New survey highlights risks and protections for Peninsula Youth

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Mornington Peninsula Shire has launched the results of an extensive survey of the Peninsula’s young people, identifying the major risk and protective factors that influence their development.

The data was collected from six primary schools and nine secondary schools across the Mornington Peninsula. Grade 6 and Year 7, 8 and 9 students were surveyed at each school, with over 4,000 young people participating.

The survey revealed increasing numbers of Year 7 students who report low commitment to school and a significant increase in depressive symptoms for students at that year level.

The most prevalent risk factor across all year levels was family conflict.

The survey also identified the most prevalent protective factor for the healthy development of young people across all year levels is family rewards for prosocial involvement and belief in moral order.

The survey was carried out by Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Youth Services team and Communities That Care (CTC), a coalition of community partners headed by the Shire’s CTC team.

The coalition works to promote the healthy development of the Peninsula’s young people through identifying the key risk and protective factors and creating an action plan of evidence-based programs for positive change.

The survey results were officially launched at The Corner Youth Centre in Mornington on Thursday 13 February 2020 by Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Sam Hearn, who chairs the Communities That Care Advisory Committee.

The launch was also an opportunity to welcome the newly-appointed members of the advisory committee.

“Our new advisory committee consists of key stakeholders and local community members who will be examining this data carefully,” Mayor Hearn said.

“The survey data is a crucial guide for us in determining where to focus our resources and programs over the next phase of Communities That Care.”

Cr Antonella Celi, a representative to the Communities that Care advisory committee, said “the ultimate goal of Communities That Care is to create a supportive and inclusive community where our local young people can contribute positively and achieve their full potential”.

Cr Bev Colomb, also a member of the advisory committee, said: “the survey data gives us a detailed picture of what is happening in the lives of our young people. We now need to work on ways to boost those protective factors and minimise the risks”.

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