Brighter futures: The transformative power of co-design and collective impact

Symposium: Transforming policy reforms into practice in the statutory family – a case study of Victorian leaving care initiatives
Friday 27 July


Meg Beilken
Department of Education

Laura Johns
Brighter Futures Ambassador

Brighter Futures is a collective impact initiative in Outer Eastern Melbourne that takes a strengths- and asset-based approach to improving outcomes for young people aged 15–21 years transitioning from out-of-home care.

Over the past two years, we have brought representatives from state and local government and community service organisations together with young people, carers and local community members to identify the best way to affect positive and lasting change in the lives of young people.

This has seen us link young people with opportunities and mentors within their local community to support them to develop their strengths and realise their goals — which is having a flow-on effect in other parts of their lives. As one young person put it: “To get a house I need a job, to get a job I need an education, and to get an education I need to be surrounded by people who care.”

This presentation will explore the transformative power of authentically involving young people, carers and the broader community in the co-design and delivery of the services that affect them.

It will demonstrate how young people have consistently pushed us to reframe what we mean by impact at an individual and systems level, and how community members have held the service system to greater account.

It will also explore how Brighter Futures is embedding the views of young people, carers and community members in its governance, leadership, practice and measurement frameworks, and how this is influencing broader policy change.