BCYF is seeking live-in youth mentors

Are you living in the Colac area and want to make a difference in young people’s lives while being able to save money on rent and other living expenses?

BCYF, a leading not-for-profit community service organisation, is seeking live-in youth mentors in the Colac area for its Lead Tenant Program.

Lead Tenants, aged 21 years or over, are able to assist BCYF to support vulnerable young people aged 16-21 in a shared living environment, empowering them to develop their independent living skills with guidance from a positive role model.

Volunteer Lead Tenant Beth understands the importance of assisting young people experiencing hardship, and the difference it can make.

At 16, Beth wasn’t living with either of her parents. Thankfully she found support, and her living arrangements – and her life – improved significantly.

Now 35, Beth is supporting other young people who are not living at home, to transition to independent living in BCYF’s Lead Tenant Program.

Beth, who also works during the day, said being able to provide a safe and caring environment for young people, and mentor them as they transition to independence, had been a hugely rewarding experience.

“While I am not a qualified social worker or trained counsellor, I feel very privileged to be able to play a small part in supporting young people as a volunteer Lead Tenant,” Beth explained.

“If I hadn’t had this support, I may not be sharing my story with you now.”

Lead Tenants work collaboratively with BCYF staff to support the wellbeing of the young person they live with as they transition to independence.

In turn, Lead Tenants receive fully subsidised rent and utilities, access to support, information and training, 24/7 on-call assistance and the opportunity to volunteer within the Community Services Sector.

BCYF Manager Youth Services Mandy Baxter said Lead Tenants were community-minded individuals who want to make a meaningful difference through mentoring and guiding young people within the household.

“It’s an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of young people and the community,” she said.

The position is ideally suited to someone who is interested in, or actively studying in, the Humans Services field, who has an understanding of youth issues, who is able to build strong rapport and communicate effectively with young people and who has a genuine belief in supporting young people.

“Before entering a Lead Tenant property, each young person undergoes a case managed referral and matching process,” Ms Baxter said.

“This ensures that each young person is well-considered and enters an appropriate accommodation model matching their needs.”

Find out more about the Lead Tenant program by contacting BCYF on 5226 8900 or info@bcyf.org.au

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