Youth Off The Streets in Cordeaux Heights

In December 2010, Youth Off The Streets purchased a portion of land in Cordeaux Heights that was previously a property of NSW Government's Juvenile Justice Department.

Youth Off The Streets purchased 92 Staff Road, Cordeaux Heights and has since received approval for an application for funding from the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport to refurbish the property into an education facility with ancillary residential buildings.

UPDATE MARCH 2013

Youth Off The Streets at Cordeaux Heights

The refurbishment of the old Keelong Juvenile Justice Centre, involving the demolition and removal of inner structures, has been completed. The site has been transformed by Youth Off The Streets into the Cordeaux Heights Centre for Youth. The Centre has co-located residential and educational programs and will work with other local area service providers to facilitate a range of opportunities and services for disadvantaged young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The Centre was officially opened on 22 March 2013. The school commenced for Term 1 in February 2013.

What are the main services that are provided in Cordeaux Heights?

The Centre provides a safe and engaging environment for young people who reside in the Barbara Holborow Bail Accommodation Service or the Aboriginal Residential Care Services program and/or may attend Craig Davis College, a registered and accredited high school. The programs work under a model of social inclusion that is supported by the Circle of Courage™ framework and restorative practices.  This means all programs and services work cohesively and collaboratively to ensure that all young people using the Centre have access to education and training, opportunities to develop practical living skills and work skills, connect with people, use local services and participate in local, cultural, civic and recreational activities and to have a voice to influence decisions about their lives.  Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging within the Centre, create opportunities for young people to develop mastery over their own lives, work towards independence and build on pro-social behaviours through a spirit of generosity.

Some of the young people residing at the Centre may attend Craig Davis College, or they may access an alternate learning program.  All young people at the Centre may participate in Centre-based activities, such as workshops, training opportunities, performances or sporting activities.  All services share the use of a sports field, basketball, tennis and volley ball courts and a swimming pool.  All young people at the Centre have access to cultural support and learning.

Residential Services

An extension of our culturally driven residential program for young people aged 12 – 17 years is located at Cordeaux Heights. The young Aboriginal males are referred from the Department of Family and Community Services into Aboriginal Residential Care Services in the Southern Highlands where, in partnership with Traditional Aboriginal Elders, Community Elders, Aboriginal service providers and Aboriginal community members, they work to be restored back to their families/kinship and community. The goal of the program is to build the self resilience and self confidence of young people, and create a strong sense of pride in their cultural identity and heritage.

When these young men are ready to focus on the skills necessary to actively seek employment and engage in programs that enable them to access and enrol in further education courses, they will move to the Cordeaux Heights Centre for Youth where they will have greater access to community services in the Illawarra area. The program has a clear focus on semi-independence, working towards full independence.

The other residential program that is offered at Cordeaux Heights is the Barbara Holborow Bail Accommodation Service. The late Barbara Holborow’s legacy is her work with young people in the juvenile justice system. Barbara believed that resources should be placed around young people when they first offend to divert them from entering juvenile detention centres. The young people residing at the Barbara Holborow Bail Accommodation Service are supported and supervised by qualified and experienced, paid staff on a 24/7 roster system.  Additional support is provided by a strong volunteer base. There is a flexible, yet structured, program providing a range of activities within the Centre and the community.  It is hoped that young people will participate in the program as the range of activities are enjoyable as well as educational to the target group. The Barbara Holborow Bail accommodation Service will operate with a five bedroom unit to accommodate four young people, with a future opportunity to open a second unit within the Centre.  There may be a weekly turnover of young people.  The program has been designed for rapid intake and variable timeframes for clients.

Educational Facility—Craig Davis College

The school at Cordeaux Heights is Craig Davis College, and it works in collaboration with our other four schools, delivering a holistic approach to learning and teaching that considers the needs of each student, helping them to develop resiliency and life skills. The well structured, highly integrated and engaging curriculum will aim to empower young people with educational strategies and pro-social skills so that they can make informed decisions about positive change. Students will be eligible to receive a ROSA (Record Of School Achievement, issued to students who have completed Year 10 to Year 11 and who plan to leave school prior to gaining anHSC) or an HSC upon successful completion of Year 12.

Students in Year 10 and Year 11 who, due to a variety of reasons, are unable to attend mainstream schools, are welcome to apply for a place at Craig Davis College in 2013. We offer a very flexible program during the school day with a greater emphasis on Individual Learning Plans.

The school commenced for Term 1 in February 2013 and is offering 12 places, but is always flexible and open to need. For enquiries, contact Trish House on 02 4223 7555 between 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday, or email patriciah@youthoffthestreets.com.au.

Commitment to the Local Area

As an agency, Youth Off The Streets is contributing towards havin a positive social impact on local communities.  At the Centre, we aim to achieve this by building social capital, being considerate of community wellbeing, public values and providing opportunities for young people to learn to engage positively within the community.  All of our services are geared towards the value of social networks, getting along with each other, bridging the gaps of differences and diversity and being mindful about how we interact with each other.  We anticipate the young people here will feel empowered to make some valuable contributions to their local communities through a variety of service learning projects and community service opportunities.

For more information about our schools visit www.youthoffthestreets.com.au.

For any questions regarding the Cordeaux Heights Centre for Youth:

Suzi Kenney, Cluster Manager

Ph: (02) 4223 7501 Email: suzik@youthoffthestreets.com.au