Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 02, 2017
Last Wednesday, we received a special insight into the work of Tanya Twyford, who is the Coordinator for the YARA (Youth at Risk Alliance), CNAP program (Complex Needs Assessment Panel) supporting vulnerable young people and their families. YARA is under the auspices of Wesley Mission Queensland. The families referred to the program are indeed complex. The range of complexity can be anything from drug misuse, homelessness, physical abuse, involvement in the criminal justice system, mental health issues, disengagement from school, just to name a few. Any professional/organisation in the community sector can make a referral such as Police, Youth Justice, Child Safety, School, Disability Services however families cannot self-refer as CNAP is a co-case management model. "We are the last stop shop" she declared.
Take this example: A youth was referred by YHES House (Youth Health Education Service), a program of Wesley Mission Queensland where young people at risk can turn to in the first instance. He was 13 years old, unkempt, with nothing other than the clothes on his back. He was kicked out of his home following an argument with his step mum. Riding a bicycle, his dad followed him, hit him off the bike, broke the bike, leaving him not only without a home but without any means of transport. The CNAP panel made recommendations of support for the young person and had a serious job
of getting this kid back on the rails, and re-engaging him in school. Yet, organizing another bicycle and a Go Card to him enabled him to develop sustainable independence and ultimately get himself back to school and allow him to make his own way to work was the turning point for this young person. The panel also authorized the purchase groceries in exchange for rent, a school uniform, shoes and a mobile phone so that Tanya could stay in contact with the young person. Ultimately, he reconnected with his biological mother. He joined the local football club, committed to perform at school and - indeed - he succeeded!
YARA provides collaborated, coordinated and integrated case planning for children unborn to 18 years and their families, who are “at risk”  or who have been identified with complex needs, through the  Complex Needs Assessment Panels (CNAP - pronounced 'snap'). "CNAP brings government and community representatives in partnership to provide a coordinated approach when assessing and planning the needs of clients with complex needs" is the official description. In essence: it is in response to the increasing number of young people for whom the existing system cannot provide support. But a person in need cannot expect to simply be accepted: The decision is made by the panel, evidence must be provided that the current system cannot meet the needs. Complex? Well, a staggering 17 organizations, from YARA (see above) to Centrelink to the Qld Police Service are involved.
So where can Surfers Sunrise Rotary be involved? If you go to our website, you will find a recent addition under the Wheelchair segment (top row menu): We are now offering "pre-loved" bicycles to organizations (not individuals) at a very low price!