The Ladder Step Up Inner Gippsland program is an expansion of the already successful, evidence-based Step Up program in Latrobe Valley.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, our new program supports young people aged 12-18, who are disengaged or at risk of disengaging from education, training or employment and reside in the Inner Gippsland regions of Baw Baw and Bass Coast.

Recently, a wonderful group of young people graduated from the first program that was facilitated in Baw Baw. Over the course of the six-week program, they engaged in a combination of group-based activities and one-to-one sessions that were focused on topics including community connection, creating a support system, independence and routine, nutrition and sleep, SMART goal setting and emotional regulation. The young people also participated in nature-based activities which enabled them to switch off from technology, recharge and be present.

We recently celebrated all the young people’s achievements in front of their family, school representatives and other key people in the young people’s lives. It was wonderful for these people to celebrate and support the young people not only at their graduation but throughout the program.

At the completion of the program the young people reported the following outcomes:

-100% felt more confident in themselves after completing the program.
-100% felt more positive about their future.
-100% feel happier now than before they started the program.
-100% are proud of what they achieved during the program.
-100% would recommend the program to a friend.

As a result of this program, 60% of program participants have returned to school after graduating the program. Ladder will also work with the remaining participants to continue to explore the education, employment and training options and pathways whilst also accessing support services where needed. 

The participants made the following statements about their experience in the Ladder program:

‘Ladder has given me more confidence in myself’
‘The Development coaches showed me what I am capable of’
‘Helped me talk to others’
‘It helped me mentally’
‘It got me out of the house’


We look forward to working with the next group of young people with the second program commencing this week. 

To find out more about Step Up Inner Gippsland or to make a referral to an upcoming program, click here.