School Focused Youth Services

How can SFYS assist your school in supporting those students (and their families) who are most at risk of disengaging from their education?

The School Focused Youth Service (SFYS) program has recommenced in 2014. In this region the program is jointly operated by Ballarat Community Health and Child and Family Services. The program is aimed at young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years, across the municipalities of the City of Ballarat, Moorabool Shire, Golden Plains Shire and Hepburn Shire.

The SFYS program has been redeveloped by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to focus on coordinating partnership opportunities for schools and community agencies to work together to support young people most at risk of disengaging from school.

The focus will now provide targeted intervention for at risk students. According to the DEECD, this at risk group is estimated to be 15% of the school population. There are also the top 5% of at risk young people who require a targeted, specialised and individualised intervention. SFYS will work with both these cohorts.

The program aims to assist

  • very early school leavers,
  • young people who are socially disconnected or isolated,
  • young people living in challenging family settings,
  • young people with mental health issues,
  • young people experiencing high absenteeism from school,
  • young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness or living in out-of-home care,
  • young people involved in criminal offending.

The SFYS Coordinators will work closely with schools and community agencies to identify available services that meet the needs of at risk young people.


As part of the changes to the program, SFYS will no longer offer brokerage to individual schools, however will support schools with programs and resources targeted to those most at risk. A governance group has been developed and is made up of representatives from Ballarat Community Health, Child and Family Services, Catholic Education Office and Independent schools, School Principals and the DEECD including the School Support Services Coordinator. The governance group will oversee the development of resources and programs to be implemented into schools. It is hoped that the new SFYS program will be more strategic and provide better outcomes to both schools and young people.

School Focused Youth Service Guidelines 2013-2015 (DEECD)