Youth Insearch announces social worker partnership with Reconnect | Youth Insearch


Mon, 16/08/2021 - 00:00


Place Based Model, Partners, Community, Media Release

At-risk youth in Hervey Bay stand to benefit from a new partnership between youth intervention charity Youth Insearch and youth homeless service Reconnect.  

The partnership will enable Youth Insearch to place social worker Alectra Hancox in the area to support young people in the Hervey Bay region. 

Ms Hancox said her focus would be on supporting and working with local young people experiencing adversity in their lives.  

“My experience in working with diverse young people and their families in remote and regional areas of Australia has given me a strong understanding that all people need connection to positive role models. It is so important to instil hope and use strengths-based practices, to increase resilience when young people experience adversity” Ms Hancox said.  

Alectra has extensive experience working in the social services sector, with her most recent role as Project Officer with Primary Health Network (MHAODS). 

Alectra has also worked as the Queensland Health Child Safety Officer in Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Islands, in Child and Family Services within Neighbourhood Centres, as a Family/Youth Case Worker with Child Safety on Norfolk Island, and with NDIS as both a Psychosocial Transition Officer for mental health participants, and as a Behaviour Support Practitioner. 

Youth Insearch CEO Stephen Lewin said the placement of a new social worker within the community would help young people who were struggling and ensure they received tailored care. 

“We want to point the young people of Hervey Bay in the right direction, helping them identify what support services are available and how the Youth Insearch program can assist them to overcome their challenges,” Mr Lewin said. 

Hervey Bay is the latest area to benefit from Youth Insearch's Place-Based Model, which is already embedded in the Dalby, Chinchilla, Tara and Bundaberg communities. 

Youth Insearch has found that when social workers assist young people in a single community, they are able to provide tailored support to each young person on a one-on-one basis and connect them with appropriate support services.  

Youth Insearch Regional Coordinator for Wide Bay Burnett Donna Ryan said she was thrilled to welcome Alectra Hancox to the Youth Insearch team. 

“It is great to have Alectra on board in Hervey Bay in response to the strong need for a social worker in the community. Due to the recent increase in requests for support from young people, Alectra’s assistance will help us work more closely with case coordination.” 

The Youth Insearch community-based partnership with Reconnect was launched on Wednesday 1 September 2021, adhering to Queensland COVID-19 social-gathering restrictions, at The Neighbourhood Hive in Pialba.  

Supporters of the social worker partnerships include Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, the Tenix Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, who will be funding Youth Insearch in its transition to the social worker model and seven new social worker positions in Queensland over the next three years. 

Anyone wanting more information on the Youth Insearch and Reconnect peer-to-peer program can click here pop into the Reconnect Youth Centre located in the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, 80 Main Street Pialba.  


Media contact 

Caitlin Stevens  
Senior Account Executive 
Wells Haslem Mayhew 
Email | 0434 412 376 

About Youth Insearch 

Youth Insearch is the only Australian organisation dedicated to helping young people face trauma through peer group support, where young people help one another. Youth Insearch’s purpose is 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. 

Youth Insearch runs one of the most successful youth intervention programs in Australia, with more than 80 per cent of participants making significant positive changes in their lives. The program has a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation rate, with 28 per cent of participants and 20 per cent of leaders identifying as Indigenous.  

About Reconnect 

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s youth services hub, Reconnect Youth Centre, runs the Reconnect program with an aim to work with young people aged 12 to 18 who are at risk of homelessness. This program assists young people who remain in their family home to overcome conflict, strengthen communication and work through the challenges of their changing family role. If this is not possible, the team helps young people to live independently or with extended family, while maintaining strong community and family links, in the hope this will strengthen their ability to engage in education, employment and the community.