challenges are compounded by cultural and socio-economic issues, bullying, abuse, mental illness, family breakdowns, incarceration and homelessness. These factors increasingly leave youth unable to cope, and see them entering into a world of depression, loneliness and hopelessness.
Three quarters of mental health disorders develop in a person before they reach the age of 25, and so this is fast becoming one of the most important issues facing Australian youth. Mental health issues can also arise from, or be exacerbated by, substance abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause both short-term and long-term harm, with regular users more likely to engage in behaviours they may later regret, or even come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Homelessness is also a problem among youth - those who do not have a safe and regular home to stay end up moving from place to place, staying with anyone who will give them a bed for the night. Those who have no one to turn to will end up sleeping out on the streets. These kinds of living conditions are unhealthy and dangerous.
Bullying is on the rise, whether it be physical, verbal, mental or emotional. Technology has given way to new forms of bullying via the internet and social media, in addition to what we might think of as the traditional types of bullying in the school yard.
These various factors can lead to young people dropping out of school and in some cases losing contact with their family and friends, setting them up for a life characterised by poor health, poverty and isolation.
56 out of every 10,000 people aged 12 to 18 are homeless.
88 out of every 10,000 people aged 19 to 24 are homeless.
One quarter of people aged between 16 and 24 are affected by mental health disorders.
One in five 15 year olds drink alcohol on a daily or weekly basis.
One quarter of people aged 18 to 24 are not studying, learning new skills or working. Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
Suicide is a leading cause of death among youth, second only to motor vehicle accidents. The rise of suicide is most rapid between the ages of 15 and 19.
“Young people and families have been significantly supported, loved and experienced safe therapeutic relationships through the ongoing financial, relational, prayerful and physical support that Compelled By Love generously offers YaFT-Xplore.”