Re-engaging young people with education and training pathways.

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Navigator supports disengaged students aged 12-17 to re-engage with an education or training pathway. Signs of disengagement may include a pattern of absenteeism, school refusal, truancy or withdrawing from school. Navigator works intensively with young people, families, schools and support networks to address underlying issues in disengagement, help learners overcome barriers, and expand their opportunities to successfully re-engage with a learning pathway and thrive in education.

How does the program help?

Disengaged learners are more likely to struggle during their transition to work or further education than learners who have completed Year 12 or equivalent. And disengagement from school is a risk factor for involvement with the criminal justice system – two-thirds of young people in Victorian youth detention facilities were suspended or expelled from school before their arrest.

But research shows that with the right intervention and support, young people who disengage can catch up with education and set their lives on a positive path. Navigator provides the support and encouragement young learners need to express their goals for themselves, understand their specific barriers to engaging with education, and connect with a broader network to provide ongoing support and oversight for their pathway back into education or training.

How does the program work?

Navigator provides case management and intensive outreach to young people. Our team assists each young person to create their own education re-engagement plan that:

  • Expresses individual goals
  • Addresses specific barriers to education
  • Responds to issues underlying non-attendance, and
  • Involves and works restoratively with families, carers, schools and community supports by expanding and coordinating the network of people who can provide ongoing support and oversight, and promote well-being, restore relationships and reduce further harm.

Navigator also works with education providers to ensure that each young person’s re-engagement into education best suits their needs.

Who can participate?

Navigator is a state-wide Victorian program for students enrolled in or intending to enroll in government and non-government schools or education settings.

To be eligible for Navigator, a young person must be:

  • Between 12 and 17 years of age, and
  • Disengaged from an educational setting for more than 70 per cent of a school term.

Where is the program offered?

Navigator is delivered state-wide across Victoria. Jesuit Social Services delivers Navigator in four areas of Melbourne:

  • Hume-Moreland
  • Brimbank-Melton
  • North Eastern Melbourne (Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Yarra), and
  • Inner-East Melbourne (Boroondara, Manningham, Monash and Whitehorse).

How does someone make a referral?

The Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) Navigator Coordinator manages the referral process to the Navigator program at Jesuit Social Services. Email

Young people can be referred to Navigator through a variety of pathways, including by schools, family and carers, DET offices, police, child protection, youth justice, Local Learning and Employment Networks, community services, or through self-referral.

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