The Virtual Youth Team Project is the result of years of discussion around collectively achieving better outcomes for excluded and disadvantaged rangatahi. The Rotorua Working Together Forum (RWTF) has identified that an important lever of change to improve youth outcomes is a robust rangatahi-centric system facilitated through a partnership model. RWTF partners (list available on request) have endorsed this project.

With help from the Vodafone Foundation and the Working Together More Fund, this project will enable customisation of an innovative IT digital platform for connecting and exchanging information between a young person and the agencies and community organisations that are supporting them to achieve their positive goals.  This platform will provide efficient, effective and coordinated support for disengaged youth, responding to needs created through inequity, low socio-economic status, poor or interrupted education and other areas of social deprivation. The platform will provide ‘real-time’ communication across service providers, fully transparent to young people.

Benefits

  • Rangatahi being in the driver’s seat.
  • Ability to develop a ‘multi-agency plan’ with clear goals and objectives to meet the needs of rangatahi.
  • Improves the overall focus of multiple support agencies and organisations towards positive pathways for rangatahi.
  • With greater awareness of a rangatahi’s needs and the resources they are accessing, and by using an ‘alert’ system to identify early variations from a plan, rangatahi can be supported more effectively and responsively.
  • Avoids the need for rangatahi to repeat their story multiple times to multiple services.
  • Provides a digital mechanism for building trust between rangatahi and support agencies through transparency of information and reducing the frustrations experienced by rangatahi when they don’t know what various agencies are saying about them.
  • Reduces or eliminates obstacles that hinder the success of wrap-around services for disengaged rangatahi e.g. transport, information accessibility, keeping appointments, ensuring the right suite of services are available and ensure a timely response to an individual’s circumstances.
  • Improves communication, increases efficiency and reduces duplication for and between agencies and organisations.

Pilot Project Description

The Virtual Youth Team pilot project will utilise a state of the art IT platform to co-ordinate wrap-around support for young people disengaging from education. Key partners will be identified and an attempt will be made to engage 20-30 rangatahi in the project who have the potential to be or are already engaged in multiple services during March and April 2019.

The tool will provide a means to collectively deliver a support plan for rangatahi and provide partnering practitioners a portal for viewing the progress, successes and obstacles in achieving the plan.

An evaluation process will determine the success and the potential for scale-up of the project.