STRONGER TOGETHER: How program helps youth 'Turnabout' their life

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Last updated: 15/11/2021

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on one of IMPACT Community Services programs giving the region's youth an opportunity to better themselves - Xtreme Turnabout.

Without a little bit of guidance and the right resources, even the sturdiest of ships can stray off course.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya OShea IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

And people are no different.

If you don’t have the support, tools, knowledge and understanding of yourself and the world, it can be difficult to see a future that isn’t run aground – particularly if you are young.

Trying to plan for the future can be difficult if you’re constantly in a state of fight or flight for survival or you’ve not felt capable of more.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs captures this theory best.

This concept structures physiological needs as a foundation, followed by safety needs, love and belonging, esteem and then self-actualisation.

Physiological needs include essentials like food, shelter, sleep and clothing; while safety needs incorporate personal security, employment, resources, health and property.

While this theory doesn’t strictly follow a linear pattern for some people, the general principals of needs remain relevant.

This concept also helps guide IMPACT Community Services to achieve the vision of Improving Lives and extend beyond the present to broadening the scope of one’s potential and their future.

The Xtreme Turnabout program at IMPACT works to actualise this vision.

This Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative supports 15-24-year-olds who are engaged with Youth Justice Services or Queensland Corrective Services, or at risk of being engaged.

Facilitated by our Youth Worker, the participants are supported through the entire 12month program which has a holistic approach to stabilising one’s situation and supporting them to get the education and help needed for a chance to prosper in society.

Aligning the program with Maslow’s hierarchy, Xtreme Turnabout prioritises elements of accommodation, safety, food, personal documentation and legal matters before encompassing training for small skills.

Once training starts, this could be via obtaining a white card, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and/or Responsible Gambling Services (RGS) prior to moving on to Certificate II and then potentially Certificate III opportunities.

For some people this was the only opportunity they were going to get to improve themselves and their education.

While the formal education side of the program is essential, Xtreme Turnabout also emphasizes the importance of being creative, being outdoors and engaging in an activity with Xtreme activity days.

This could include a trip to the beach or educational trips to venues like Snakes Downunder.

Some of the people who’ve gone through the program have reportedly stopped offending and are now employed.

Maintaining a judgement free space, this program has given some young people hope and direction for their future as contributing members of society.

For more information about Xtreme Turnabout click here.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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