“Each and every participant brings to the program their own unique stories and experiences, so these are naturally woven into the learning, creating opportunities for youth to explore leadership and participation in meaningful ways through strength based activities”
- To empower youth through information, advocacy, and meaningful participation with physical activity.
- To provide intervention and a voice of encouragement.
At PYS our team is committed to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another. Compassion is often regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, though when based on cerebral notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an activity based on sound judgement.
Each generation strives to better themselves, for their own sakes and for the sake of their children. We all make mistakes. We stand by people who accept responsibility for their mistakes and try to put things right. We do not turn our backs on them or judge them, but we don’t make excuses for them either.
We are hospitable, fair, and respectful – to ourselves and others.
Ground Shock is a strength based program that helps youth develop the mindset, skill-set and tool-set to create and see more options in their lives, and to make healthier decisions. The program includes on-going activities and workshops throughout the year to support youth in making a change in their lives.
Peel Youth Services (PYS) receives referrals from Department of Child Protection & Family Services (DCPFS), local high schools, corrective services, care givers and other youth support services. PYS has developed this program which is designed to:
- Bring youth together from diverse settings: to focus on the 3 R’s — responsibility to self and others, respect for self and others, and relationship with self and others.
- Instill powerful tools for real behavioural change at a deep level of the youth psyche. Youth celebrate both the experience of the program and their new experience of self.
- Utilise skilled and compassionate leaders who are experts in a variety of disciplines including leadership, creative problem solving, education, sport, and accelerated learning to serve as mentors.
Our aim is to assist youth in the development of a concrete skill base that orients participants towards personal health, enabling them to be conscious of their actions and make better choices for themselves and their families. We also endeavour to encourage youth to develop their full potential and help them develop his/her vision for the future.
To this end, we offer a wide range of structured experiences designed to: build trust, facilitate honest communication; promote wellness, self-respect, tolerance, and personal insight; develop leadership skills, provide anger management skills (RAGE), explore drug free lifestyles, and provide an intensive opportunity to interact with healthy adult mentors, who serve as active and positive community leaders.
Our program focuses on building competency in the following 3 crucial areas:
- Leadership – personal responsibility
- Mastering emotions and building self-regulation
- Goal setting
Expected key outcomes for participants
- Increase their self-confidence
- Broaden their horizons and raise aspirations
- Improve their academic performance
- Improve their self-management and self-awareness
- Reduce anti-social behaviour
- Education on Family Violence prevention
- Drug education workshops
- Alcohol harm awareness
- Improved anger management skills
“Bottom line – this program is designed to transform lives and learning environments by equipping young people to see more options and make better choices” – Peel Youth Services
For young people clarity and confidence in who they are, where they come from and where they belong, gives them the self-assurance they need to make good decisions about the people they choose to surround themselves with and the choices that will shape their future.
In trying to discover their identity young people will often “try on” different roles at home and school and in social settings, which can take the form of testing boundaries or “acting out” which sadly has led to youth crimes, youth gangs, alcohol and drugs, and violence.
We endeavour to explore the different elements of their identity to help them understand who they are and where they fit in the world.
Lots of people in today’s world are bicultural. Being bicultural means a person has the ability to function in more than one culture – usually the dominant culture of the country they live in now and the culture of their heritage. Being bicultural has been described “as the ability to switch between two worlds”.
In this program youth will explore a part of their culture that is new to them. We encourage them to connect with interested relatives or friends who can teach them about their heritage.
To exemplify this we will promote the significance of being proud of who they are and help them understand family history.
This program runs for a duration of 6-8 weeks depending on the need. It can be offered at on site at Peel Youth Services or taken into the school’s environment.
Download or view a session sample here
PO BOX 117 Mandurah WA 6210 Ph: 9581 3365 Fax: 9583 4568 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TANYA LANGFORD – FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICER SINCE FEB ‘12
Tanya commenced her role as Family Support Officer in Feb ’12 as she was finishing off the last units of her ECU degree ‘Bachelor of Social Science’ – this was a brand new role at PYS.
PYS Family Support is a free service to support and strengthen young people (11 to 25 yrs) and their families in the Peel Region. It provides: family relationship mediation, parenting education, advocacy, referral and linkages to appropriate government and non-government agencies and services needed to address presenting issues or barriers, ie: drug & alcohol abuse, family & domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness, disengagement & social isolation, poverty.
- Identifying and working to overcome barriers that youth and their families face.
- Improving access to a range of resources
- Linkages to education, training, health, recreation, accommodation, Centrelink and more.
- Supporting and education parents of teens
- Improving family relationships
- Advocacy for youth and their families.
” By supporting and strengthening families we can promote positive relationships and pathways to enhance outcomes for our young people”.
Some of my personal family support highlights
- A 14yo girl had run away from home due to abuse from her mother, staying at a friends home.. I advocated for her with C/link & Education Dept to overcome multiple barriers. This girl’s life 2 years on is going fantastic.
- Mother & 2 daughters all with depression, Mum unable to work due to back injury, struggling financially not thinking they could get C/link benefits. I linked them and got all of them on benefits & linked to counselling. Mum is now a R/Estate Mngr and girls are back in edn.
- 3 teen siblings homeless.. all couch surfing at varied friends places. No father in their lives, mum with issues of mental health and drug use. (each child had been in foster cared). I advocated for them to get a rental property together and got many welfare donations to get their house fully furnished.
- I advocated for an Indigenous mother and son who had experienced horrific D.V. – son was getting into drugs and crime. Mother wanted to return to NSW to be re-united and supported by her Koori family. I raised funds to get their airfares to be able to relocate.
Tanya’s work to highlight the issue of ‘Youth Violence in the Home’ (YVITH)
Early in my role as Family support officer I identified that many of the mum’s I was working with were struggling with abuse, property damage and violence from their teens – and in conjunction with this – that many of these teens were disengaged from school and in many cases not leaving the home to mix with peers or the community.
I quickly realized the serious ‘Gap’ in WA for effectual responses and interventions. In 2015 I released the research report ‘Youth in the Peel Region who are violent in the home and/or severely disengaged’, and have done extensive networking interstate and nationally to establish a knowledge base of others working in this field and best models of practice.
In March 2016 I organized WA’s first professional training on responding to YVITH and brought the Aust. expert ‘Jo Howard’ over to facilitate and to share her experience and knowledge of providing the program ‘Step Up’ which tackles the issue of YVITH.
Since then I successfully received funding grants from the City of Mandurah and Bendigo Bank to allow Peel Youth Service to provide the ‘Step Up’ program, being one of only 2 organizations in the whole of WA to do so.
In recognition of our contributions in this field – PYS were invited to be one of only 2 WA organizations to partner in the National research project ‘PIPA’: Positive Interventions for the Perpetrators of Adolescent Violence in the Home, being conducted by RMIT University Victoria – this research team will be in WA in the week of Oct 9 – 13th and I have been invited to be a panel member at a Forum that will be held at ECU Mt. Lawley on Wed. 11th to discuss this project and provide community awareness of this issue.
In 2016 I was awarded the ‘City of Mandurah – Perth Convention Bureau Aspire Scholarship’ for the work I have done in WA in this field, and have been fortunate to have attended a conference as part of this award and hope through my collaborations to be part of a team organizing a conference here in WA that features the issue of YVITH.
(NOTE: We are currently taking Referrals for the Term 4 Step-Up Program- pls contact our office if you would like to discuss)
Local MP Andrew Hastie, David Templeman MLA, Telethon researcher Megan Ansell, and representatives from schools and support organisations gathered at Lotteries House Mandurah to celebrate the launch of the Peel Alliance Interventions for Teen Anger and Violence (PAITAV) on Thursday.
The alliance gathers local organisations, government entities and NGOs under the same banner to team up in the fight against youth violence and abuse in the Peel region.
The initiative was first drafted by local youth violence expert and Peel Youth Services worker Tanya Langford in an attempt to raise awareness about the issue and the solutions at reach within Western Australia.
PEEL YOUTH BUSH WALKS AND ADVENTURES
Recognizing the value to our young people of spending time in nature, in 2016 I applied for funding through Shire of Murray, Murray Mayday and Pinjarra Junction shopping centre grants,- and was able to commence this project. Every 2nd Sunday a group of youth and their families are provided the experience of being taken to the beautiful Dwellingup forest for a bush-walk. Since then we have also incorporated fishing adventures/kayaking and estuary walks and are planning some camp-outs.
(Please see our facebook page: Peel Youth Bush Walks and Adventures )
Youth Violence in the Home – A mums story
DISOWNING a child when they become violent and disengaged is the only option some Mandurah parents feel they have. Mrs X lives day by day hoping her 14-year-old daughter never returns to the crime-riddled, drug-fuelled life she once had. Mrs X said many parents in the region felt they had to disown their child before they could get any help for them. “There is no support,” she said. Two years ago Mrs X answered the phone to a woman who told her to check her 12-year-old’s bed. “This was the first time my daughter ran away to the drug house,” she said. “I’ve had police help me get her out but sometimes it could be up to six weeks before I’d see her again.”
In 2015 Mrs X said her daughter became involved in multiple crime sprees which involved stealing and burning out vehicles from Mandurah to Esperance. “She and others were breaking into homes when people were sleeping in their beds and stealing keys,” she said. “When she would show up at the house I would tell her to hand herself in to the police.
“She was violent towards me; I was on stress leave from work and taking medication to cope with it. “I loved my daughter but didn’t know what to do.” Ms Robinson said the response from the justice system towards her daughter’s crimes was a vicious cycle and one that didn’t help. “Peel Youth Services were the only ones who were helpful in the whole process,” she said. “She now has more than 30 criminal charges and has spent three months in custody. “I hope we have seen the worst of it.’
Peel Youth Services family support Officer Tanya Langford said others who worked in this sector agreed something needed to be done to enhance responses to youth violence in the home. With the issue growing she said no intervention programs in Western Australia specifically targeted youth violence in the home.
“Peel Youth Services has applied for funding to provide the Step Up program which is running in Victoria and South Australia,” she said.
Ms Langford said the justice system response needed to be enhanced.
Dianne’s Story’: A Testimonial from a mother
My name is Dianne and my son Michael and I have been going through this terrible situation for the past 5 years. In the beginning, there were terrible occurrences of bullying – the most severe being a group of older boys attacking my son at school with baseball bats when he was at the tender age of 7 years old. My son was always the quiet, reserved type of child, always studious and gentle natured and a target for bullies. He was picked on relentlessly for being quiet by both students and teachers. Schools would simply dismiss the events and tell me that boys will be boys and that he needed to “suck it up and toughen up”. Being cornered and attacked by a group of boys in the school yard is NOT normal and is NOT something that should be dismissed. Relentless is the only word to best describe the years of bullying at different schools – and it has changed our lives forever…
In the past 5 years, he has gone from attending school every day, to only 2 weeks this current year. Last year was about 15%, the year before 40% and so forth as you go back the last 5 years.
My once quiet and good natured boy has turned into a violent, extremely disobedient, spiteful and terrifying young man. He has destroyed property within my home, damaged my car, is repeatedly violent to me – breaking my arm on one occasion – and is essentially my 12 year old abusive husband. He constantly abuses me and yet makes calls to the police accusing me of abusing him, laughing as he hangs up and threatens me saying he knows all he has to do is lie and I go to jail. This did result in DCP investigating me this year for Child Abuse! Just last month he self- harmed and then rang my mother to ‘Rescue Him’. I cannot even begin to describe the degree of manipulation and terrifying environment I live in every single day.
We have had years of intervention with doctors, psychologists and therapy services, such as DCP, Kids Psychology, MST for 6 months, Police, Down South Therapy, CAMMS assessment, school psychologists, counsellors and Peel Youth Services (who is our current help), I have tried every suggestion but nothing has worked!. My son ignores the therapist or psychologist and refuses to participate – which means people simply give up on us. The Peel Youth Services Family Worker has been fantastic in understanding this predicament and has tried with the school and other linkages to get help. Unfortunately there are very limited services and help available to assist us in this nightmare of a situation that we are living. Won’t someone please help us?!!!! Please….
I have had to give up work to become a full time carer as my son does not like to leave the house and does not attend school regularly enough for me to maintain employment. Our financial situation is dire to say the least and we struggle day to day to make ends meet. I cannot leave the house which makes us both essentially prisoners in these four walls. We cannot keep going like this, life is slipping away and we are rotting away here in this home…Michael is now 12 years old and if things keep going as they are, I fear so much for his future. I fear that with no schooling and no socialization, he will never be able to find employment or become a decent, contributing member of society. He will become one of those drop out, forgotten individuals with failure in their future – which is a tragedy considering he is highly intelligent and a gifted computer programmer. I fear for my future too… I cannot continue to support him into his 20’s and 30’s but where can he go and what can he do with a future looking so bleak. What would happen, heaven forbid if I die and he is left alone to fend for himself? I cannot accept this kind of life is going to be for the rest of our lives…
The focus for Eyes Wide Open is to assist young mothers to be resilient and strong women. To accept their role as a parent and to honour themselves as beautiful young women. Many of the topics covered within the programs are based on self-esteem, positive relationships, strengths building, parenting, child development and coping mechanisms. External specialist and professionals are also engaged in the fields of health, recreation, nutrition and wellbeing, to share their knowledge, wisdom and expertise.
In the past year we have been able to expand this project to now honour the young fathers in our community. A family night is held once a month and also a dad’s only night every fortnight. These are exciting times as the Eyes Wide Open project has been running for more than 15 years and we have always found it very difficult to engage with the dads, so we celebrate this new achievement and welcome all new young families.
The Eyes Wide Open Project is internationally acknowledged as a best practice community health provider. In 2007 a case study on Eyes Wide Open was released in ‘Community Health and Wellness a Socio-Ecological Approach’, author Professor Anne McMurray. This book is listed nationally as a required resource for nursing students throughout Australia. In 2013 Dr Gabrielle Brand released her research on Eyes Wide Open, titled “You Don’t Know Half the Story”, Deepening the Dialogue with Young Mothers. Gabrielle’s research has been presented at national youth health conferences, national child health nurses conferences and midwifery seminars. It is internationally journaled under community health.
The project offers support pathways for young pregnant women, through their pregnancy and then into parenthood. It also offers an alternative education program so young mothers can complete their schooling to a Year 12 level. Each program and activity offered are designed utilising information received during the initial home visit with the young women and their partners. It is a true community development model based on creating supports from the needs of those who need it.
Programs offered are
- Life after Birth (Parenting)
- Outreach mentoring
- Home visits
- Hospital visits
- Alternative education
- Family nights
- Young Dad’s Group
- Family support worker
The success of many of these programs has been due to having a fully operational crèche on site. This has enabled young mother’s the time to really engage in learning new skills, information and knowledge on parenting and child development.
Each new young woman is initially met with workers who do a home visit. This is the beginning of the relationship with the aim to break down anxieties and barriers they may be facing due to the stigma of being a young mother. Transport is offered to the programs, which shows how EWO values each individual and to lets them know they are not isolated. These two strategies alone are vital to the success of the program. Many young women feel very isolated and fearful of attending a group, especially if they are connected to some of the mandatory departments.
Programs are fun, engaging and use open style learning. Meals are provided as they assist in the promotion of healthy family values.
This project has an open door policy so all young mothers and fathers can return if they feel the need to do so.
The philosophy behind this project is mirrored within our organisation by all workers and volunteers. Meals are a time for gathering and sharing of stories. Those workers who have young children also bring them to work and they go into the Crèche while their parent works on site. When we have a multitude of programs on site, they all come together at meal times and share the space respectfully. It is lovely to see young men attending a program on site, come up to a young mother and offer to hold her child so she can sit and have lunch. That understanding shared between individuals is magic.
While I was approximately 10 weeks pregnant, I received a text from a friend letting me know there was a pregnancy group I could attend each week. My family and I thought this would be a great idea for knowledge and support. I was struggling, at the time, with the challenges of having a mental illness while coming to terms with becoming a 1st time mum and all the horrible symptoms of early pregnancy. While attending this group each week my husband, mother and I noticed positive changes in my communication and attitude towards life & my pregnancy. The social interaction, on-going support and education I gain from being apart of the Eyes Wide Open programs each semester are invaluable. I was able to feel more confident, healthy & positive during my pregnancy. I was able to educate and connect more with my husband during this process and now feel very calm and prepared as a new mum. I will forever be grateful for being a part of the Eyes Wide Open Family
Hi My Name is Emma, I grew up in a rather big family so there was no questions that I was going to have children of my own! I moved too Mandurah with my mum and lived there for a while…leaving all my friends behind. Soon met my partner and we got together…5 months into our relationship at age 20 and 23, I found out we were having a baby…wasn’t planned but wasn’t prevented, yes we were scared as hell and nervous but who isn’t?! We were also really excited for the future…30+ weeks my Obstetrics mentioned “Eyes Wide Open Program”. At first I didn’t want to go but I gained the courage and when bubs was 2 weeks old I decided to go. I was scared being so young but I couldn’t think of a better support group. I have learnt and gained so much and the staff are wonderful! Highly recommend this program too anyone
Well, it all started when I dropped out if mainstream school at 16 with 2 little boys that called me mummy…The education department linked me with Eyes Wide Open to finish my schooling and it was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family I got to take my kids to peel youth services with me to complete my schooling also one of the ladies in the office helped me follow my dreams to do a course that I always wanted to do and helped me get enrolled supported me through the whole thing and I completed my cert 3 and my schooling at the same time if it wasn’t for programs like this I don’t think I would b were I am today. . . .
Also the mothers group and the crèche workers are amazing!! And offer so much support when I didn’t have it outside of the program always there if I needed to talk and they would listen (as long as they weren’t busy of course ). . . The mothers group help me become more comfortable in myself made me believe in myself wen I never could before and made me who I am, I had a lot of fun times here memories I’ll never forget….. I am very thankful for all the times I got to spend here either if it was doing school work or mothers group. . . At first I was this shy girl wanting to meet new people but was too scared and shy to do so but I got made feel comfortable and accepted from the first day I arrived. . . . I have made friendships that will last a life time. . . Thank you to all those that helped me in the right direction and support me through a lot. . Again I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for you guys
From Jess P.
Eyes Wide Open is the best place/environment ever invented!! I would be so lost and confused in life without it. All the staff at Eyes Wide Open are all so welcoming, friendly and always offer to help with anything and give the best advice ever.
I first attended EWO when I fell pregnant at the age of 17. They have taught & supported me through all kinds of things about being a parent. Areas from bathing, soothing, sleeping, breastfeeding, behaviour, eating and if I had any questions on random things.
EWO has helped and supported Kaiden (my son) and I right from the beginning and still continue to do so. I am now a Peer Educator with the EWO program and am able to help other new young Mums coming through the program the way I was helped.