Co-Design of a Better Out-Of-Home Care Transition

How might we co-design innovative approaches that support young people transitioning from out-of-home-care in Outer Eastern Melbourne?

Client: Department of Education and Training (Victoria), Outer Eastern Children and Youth Area Partnership (OECYAP)
Project: Brighter Futures Co-Design Sprint (in collaboration with Peer Academy)

35% of young people living in foster, kinship and residential care (out-of-home care) will experience homelessness in their first year out of care. The Outer Eastern Children and Youth Area Partnership (OECYAP) is part of a Victorian whole-of-government initiative aiming to find new approaches to improving the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families.

White Light was engaged (in collaboration with Peer Academy) to facilitate a three-month co-design sprint from March – May 2017 with the purpose of improving the out-of-home care transition for young people living in the Outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The sprint was based on the White Light Education Co-Design Program and involved diverse teams of people representing the out-of-home care system, including state and local government, local service providers, passionate community members, young people (with a lived experience of the out-of-home care system) and carers.

Over the course of seven, two-and-a-half hour co-design workshops facilitated by Christian Duell, teams were guided through the three phases of White Light’s co-design process, to clearly identify the problem area (Inquire), generate a range of innovative ideas for solutions (Ideate) and develop and test a series of prototypes for potential implementation (Implement).

The co-design teams were supported during the sprint period by a network of ‘critical friends’ and regular feedback and testing sessions with young people between the design phases.

The co-design sprint culminated in a community showcase on the 24th of May 2017, attended by over 150 stakeholders and community members.

Five prototypes were developed by teams during the co-design sprint and were presented at the community showcase:

SP:ECK: Informal carer support groups run by carers, for carers, combined with a youth advocacy program.
Bus To Move: A community connector “co-pilot” to engage with young people in care to uncover their interests, passions and aspirations and connect them to their local communities.
The GAP Project: A social enterprise that provides young people leaving care with the opportunities and experiences they require to find, apply for, obtain and maintain the job they want.
Dillon: A smartphone app that allows young people to access employment resources and browse available jobs offered by employers who will prioritise opportunities for young people living in out-of-home care.
A Place to Truly Call Home: Based on the principles of Habitat for Humanity young people are provided with an opportunity to develop a range of skills required to build and maintain a home, with the opportunity to eventually own this home.

Following the showcase, the OECYAP Steering Committee has committed to leading the implementation of the low cost prototypes (through realignment of existing resources) and to source funding to support one or more of the medium-high cost solution(s).

For more information visit: https://melouteast.areapartnerships.vic.gov.au

Christian facilitated a recent series of co-design sprints for the Department of Education and Training which were hugely successful. Christian was able to understand the group and align the course design process to achieve our objectives. We then co-designed a showcase event where prototypes were presented to a large audience. The momentum that has developed since the showcase is exciting and motivating. Thanks Christian for your guidance, wisdom and support. Looking forward to working with you again.

Anthony Raitman

Area Director Executive, Department of Education & Training, Victoria

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