Young people's support

Young people are the future of our community. But sometimes teenagers and young people find themselves in tough family situations that are 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.

Better Futures

Leaving care is a difficult time for many young people, especially those who are dealing with challenges like mental illness, drug dependency or tough family situations. These young people must be nurtured and supported as they transition to independence.


Our Better Futures program assists young people up to the age of 21 as they move out of Child Protection or the Out of Home Care System. We focus on helping young people learn independent living skills as well as supporting them with access to education and training.

Male with curly hair

Step Up

Step Up is an early intervention program for young people who are using violence, whether physical or non-physical, that threatens the wellbeing of their families or carers. Often these young people have been victims of family violence themselves and are unsure about how to respond to conflict or distress in any other way.


Our counselling involves both the young person and their family. We help young people and their families understand the impact and outcomes of using violence and intimidation and provide strategies to prevent violent behaviour and strengthen family relationships.

Man sitting alone and depressed on the street

We focus on building personal, social and parenting skills that centre around self-awareness, self-control, help-seeking and strengthening identity.

We support young people as they grow and learn to become independent.

Read more about the young people we’ve helped.

Creating Connections

Creating Connections is our housing initiative for young people. We work together with other organisations to help young people create strong connections in the community. We focus on supporting them with life skills and helping them become independent and get established.


We assist young people to maintain their existing housing or find suitable accommodation. We advocate on housing applications. And we help them navigate some of the logistics of adult life, like obtaining a learner’s permit and driver’s licence, so they are set up for a positive start to independent life.

Sad teenage girl sitting on the floor while a hand is offering help

Youth Care

Cafs runs three Youth Care homes in Ballarat. We strive to provide a home-like environment for children and teenagers who have been placed in our care by Child Protection Services.


Our Youth Care program supports young people as they prepare to return to their parents or other types of care, such as foster care or kinship care. Each house is run by a highly qualified team that works hard to provide their young residents with a safe, healthy and positive lifestyle in the local community.

Group of teenagers communicate in schoolyard

CAFS stories

How June and Robert found the right time to become Cafs foster carers

Becoming foster carers can be a life affirming experience. June and Robert always knew that fostering would be in their future; it was just a question of timing. 

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How Cafs financial counselling helped
a dad battling with cancer

When you’re a self-employed dad, being sick comes with more concerns than your own health. With no money coming in, Tony was stressed about his family. 

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Housing Support: How Cafs ATAR team helped a father avoid eviction

Bruce was admitted to hospital for three months, and while he was in there, he asked his adult sons to take care of the home he'd been renting for the past eleven years.

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How Cafs helped Chloe and her family find hope

Chloe was 16, and her young life was falling apart. She’d dropped out of school and had started drinking and taking drugs. She also started stealing and self-harming.

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How Cafs day stay helped one young family establish a healthy bedtime routine

For Bianca and Josh, the excitement of becoming new parents was giving way to exhaustion. They were desperate for more sleep.

Read more
Client Engagement Team 1800 692 237

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Head Office
115 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350

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Cafs acknowledges our past. In the spirit of reconciliation, we give deepest respect to Australia's First Nations Peoples. Their histories, their stories, their resilience. Their connection to culture and land. The wisdom of their Elders past, present and emerging.

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