The City of Greater Dandenong’s Youth and Family Services team consulted with young people and their families during the height of the COVID restrictions in 2020.
Online discussion groups, surveys and phone interviews gave everyone a chance to talk about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they see the future as we return to regular life.
Four young people were employed as peer research assistants to help support the program which continued to consult with community members during Melbourne’s strictest lockdown period.
Employment was the number one priority identified by young people in Greater Dandenong.
One quarter of young people consulted said they lost their job or were temporarily stood down as a result of the pandemic. More than half said they felt less likely to achieve their future plans and goals.
Some respondents reported feeling like they were letting down their families due to lost income, while others
reported having to pick up extra work to make up for other family members losing their jobs. Of the parents who took part in the consultation, 43 per cent reported a decrease in household income, and 20 per cent reported being unable to pay essential costs, such as mortgage, rent or utility bills.
When asked to nominate areas needing the most support, the young people of Greater Dandenong identified employment support as their top priority.
Council’s Youth and Family Services team will use the findings from this consultation to create support services and programs to help young people recover from the effects of the pandemic.