Navigator helps students maintain engagement with primary and secondary education
Jesuit Social Services delivers casework and support to disadvantaged young learners as part of the Victorian Government’s Navigator initiative.
This program was established in recognition of the fact that disengagement from education can often be the first sign that a young person has started on a trajectory into antisocial behaviour.
Navigator works intensively with students, their families and schools to help them to re-engage with education, including the development of individualised learning and cultural plans, and restorative practice including therapeutic and practical support.
The program’s success is demonstrated in the story of Steven, a young Indigenous boy who had disengaged from school before joining the program. Steven’s Navigator case worker linked him in with culturally-specific services and supported him to enrol in a flexible learning centre where his individual needs were better supported.
Two years later, Steven was attending school 80 per cent of the time, had engaged with work experience and was looking for casual employment.
Since its inception, Navigator has supported 12 to 17-year olds. We were very pleased to see funding in this year’s Victorian Budget for a pilot to extend the Navigator program to children aged 10 and 11 – something we have long advocated for.
We call on the incoming government to permanently extend access to Navigator enabling earlier intervention to support vulnerable children transitioning from primary school to high school.