Good Shepherd Australia NZ

Good Shepherd provides youth work, engagement, re-engagement and parenting services for women, girls and families across Sydney.

Who we are

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand was established to address the critical, contemporary issues facing women, girls and families.

Where we operate

Sydney: City, Inner South, Eastern Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs, Inner South West, Inner West, North Sydney, Hornsby, North Beaches, Outer South West, Outer West, Blue Mountains, Blacktown, Parramatta, Ryde, South West, Sutherland, Baulkham Hills, Hawkesbury

Who we can help

Secondary students

What we do

Our vision is that all women, girls and families are safe, well, strong and connected. We focus on:

  • economic participation and wellbeing - women are enabled to be economically strong
  • safety - women, girls and families live free of violence
  • resilience - women, girls and families are equipped to overcome the challenges they face
  • system change - positive change in laws, policies, financial instruments, social norms and behaviours.

Engagement or Re-engagement Services

Resilience, Independence, Support, Engagement (RISE) is an early intervention program for young people aged 12 to 17 years and their families to address barriers to the young person’s engagement in education. Issues which may lead to disengagement include:

  • mental health, including anxiety, depression and anger
  • history of school refusal/avoidance in primary years
  • exposure to domestic and family violence
  • family breakdown and conflict
  • known history of FaCS involvement
  • previous OOHC placement
  • bullying and peer issues
  • drug and alcohol use in parent or child.

RISE complements established support systems within schools in order to provide further support to better meet student’s needs. Young people accessing the RISE program - whether it is case management or group work - need to meet selection eligibility criteria. RISE is delivered by qualified psychologists, social workers, counsellors in schools or off-site. Our case management work can be delivered in-school or via outreach. The time taken and length of service is dependent on the needs of the student and family. Students are required to consent to engagement.

RISE can help wellbeing staff find appropriate services to meet particular student needs. We also offer group work to students at risk of disengaging. Group work involves up to 10 students from the same year group, once a week for eight weeks. The programs are flexible and adaptable based on needs identified by the school, community and participants. Key issues include emotional literacy and regulation, bullying, mental health, safety, relationships, identity, life after school and self-care.

Costs: Free for schools and families within City of Sydney, Inner West, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Burwood and Strathfield. We are willing to consider fee for service for services outside of funded locations.

Youth Work Services

GSANZ provides two counselling program streams to young people aged 12-17 and their families:

  • adolescent and family counselling
  • sexual assault counselling

The aim of the counselling program is to support and improve the health and wellbeing of young people and their families. We work to alleviate the symptoms of trauma, improve family relationships, improve capacity for self-regulation, develop confidence and support healthy adolescent development. Therapeutic interventions may be provided to an individual student, families or parents independently, or a combination of the above. For example, a student may be case-managed by RISE and also receive counselling services while their parents attend ParentWise. Our services can be delivered at the GSANZ offices in Marrickville or at school. In order to deliver therapeutic interventions at school, our counsellors require access to a safe and quiet location within the school. Issues addressed in counselling include:

  • trauma including sexual assault, family violence
  • safety
  • substance use
  • school refusal and avoidance
  • mental health
  • relationships including peer, intimate, bullying and family
  • adolescent development.

Our counsellors use a strengths-based, trauma-informed, family-inclusive approach which is flexible and responsive to client needs. Our qualified psychologists, social workers and counsellors are experienced in dealing with risk issues and engaging with complex, vulnerable young people and their families. A range of creative strategies are incorporated into sessions to facilitate wellbeing, growth and resilience. The length and frequency are dependent on client need.

Costs: Free for schools and families within City of Sydney, Inner West, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Burwood and Strathfield.

Parenting Programs

The ParentWise parenting program is for parents and carers of young people aged between 12 to 17 years. It aims to support parents as they explore issues such as adolescent brain development, normal adolescent behaviours, parenting styles, dealing with challenges in parenting adolescents, communication, positive discipline, and self-care for parents and carers. This is a two hour program run over six weeks at GSANZ offices in Marrickville or other community locations. The maximum number of participants is 15. ParentWise offers a solid parenting framework, based on strong research in the fields of attachment, relationships and neuroscience.

Costs: Free for schools and families within City of Sydney, Inner West, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Burwood and Strathfield.

Contact details

Kate Steinhauer

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