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youth support

Young people are the future of our community, but sometimes you might find yourself in a tough situation that can be difficult to navigate. Our youth support programs help young people stay engaged in learning and connected to a network of support in the wider community.


When transitioning to independence, all young people benefit from guidance and support, but not everyone can access that support from family or friends.

YOUTH CARE: Cafs operates five Residential Care homes in Ballarat, striving to provide a safe and home-like environment for children and young people and supporting them as they prepare to return to their parents, to foster or kinship care. Young people are also supported to leave care and transition to independent living. 

BETTER FUTURES: If you have an experience of out-of-home care this program can assist you up to the age of 21 to identify and achieve your personal goals and aspirations across five key areas – housing, education, employment, health and wellbeing, and community connections.

CREATING CONNECTIONS: Creating Connections is our housing initiative for young people living in the Hepburn and Moorabool regions. We assist you to maintain existing housing or to find suitable accommodation and we advocate for you on housing applications. Our team can also help you to navigate some of life’s logistics so you are better set up for a positive start to independent living.

Group of teenagers communicate in public - youth support


When a child or a young person uses violence or aggressive toward a family member, it is a sign that they need help. Behaviours of concern can include emotional or physical abuse as well as intimidation and property damage.
In many cases the young person has experienced family violence themselves, is responding to a traumatic situation and may not have the emotional tools to respond appropriately.
Strengthening Connections (Adolescent Family Violence in the Home) is a groundbreaking, nationally recognised program targeting adolescent violence in the home which is family focused and tailored to the needs of each family. We work with the young person and their family members to understand the reasons behind the violence and build strategies for resolving conflict and establishing trust. 
Focused on early intervention, the program helps young people and their families build trust, strengthen relationships and communicate honestly. We aim to break the cycle of violence so that everyone in the family feels safe and valued at home.
Strengthening Connections offers regular one-on-one and family counselling from a dedicated practitioner.

Young Person covering their head and sitting on the ground


“Dylan had sprained my finger. He’d smashed lamps, doors and windows… He wasn’t able to articulate his frustrations or regulate his mood. I just knew that it would get to the point where he would go off the rails, and I’d lose them if I didn’t reach out and ask for help.
Strengthening Connections is geared for parents and their children…it’s all about us moving forward together. 
Some week we focus on Dylan; in the next session my mental health might be the focus. The program fits in with you and works with your family.”


Rose, Dylan’s mother and Strengthening Connections (Adolescent Violence in the Home) client.

We make sure every person is heard, acknowledged and understood. Seeing a young person or parent who is in tears and experiencing absolute despair leave a session feeling hopeful about the future is incredibly rewarding.”  
What I love about Cafs is the initiative and willingness to make sure our community is supported. It’s exciting to see adolescent violence in the home programs based on the Strengthening Connections model being rolled out across the state.” 


Fiona Weissenfeld, Strengthening Connections Team Leader

Strengthening Connections (Adolescent Family Violence in the Home) is open to all members of the community without referral. Contact Cafs or the Orange Door for a confidential discussion. 


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