The project in brief
Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network Australia (MYAN)
The National Youth Settlement Framework (NYSF) is the first evidence-based guide for supporting, benchmarking and measuring good practice in settlement and integration for young people. It recognises the particular context of young people in settlement/integration, and the need for a targeted approach in policy and practice to ensure they successfully navigate settlement/integration in a new country.
Young people make up a large proportion of the resettlement population and will spend the majority of their lives in their country of resettlement. MYAN developed the NYSF in 2016 through consultation with young people, government and the youth and settlement sectors. It is designed to equip workers and organisations with the skills and knowledge to effectively meet the needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in the integration/settlement context.
The NYSF is comprised of conceptual and practical tools and resources for applying the Framework to practice in a range of settings-including Self-Assessment Guides for staff teams and organisations. It responds to the specific needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and is informed by Australian and international policies and frameworks, including UNHCR’s Integration Handbook, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and youth work practice.
The NYSF model for supporting successful settlement and integration outcomes for young people involves addressing indicators across four domains of active citizenship, and applying good practice capabilities at the service delivery level.
VIDEO: Life in Australia: Celebrating young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds
Assumptions underpinning the NYSF include:
- Young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds have specific needs in the settlement/integration context that are distinct from adults and younger children, due to their age, developmental stage and the lead role they often play in supporting the settlement/integration of their families.
- They have enormous potential to be active contributors to and participants in their country of resettlement, but need targeted support to access the opportunities to realise this.
- Young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds commonly navigate more complex transitions than their peers in host communities and face a range of barriers to full participation in society.
- A targeted approach in policy and service delivery is required to meet their needs, exercise their rights and capitalise on their strengths.
- Achieving good settlement/integration outcomes for young people is the responsibility of all services (not just those funded to deliver settlement/integration-focused work).
- Achieving good settlement outcomes benefits the whole community. The NYSF understands good youth settlement as active citizenship-where young people are supported to build social capital and agency (across four domains: Social Participation, EconomicParticipation, Civic Participation and Personal Well-being) to become active participants in and contributors to Australian society. Each domain includes a set of indicators of active citizenship.
In addition to these indicators, the NYSF provides Good Practice Capabilities for application in service delivery. When applied across the youth, education, employment and settlement sectors they address the range of barriers young people face in accessing the support and opportunities needed to achieve active citizenship. The NYSF includes tools for applying and assessing the Active Citizenship indicators and Good Practice Capabilities in practice.
To support its application in practice, MYAN has designed and delivered training workshops and webinars on the NYSF across Australia and outside of the country. Training modules are commonly co-delivered with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. To complement the training modules, MYAN developed a series of short videos featuring the voices of young people, sharing their migration experiences and advice to workers/organisations about how best to support young people to successfully build a new life in Australia.
The NYSF is currently being updated, with a revised version scheduled for release in late November 2019
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Getting organisations to recognise the importance and value of investing in workforce development to support good practice.
- Encouraging organisations to recognise the need to implement a targeted approach to best meet the needs of young people in settlement/integration and achieve successful settlement outcomes for young people, their families and communities.
- Ensuring that mainstream (non-settlement/integration) services understand the relevance of the NYSF to their work in engaging and best responding to the needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
How they were overcome
- MYAN continues to promote the NYSF across sectors and offers a range of professional development opportunities (online, one day, 1.5 day, follow-up, refresher and sector-specific workshops) to engage diverse practitioners and policy-makers.
- We are also collecting and promoting case studies/examples of organisations applying the NYSF in practice to illustrate its relevance across sectors and communicate clearly where and how the NYSF is utilised and/or adapted in organisations and staff teams to strengthen policy and programming for refugee and migrant young people.
- To support the release of the revised NYSF in November 2019, we will be producing podcasts as professional development tools (featuring the voices of young people and practitioners sharing concrete examples of the value applying the NYSF in practice) and promoting case studies.
Results of the Good Practice
Since MYAN released the NYSF in 2016, over1200people have participated in NYSF training, webinars and workshops.Participants have worked in the government and non-government sectors, representing health, education, sport and recreation, youth justice, employment and housing organisations - both generalist youth services and those delivering specialist services to refugees and migrants. Feedback from the sector indicates that it is being utilised broadly as an excellent tool for guiding and measuring good practice in youth settlement and integration.The NYSF has also been incorporated into government funding guidelines for settlement/integration programming.