Brotherhood of St Laurence

BSL Youth Department’s approach to Communities of Practice : a foundation paper

By: Brown, Diane | Brotherhood of St Laurence
Contributor(s): Cull, Emma
Publisher: Fitzroy, Vic Brotherhood of St Laurence 2019Description: 9 p. PDFSubject(s): Youth | Youth Services For | Youth Foyers | Community of Practice | Disadvantaged GroupsOnline Resources: DOWNLOAD PDF
List(s) this item appears in: Homelessness | Communities of Practice
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June 2019

The BSL Youth Department’s overarching ambition is to inform the systemic reform of education, employment and welfare sectors to ensure they enable the provision of opportunities for young people experiencing disadvantage to participate fully in mainstream social and economic life.

This ambition is based on the recognition that the issuesfacing young people in transition from school to work in Australia cannot be reduced to individual or familial level factors; they are also consequence of structural issues in the labour market, compounded by institutional level arrangements including the commissioning and governance of key services. A key part of the way BSL’s Youth Department works to achieve this ambition for change is to foster collaboration through the establishment of Communities of Practice (CoPs). This includes multi-sectoral collaboration with a range of service providers working with young people experiencing disadvantage (including education, homelessness, justice, OoHC sectors) and across Departments within local, State and Federal Governments. BSL’s non-competitive approach to service delivery and commitment to co-design enables us to work collaboratively across key sectors, while recognising the considerable knowledge, expertise and assets of locally based communities and the value of small organisations in their communities. Through CoPs, BSL also seeks to unite community organisations to work collaboratively on evidencing and implementing effective ways of working, to be a collective voice for change. BSL currently plays a role as an enabling organisation for a range of CoPs that have different agendas, but which also share common principles and key features, which are outlined later in this paper. Founded on principles of coproduction and collaboration rather than competition, BSL facilitates multi-sectoral collaboration and practice reform with a view to fostering innovation through harnessing collective effort, sharing ideas and experimenting with new approaches.

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