To achieve this, we have developed a unique blend of classroom learning, life and work skills education and work experience.
We call this the BackTrack Way: a holistic, flexible and long-term service model that builds resilience in young people and the communities that support them.
The foundations for the BackTrack Way come from a model of positive youth development that has its origins in the Native American ‘circle of courage’ philosophy of child-rearing, which articulates the four primary universal growth needs of all children as being the spirit of:
Belonging – cultivated by relationships of trust so that the child can say ‘I am loved’;
Mastery – cultivated by learning to cope so that the child can say ‘I can succeed’;
Independence – cultivated by responsibility so that the child can say ‘I have the power to make decisions’; and
Generosity – cultivated by concern for others so that the child can say ‘I have a purpose for my life’.
What We Do
We never give up – you can’t get kicked out of BackTrack! – so our programmes are not capped out by unnecessary timelines. Our starting point is always to find and build that sense of belonging, through which we can help the kids develop some personal independence and learn new skills.
The journey of every person is different and we ensure every individual is supported with what they need, each step of the way.
How do young people describe BackTrack?
“It’s one big family”
“It makes your heart feel like it’s loved”
“It’s a place of belonging”
The Gap In The System
School is a structured education system. Some kids just can’t sit at a desk in a classroom for six hours a day…so they start mucking around in class. Eventually they cop a school suspension, they fall behind in their schoolwork, so when they return to school they muck around even more and the cycle starts. Hanging around town instead of going to school, couch surfing or living out on the streets, stealing money to buy food and stuff, making mischief. Soon the cops get involved, Juvenile Detention (that’s ‘jail’ for young people, and a 78% prospect of re-offending with a tattoo on their forehead that says ‘you’re no good’. This is the gap in the system and it costs the taxpayer upwards of $260k per kid per year or, hopefully, they find BackTrack (or we find them) and we set about the task of helping them scrub that tattoo off their forehead.