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Transcript

"We are all in the same storm,but not the same boat."

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Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency that is having a disproportionate impact on the communities who access our service. Communities who already experience marginalisation and who need support dealing with diverse and damaging impacts across a range of health and wellbeing outcomes.As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, drummond street services, and our amazing staff, are adapting rapidly to meet the changing needs of those accessing our services.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where we work and pay respects to elders past, present and future.

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What is this report?

This is an interactive report.It's designed to minimise the amount you have to read and emphasis the points you want to know.There will be things you can click on to get more information along the way.For example, want to know what this report is all about? Click below before continuing.

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drummond street's Centre for Family Research and Evaluation (CFRE) have developed a COVID-19 evaluation strategy to help better understand and respond to the changing needs of the clients and the communities that we support, in addition to capturing some of the amazing work that is happening across the organisation.This report is the first of many which will help us share back some of the valuable insights that ds staff have shared with us. Thanks to all of you who contributed.

CFRE have developed a COVID-19 evaluation strategy to help better understand and respond to the changing needs of the clients and the communities that we support, in addition to capturing some of the amazing work that is happening across the organisation.As you have probably noticed, the CFRE team have been busy over the last month gathering information from you and your teams in relation to all the issues listed above. This report is the first of many which will help us share back some of the valuable insights that you have shared with us. Thanks to all of you who contributed.

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Let's get started! Click on any of the contents areas to the left to jump to a section.Or follow through the report in order by clicking next.You can return to this page at any time by clicking the contents button in the top right corner.

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Organisation's Reponse

COVID19 Client Impact

Responding to Client Needs

Top Tips For Engaging Young People

Click 'organisation's response' to see a timeline of events and view ds priorities

How is this time impacting clients? Who is at most risk? What are clients' primary needs? How have clients found telehealth?Click to the right to find out.

How has drummond street responded to client need?Click to the right to find out about food drops, brokerage and online supports.

Engaging young people can be difficult in this time! Click to the right to hear from the Youth team about their top tips for engaging young people.

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Moving an entire workforce from the office to working from home within the space of a couple of weeks was no easy task. Our CEO Karen during this time has often exclaimed that, “business continuity planning is useful if one of your sites burns down, but what happens if all of your sites burn down and you have to move your entire workforce offsite?”.Well what happened was a lot consultation, planning and fast moving behind the scenes.

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Click above to see an interactive timeline which documents the key steps and processes that took place during the month of March to facilitate moving everyone offsite.

The Organisation's Response

Timeline

A move which was made possible by all our staff from across the organisation, who very quickly adapted to a new way of working.

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16th

State of Emergency Declared

17th - 18th

High Risk Staff Identified

19th

CEO all staff address

22nd - 23rd

Ensuring ds can work at home

22/03/2020Zoom accounts created for all staffAll staff allocated necessary ds equipment to ensure Working from Home Supported23/03/2020Daily morning and afternoon Town Crier Meetings scheduled for SLGCreation of the Business Continuity (BC) Management TeamWorking from Home Guide and Working from Home OHS Checklist created and sent to all staffds Tips to Stay Connected during COVID-19 Facebook Public Group created

24th - 25th

Reception and workflow changes

Business Continuity Planning- Transition to a home-based workforce

MARCH2020

27th

ds sites close

22/03/2020Zoom accounts created for all staffAll staff allocated necessary ds equipment to ensure Working from Home Supported23/03/2020Daily morning and afternoon Town Crier Meetings scheduled for SLGCreation of the Business Continuity (BC) Management TeamWorking from Home Guide and Working from Home OHS Checklist created and sent to all staffds Tips to Stay Connected during COVID-19 Facebook Public Group created

30th

30/03/2020BCP Management Team meetings twice weeklyTeam catch-ups scheduled across the organisation via Zoom for staff to keep connected and in contact

Ongoing Meetings Organised

20th - 21st

Cease face-to-face counselling

Click on any of the orange circles to find out more about what happened on that date

To Client Impact

To Organisation's Resonse

22/03/2020Zoom accounts created for all staffAll staff allocated necessary ds equipment to ensure Working from Home Supported23/03/2020Daily morning and afternoon Town Crier Meetings scheduled for SLGCreation of the Business Continuity (BC) Management TeamWorking from Home Guide and Working from Home OHS Checklist created and sent to all staffds Tips to Stay Connected during COVID-19 Facebook Public Group created

20/03/2020 All face-to-face counselling sessions ceased from COB.All staff identified in high risk categories set-up and commenced working from home21/03/2020All client work transferred to online/over the phone

16/03/2020State of Emergency declared for Victoria16/03/2020Daily PM Town Crier Meetings scheduled for the Senior Leadership Group (SLG)

19/03/2020 CEO tele-address #1 to all staff to communicate ds response

24/03/2020System changes for Reception Phone calls to be answered via Skype for Business on ds laptops. Successful testing on various computers. CEO tele-address #2 to all staff to communicate ds intention for all staff to commence working from home from 27/03/2020Workflow Management COVID Working Group created25/03/2020Reception staff commenced working from home

17/03/2020Staff census created and distributed to staff to ascertain:High risk staff membersAllocation of ds tools/equipment (i.e. mobile phones/laptops/personal laptops/internet connection at home)Staff identified in high risk categories first staff to work from home18/03/2020Zoom accounts were created for high risk staff due to commence working from home

27/03/2020ds sites closed and all staff commenced working from home and embraced the huge challenges (and loneliness, boredom and/or chaos) that comes with this new way of working

30/03/2020BCP Management Team meetings twice weeklyTeam catch-ups scheduled across the organisation via Zoom for staff to keep connected and in contact

Client Impact

Phase two of business continuity usually looks at resuming ‘business as usual’. There is however nothing ‘usual’ about the current way we are living our lives, supporting our clients, and delivering our services.Part of our stage two response therefore involves identifying risks, finding ways to respond to a changing environment and looking at strategic priorities within this new normal so that we can stay true to ds’ mission, values and Social Justice Framework by responding, in an informed way, to the needs of the community. CFRE have been supporting this process by collecting information from ds staff, which will be used to inform the organisation’s response. Thank you to ds staff for taking the time to share this information with us.

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See what issues arose across drummond street...

To Organisation's Resonse

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ACROSS DRUMMOND STREET

Client Impact

Across all teams at drummond street the key themes and issues that have been arising for clients are shown in the chart right. The larger the area of the chart the more often the issue was mentioned.The most common concerns for individuals resulted from a lack of social connection, stress and anxiety, and financial insecurity. These factors increased mental health distress (including increased worry of the unknown and financial insecurity), financial distress (over loss of work or job prospects), health and safety (such as being immunocompromised or being unable to leave the house), experiencing barriers to accessing services (external services and at drummond street) and experiencing or being at risk of family violence, heightened by being in lockdown under high stress.For further examples of each issue click on the area on the chart.

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How do different areas of ds compare?

To client impact

Parenting ConcernsPressure on parents whilst working from home and facilitating the learning of their childrenParental guilt, conflict, and/or frustrationParents increasing kids’ screen-time resulting in kids being more irritableRefusal for supervised visits with kids or difficulty accessing supervised visitsParents not having access to kids in stepfamilies

Health and SafetyLack of sighting of vulnerable children without schools operatingFears of catching and spreading COVID-19Being immunocompromised or living with someone who isDifficulty and stress of practicing social distancing when living in public housingPeople not leaving their homes for fears of cleanliness or fear of being policedFears of police profiling

Financial DistressJob loss, threatened job loss, anxiety around fear of losing jobDifficulties claiming Centrelink benefitsWorries around managing bills and rentLack of food and basic suppliesNo digital security (access to WIFI or computers)Ineligibility for Job-Keeper/Seeker due to visa restrictionsIncreased internet and phone costs

Social IsolationStruggling with social isolation from peers, family members, community and servicesSocial isolation developing into other areas such as mental health distress, parenting concerns, health and safety issues.

Adult Mental HealthHeightened anxiety and stressIncreased depression around feelings of uncertainty and the unknownLack of support from othersIssues are being compounded by COVID-19

Adolescent Violence in the Home (AVITH)Adolescents can’t alleviate stress by going outdoors and partaking in activitiesFamilies spending more time at home together under stress- no space to de-escalate

Barriers to Service Delivery(access to external services and ds services)Experiencing difficulties using technologyInappropriate to do tasks with everyone at homeUncertainty about how to access supports onlineExternal supports that have ceased operating

Child Mental HealthDifficult to keep everyone happy and entertained at homeYoung people wanting to be socialChildren finding it difficult to understand the situation and why they can’t see family or friends

Drug and AlcoholAOD use as coping mechanisms to increased mental health distressFewer AOD services operating including reduced rehab capacity

Education ConcernsDifficulties and anxiety around facilitating their children’s learning- with parents feeling they have a lack of skills, preparation, technology or supplies, or live in unsuitable working environments (e.g. overcrowded housing)Anxiety around settling kids back into school

Family Relationship IssuesFamily relationships under strain especially in over-crowded housingFamilies spending time in their homes but not togetherStep-families moving in together prematurely, resulting in crisisDisconnection from family

Family ViolenceThreats of family violence from separated partnersHomophobia/transphobia in the homeSocially isolating with abusive familiesFamily violence occurring as people spend more time with each other under stressDifficulties leaving family violence situations and accessing supportsNew abuse tactics are being used

How do themes and trends vary across different programs and areas?

Client Impact

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Northern Region

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WesternRegion

INTAKE

Futures Free from Violence

Living Freefrom Violence

Youth and communities

Ready STeady Family

Redress

Queerspace

Mentoring

Click an area to find out:

All of ds

With examples of each issue

To client specified needs

To ds overall

Client Impact

Clients who have been completing the in-house evaluation have been asked about how COVID-19 has affected their wellbeing using selected questions from the Pandemic Stress Index that was developed by Harkness, A. (2020) from the University of Miami.We have had 61 clients complete the evaluation questionnaire online from end of March to May.

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57%

of clients experienced increased anxiety

of clients experienced frustration or boredom

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1/3

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of clients experienced loneliness

1/3

of clients experienced changes to their regular sleep

1/3

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Client Impact

of clients experienced personal financial loss

31%

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of clients experienced increase in family or relationshipconflict

31%

of clients had increased AOD use

21%

of clients experienced stigma or discrimination due to COVID-19

3%

of clients experienced not having enough basic supplies

3%

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At the point of intake, it is recorded whether COVID-19 was the reason for the person contacting drummond street and how COVID-19 has impacted on the individuals’ presenting needs.

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Client Impact

New Clients

10%

of new clients were contacting drummond street primarily due to COVID19

COVID19 was significantly impacting on the presenting needs of just over half of new clients

To at risk clients

To Client impact

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At Risk Clients

At Risk Financially

The restriction of organisations, business and people has lead to a massive proportion of Australians with financial distress. All teams commonly mentioned individuals or families with restricted visas as being heavily impacted financially.Click below to see what at risk communities commonly were mentioned by teams.

At Risk Socially

At Risk of Not Reaching Supports

Social distancing and isolation measures have placed people at high risk of experiencing social disconnectedness. Teams commonly mentioned people with a lack of digital resources and those with pre-existing mental health conditions as being particularly at risk. Click to see who was commonly mentioned by teams.

Some supports cannot go online or are now difficult to access. Additionally, informal supports from family and friends have been reduced due to social isolation measures. Teams most commonly mentioned those in a caring role as being at risk of being unable to access support. Read more below:

Financial distress, social isolation, the inability to access support, and physical and mental health are impacting people disproportionately. Outlined below are those who have been identified by teams as being at particular risk of experiencing these issues during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Client Impact

Physical/Mental Health at Risk

Both the risk of coronavirus and the measures in place have impacted the health and safety of individuals. Whilst being at risk of financial distress, social isolation and not accessing supports also puts people at greater risk of experiencing mental health distress.

To telehealth

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Clients who are at risk financially:Individuals or families with restricted visasOut of work asylum seekersInternational studentsPublic and private rentersNew arrivals in AustraliaCarers of people with disabilitySingle mothers- particularly those who have experienced family violenceThose who already had limited resourcesLGBTIQ+ and QTPOC young peopleLGBTIQ+ and QTPOC young people living with queerphobic family/housematesClients who are experiencing/have experienced family violenceNew parents

Clients who are at risk of experiencing excessive social isolation:People with lack of digital resourcesNew parentsYoung peoplePeople with low literacyPeople with pre-existing mental health concerns

Clients who are at risk of not being able to access supports:People with disabilityNew parentsNew arrivals in AustraliaFamilies who have children with special needsYoung peoplePeople with anxiety

Clients who are at risk in terms of their physical and or mental health:Immunocompromised individuals and their family membersPublic housing residentsYoung people with histories of being targeted by policeClients with suicidal ideationPeople with limited resourcesInternational studentsSingle mothersNew parentsParents of school aged childrenStepfamiliesClients who are at risk financiallyClients who are at risk sociallyClients who are unable to access supports

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Telehealth

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Moving our services online has created many benefits and disadvantages to clients. For example, although some clients were disadvantaged with a lack of access to technology and WIFI, on the flip side of that, we have also able to reach clients who we previously had difficulty engaging- such as dads in our parenting programs. The venn-diagram below outlines the most commonly identified positives and negatives of utilising telehealth.

What was it like for clients to participate in phone/videocall?

To at risk clients

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Telehealth for Clients

11 clients completed the feedback form at the end of their session from March to May and answered questions about how telehealth was for them. The majority of clients felt their needs were able to be met through phone/video call.While two clients reported having internet connection issues that impeded the session, the majority spoke of the overall benefit of using telehealth with 91% of clients feeling that their needs were able to be met through phone/video call.

Hover your mouse on a "client" to view an anonymous quote about their telehealth experience.

To strengths

To telehealth venn-diagram

“I preferred it and wish that I had known that it was an option years ago as it has cost me time, money, physical energy, and sometimes left me in pain to travel to the physical location.”

“I’ve not used Zoom before so it was a new learning experience for me. Happy to continue using it.”

“At first it was weird, and I found myself more distracted, but once I got used to it I enjoyed the comfort of being in my own space. Especially afterwards, being able to lie down with a blanket and listen to gentle music rather than navigating driving through 40 minutes of traffic - was really good. I felt like I could sit with the feelings more effectively without having to suppress them in order to focus on travelling - then trying to artificially switch them back on again.”

“It was strange being in my own home instead of a clinical space, and because I was at home it was hard to have the privacy I was used to.”

“Not as good as face-to-face, and in every zoom session the screen/audio froze on more than one occasion. But all things considered it was good. Certainly, better than not having any sessions at all.”

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Strengths

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Families Spending More Time Together

Technology Creating Flexibility

Staff Adjustments to New Way of Working

Although there have been numerous difficulties and issues that have arisen for people throughout COVID-19, there were also a number of positive points that were identified by teams.

To responding to client needs

To telehealth for clients

Some families have been spending more time together due to the lockdown measures:Some families have been reporting positive connections with each other after having to spend more time together.Some parents are reporting that they are able to use the time together to reflect more and take in parenting and family tips.For some practitioners being able to deliver services to the family in their home using zoom after hours allows them to know more about their clients and meet members of the family who they were not able to support previously.Clients (and staff) have reported enjoying working from home and spending quality time with family.

Technology has been allowing a greater flexibility for sessions:We are now able to reach hard to get to clients.Increased engagement with fathersIncreased engagement with parenting groupsLots of clients are increasing the frequency of their sessions now to weekly and are help seeking when they need further support. We are now more flexible and able to accommodate this.There are fewer cancellations as appointments become easier to attend.Some practitioners have reported the ability to have greater depth in sessions and a greater frequency of sessions.

Staff have made good adjustments to a new way of working:For some, the collaboration across teams has been easier.High risk clients have been referred to specialist help faster and external services seem to be collaborating more to support clients.There has been an increase in case management allowing practitioners to have more direct and practical contact hours with clients.Evaluation surveys are now done completely online in the client’s own time.

Innovative Responses from Staff

Click to read more

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How have we responded to changing client needs?

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Moving Feast

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Brokerage Funds

Click to read more

Click to read more

To Tips for Engaging young people

To Strengths

How have we responded to changing client needs?

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Moving Feast

Click the phone to see some of the messages we received from clients

Where and how much

In response many client’s basic needs not being met as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched our Moving Feast Project in April to provide food deliveries to vulnerable and disadvantaged clients. Moving Feast, consists of organisations including STREAT, CERES, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering, Fruit2Work, Whittlesea Food Collective and Cultivating Communities pooling resources together to make and distribute pre-cooked frozen meals to Community Organisations.Food options include a range of delicious culturally diverse vegetarian dishes including halal, vegan, lactose and gluten free. In May 2020, drummond street services ordered 1,890 pe-cooked frozen meals to assist a total of 270 people affected by COVID-19 (total of 84 clients and their families/households).

There have been a total of 13 drummond street services staff members who have assisted in delivering these meals to our clients and their family members.Thank you to all that helped with this!Deliveries were conducted using COVID-19 safe principles, with majority of meals dropped at clients’ doors, with clients receiving a text to confirm receipt of their delivery. Where deliveries were made at street level, ds staff exercised social distancing, maintaining a safedistance of 1.5 meters.

How were deliveries made?

To brokerage funds

“thanks very much to drummond street & partners in this community outreach assistance – it’s very commendable”“thank you again, have helped my family and I and we are very appreciative”“Thank you so much. Very nice and kind and thank you for everything”.“Oh wow, thank you so much”“Thank you so much”“Thank you 🙏😊 so much for the meals”

Below is a summary of where food has been distributed to date and the cost:COUNCILHOUSESMOUTHSCOST per dayCOST per weekBanyule128.2057.40Boroondara128.2057.40Brimbank1148Cost covered by Brimbank CouncilDarebin3312.3086.10Hobsons bay2832.80229.60Hume41041.00287.00Kingston114.1028.70Knox114.1028.70Manningham114.1028.70Maribyrnong1312.3086.10Melbourne929118.90832.30Melton2520.50143.50Monash128.2057.40Moonee valley3416.40114.80Moreland1445184.50591.50Port Phillip128.2057.40Stonnington114.1028.70Whittlesea625102.50717.50Wyndham2087356.702,496.90Yarra1239159.901,119.30TOTAL84270$1,107.00$7,749.00

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What and how much

How have we responded to changing client needs?

Brokerage Funds

In addition to the Moving Feast, brokerage funds were spent by staff across the organisation to provide urgent material aid to clients to address a range of needs. Brokerage funds have addressed a wide range of client needs including helping vulnerable clients pay for emergency accommodation or rent, buying IT equipment including iPads, phones and data packs so that people can stay connected online and can engage in services and schooling, and providing food relief to support clients during the month of March while the Moving Feast project was being established. We have also used brokerage to support our clients buy much needed baby care needs, children’s toys and self-care items, including care packs and activity packs.

To staff innovation

To moving feast

The following provides a brief summary of brokerage costs to date:TYPE OF BROKERAGE$ AMOUNTAccommodation / rent 2,306.00IT equipment / software 895.63Food relief 4,624.96Care packs 1,608.81Support - petrol - Support - furniture 2,397.70Data packs 75.00Baby care needs 425.00Self care 1,600.00Children's toys 350.00Utilities - Clothes 160.64Total 14,443.74Staff equipment$ 19,596.35Total$ 34,040.09

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How have we responded to changing client needs?

Innovative ways that staff have responded

In addition to an organisational response, staff from across the organisation are finding ways of responding to the changing needs of our clients, and to our new ways of working. There are a number of examples of innovative practice that have been shared with the CFRE team over the last few weeks. While this small summary in no way captures all the great work that you are doing within your teams, it does highlight some of the creative ways that people are making a difference to their clients.

To brokerage funds

To engaging young people

ReadHere

We hope to share more innovative approaches in upcoming editions of this report, but for now, let’s just pause for a moment and reflect on all of this fabulous work and acknowledge the amazing adaptability and resilience of our workforce.

We think you are all pretty awesome!

Many people shared ways in which they were creatively connecting online. For instance, people established parent chats and zoom sessions to keep parents socially connected and linked into support networks; set up live playdough sessions, cupcake sessions, colouring in activities and Storytime activities for kids; and we even ran baby yoga and baby massage sessions for new parents.The Youth and Communities teams have increased their presence on social media and have set up a range of activities to engage the community including: Movement Mondays, tiktok Tuesdays, live panels on youth focussed issues, Minecraft groups, quizzes, quarantine cooking classes and self-care and have even featured an Artist of the week. Closed groups have been set up on zoom and Instagramas a way of replicating our usual groupwork and keeping young people connected. Some staff have even become YouTube celebrities, after filming a range of videos from their loungerooms in order to keep people connected and to have a bit of fun. This includes videos from our Move It for Kids teamwho have created videos for parents and children to stay active during self-isolation.Staff have also put out a huge range of tip sheets to support each other and to support our clients. Tip sheets and resources have been developed for parents who are looking after children at home including: ‘viral colouring’, ‘scavenger hunt’, ‘play dough’, ‘science fun’as well as advice for co-parentingand explaining COVID-19 to children. Some of these tip sheets have been translated into community languages such as Arabic and Urdu. Resources have also been developed for clients with a disability, including tip sheets on a range of topics including how to understand self-quarantine and coronavirus, and loneliness and isolation for LGBTIQ people with disabilities. Some teams have provided ‘care packs’to their clients.

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Sharing Learnings

Top tips for engaging young people!

A number of teams from across ds have mentioned that they were struggling to find ways of engaging young people in online services, so we asked members of the youth team to tell us their top tips for engaging young people- here is what they had to say:

Provide regular and consistent engagement in less formal waysSpend time learning about what young people are “into” and then send them things they can do that they’ll enjoy that you can then talk aboutStart with a discussion about what they are reading, watching, doing rather than about what they are feelingLearn about youth culture and share this knowledge to start conversations (e.g. social media phenomena that are popular right now like tiktok challenges)Engage in fitness or play games remotely with them as part of your catch up

Send care packs so that you can do joint activities whilst talkingDon’t focus on COVID-19 - they are talking about feeling overwhelmed by discussion on this topicDevelop words with them that gives them an opportunity to discuss things safely (e.g. if they don’t have a supportive home environment for their gender or sexual identity)Find out a good time to talk with them when others are/aren’t necessarily aroundCheck out what their preferred method of communication is- young people often like to SMS

To innovative staff response

Stay safe and take care.