David Grdic, Frontyard Youth Services
“ Ask Izzy is a brilliant tool because young people will lose things. “
For youth worker David Grdic, Ask Izzy is an essential part of his worker’s toolkit.
In his role as Case Manager with the intense case management team at Frontyard Youth Services, David regularly uses Ask Izzy to support young people across Greater Melbourne and throughout Victoria. He uses it as a reference point during client intake, recommends young people bookmark it as a future resource and regularly recommends it to concerned parents that call Frontyard.
Frontyard is a specialist youth service that provides holistic programs to meet the needs of people aged 12 to 24 who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
“We work predominantly with young people that are very much entrenched in the homelessness system, and we try to get them stable in regard to moving forward, and if possible divert them from the homeless sector,” says David.
In addition to homelessness, young people frequently present at Frontyard with mental health, drug and alcohol, and legal issues.
“That’s why Ask Izzy is a great website for us – there's a lot of parallels with the challenges we’re trying to address. We're not the experts in everything, so it's really important for us to link young people in to specialised services,” says David.
Frontyard is also a state-wide service, so keeping up with the breadth of services available across Victoria is just not possible.
“It's really tricky for us to know what services are available in particular regions that we haven’t had exposure to, or haven't had exposure to for a long period of time. Services come and go – we might've had a fantastic service that we worked with in the south, and then find out that they're no longer there.”
David loves that Ask Izzy is simple to use and says it’s very well suited to the young people he works with.
“We deal with a lot of young people with anxiety who can be overwhelmed quite easily. Ask Izzy is a brilliant tool to navigate easily. It's very visually appealing without providing too much information,” he says.
When David has a new client, he introduces Ask Izzy to them early on. David knows that the reality is, he can’t be available 24/7. He feels it’s important that his clients are handed the tools to navigate themselves when they need it.
“Ask Izzy is a brilliant tool because young people will lose things. Having everything in one place makes it so much easier for them,” David says. “We love it when clients are using tools like Ask Izzy that we know are reputable and safe. It’s really important to us.”
About six months ago, Tania* presented to David at Frontyard with multiple, complex issues. She had recently begun transitioning and was experiencing homelessness for the first time. Tania was also completely in the dark about the kind of support services available to her.
“I said to her, if there's one tool that I can give you as a foundation to start your journey, it’s Ask Izzy. It has all the things that you've addressed with me today: drug and alcohol, LGBTIQ, housing, navigating mental health, all of that,” says David.
David didn’t hear from Tania for a few months after that, and he was starting to get worried. When he eventually made contact again, David found out that Tania was fine – she had just fallen down the “rabbit hole” of support services!
“She said it was fantastic, the list of support services just kept growing and growing. She was so new to having to access services that she was just like a sponge and wanted to learn more and more.”
Tania now has safe accommodation and is feeling in a much better place. But she still regularly accesses services she found on her Ask Izzy journey, keeping her supported and on track to live life independently – in a secure and stable way.
Find out more about Frontyard Youth Services: https://www.mcm.org.au/homelessness/frontyard
* Name has been changed for privacy