We provide youth with the assistance they need to live safely and become independent, educated and capable individuals, while recognising the uniqueness of each young person in our care.

How We help?

YPS provides youth accommodation and development services in the areas of crisis & transitional housing, early intervention & prevention, as well as skill development and capacity building. We support youth in acquiring independent living skills and reuniting with family.

Crisis, Transitional Housing and Transitional Housing Plus

Crisis Accommodation

YPS provides two 24/7 Supported crisis accommodation services – 1 in Port Macquarie (PMQ) and 1 in Kempsey (KMC). Both these services have a total of 5 beds available to children/young people aged 13 to 17 years of age.

Crisis accommodation is available to young people for up to 3 months and is targeted at providing safe & affordable crisis responses to young people with high & complex needs and no to limited family/ community support options.

Support is focused on assisting young people to build their independent living skills and access the right support to assist them in a journey to independence or to attempt to reunite young people to family.

Young people are ‘supported’ to access relevant external support agencies, build living skills, attend education and/or training or seek employment. Practical support & Case Management are key elements of YPS’s 24/7’s.

Ngurra Housing Project

YPS purchased “Ngurra” formally known as The Central Caravan Park in Kempsey to transform into housing for Children and Young People (CYP) experiencing homelessness.

Ngurra will be used to provide Temporary Accommodation (TA) and Transitional Accommodation for CYP. This will provided CYP with wrap around supports to build on their independent living skills to move into the private rental market and furthering their involvement in community.

YPS is currently seeking grants and funding to continue with the work at Ngurra. YPS currently has 3 cabins providing TA to CYP.

We will have another 3 cabins ready for use mid-March 2024.

Ngurra will be having a Drop In Centre, Community Gardens, chooks, community laundry and bathroom facilities.

Transitional Housing

YPS currently manages (in partnership with MyFoundations Youth Housing) 4 Transitional Housing properties, 2 in PMQ and 2 in KMC. These properties are managed under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Social Housing Act. The Transitional housing product provides safe & affordable housing, in a share house framework, to young people aged 16 to 25 years.

Young people are required to be engaged in education, training and/or employment & be working to build their independent livings skills & addressing personal issues and barriers.

Lease timeframes for Transitional Housing is 12 to 18 months & exits for young people are generally into the private rental market. All young people housed in Transitional Housing are Case Managed. This work includes working with young people to build their skills in tenancy management, life skills, communication & negotiation, managing share-housing frameworks, education and employment planning and mentoring, responding to personal issues that impact on health & wellbeing and achieving their goals for the future.

Young people general exit Transitional Housing into the private rental market or share housing in the private landlord market.

Transitional Housing Plus

YPS currently manages (in partnership with MyFoundations Youth Housing) and provides Transitional Housing Plus (THP) properties across Port Macquarie and Kempsey LGAs.

These properties are managed under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Social Housing Act. Transitional Housing Plus products provide safe & affordable housing, in a share house framework, to young people aged 16 to 25 years.

Priority target groups for THP are young people leaving the out-of-home care system, Aboriginal young people and young people engaged with the juvenile justice system. Young people are required to be engaged in education, training and/or employment & be working to build their independent livings skills & addressing personal issues and barriers.

Lease timeframes for THP can extend to 5 years & exits for young people are generally into the private rental market. YPS also provides all Tenancy Support services to young people residing in THP properties across the MNC. This work includes working with young people to build their skills in tenancy management, life skills, communication & negotiation, managing share-housing frameworks, education and employment planning and mentoring, responding to personal issues that impact on health & wellbeing & achieving their goals for the future.

Kempsey Youth Accord

YPS works in a partnership agreement with HNSW and Community Housing Ltd (CHL) to implement the Kempsey Youth Accord program. Youth Accord provides additional properties to young people in the Kempsey shire with structured tenancy support a key criteria for the product. Tenancies are available for a 12 to 18 month timeframe.

YPS is currently working with Community Housing Limited (CHL) to increase this Accord to include the Port Macquarie area.

Early Intervention and Prevention

YPS provides early intervention and prevention services to children/young people aged 12 to 25 years

This work is directed at supporting children/young people and families to address family conflict and issues that may lead to family breakdown and homelessness. The majority of work YPS implements in this area is focused on addressing issues of domestic and family violence, implementing family mediation and support and negotiating safety plans and extended family placements for cjildren/ young people if returning to home is not a safe option.

YPS implements community education and awareness strategies to the general community and children/young people within the mainstream education system. This education is related to the pathways into youth homelessness, trauma and children/young people’s experiences, support options available and referral points for services and young people.

Drop-in Program

YPS has a strong focus on early intervention & prevention strategies for children/ young people in our communities. As part of this service response, & through consultation with children/ young people, YPS has developed a Drop-in program that provides a safe & youth friendly space for children/ young people to access. The YPS Drop-in program is available to children/ young people aged 12 to under 18 years in the Kempsey community & is focused on assisting children/ young people to access the right support at the right time. The Drop-in program also provides children/ young people with skill development opportunities, fun activities & a safe place to connect to their peers & the services they may need.

Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP)

YPS is funded to implement the HYAP program across the Port Macquarie/ Hastings and Kempsey/ Macleay LGAs. HYAP is a targeted early intervention, family preservation and crisis response program for children/young people aged 12 to 15 years old experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The HYAP program implements:

  • Crisis accommodation and crisis responses
  • Family mediation and relationship support
  • Advocacy and mediation with Child Protection services
  • Education support, planning & mentoring
  • Living skills development
  • Safety planning
  • Behaviour support

The HYAP program’s primary focus is on family restoration and supporting children/young people to remain in the family unit if it is safe for them to do so.

Tenancy First Aide

Tenancy First Aide is a targeted early intervention project. The project is focused on 2 key target groups:

  • Young people in existing tenancy that are experiencing risk of tenancy breakdown.

  • Private market real estate tenancy managers, social housing providers and private landlords.

Through this soft entry point YPS works with children/young people to address lease issues, risk factors associated with potential eviction and links children/young people to appropriate external support options. YPS provides advocacy and mediation with Tenancy Managers and private landlords to reduce the risk of tenancy breakdown & build more effective communication and engagement strategies with young tenants by housing providers.

YPS’s skill development programs are also part of our early intervention & prevention responses to children/ young people.
Check out Skill development & capacity building to find out more information on what’s available.

Complex responses for complex needs

The majority of young people YPS supports are experiencing
homelessness due to domestic and family violence, child
abuse and family breakdown.

Children/Young people accessing YPS services have generally experienced significant trauma in their lives and have developed survival skills that are perceived as negative and impacting on their health and wellbeing. YPS works with children/young people from a holistic, trauma informed case management model to address the full range of issues and concerns young people are experiencing.

Work within this area is generally related to supporting children/young people to address & manage their experiences of:

  • Physical, psychological/emotional or sexual abuse
  • Mental health issues
  • Alcohol and other drug use, self-medicating behaviours
  • Emotional regulation and tailored coping strategies
  • Complex and challenging behaviours
  • Disability support
  • Self-harm and/or suicidal ideation
  • Disengagement with education pathways
  • Complex family relationships
  • Skill development and personal wellbeing
  • Financial and income support.
Additional service response types

YPS provides the following service types as part of our Case Management framework:

  • Outreach services

  • Advocacy and mediation

  • Referral and community linkages

  • Tenancy management support

  • General counselling

  • Mediation and family relationship support.

  • Education and employment planning, mentoring & support

Other Partnership responses

YPS has multiple partnership programs in place to respond to the complexities young people experience across all life domains that have the potential to impact on young people health & wellbeing. These addition service responses include:

Area Health HARP program to facilitate sexual health clinics at YPS sites and to co-facilitate ‘Silent Stuff’ sexual health program

MNC Primary Health Network- YPS is a provider of the Healthy Minds program funded through the MNC Primary Health Network, with a physiologist working out of YPS sites once per fortnight.

YPS is an approved Work & Development Order provider through State Revenue Office

YPS is an approved Energy Accounts Payment System (EAPA) provider through NSW Government Planning & Environment office.

Local private rental market tenancy managers facilitate sessions in the YPS Reality Rental Tenancy Management program.

Charles Sturt University- Research project related to the correlation between youth homelessness & early exposure to domestic and family violence to build the evidence base.

Skill development and capacity building

YPS provides group work programs that are tailored to build
young people’s independent living skills and personal

  • Reality Rental Program

    A Tenancy Management program to increase young people’s understanding of navigating the housing market, their rights and responsibilities as tenants, engaging with tenancy managers, communication and tenancy management skills. This program incorporates a session facilitated by a local private market Tenancy Manager so young people hear directly what the market is looking for in an applicant.

  • Urban Survival Skills

    A living skills development program that works to build independent living skills across a number of area. The program includes health & nutrition, budgeting, personal hygiene, communication, general household maintenance skills, cyber safety, self-advocacy, sexual safety & healthy relationships.

  • Money Minded

    A financial management program designed to build young people’s understanding of budgeting, managing limited incomes, prioritising spending and strategies to saving.

  • Silent Stuff

    Sexual health program to increase young people’s awareness of risk factors, personal safety, relationships and service options.

  • Positive Action Towards Healing (PATH)

    A trauma related program that supports young people to resolve their experiences of trauma and build more effective coping strategies for life experiences. The program address self-esteem and strengths, emotional cues, trauma and trauma responses, anger and stress management, healthy relationships, communication and resilience building.

  • Systemic Advocacy

    YPS is committed to ensuring regional children/young people’s issues, challenges, barriers and strengths remain firmly on the political agenda. YPS is dedicated to working with local, State and Federal governments, Peaks and other advocacy groups to represent the children/young people we support from a higher-level systems framework.

  • Community Development & Social Inclusion:

    YPS implements yearly community development events and campaigns to provide information related to youth homelessness to community members, schools, other services and young people about youth homelessness in NSW and in our local communities. Our annual events and programs include:

    • Youth Homelessness Matters Day
    • Homeless Persons Week
    • Mental Health Month- Youth Mini Olympics
    • Child Protection Week
    • Lovebites program in partnership with other local services
  • Youth Social Wellbeing Action Group (SWAG):

    YPS Youth SWAG is an advisory group of young people who have lived experience of homelessness across our region and who are focused on building more appropriate social inclusion opportunities for children/young people. YPS provides SWAG members with training in event management, communication and media skills and members are supported under a mentoring structure to work collaboratively with local youth networks to plan and implement youth focused events across the MNC. SWAG is a key conduit for children/young people to the service system & SWAG is regularly consulted regarding program design, delivery, youth engagement and youth participation strategies.

    Making sure children/young people’s voices are heard in program and project development across our services is an important part of ‘getting it right’.Children/young people are the experts in their lives and YPS is committed to respond to the needs and voices of the children/young people we support.

  • That PlaYce Café- Youth Social Enterprise

    YPS implements a youth social enterprise service in the Kempsey area. The That PlaYce Café is a take away business that employs young people who are marginalised and experience multiple barriers to gaining employment on 12 month Traineeships to increase their opportunities for employment in their local community. Young people are supported through employment mentoring and on the job training to increase their employability skills and support their employment goals.

    The MNC has the second highest youth unemployment rate in NSW and barriers to young people obtaining entry level positions are extensive. Any profits made in the social enterprise are put back into the youth community of Kempsey to help build more opportunities and provide options for our local young people.

    YPS also implements the ‘GIFT- Give it forward today’- program at That PLaYce café. Community members purchase food and beverages under the GIFT program and this food is then gifted to young people who are experiencing homelessness and do not have an income or are experiencing financial hardship. This is yet another way YPS supports our community to support our young people. Our community has been incredibly generous with the GIFT program and we thank all our past, current and future GIFTers.

    Visit That PlaYce Café on Facebook

  • Fundraising to support children/young people

    YPS is a Registered Charity and relies on community donations and fund raising to support the work we implement with young people. The majority of donations received are used to purchase essential household goods and equipment, which are provided to young people when they are establishing a new tenancy in the private market or social housing. The majority of young people YPS supports have limited or no financial support from family and rely on fixed income support to live. Income support rates for young people are below the Australian poverty line and amounts to approximately $32 per day to house, feed, cover costs of living, educate, transport, clothe a young person.

Out-of-Home Care Services

YPS has recently achieved Provisional Accreditation to provide Statutory Out-Of-Home Care (OoHC) services. YPS is only accredited to provide Residential Services and Supported Living Programs under this framework. YPS is NOT a Foster Care provider

YPS will be developing our OoHC services over the next few months & new information will be added when available.