This research formed part of the Keeping It Together (KIT) Youth Sector Support Project undertaken by Youth Action (formerly YAPA), to support the youth sector through a significant period of change brought about by two key reforms.
Firstly, after 21 years of serving NSW young people with locally devised programs, the Community Services Grants Program (CSGP) began a reform process that would see services fall under two umbrellas—the Early Intervention and Placement Prevention Program (EIPP) focused on direct services to children, young people and their families, and Community Builders, focused on community strengthening. This change precipitated a 25% increase in funding available across various types of services, including a large proportion of services working with young people.
Secondly, the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW handed down by Justice James Wood in 2008 and the subsequent reforms under the NSW Government’s action plan Keep Them Safe: A Shared Approach to Child Wellbeing 2009–2014 resulted in wide–ranging changes to the ways in which youth services and their colleagues across the community services sector were required to deal with their work with children and young people.
In response, YAPA and NSW Family Services Inc., the peak organisation providing support to non–government organisations in NSW that provide services to families experiencing stress, partnered to deliver the Keeping It Together Sector Support Project to youth and family support services across NSW, as funded by the Department of Family and Community Services (formerly Department of Human Services—Community Services).