About SYFS

About SYFS and your donation

Southern Youth and Family Services (SYFS) is a local Not-for-Profit that has the main purpose of supporting and caring for vulnerable and homeless young people (up to twenty four years of age) or those at risk of disadvantage and homelessness. SYFS also supports the families of these young people which may include parents, grand parents, siblings, other extended family members and even foster families.

What we do? 

This work provides Supported Accommodation, Community Social Housing, Health and Outreach Services, Out of Home Care Services, Family Services including counselling, parenting programs and early intervention, and Education, Employment and Training programs.

SYFS operated 47 different services through 20 different funding programs in 2021-22, assisting 22,208 young people and families.  

Your impact 

All money raised from your generous support of our Raffle will help fund the ongoing support and delivery of SYFS Education, Employment and Training programs and improve the quality of life and wellbeing of our young people and their families. 

These programs focus on assisitng vulnerable young people in the areas of - 

  • Employment Skills
  • Personal Development
  • Selecting Training Courses and Applications
  • Educational Support

In 2020/21young people who participated in SYFS Network EET programs achieved the following outcomes - 

  • 94% began, maintained or returned to training
  • 48% began, maintained or returned to employment
  • 24% began, maintained or returned to education

Further to this 62% of clients achieved accreditied training in this time through SYFS RTO Hospitality Course. This is a major factor in the EET Programs overall success and requires significant investment in facilites, equipment and resources.


*Jake - aged 20

Jake resides in a SYFS Premiers Independent Housing Property and was referred to the SYFS EET Network Program to engage him in educational workshops, groups and programs.

He had previoulsy completed Year 12 but was unsure of what he wanted to do so he was assisited to enrol in a Cert II in Retail through the Illawarra Youth Employment Strategy. Throughout this time Jake was supported to seek casual employment via the EET Program but was initially unsuccessful.

Not be deterred Jake continued to participate in EET Workshops including 'Job Club', 'Interview and Presentation Skills' and also engaged in EET Industry visits to The Illawarra Fly, Jambaroo Action Park and Symbio Wildlife Park to gain invaluable first hand knowledge and insight.

He then completed an accredited Cafe Skills Course through SYFS own RTO and was able to put his skills to use assiting to run a Coffee and Cake Stall at SYFS run Homelesseness Matters Day and Sorry Day events.

Through the skills, support and guidance provided Jake gained Casual Employment at a local Mexican Restaurant and where he worked throughout the first COVID Lockdown.

This experience and the confidence Jake has gained empowered him to apply for and gain a full-time contract with a local Masonry business where he is currently working as a labourer.

Jake is currently planning his transition into a private rental and full independence.

* real name not used for Privacy reasons

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data revealed that in 2019/20 a total of 9,947 12-17 year olds accessed Specialists Homelesness Services (SHS) in NSW.

Two thirds of those presented without a parent or guardian and of these the main reason for seeking help was relationship breakdown and conflict (26%) followed by Domestic Violence (10%).

The NSW Communities and Justice website shows there are 610 people registered on the waiting list for Social Housing just in the Shellharbour region alone.

The wait time for Student / 1 Bedroom properties, 2 bedroom properties and 4 plus bedroom properties is 5 - 10 years.

Statewide 46,087 people were on the waiting list as of June 30, 2020.

It is for this very reason that last year alone SYFS assisted over 22,500 

Last year across 47 different services, SYFS assited over 22,208 people by providing Supported Accommodation, Community Social Housing, Health and Outreach Services, Out of Home Care Services and Family Services including Counselling, Parenting Programs, Early Intervention, and Education, Employment and Training programs.

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