BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
In 1978 George Davies, Youth Consultant of the Uniting Church and Maureen Munro, Youth Officer with the Anglican Church, convened a meeting to discuss the youth of the inner city. From this meeting a strong interest was expressed by inner city church bodies and other groups to set up a working party and carry out research into the issues existing for young people. The result of this research was to set up a collective of agencies to provide detached work for inner city youth. Hence in 1980, PICYS was born, and consisted of nineteen community agencies, four of which belonged to the Uniting Church. An initial program of PICYS was the “Cave” a drop-in-Centre for young people that would eventually evolve into a space for indigenous young people.
Prior to the development of PICYS, the idea of a “Household Network” had already began in Scarborough, where volunteers from the Uniting Church had offered a spare bedroom in their homes for those young people most in need. The young people were often involved in street crime, illicit drug use, prostitution etc and would not have stable or appropriate accommodation. Eventually a recognition of the value of the Household Network and the need for extra support, led to an application in 1982 to the Homeless Persons Assistance Program for funding to provide back up support for the volunteers. The feedback received was that funding for support staff would need to be accompanied by a house. Furthermore, this “model” of working would require an agency to host it. PICYS was requested to be this agency and the Household Network program of PICYS was born. By 1986, PICYS was providing independent accommodation in a number of shared houses for males and females aged 16 to 25 years.
Perth Inner City Youth Service (PICYS) has a history that is hallmarked by collaborative efforts between groups and individuals, the creation and implementation of ideas, the participation of young people, and the contribution made by people and organisations volunteering their time, to care for young people. This rich history of the interaction of people and ideas, and the development of relationships, can be seen embodied in the PICYS service as it exists today.
The primary client group includes young people aged 16 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of being homeless and who wish to access support. The agency accepts people regardless of race, culture, religion, disability, family composition, sexuality or gender diversity. The service also works with young people’s partners, children and family. As PICYS offers flexibility within service provision, clients outside the age range will be considered. PICYS also offers an open-ended service, which means clients may access the service for as long as they choose. Therefore, some clients might be outside the age range stated above.
Historically PICYS has worked with “hard to reach” clients. These are often the clients that have not been accepted by other services, as they are deemed too difficult to manage. PICYS therefore targets young people who have long histories of homelessness, who will require ongoing support over the long-term, and who have a number of presenting, complex issues such as mental health, drug use, criminal behaviour, prostitution, and young people with diverse sexuality and/or gender.
Perth Inner City Youth Services Inc. was established and incorporated in 1982.
“PICYS is committed to working with young people in a non-judgmental and holistic way that fosters a belief in empowerment, integrity and collaboration, and which provides a safe and secure environment”
- Youth work is a practice that places young people and their interests first.
- Youth work is a relational practice, where the youth worker operates alongside the young person
- Youth work is an empowering practice that advocates for and facilitates a young person’s independence, participation in society, connectedness and realisation of their rights.
PICYS staff work under the WA Association of Youth workers Code of Conduct.
The Objects of Perth Inner City Youth Services Inc. Association as taken from our Constitution are:
To provide services for young people this may include any of the following:
A service for contacting young people in places and at times they frequently attend and gather.
- Appropriate supporting services, with special emphasis on:
- personal referral to existing services.
- being catalysts for development of new services where none exist.
- the individual in the context of wider total environment (for example family/home situations).
Such facilities and/or services whereby young people may attend or gather as the Council may from time to time deem appropriate.
- Such accommodation for young people, as the Council may from time to time deem appropriate.
These objects of the Association shall also involve and/or in addition include, where appropriate (and without limitation), the following:
- Identifying areas where preventative programs need to be applied and facilitating such action as is required.
- Acting as a bridge between youth and available resources and services within the community.
- Working in harmony with other agencies and organisations whose objects are compatible.
- Promoting and facilitating research into the needs and lifestyles of young people, with special emphasis on those young people contacted in services.
- Providing opportunities for social work and youth work students, and other persons interested in working for the objectives of the Association as a learning experience.
- Advising government and bureaucracy on youth needs.
- Educating the wider community on appropriate youth issues.
- Borrowing and raising money for any of the objects and purposes of the Association, with or without security, in such manner as the Council thinks fit and applying funding, collecting funds and accepting donations or bequests to further attain the objects and purposes of the Association.
- Doing all such acts as are conductive to the furtherance of the above objectives.
“Our vision for young people is that they will have the opportunity to make positive choices in their lives and realise their own potential”.
PICYS believes in:
Respectful of all young people and their individual differences
Empowerment of young people about their own lives
Responsiveness of service provision
Person-centred services for young people, inclusive of their families, partners, friends, and environment
Equity of access to services on a non-discriminatory basis
Collaboration with young people and the community
Care and commitment for environment and environmentally sensitive living