Overview | Youth Insearch


Youth Insearch runs one of the most successful youth intervention programs in the country. We work with at risk youth aged 14 to 20 supporting them to turn their disadvantages into their advantages, enabling them to reach their full potential. The program has a peer focus, on young people helping young people.

Since 1985 the program has helped over 31,500 young people rebuild their lives, and assists around 1,000 young people per year across NSW, VIC & QLD.

Youth Insearch is an independent charitable organisation and is not affiliated with any religious or political group. 


To be available to every young person in Australia.


To empower young people to take control of their lives,
by giving them the opportunity and skills to develop their

 self-esteem and play a positive role in society.


Our objectives are to:

  • To reduce the incidence of crime, violence, drug & alcohol abuse, self-harm and suicide in young people
  • To relieve the suffering and helplessness of young people affected by distressing issues, such as family conflict & separation, domestic violence, sexual abuse, bullying and death & grief.   
  • To enhance young peoples’ self-esteem through empowering them to take control of their lives
  • To break the cycle of family breakdown by giving young people some of the skills essential to being a successful parent
  • To teach young people the positive values of life
  • To teach young people the value of education, increasing school retention and employability.

Our History

Youth Insearch was founded in 1985 by a Youth Development Counsellor at the Riverstone Community Neighborhood Centre in North West Sydney. He believed that individual counselling was slow and had little impact on the community as a whole. He met with the young people he was counselling to discuss what would be more effective. Together they wrote the Youth Insearch program. 

The outcomes in Riverstone were outstanding and profiled by the late Andrew Olle in a radio interview with the founder on 2BL in 1987. Mr Olle then interviewed a local police commander who stated the Riverstone Police Station was reducing operations because youth crime, delinquency and alcohol & drug use & dealing had hit an all-time low as a result of the program. This was the start of national media coverage and a rapid expansion of the program across Australia. 

Youth Insearch was also established in the United Kingdom in partnership with the late Wilbert Verheyen of the United Nations Child Development Fund and in New Zealand in partnership with a NZ police officer.