A World For, By And With Young People.
The Youth Coalition receives funding from the ACT Government Community Services Directorate (CSD) as a peak organisation
“A peak body is a representative non-government organisation, the primary purpose of which is to provide membership engagement and support, coordination, advocacy and representation, information dissemination services, relevant research, policy and sector development services for the Represented Group and other interested parties.
Represented Group is defined as: a) the relevant community cohort/s and/ or b) industry stakeholders that are members, or are eligible to be members, of the peak body.”
The Youth Coalition’s ‘Represented Group’ is young people and those who work with young people.
If there is a perceived conflict between representing industry stakeholders and young people, we prioritise young people – as young people are the key clients of the youth services.
Activities & Strategic Priorities
The Youth Co undertakes a wide range of activities and projects to achieve its vision and strategic priorities.
Many activities address several of the existing strategic priorities. One activity may address numerous or all of the strategic priorities.
- Sector development
- Research and Evaluation
- Young People
How we work
Systemic advocacy is at the core of our approach – our efforts to persuade governments and others to change their policy and practice has a great impact and benefits many young people
Advocacy is a set of organised activities designed to influence the policies and actions of others to achieve positive change.
There are many types and levels of advocacy, and the approach used has to vary in each context. Accordingly, we advocate on different levels:
- macro: to gain policy commitments at the level of government
- meso: influencing sector and organisational policy content and implementation, and
- micro: influencing the content and implementation of programs, services and the community
Proactive and Reactive Advocacy
Youth affairs includes a diverse range of issues and domains that impact and shape the lives of this heterogenous cohort.
As a peak body with limited resources we need to be able to respond to issues and opportunities that emerge as well as have advocacy goals that are lead by the Youth Coalition.
The Youth Coalition has developed a decision making and planning framework to assist in deciding what issues we prioritise and assist us to in the development of the advocacy strategy and plan.
Advocacy Decision Making & Planning Framework
What is the problem: perceived and actual?
What does the available evidence, data and knowledge tell us?
Do we need more information?
What is the solution(s)?
Does it align with our strategic plan?
Is it our issue?
The general activities of the Youth Coalition fall under four key themes: policy; sector development; advocacy and representation; and, projects that respond to ongoing and current issues.
A key role of the Youth Coalition is the development and analysis of ACT social policy and program decisions that affect young people and youth services. The Youth Coalition facilitates the development of strong linkages and promotes collaboration between the community, government and private sectors to achieve better outcomes for young people in the ACT.
We actively promote the well being and aspirations of young people in the ACT with particular respect to their social, political, cultural, spiritual, economic and educational development.
Representation and Engagement
Meaningfully engage young people, the youth sector and the broader community to guide and inform our work.
Policy and Advocacy
Influence policy, culture, and society to improve outcomes for young people
Strengthen the capacity and capability of the community to respond to the needs of young people.
Research and Evaluation
Drive and leverage research and evaluation to support, inform,
and contribute to policy and practice affecting young people.
WHAT IS A PEAK BODY
Peak bodies are representative organisations that exist in order to coordinate, support and advocate for their membership and constituents. While community sector-based peak bodies work within varied models of practice, the role of peak bodies is broadly defined as representing the needs of a particular target group, which may include a client group or service provider group.
There are a range of youth peak bodies in Australia. Without the youth peak bodies, young people would be left with no formal voice on important issues and youth services would be left without any funded body to organise networking, professional development and disseminate information across all youth services.
Membership of the ACT Peaks Forum, facilitated by the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), includes peak bodies that devote the majority of their resources towards Policy Development and Advocacy, Sector Development, and Membership. Each of these activities are further outlined by the ACT Peaks Forum:
- Policy Development and Advocacy: The organisations have a substantial role in systemic analysis of ACT Government policy in their areas based on sound research and credible evidence, and seek to communicate those ideas to government, the sector and the broader community.
- Sector Development: The organisations seek to empower community organisations to improve and develop their services and ensure that they provide appropriate services to their users.
- Membership: The organisations are democratic and have strong links with members who they represent.