Danielle is a Social Worker and Dan is a Community Engagement Officer. They both work for the Department of Human Services, making sure young people in their community don’t slip through the cracks.
As Youth Week is celebrated across Australia from 6 to 22 April, it’s a great opportunity to recognise the contributions of young people and celebrate the achievements of people who work with them, just like Danielle and Dan.
“For some young people, gaining access to government services can be very difficult,” Danielle said. “Unless they have an adult to help them navigate the system, they can feel intimidated.
“This is because they often don’t have the resources or life experiences to understand government services, what they are entitled to, and how to interact and navigate such systems on their own.”
Dan also knows how difficult it can be for young people to get the support they need.
“Having been part of the Community Engagement Officer program for the past three years, I have learnt about the challenging environments young people are faced with, both in gaining access to supports and managing their day-to-day lives,” Dan said.
“Every young person has their own unique story and having the time to listen has assisted me in guiding the young person in gaining access to the Department of Human Services’ payments and services and community supports that are tailored to their needs.”
A big part of Danielle’s job involves outreach and she believe these services are really important for vulnerable young people.
“Through the outreach service we’ve had the privilege of helping many vulnerable and homeless young people to stabilise their lives through gaining access to income support,” Danielle said.
“It gives me great job satisfaction to assist an amazing young person surviving day to day, to be able to move from a crisis survival mode to one where they feel empowered to have control over their future.”